Looking for a holiday with a difference in South of France? What about cycling the Canal du Midi? The 250km Canal du Midi cycle path offers you the opportunity to see the beautiful South France landscape of Languedoc at your own pace. Cycling the Canal du Midi is one of the most popular South of France cycling tours.
Canal du Midi cycle path
A fascinating bike ride along the Canal du Midi cycle path in Languedoc is an excellent way to spend your vacation in the South of France. The self-guided South France cycle tour follows a mainly flat, asphalted Canal du Midi cycle path along the banks of the Canal du Midi. The starting point to this 5 day cycle tour is the cosmopolitan city of Toulouse, the dynamic capital of the South of France. Along the bike ride you will pass through historic South France towns, beautiful sleepy villages and the wonderfully picturesque South of France landscape. Your cycle tour ends in the former Roman city of Narbonne, close to the wonderful Mediterranean beaches of the South of France.
Cycling Canal du Midi
This South France cycling tour starts in the cosmopolitan city of Toulouse, the capital of the South of France. Toulouse is famous for its pink granite buildings, which have earned it the nickname "La ville rose". Toulouse is a great place to start this South France cycle tour, In Toulouse you will find good restaurants, excellent art galleries, plenty of decent hotels and good travel connections by train and flights to the rest of France and Europe.
Canal du Midi Cycling - Day 1: Toulouse
Arrival in Toulouse, orientation and bike hire. The nearest airport(s) are Toulouse, Carcassone, and Pau. The nearest TGV train station is Toulouse.
Cycling Canal du Midi - Day 2: Toulouse to Castlenaudary (34 miles/50km)
The Canal du Midi cycling tour starts right in the heart of the city of Toulouse and leads you out to the Canal du Midi. You pass by several locks - visit the village of Avignonet. Stay the night in Castelnaudary, famous for its Cassoulet recipe - that rustic South France stew that sticks to your ribs and soaks up all that good South France wine.
Canal du Midi Cycling - Day 3: Castlenaudary to Carcassonne (22 miles/35km)
After the Cassoulet the night before, you will need some gentle exercise!. From Castlenaudary, follow the bays of the Canal du Midi, where lots of yachts are anchored and reach the historic city of Carcassonne with its huge medieval fortress. You will want to spend half a day exploring Carcasonne. The Cite, the magnificent fortress that dominates over Carcasonne, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the most visited sites in the South of France (see Carcassone Castle for more information). The Castle is enormous, complete with a small town built inside the fortified walls. There are many fabulous restaurants, cafes, bistros and pizzeria to choose from in Carcassonne.
Cycling, Canal du Midi - Day 4: Carcassonne (rest day)
Visit the numerous sights of this town or select a bike tour! While in Carcassonne a must is a visit to the Musee Memoires du Moyen Age and also the Medieval Torture Museum, situated inside the Castle.
Cycle Canal du Midi - Day 5: Carcassonne to Narbonne (49 miles/70km)
Pass through the sleepy villages along the Canal du Midi until you reach Narbonne. If after the last four or five days of cycling you feel like a rest then it's a good job that you have reached Narbonne which is very close to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Why not stay for a day or two and just chill out relaxing on the beach (Narbonne Plage). If you are a cycling nut and haven't had enough of the saddle yet ......
Canal du Midi, South France
If you want more information about the Canal du Midi, read our article Canal du Midi. One alternative to cycling back, is to hire a narrow boat and cruise back at a gentle pace along the Canal du Midi. See South France Narrow boat holidays for more information.
Bike rental on Canal du Midi
ReCycles offers provides bike rental for cycling trips along the Canal du Midi. We offer quality mountain bike or hybrid bike, equipped with luggage rack supporting 25 kg load, travel bags, waterproof 40 liter capacity (optional), kickstand, bell, bottle cage, lock, puncture repair kit, comfort saddle with an optional saddle gel pad; everything has been thought to make your trip as pleasant as possible. Bikes for men or women in sizes XS / S / M / L / XL. We also have some baggage trailers (BOB single wheel type) for rent. Our Bicycle rental shop in Toulouse is located less than a mile from the starting point of the hiking tracks along the canal. To find us, go to :
Recycles bike rental Canal du Midi
The return trip to Toulouse with bikes is usually done by train, the TER trains accept bikes on board (check with the station).
At the shop you will find tourist guides with maps and indications as regards stops and accommodation along the ride, tours around the canal and many tips to organize your biking trip, whether you chose to ride towards the Mediterranean coast (Sète) or towards the Atlantic (Bordeaux).