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The Canal du Midi by bike from Toulouse to Carcassone

[ Cycle routes Canal des deux mers à vélo ]
  • 138.5 km

From Toulouse to Carcassonne, this section of the Canal des 2 Mers à Vélo cycle route plunges you into the splendid history of the Canal du Midi, designed in the 17th century to link Garonne to Mediterranean. The way is enchanting, following this very pretty canal with its very southern French feel. Be especially careful along the section south of Port Lauragais (and Avignonet-Lauragais), as it is not laid out or signposted at time of writing and requires appropriate bikes.

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The 6 stages of the section « The Canal du Midi by bike from Toulouse to Carcassone »

  • The Canal du Midi by bike : Toulouse / Montgiscard

    The Canal du Midi by bike : Toulouse / Montgiscard [21.5 km]

    Leave Toulouse via the greenway beside the Canal du Midi, a path that is very popular with local cyclists avoiding the car-clogged city roads. The canal-side route transports you swiftly into parts shaded by centuries-old plane trees, where old barges lie sleepily in the water. Soon, the village of Montgiscard appears, and you feel you’ve left the big city behind to enter the Lauragais farmlands.

    Difficulty: Family view the detail
  • The Canal du Midi by bike : Montgiscard / Seuil de Naurouze

    The Canal du Midi by bike : Montgiscard / Seuil de Naurouze [26.7 km]

    Up to Le Seuil de Naurouze, the Canal du Midi is shadowed by the Autoroute des 2 Mers motorway, but these parallel ways are worlds apart. Centuries-old plane trees continue to provide green shade for cyclists enjoying a journey transporting them back in time to another era. You should thank the canal’s Ancien Régime designer, Pierre-Paul Riquet, the many wondrous architectural designs along the canal attesting to his genius.

    Difficulty: Family view the detail
  • The Canal du Midi by bike : Seuil de Naurouze / Castelnaudary

    The Canal du Midi by bike : Seuil de Naurouze / Castelnaudary [13 km]

    Going from lock to lock, the canal’s towpath leads you through the heart of the Lauragais area. Le Seuil de Naurouze, at the watershed dividing the waters flowing to the Atlantic from those flowing to the Mediterranean, is a key point on the Canal du Midi, supplied by the Rigole de la Plaine channel coming down from St-Ferréol Lake. The canal continues to the town of Castelnaudary, capital of famed cassoulet bean and meat stew, but also boasting the largest canal basin on the Canal du Midi.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • The Canal du Midi by bike : Castelnaudary / Bram

    The Canal du Midi by bike : Castelnaudary / Bram [16.9 km]

    Leaving Castelnaudary, you pass the imposing St-Roch lock with its four interconnecting chambers. Further on, at the level of Bram’s port and the canal-side restaurant, l’Ile aux Oiseaux, a cycle track allows you to make a short detour into the centre of Bram, a town which stands out for its silhouette and its circular medieval centre, known as a ‘circulade’, a form typical of the Aude.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • The Canal du Midi by bike : Bram / Carcassonne

    The Canal du Midi by bike : Bram / Carcassonne [24.5 km]

    From Bram to Carcassonne, the route runs alongside the Canal du Midi, which is in no rush, so take your time to linger over this beautiful stage. You come to the port in the lower town of Carcassonne, built originally as a fortified medieval grid-plan bastide. Above, Carcassonne’s mighty medieval citadel atop its hill dominates the surrounding countryside. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the citadel encourages many cyclists to make a significant halt on the route here.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • The Rigole de la Plaine by bike

    The Rigole de la Plaine by bike [35.5 km]

    Le Seuil de Naurouze acts as your starting point for this off-route stage, following the Rigole de la Plaine, an important feeder channel for the Canal du Midi. This stretch has a timeless feel, taking you along a winding track up to the unmissable fortified bastide town of Revel, in the heart of the Lauragais. Continue via a very steep further stretch to reach the beautiful St-Ferréol Lake at the foot of the Montagne Noire mountain, a major reservoir made to provide water for the Canal du Midi.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail