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Canal du Midi – ‘Petit’

Tour: FM5
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
Linear Cycling Holiday

It’s amazing what great things you can experience on a ‘little’ cycle tour along the Canal du Midi! Take the über-impressive castle at Carcassonne or the nine lock staircase and mighty Malpas Tunnel just outside historic Béziers for example. Or the expansive stretches of Languedoc vineyards and awesome vistas from ancient Cathar villages. The heat is on to enjoy everything this sunshine area of France has to offer, but the cycling couldn’t be cooler – straightforward routes down shady, easy-going towpaths. What are you waiting for? Read More


Europe, France

Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



5 Days, 4 Nights


Apr - Oct

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
Home > Europe > Canal du Midi – ‘Petit’


Carcassonne, Narbonne and Béziers are just some of the hotspots you’ll discover when you stop off from cycling the shady towpaths of the Canal du Midi. Dip in to the Languedoc vineyards, savour the taste of truly French Cassoulet from nearby Castelnaudary and wonder at the amazing feats of engineering which created the locks, tunnels and architecture of one of France’s most monumental and historic canals. Fantastic cycling, charming places to stay – don’t they say that great things come in little packages?

Tour Code:
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday, Linear Cycling Holiday
Europe, France
Canal du Midi
5 Days, 4 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Apr - Oct


Day 1 Arrive & explore

Arrive in Carcassonne to relax and explore a city which boasts the biggest medieval fortress in Europe. Dominating and incorporating the city, it was significantly restored in the 19th century and includes a double-wall defence system and over 50 towers and bastions. Stroll along ‘Les Lices’ – the grassy stretches between the double walls – to get the true sense of scale and enjoy fantastic views across the beautiful Aude countryside.

Overnight in Carcassonne.

Day 2 Tales of the towpath

Time to get truly acquainted with the Canal du Midi by hugging it almost all the way to the ancient commercial harbour of Homps. It’s a day of shady plane trees and cypresses, vineyards and villages. Trèbes, the old Roman crossing of the Aude River for the military road from Carcassonne to Narbonne, is en route and there’s plenty of opportunity to wonder at the magnificent, more modern engineering too. Count the locks and look out for canal ‘architecture’ created between 1666-1680 including the fine Orbiel aqueduct. Your cycle route leaves the canal for the final stretch taking you through some small villages to the south on the way to your overnight in Homps, once an important harbour town on the ‘Canal des Deux Mers’ ( Canal du Midi).

Overnight in Homps

Miles: 29 Kms: 46

Day 3 Harping back to its hey-day

Leaving Homps, pedal out alongside the Canal du Midi enjoying the cool shade of the plane trees and pines, chasing boats and barges all the way to Le Somail. Home to a real slice of canal history, this village boasts storehouses, a chapel, humpback bridge and travellers’ rest all dating back to the time of the canal’s construction. A short pedal further and you steer off down another towpath, this time alongside the Canal de la Robine. The historic city of Narbonne awaits for your next overnight and offers a real collection of cultural delights include St Just cathedral, Via Domitia and smart 17th Century houses.

Overnight in Narbonne

Miles: 28 Kms: 45

Day 4 A staircase of locks & time-honoured tunnel

The final day’s cycling heads out to historic Béziers. First retrace your Canal de la Robine path, then cross the area of dried ponds and open fieldscapes from Sallèles-d’Aude to meet the Canal du Midi at Capestang. Visit the village’s fine college perhaps before pedalling on to characterful Poilhes, then try a short hilly detour if you fancy it, up to the Ensérune Oppidum, one of the region’s most renowned Gallic villages. Prefer to stay on the flat? Just continue along to the canal’s famous Malpas Tunnel carved into solid rock. The final shady stretch to the old town of Béziers includes the impressive series of nine locks known as the Fonserannes staircase lock.

Overnight in Béziers.

Miles: 33 Kms: 53

Day 5 Depart after breakfast

Leave Béziers after breakfast, or take time to enjoy the Mediterranean flavours of historic town. There are regional trains from Béziers back to Carcassonne if you wish.


We can also offer 6 and 7 day itineraries along Canal du Midi, we are happy to discuss details of these tours.

A note about the path:
The surface of the path is mostly good, largely gravel with some stretches of tarmac and others of grass or dirt.  You do however need to watch out for tree roots in places – more of an issue when the leaves start to fall.
The other point to note is path closures for essential maintenance work.  There is usually a signed diversion.

Dates & Prices


Accommodation Options

Selected 3 star hotels in Carcassonne, Homps, Narbonne and Béziers.


Half board for 3 nights in Carcassonne, Homps and Beziers only.

We are pleased to discuss details on request.

More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.