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Cycle the Canal du Midi

Discover French vineyards, chateaux and waterways by bike



At a glance

* 5 days cycling with no vehicle support 
* 50% tarmac roads and 50% unpaved canal paths 
* Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
* 7 nights hotels

 

Discover French vineyards, chateaux and waterways by bike

Cycle the Canal du Midi and discover the stunning vineyards, chateaux and
waterways around one of the most picturesque parts of France. Our route
passes through quintessential French villages such as Laure-Minervois and
Homps where you will feel the ‘douceur de vivre’ as you soak up the sun and
sample local wine from Les Corbieres region. From bridge to bridge, from lock
to lock, this trip offers a wonderfully relaxed cycling experience as you
wind your way along the Canal du Midi towards the enticing Mediterranean Sea.

https://www.exodustravels.com/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mec_0.jpg?t=1DiCWq

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All accommodation 
* Local guide throughout 
* All breakfasts and 2 lunches
* Flights (if booking flight inclusive)
* Local bike hire

Food:
All breakfasts included 

We have not included any evening meals in the price of the trip to allow you
to take advantage of the local restaurants and cafes along the route and give
you more freedom over what you eat. Our guide will be able to recommend their
favourite local restaurants and will have planned some stops at good coffee
shops to break up the days rides. The Canal du Midi area is well known
throughout France for having an abundance of great restaurants and an
extremely high standard of food. You can also expect to sample some amazing
wines on this tour as we pass through several wine growing areas and stop at
a vineyard for lunch on day three.

Start destination:

End destination:

Cycling profile

Day 1

Start Carcassonne. After checking in to the hotel, we can visit the town’s
picturesque central square and the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress
settlement with a history that exceeds two and a half thousand years, it is
listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the evening there will be a
welcome meeting and trip briefing as well as time to check the bikes and make
adjustments.
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Day 2

In the morning we cycle in the direction of the foot of the Montagnes Noires
whose rivers and streams feed into the Canal du Midi. Here we discover the
region of Les Corbieres, renowned for its wine, limestone landscape and
Mediterranean influence. Stopping for a coffee in the village of Trebes, and
the church which has the distinction of having within it painted 14th Century
corbels that support the structure. Following this stop, we then reach the
hamlet of Rustiques and a nice vineyard to stop for lunch. On the way back
the last few km will be along the Canal du Midi to give a taste for the next
two cycling days!

Day 3

After breakfast you will cycle almost exclusively along the Canal du Midi,
following the canal paths and designated cycle paths. Today’s ride is very
relaxing and mostly downhill, a succession of locks, bridges and lovely
villages like Trèbes, Marseillette, la Redorte and Homps await. You will
have time to visit all the towns, including the fruit trees, rice fields and
almond plantations in Marseillette. You will leave the canal and continue to
Homps where you will spend the night.

Day 4

Today is another nice cycling day along the Canal du Midi and entering the
Minervois country. Minervois is a flat region surrounded by olive trees, with
a strong Cathar influence. We will cross the beautiful Canal de la Robine
coming up from Narbonne. Time permitting, it is possible (on option €6) to
visit the Roman museum of pottery Amphoralis. The rest of the ride will lead
us to the nice town of Capestang. Before getting to Nissan les Enserune it is
possible to visit (on option €6) the Enserume Oppidum, the remains of an
old Gallic village, a remarkable site.

Day 5

After breakfast we head South-East from Nissan towards the village of
Lespignan and its view-point over the surrounding countryside before heading
across the river Aude and through picturesque vineyards to Fleury. We then
cycle to Narbonne via Coursan along the beautiful Canal de la Robine, a
lateral branch of the Canal du Midi.

Day 6

After a relaxed breakfast in Narbonne we get on the bikes and cycle out of
the town alongside the picturesque Canal de la Robine. After a short time of
cycling we will reach the Montagne de la Clap, a protected natural area and
the home to the Languedoc-la Clap wines and vineyards. From here we have a
short ride to our overnight accommodation in the pretty coastal town of
Gruissan.

Day 7

Today is a free day in Gruissan, there are plenty of options for things to do
like taking a self-guided ride around the stunning Sigean sea lake or
wandering around the picturesque old town centre. There is also an option to
catch the public bus back into Narbonne, this takes roughly 30 minutes and
will cost between 2 – 4 € (please inform the guide if you wish to do this
and they will arrange bus tickets). 

Day 8

Spend the morning in Narbonne at your own pace before the tour ends here.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-04-212018-04-28

Trip code: MEC180421

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

Book now

Date: 2018-05-192018-05-26

Trip code: MEC180519

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1525

Book now

Date: 2018-06-162018-06-23

Trip code: MEC180616

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1565

Book now

Date: 2018-09-012018-09-08

Trip code: MEC180901

Availability: Available

Price: €1585

Book now

Date: 2018-09-152018-09-22

Trip code: MEC180915

Availability: Available

Price: €1585

Book now

Date: 2018-09-292018-10-06

Trip code: MEC180929

Availability: Available

Price: €1585

Book now

Customer Feedback

A Lovely Holiday

Summary:
This was our first time cycling in France and Quinten our tour leader made
sure every aspect of the holiday was taken care of.
Unlike Italy where there are usually plenty of cafes for drink and snack
stops, there wasn’t on this route in France so Quinten supplied supplied
great French picnics everyday, a real treat.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
There were many inspirational moments like Carcassonne itself, the beauty of
the Canal du Midi and the excellent vineyard tour.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Excellent, Quinten couldn’t do enough for you, including those legendary
picnics. Quinten also owned the bikes so he made sure everything was working
ok. Also booked great restaurants every night for all of us.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Whilst the overall terrain was relatively flat with a few undulations the
condition of the Canal du Midi is quite poor so technically you have to be
confident at cycling over rough ground at times, tree roots and ruts etc.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
A great holiday, I recommend it.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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