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Canal du Midi: From Montpellier to Carcassonne

Cycling along the Canal du Midi is flat and traffic-free 6
Crossing the Canal du Midi on a bike There are many casltes in Cascassone's area Our Canal du Midi cycling trip stops at the Mediterranean harbor of Sete Cycling along the Canal du Midi is flat and traffic-free Cycling along the Canal du Midi will take you from Montpellier to Carcassonne Observing the pink flamingos from the bike path

Cyclomundo offers guided and self-guided cycling trips in Languedoc, click here to see the Languedoc regional page.

  • Self-guided trip: Starts any Sunday from March 17th through October 27th, 2019
  • 6 nights/7 days
  • Daily mileage: From 38 km (24 miles) to 59 km (37 miles)
  • Starts from Montpellier and ends in Carcassonne
  • A longer version of this tour is available from Montpellier to Toulouse (pricing on request)
  • Toulouse and Carcassonne are well serviced from all major European gateways by major carriers as well as low-cost airlines 
  • Accommodation in 4-, 3-star properties and authentic guesthouses 
  • From 985 euros per person sharing a double room
  • Level: 2 (Easy)
Cycling along the Canal du Midi is flat and traffic-free

Canal du Midi: From Montpellier to Carcassonne

  • Level
  • PriceFrom 985 euros
  • DAY6 nights / 7 days

More info: Receive detailed hotel list, bike specs, and route description

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Description

Linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, the Canal du Midi is one of mankind’s exceptional achievements… so exceptional that it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ideal for navigating by barge, this 260 km-long canal is also perfect for cycling! The towpaths along the canal, along with quiet roads, make it easy for cyclists to discover some of the remarkable sites in the region: the harbor of Sète, the medieval walled city of Carcassonne (another UNESCO World Heritage Site), the town of Agde and its fortified Romanesque cathedral, and the 2,000-year-old Roman bridge in Béziers… to name a few.

Each day’s ride is intentionally short so you can tour at your own pace without feeling rushed or regimented. With manageable terrain, you’ll arrive at each destination feeling relaxed and eager to explore — although the journey itself is magical in its own right.

 

For travel and cycling tips to Languedoc, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.

Itinerary

D1Sunday: Arrival in Montpellier

 

Whether you fly in from London, Paris, or even Brussels, or travel by train, Montpellier is very easy to access. Upon arrival, there is plenty to explore in France’s 8th largest city, a true Mediterranean gem. Check out the impressive Arc-de-Triomphe, stroll the car-free historic center, or get lost in the famous Musée Fabre.

D2Monday: Montpellier — Sète 43 km/27 miles, 161 meters/528 ft of climbing

 

This morning you will meet our local representative, receive your bikes, and ask any questions you may have before you take off. Riding along the Lez River you will head straight to the coast towards Palavas. Take a break in the fishermen’s village or keep moving along the Rhone-Sète-Canal towards the stunning village of Frontignan. With the Gardiole mountain range and the Étang de Thau as its surroundings, Frontignan is another worthy photo stop. Your day will come to an end in Sète, known as the “Venice of Languedoc”.

D3Tuesday: Sète — Bèziers 59 km/37 miles, 337 meters/1,106 ft of climbing

 

Your itinerary will take you on a beachfront road all the way to Cap d’Agde. Agde is so singular and different from its neighbours — its site on a geological fault gave builders direct access to the black volcanic rock from which the town is built! While there, be sure not to miss the old quarter and its cathedral. You'll then cycle along the Canal du Midi until you reach Béziers, where you’ll overnight. With more than 6,500 years of history, Béziers is one of the oldest towns on the Mediterranean ring and offers many sites of interest, including its 15th century cathedral dedicated to Saint-Nazaire.

D4Wednesday: Bèziers — Narbonne 44 km/27 miles, 259 meters/850 ft of climbing

 

Your ride will take you over the River Orb. Further on, the Oppidum of Enserune is a testimony to the importance of this region as a crossroad — as shown by the number of pre-roman artefacts from all corners of the Mediterranean ring that have been found there. Further on, Capestang and its imposing Gothic church is worth a stop. Don’t think you have to ‘see it all’, though, — it’s up to you which attractions to explore or pass. Cycling through vineyards, you will soon reach Narbonne.

D5Thursday: Narbonne — Homps 38 km/24 miles, 193 meters/633 ft of climbing

 

Save a little time to explore Narbonne before hopping on your bike, if you didn’t the previous day. This town was place of importance on the route to Spain since Roman times. You’ll encounter its medieval cathedral and Archbishops’ Palace (Palais des Archeveques) before riding out of town. The first part of your trip will include some cycling along the Canal de la Robine, then it’s on to the Canal du Midi. Follow the quiet roads all the way to the small village of Homps where you’ll overnight.

D6Friday: Homps — Carcassone 41 km/25 miles, 254 meters/833 ft of climbing

 

Your destination is the enchanting medieval city of Carcassonne. Two walls encircle the city — Europe’s largest fortress, in fact — which, not surprisingly, has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list for years. Before arriving, you’ll ride along the canal through picturesque villages that offer many lunch options. You may choose to spend a three-hour lunch at an outdoor café or rush to arrive early to Carcassonne.

D7Saturday: Carcassonne

 

After breakfast, depart Carcassonne at the time of your choice. If your schedule allows, you may wish to add an extension to Toulouse.

Booking & Pricing

  • Price details
  • 6 nights' accommodation in 3-, and 4-star hotels and authentic guesthouses

  • 985 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 280 euros
  • 1,045 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement is 300 euros
  • 1,085 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 315 euros

These prices include:

  • 6 nights' accommodation in 3-, and 4-star hotels and authentic guesthouses
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily dinner (drinks are not included)
  • Meeting with our local representative
  • Luggage transfers
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Tourist information
  • Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep’s mobile number)
  • All tax and service charges

These prices do not include:

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle rentals. Hybrid bikes are available at the rate of 115 euros per bike. E-bikes are available at the rate of 225 euros per bike. These prices include the drop-off fee for the bike's return to Montpellier. 

NB: Starting on another day is possible for an additional charge of 60 euros per person for 3 riders, 90 euros per person for 2 riders and at no additional charge for groups of 4 or more.

A longer version of this tour is available from Montpellier to Toulouse (price is on request).

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