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Canal de Garonne

From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea

Reference C2M1401
  • Itinerant trip
  • 14 days
  • Moderate
  • From Mar 30 to Oct 27, 2019
  • Minimum age From 14 years old
1489€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • On this bike ride you will reach Sète starting in Bordeaux by following the Canal de Garonne to Toulouse and then he Canal du Midi to Sète. After admiring Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne, you cross the vineyards to the small city of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, and La Réole, where you join the greenway running along the Canal de Garonne. You ride along the canal leisurely passing charming villages such as Mas d’Agenais, Damazan, Agen with its beautiful canal bridge or Moissac and its beautiful abbey and cloister. You continue through Montauban to Toulouse, the Pink city. In Toulouse you start riding along the Canal du Midi, which takes you through Castelnaudary to Carcassonne and its fortress. Continue until Beziers then Agde and the pond Thau. Just a few strikes later you will arrive in Sète and take a swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Day 1

     
     

    Bordeaux

    You might want to enter the old city section by riding along the quays of the Garonne. The Bordeaux quayside is one of the most magnificent waterfronts in the world. Bordeaux was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2007 because of the beautiful 18th century facades and outstanding buldings. Discover the banks of the Garonne River and check out the buildings made with white chiseled stone.

    Day 2

     
     

    Bordeaux – Saint-Martin-de-Lerm

    Bike
    68km
    This morning you’ll leave Bordeaux and take a pleasant , designated bike path out of town. Upon reaching Latresne, the path meanders away fro the river and you’ll riding on a converted railroad track. Don’t worry. No trains will coming! The old train stations along the route offer friendly services for cyclists such as food, coffee and informations. We suggest you leave the cycle path and explore the bastide of Creon (Bastides are newly built towns in the 13th and 14th century). Check out the remains of the La Sauve Abbey or the Church of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne.
    The final leg of your route is a bit hilly until you reach your destination, Saint-Martin-de-Lerm.

    Day 3

     
     

    Saint-Martin-de-Lerm – Le Mas d’Agenais

    Bike
    42km
    Get warmed up this morning by biking on a few hills before reaching the medieval town of La Reole on the Garonne River. From there, the path flattends out as you ride along the dikes and reach the Canal de Garonne. The pleasant cylce path runs alongside the canal. If you like, make a detour to the village of Couthures-sur-Garonne, where you can learn about ancient and present river life. The day ends when you reach the charming village of Le Mas d’Agenais and its outstanding church.

    Day 4

     
     

    Le Mas d’Agenais – Agen

    Bike
    49km
    Start the day by biking along the path next to the canal. The route is dotted with quaint villages, containing locks where you can watch boaters navigate each lock. Just a stone’s throw from the canal, admire the bastide of Damazan with its colorful facades or the bastide of Serignac-sur-Garonne with its bell tower made of slate. Towards the end of the route, the bike path crosses the magnificent canal bridge over the Garonne River on the outskirts of Agen. You’ll soon be very close to the city center where you can absorb the sights, sounds and smells of southwest Frane’s way of life.

    Day 5

     
     

    Agen – Moissac

    Bike
    46 / 54km
    Leave Agen on the canal bike path and wind amongst the hills. If you’re looking for a pleasant rest stop, check out the bastide of Valence d’Agen, built by the English. Continue biking past cute lock keepers’houses, many decorated with abundant flowers. Up to a challenge? Leave the canal path and head sightly uphill towards the fortified village of Auvillar, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Your shorter choice is to follow the Canal path until you reach Moissac. The town is known for its medieval buildings, including the abbey church, which has famous and important Romanesque sculpture around the entrance.

    Day 6

     
     

    Moissac – Montauban

    Bike
    44km
    Today’s ride takes you along the canal bike path across the plain to Castelsarrasin. The route leaves the canal path for a short time and transfers over to quiet, backroads to the Abbey of Belleperches on the riverside of Garonne. From there, get on the canal path again until you reach the Montech Marina. Now the route follows another canal path all the way to Montauban, an old city built with pink bricks.

    Day 7

     
     

    Montauban – Toulouse

    Bike
    60km
    The day starts with an easy ride back to the Canal de Garonne where you enter the suburbs of Toulouse. Soon you’ll see the junctions of the Garonne and Midi Canals. Cycle a bit further and you’ll be in the city center of Toulouse. Stroll around and explore the Roman Cathedral of Saint-Sernon, the Jacobins Church or the Renaissance mansion of Assezat.

    Day 8

     
     

    Toulouse - Gardouch

    Bike
    43km
    You leave Toulouse on a cycling path along the Canal du Midi and enjoy riding out of the city away from cars, lulled by the soft sound of the water. You reach the first villages of the Lauragais, an area where the landscape is dotted with typical flat bell towers like in the village of Montesquieu-Lauragais. This rich plain surrounded by hills is opened to trade for centuries thanks to the canal.

    Day 9

     
     

    Gardouch - Bram

    Bike
    40 ou 50km
    You leave the canal to ride on a nice overhanging road offering magnificent views on the canal and countryside. You reach the Cathar village of Avignonet-Lauragais before passing by Port Lauragais and the watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean sea. You then head towards Castelnaudary, where you will be warmly welcomed with a tasty cassoulet on the nice port. You keep on through the countryside to the charming abbey of Saint-Papoul and get back on the canal in Bram.

    Day 10

     
     

    Bram - Carcassonne

    Bike
    27km
    You ride today on the canal hauling path to Carcassonne. You go through the new town and arrive on the banks of the Aude river, from where the impressing walls of the medieval city rise in the sky. Don’t miss out the visit of this fortress, which was very well restored.
       

    Cité of Carcassonne 3h

    9,00 € / adult

    Day 11

     
     

    Carcassonne - Le Somail

    Bike
    65km
    Shortly after Carcassonne, the canal route takes you in Minervois . A La Redorte , be sure to observe the outfall of the Argent Double designed by Vauban, built to drain the excess water during floods or to clear the channel. The charming wine villages follow one another, each with its little harbor. Homps offers a possibility of a little more lively stopover before proceeding to one of the next villages where you step.

    Day 12

     
     

    Le Somail - Béziers

    Bike
    55km
    At the beginning of this stage, you stay along the Canal du Midi and the Canal de la Robine. You then bike on nice country roads through Ouveillan. You follow the canal again which is meandering till the lively port of Capestang. It is worth to stop to admire the collegiate church of Saint-Etienne, which is dominating the village with its 45m-high bell gothic bell tower. You keep following the canal, pass under the Malpas tunnel and ride down the cascade of the 9 Fonsérannes locks. Your ride ends with a nice view on Béziers, where you sleep.

    Day 13

     
     

    Béziers - Sète

    Bike
    55km
    Cycling along the canal is very easy on this stage. You ride on a cycle path and very smooth paths. You reach Agde effortlessly, and discover on the way the Estagnol marshes, the quiet port of Cassagières or the many constructions works like the lock of Libron or the bridge of Saint-Joseph. After Agde, you follow the Hérault river which flows into the lagoon of Bagnas. You then cycle the last stretch of the canal and end up at the Onglous light tower, and feel like you’ve "made it" as it is where the waters of the canal flow into the sea water of Thau Lagoon. But it’s not finished yet! A cycle path along the sea takes you to Sète, your final destination.

    Day 14

     
     

    Departure from Toulouse

    You can extend your stay to give you more time to explore this delightful area. Otherwise, check out of your hotel after beakfast.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You’ll enjoy staying in these clean and cozy 2-Star hotels and Bed and Breakfasts that give you a pleasant rest after your day of biking. Breakfast is included when you spend the night in these friendly and family-run hotels.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You’ll get a good night’s sleep when you stay in these 2-3-Star hotels or Bed and Breakfasts. All properties have been selected for their cleanliness, style and friendliness of the staff. A hearty breakfast is included!
    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults (+1m55).



    Luggage

    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.


    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy peacefully the itinerary and its interesting sites.
    You will have in your travel documents maps of the itinerary (A4 format) that we drew at the easiest scale to follow for a bicycle rider.

    Example of a map



    GPS tracks


    For this trip, we also provide the GPS tracks on demand in the .gpx format at no extra cost.

  • Practical information

  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: fly to Bordeaux Mérignac. A bus shuttle takes you to the city center in about 30mn depending on traffic.
    • By train: go to Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station. To plan your trip www.trainline.eu


    Parking

    If you drive to Bordeaux, you can park your car in a secured car park located next to Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station. On an indicative basis, the week rate (7 days) is € 50 subject to availability.

    All details will be given in your travel documents.


    To get back to starting point:

    You take the train back to your departure point. You can take a direct regional trains. Regional trains are without reservation and take bikes without extra charge. You buy your ticket yourself. You will find the timetable of the day in your travel documents.


    Meeting time:

    The first day is an arrival day without cycling. You arrive whenever you want depending on from where you come. Please note that rooms are usually available in the middle of the afternoon depending on your accommodation. We thank you to advise us if you plan to arrive late.

     
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