Cycling Canal du Midi
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Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète
Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète
hybrid :
e-bike :
Duration :
7 days
Comfort :
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Wine Riverside Gastronomy
From € 705
Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète
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Following the footsteps of Paul Riquet


Bike Tour: Canal du Midi - from Toulouse to Sète - 7 days

  • Cycle along the Canal du Midi and follow in the footsteps of Pierre Paul-Riquet
  • Travel through peaceful countryside and discover the agricultural region of Lauragais
  • Explore Europe's largest fortified city: Carcassonne
  • Admire the azure sea in the charming town of Sète
  • Sample a regional specialty: the Cassoulet

The Canal du Midi is a French navigation canal linking Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea, created by the French "canal architect" Paul Riquet and classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site. You will start your cycling trip in the "pink city" of Toulouse, and cycle for 7 days along safe paths, through the agricultural region of Lauragais and the vineyards of Minervois, to reach the Mediteranean sea.

The ingeniously constructed winding "Canal du Midi", is your cool and shady route, leading you to Castelnaudary, where you can sample a regional Occitan specialty made from dried beans and meat: the Cassoulet. You will continue on to Europe's largest fortified medieval city: Carcassonne. Visit this architectural complex of outstanding beauty, stroll along the ramparts and visit the Château Comtal.

You then continue your trip and arrive in the charming town of Sète, where you can admire the magnificent azure sea. Enjoy a stroll along the canals and through the port of Sète. 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 and beautiful towns.

More than 75% of all the stages along the canals are on well-maintained cycle paths. However, for the last few years, some of the paths in the more southern area have become degraded.

FRSB660 - Canal du Midi
Day 1: Arrival in Toulouse
Day 2: Toulouse - Castelnaudary
Day 3: Castelnaudary - Carcassonne
Day 4: Carcassonne - Homps/Olonzac
Day 5: Homps - Béziers
Day 6: Béziers - Sète
Day 7: Departure from Sète

Day 1:    Arrival in Toulouse

You travel independently to the ‘pink’ city of 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. 


Day 2:    Toulouse - Castelnaudary
64 km

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 of the canal. This is the Narouze watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. You then drop down to Castelnaudary, maybe to enjoy a real authentic cassoulet later on. 

Challenge: 64.3km, 467m ascent, 433m descent


Day 3:    Castelnaudary - Carcassonne
43 km

Surrounded by the Montagne Noir 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, 258m ascent, 294m descent


Day 4:    Carcassonne - Homps/Olonzac
42 km

After fabulous Carcassonne go back to the peaceful quiet of the ‘Canal’ surrounded by imposing plane trees. Admire the bridge at Orbiel, the overflow of canal water at Argendouble and the 12th century church in the port of Trèbes. The interior of this church, with its ceiling supported by 320 carved oak corbels, is worth a visit. If possible stop in the Gallic village near Marseillette and take a walk to Capendu with its Roman chapel. Then traversing undulating vineyards you reach your destination. 

Challenge: 42.5km, 247m ascent, 336m descent


Day 5:    Homps - Béziers
63 km

After the lock of Argens you follow the winding path along the hillside to Le Somail. Take a break here in the old library. After that you cycle along the Canal de la Robine to Capestang with its collegiate church, already visible from afar. From the tower you can see the sea and the 14th century castle nearby . ‘En route’ again you pass the Gallo-Roman remains: the village Poilhes la Romaine and the Oppidum d’Ensérune. Also admire the Malpas tunnel and the 9 locks of Foncérannes. They are evidence of the brilliance of the architect Paul Riquet, whose native village, the historic Béziers, is your destination today. 

Challenge: 63.2km, 508m ascent, 494m descent


Day 6:    Béziers - Sète
50 km

Although the sea isn’t visible yet you can smell it. The landscape gets flatter and forms a mosaic of dunes, swamps and wide lagoons. It’s the habitat of egrets that strut among the horses and cattle. In this coastal region, which resembles the Camargue, you pass the unique ‘Pont Bache du Libron’ and the round lock of Agde. In Agde with its ‘dark cathedral’ you cross the Hérault in the direction of the Thau lagoon. At the lighthouse in Onglous the Canal du Midi ends. From Marseillan you finally cycle along the beach to Sète and maybe get a glimpse of the traditional water jousting ‘Les Joutes.’ 

Challenge: 50.4km, 302m ascent, 364m descent


Day 7:    Departure from Sète

Breakfast marks the end of your trip in the pleasant town of Sète, the biggest French fishing port in the Mediterranean Sea, also well known for its beautiful beaches. This authentic town, full of pastel coloured houses with wrought iron balconies, is crossed by several connecting canals and the Thau Basin. In the harbour you find an abundance of fish restaurants. Everything as fresh as can be! A visit to the large covered market is really worthwhile. Here you can buy anything that has to do with food and drink and the products are displayed wonderfully.  



All accommodations are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.  

We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathrooms and every morning breakfasts 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).

If you would like to find out more about the star rating system in France, please check out this page.

Hôtel Albert 1er *** (Toulouse)
Hôtel Albert 1er *** (Toulouse)
Hôtel Le Clos Fleuri *** (Castelnaudary)
Hôtel Le Clos Fleuri *** (Castelnaudary)
Hotel du Pont vieux *** (Carcassonne)
Hotel du Pont vieux *** (Carcassonne)
La Maison des Palmiers (Homps)
La Maison des Palmiers (Homps)
Hotel des Poètes ** (Béziers)
Hotel des Poètes ** (Béziers)
Hotel l'Orque Bleue*** (Sète)
Hotel l'Orque Bleue *** (Sète)
Comfort +
Hôtel de Brienne **** (Toulouse)
Hôtel de Brienne **** (Toulouse)
Les Ordalies (Castelnaudary)
Les Ordalies (Castelnaudary)
Hôtel du Château (Carcassonne)
Hôtel du Château**** (Carcassonne)
Le Jardin d'Homps (Homps)
Le Jardin d'Homps (Homps)
Hôtel Impérator *** (Béziers)
Hôtel Impérator *** (Béziers)
Le Grand Hôtel *** (Sète)
Le Grand Hôtel *** (Sète)
Bike rental

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle (hybrid or ebike) from us. You will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel. The hotel reception staff will give you the keys for your bikes and direct you to the bicycle shed. All bikes are provided with chain locks.  The frame and saddle height are set to your height, although you might want to adjust your saddle to be in the most comfortable position. We also recommend doing a first small test drive of couple of hundred meters to be comfortable with gears, brakes etc. If you have an issue with your bike, you can contact the service provider (name of bike rental in your reservation) directly. Or you can always call us on our emergency phone number.  

Our hybrid touring bikes are at least 21-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

Experience the advantages of an electric bike on your cycling holiday, particularly when there's a significant gap in ability and experience among cyclists. An e-bike provides a gentle boost up hills, allowing you to easily keep pace with your companions. With a small electric motor and battery, e-bikes make bike trips more achievable, and their batteries can be conveniently charged at hotels. While you still need to pedal, the e-bike significantly reduces the effort required. Familiarity with e-bikes is advised due to their quicker acceleration and heavier build compared to regular bikes, attributed to the electric motor.

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike

Please note: Depending on the trip, different models apply


Our hybrid bikes have at least 21-gears with hand brakes. 

The hybrid bikes are very good quality. Depending the trip, different model apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...


Whenever there is a big difference in level of ability, experience the many benefits of an electric bike on your cycling holiday. An e-bike will help you keep up with your fellow cyclists and give you a gentle boost up hills. An e-bike makes a bike trip more achievable. The e-bikes have a small electric motor and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric motor.

The E-bikes are very good quality. Depending on the trip, different models apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...


For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Racing bike, more details on request.

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Tandem bike, suitable for two adults only. More details on request.

For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm). The child bikes come with at least 7-gears and hand brakes. The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm. 

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

A tag-along bike is a good option for children between approx. 100 cm and 125 cm, as they can pedal themselves and at their own pace but don’t have to worry about other traffic.

The tag-along bikes cannot be rented for all our tours

Please note: depending the trip, different models apply.

Child trailers can be rented for a maximum of two children who are up to 100 cm (max. 35 KG in total).

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.




All our rental bikes come with a bell.


All our adult bikes come with hand brakes. 


For children older than 30 months (max. 22 kg) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.


For some tours, it is possible to rent a GPS device, more details on request.


Helmets are not mandatory in France (if the cyclist is over 12 years old) but strongly recommended. The helmet is mandatory for children under 12 years. If you rent a bike with us, helmets are included. Please advise us, if you bring along your own.


All our rental bikes come with lights.


All our rental bikes come with a lock.


All our rental bikes come with at least a rear pannier and a front card holder to put the roadbook/maps.


The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals. On request we are able to supply these pedals on certain trips. 
If you wish to bring your own click-in/SPD pedals, please let us know prior to booking too.


All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars. 


There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. If a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop.


Saddles can be adjusted in height.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover. If you usually cycle with this, we recommend you bring them with you.

Water bottles

French Bike Tours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive at least 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.

Article 1 Bike Rental Price

The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the French Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.

Article 2 Payment

a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.

b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, French Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.

c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.

Article 3 Rental Period

a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (last cycling day), as stated in the booking confirmation.

b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.

c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.

d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip. 

e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).

f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. French Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.

Article 4 Improper Use

a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.

b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.

c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.

d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.

Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft

The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.

Article 6 Costs During the Rental Period

Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs. 

Practical info

6 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)

For time tables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

We strongly advise you to download the sncf mobile app prior to departure.

If you want to travel on a train with your bike, you can find more information via this link.

Parking informations on request

We will supply the directions of this trip with a personalized code which gives you access to our travel App.


Arrival info

The closest airports to the Canal de Garonne are Toulouse (TLS) and Montpellier (MPL)

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 Montpellier (direct trains back to Toulouse, the journey takes 2 to 3 hours). 

For timetables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

From Paris to Toulouse (approx. 6h - 680 km/423 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.



Beautiful journey along the Canal du Midi. The Guibo app in combination with Google maps made navigation easy. The bikes from Le Petit Cyclo were excellent for the purpose, and came with waterproof panniers. We travelled in August when it was quite warm, but not unbearable. Riding early in the day was best. Many lovely stops along the way. Not too hilly. Good variety of small towns and larger cities. Very Satisfied!



In July 2020 we made a bicycle tour along the Canal du Midi. Fantastic, the route was very clear, the rented bikes were of good quality. After a tiring ride, it was very nice that our luggage was already brought to our hotel. To be repeated.

Comfort Comfort +
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