Canal du Midi Cycle Overview
Cycle beside one of Europe's most remarkable engineering feats, through idyllic sun-kissed landscapes, from one pretty village to the next.
- self-guided hotel-to-hotel cycling, luggage transported
- canalside trails, olive groves & vineyards
- enjoy wine tastings
- start in Carcassonne, end by the sea
The southern region of Languedoc-Roussillon is famed for its balmy Mediterranean climate and the many excellent vineyards which thrive in the rolling countryside of pretty villages, historic churches and towering cypress trees. Independent for many centuries, the locals speak a distinctive Provençal patois and defend their culture and heritage with pride and passion. Cutting through this neat and productive landscape is another source of great pride, the incredible Canal du Midi, built by Pierre-Paul Riquet, Baron de Bonrepos, in the 17th century during the reign of King Louis XIV.
Linked to the Canal de Garonne, the Canal du Midi made the transport of goods between Bordeaux on the Atlantic Ocean and Marseilles on the Mediterranean Sea far quicker and safer - by avoiding the possibility of attack from the pirates and slave traders of North Africa’s Barbary Coast. There are no such worries today and the shady canal towpath makes for idyllic cycling through picturesque landscapes as you journey from the medieval walled jewel that is Carcassonne, to the sparkling Mediterranean Sea beyond Narbonne.