The Canal du Midi is one of two canals linking the Mediterranean to the Atlantic passing through France. The Midi part links the Mediterranean to Toulouse and the Canal du Garonne then reaches Bordeaux and the Atlantic. The area is relatively flat and basks in strong sunshine all summer long with large sections covered by vinyards.
Historically the region has Roman, Carthaginian, Goth and Saracen influences. It also suffered the under a crusade against the Cathar heresy and as a result some small towns are still laid out in a defensive pattern with the ancient walled city of Carcassonne acting as a final example of that type of architecture.
The Canal is lined by many miles of trees and is itself an attraction for canal boaters from around the world. This means that small hotels, B&Bs and restaurants lie along the canal for you to enjoy.
Our route focuses on the path from Toulouse to Beziers. This links up well with the train system, the airport system and also, for those from the UK, theEuropean Bike Express.
This is a moderately expensive area with bike hire available in a number of towns. The area is well fed by the low coast airlines, the European Bike Express from the UK and a good international train service. We assume that this trip will take 6 days which offers the chance to do a little off-piste exploration. Based on the six day tour costs and two people sharing this works out at:
||Cost in Euro
||€15/day per bike for 6 days x2
||€85/night for 5 nights
|Food and drink
||€45/person per day, for 6 days x2
||€20 per person x2
making €1,245 for two or €623 per person.
This is an area where English is normally only spoken in the cities or areas of high tourist traffic. Many websites will have a partially operational English version however sometimes they will only be in French. This should be no barrier to you using them as Google offers a number of translation solutions. Our preferred option is the Google toolbar which can be downloaded, as the quality of translation is reasonable and in most cases the web page will appear in English as you read down it. Firefox is not compatible with this tool but you can use Translate This which is an add-on linking through to Google toolbar.