From Toulouse you follow the footsteps of the famous French "Canal architect" Paul Riquet. A relaxed, well marked track takes you through the agricultural area of Lauragais and the vineyards of Minervois. The ingeniously constructed winding "Canal du Midi", included in Unesco’s heritage, is your umbrageous guide. This greenpath will guide you towards the city of Carcassonne, one of the most impressive medieval town in Europe!
While cycling along the Canal du Midi , there is a lot to be enjoyed on the way along this large scale ‘water work’: antique boats, dozens of oval shaped locks of various sizes, age old villages, gastronomic surprises...
You individually travel to the ‘pink’ Toulouse, cosmopolitan and cultural town where red bricks are a characteristic feature. Visit the lively centre with its many fine restaurants. Discover monumental treasures, like the Place du Capitol, St. Sernin’s Cathedral and the Couvent des Jacobins, a beautiful 13th century Dominican Monastery.
Leave town via the Paul Riquet bridge and cycle along the Canal du Midi with its characteristic barges. You enter the pastel coloured country of Lauragais. Take a break in Avignonet, the centre of the battles during the Albegenic crusades with lots of medieval remains, statues of crusaders and enormous churches. At the foot of the Montagne Noir you find the highest point in the canal. This is the Narouze watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. You go down to Castelnaudary, maybe to have a real authentic cassoulet later on.
Challenge: 64km, 100m ascent
Surrounded by the Montagne Noire in the east and the Pyrenees in the south west you cycle , via an original, thousand- year-old tow path to the river harbour of Bram. Bricks make way for stones, cornfields turn into vineyards. You pass age old villages and waterworks like Béteil and the Lalande lock that show Paul Riquet’s ingenuity. Also stop at the Cugarel mill, the Villepinte dam and the Rebenty aqueduct. Finally you reach Carcassonne, consisting of a medieval upper town and the Bastide St. Jean situated lower.
Challenge: 43km, 50m ascent
After breakfast, your trip ends in Carcassonne. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit this impressive medieval city, classified as a Unesco Heritage site.
All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.
We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.
For this trip you can choose between Comfort and Comfort +. The accommodations for a Comfort+ trip, will be in 3*/4 * hotels wherever possible (supplement applied).
The bike rental includes the drop-off fee for the bike’s return
3 Nights included
2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)
Tourist tax included
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional on request
Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest
24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline
Luggage transport to your next accommodations. Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum)
Parking informations on request
GPS tracks are available on request
From Paris, you can take the TGV (high speed train) to Bordeaux (approx. 2h15). From Bordeaux, you can take a TER Train to Toulouse (approx. 2h05).
On the end of your trip you can take a train from Carcassonne (direct trains back to Toulouse, the journey takes approximately 1h). For time tables and further information look at the website of the SNCF or TER-SNCF.
From Paris to Toulouse (approx. 6h - 680 km/423 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.