"On 13th April 1667 Pierre Paul Riquet began work on one of the world's best cycle tracks. It wasn't his intention; the bicycle had yet to be invented. He set out to construct a canal, the Canal du Midi, but the 240km towpath along its banks is now a cyclists dream." ©Declan Lyons - Cycling the Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi connects the Garonne River in Toulouse to the Etang de Thau (Sete) on the Mediterranean and is an excellent and rewarding cycle. It passes through some of France's most beautiful and historic countryside. Although this route is mainly flat, dont think for a minute that its boring. Along the way there are many interesting and beautiful sights. Not least the Fortress town of Carcassonne built by the Visigoths in the fifth Century where you will spend two nights with a whole day to explore the city.
Although the terrain is mainly flat we use high quality Specialized and Trek Mountain bikes because the pathway alongside the canal is lined by trees and the tree roots have made the surface bumpy in places so we want you to have a more comfortable ride than the Hybrid bikes used by other operators.
Prices - per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room
Package Hotel - £1000 - This tour is self guided, using our detailed maps and route guides, includes bike and helmet hire, B&B Accommodation in a combination of hotels and Chambres D'Hotes, Airport Transfers and your luggage is transferred from hotel to hotel. A guide can be available at an extra cost. 7 Nights
Superior upgrade, all hotels 4*with pool, only £1400
Optional Excursions - 1 day Vineyard visits can be arranged at additional cost.
These holidays are available from the end of May to beginning of October, but they book up very quickly so please contact us to discuss availability.
Leisure Itinerary- 7 night - Hotel to Hotel
On arrival at Carcassonne Airport (some UK departures direct to Toulouse) you will be met by either Andy or Cris for the transfer to Central Toulouse where you will spend your first night in a 2 or 3 star hotel with ensuite facilities.
Day 2 Toulouse to Castelnaudary
After breakfast we will get your bike and helmet adjusted to fit you perfectly, and either Andy or Cris will guide you off on your first day alongside the beautiful Canal du Midi. Leaving the hustle and bustle of Toulouse behind we cycle into the countryside, passing small towns and villages along the way. An easy cycling 35 miles today. We stay in a lovely 2 star hotel tonight. Castelnaudary is a major port and a base for one of the largest companies hiring boats on the canal, its main claim to fame is the reginal dish of Cassoulet, choose to eat this or one of many other dishes in one of the numerous restaurants.
Day 3 Castelnaudary to Carcassonne
Observe the workings of many locks as you leave Castelnaudary, the first, St Roch, has one of the greatest drops in height on the canal (9.5m) and its flow was once used to power waterwheels. You will cycle approx. 30 miles today, take your time, enjoy the scenery, the nearby vineyards, sample some wine and enjoy a picnic lunch and the gentle pace of French life. A three star hotel awaits you this evening, and plenty of restaurants to choose from. The Carcassonne Cite ramparts are illuminated at night and are a stunning photo opportunity.
Day 4 Carcassonne - Rest Day
Spend a day and another night in this fabulous medieval fortified town. There are two parts to Carcassonne, the lower town and the Cité, the ancient walled town. The lower town is designed on a grid so easy to explore. Plenty of restaurants to choose from for your evening meal. Take a tour of the town or a trip underground in the caves which extend to over a kilometre underground. Alternatively a circular route up into the hills is available for those who wish to cycle again today
Day 5 Carcassonne to Homps / Olonzac
Continuing our journey towards the Mediterranean passing through quaint little French villages, enjoy your packed lunch and wine sitting alongside the canal watching the riverboats navigate the curious oval shaped locks.
Day 6 Olonzac to Beziers
Heading along a "Staircase" of locks and past more pretty villages as we head off to the beautiful city of Bezieres, where you will spend tonight.
approx 32 miles
Day 8 Return to UK
We transfer you by minibus back to Carcassonne Airport for your return flight to the UK