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Canal du Midi – ‘Petit’ from Carcassonne

Tour: FMCA5
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
Linear Cycling Holiday

Carcassonne’s mighty medieval citadel; über-impressive feats of engineering, like the staircase of nine locks and mega Malpas Tunnel; the Greek city of Agde and the Mediterranean coast – it’s amazing what a great melting pot of places and awesome discoveries you’ll encounter on a ‘little’ cycle tour along the Canal du Midi! Stop to drink in expansive Languedoc vineyard views and breath-taking vistas from ancient Cathar villages. The heat may be on to get a taste of everything this sunshine area of France and UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer, but the cycling couldn’t be cooler – gentle, straightforward routes down shady, easy-going towpaths. See, great things really do come in little packages! 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’ from Carcassonne


Castles at Carcassonne and the Minervois area, a Roman bridge at Trèbes and towering collegiate church at Capestang are just some of the highlights on the horizon on this gentle journey along the shady cycling-friendly towpaths of UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi. Dip in to the Languedoc vineyards, savour the local taste of Cassoulet from nearby Castelnaudary and wonder at the masterful engineering behind the lock systems, tunnels and architecture of one of France’s most monumental and historic canals. Fantastic cycling, charming places to stay, awesome discoveries almost every pedal push of the way – a short tour packed with great things, from countryside to coast. What’s not to like?

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. With over 50 towers and bastions, it dominates and incorporates the city and was significantly restored in the 19th century. Stroll along ‘Les Lices’ – the grassy stretches between the fortress’ double walled defence system – to get a true sense of its scale and enjoy fantastic views across the beautiful Aude countryside.

Overnight in Carcassonne.

Day 2 Tales of the towpath

Time to get a first taste of the shaded Canal du Midi towpaths on route to Trèbes, cross-point of the River Aude for the old Roman military road from Carcassonne to Narbonne. In the company of the Canal, there’s plenty of magnificent, more modern engineering to wonder at for the rest of the day’s cycling. Count the locks and look out for canal ‘architecture’ created in 1666-1680, including the fine Orbiel aqueduct. There are château-dotted vineyard villages to discover too, like Puichéric and Roquecourbe-Minervois, whose names (and red wines) roll off the tongue.

Your final few kilometres lead to La Redorte, home to the ‘argent double’ system created by Vauban to keep the great Canal clear of flood waters, and along to the Port of Homps, once an important harbour town on the ‘Canal des Deux Mers’.

Overnight in Homps (or La Redorte).

Miles: 26 (23) Kms: 42 (37)

Day 3 Harping back to its hey-day

Leaving Homps (or La Redorte), pedal out alongside the Canal du Midi as it runs alongside the River Aude. Pass Argens-Minervois and Ventenac-en-Minervois with its impressive turreted castle and enjoy the cool shade of pines and plane trees as you chase 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 the bridge of Argeliers comes into view, before the last few kilometres to Capestang – a charming place for an overnight, dominated by perhaps the Languedoc’s finest example of Gothic architecture, the 14th century Collegiate Church of Saint-Etienne, plus the early medieval castle residence of the archbishops of Narbonne.

Overnight in Capestang.

Miles: 26 (30)  Kms: 42 (48)

Day 4 A rock tunnel, lock staircase & beautiful beaches

Time to head for the Med, taking in some of the Canal du Midi’s finest masterpieces along the way. Canal-hugging cycling leads first to the awesome Malpas Tunnel carved into solid rock, followed by the amazing nine lock wonder known as the Fonseranes Staircase near historic Béziers. From Agde, where the square towers and fortifications of black-lava-built St Etienne cathedral rise above the Hérault river quayside, it’s time to leave the waterways and dip down the delta for your overnight near the Mediterranean Sea and the Cap d’Agde beaches of Rochelongue.

Overnight in Cap d’Agde.

Miles: 31 Kms: 50

Day 5 Depart after breakfast

Leave Cap d’Agde after breakfast. Transfer by taxi to Agde to enjoy the Mediterranean flavours of this originally Greek city. There are regional trains from Agde to Béziers and back to Carcassonne if you wish.


We can also offer a 7 day itinerary along Canal du Midi, we are happy to discuss details of this tour.

A note about the path:
The surface of the path varies in quality by local authority; it 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 that path closures do pop up for essential maintenance work. There is usually a signed diversion.

Dates & Prices

Download Prices

For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above


Ensuite accommodation as described in 2 and 3 star hotels or guesthouses with buffet/continental breakfast (prices based on two adults sharing)

Upgraded accommodation is in 3 and 4 star hotels (or 4 star equivalent guesthouses) with buffet/continental breakfast (prices based on two adults sharing)

Hire of hybrid bicycle and ancillary equipment (panniers, lock & puncture repair equipment). Bike delivery is normally the morning of day 2

Luggage transfer between hotels (limited to one bag per person (max 20kgs)

Local assistance on call (although puncture repair is excluded)

Information pack with detailed joining instructions and daily route overviews sent out approximately 2 weeks before departure so you can plan ahead and look forward to your cycling

Printed routing information will be waiting for you at the hotel. Please note that there is no welcome meeting on this tour.

All local visitors’ taxes

Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Costs of getting to and from the tour area

Taxi / Train fares

Accommodation Options

Selected 2 and 3 star hotels or guesthouses in Carcassonne, Homps (or La Redorte), Capestang and Cap d’Agde.


Selected 3 & 4 star hotels (or 4 star equivalent guesthouses) throughout.
We are pleased to discuss hotel details on request.


Final night in Béziers
As an alternative to staying in Cap D’Agde, it is possible to return to spend the night in the larger and more cosmopolitan Béziers by train (with your bike). Train ticket is not included. If this option is selected there will be a discount when using standard accommodation (no change in price when using the upgraded accommodation).

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.


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