Canal du Midi

From Carcassonne to the Mediterranean
 
Discover exquisite Carcassonne, Roman towns, pretty villages and the region’s delicious wines on this self-guided hotel-to-hotel cycling holiday, with luggage transfers. Following trails alongside canals, olive groves and vineyards, your journey finishes by the glittering Mediterranean.
Canal du Midi. 6 nights
Canal du Midi. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A cycling holiday along the Canal du Midi

The southern region of Languedoc-Roussillon is famed for its balmy Mediterranean climate and the many excellent vineyards which thrive in the rolling countryside of pretty villages, historic churches and towering cypress trees. Independent for many centuries, the locals speak a distinctive Provençal patois and defend their heritage with pride and passion. Cutting through this neat and productive landscape is another source of great pride, the incredible Canal du Midi, built by Pierre-Paul Riquet, Baron de Bonrepos, in the 17th century during the reign of King Louis XIV.
Explore the wide valley of the River Aude and sections of the Canal du Midi on this wonderful route that offers ample time to veer away into the low-lying hills and quiet valleys to discover medieval villages, Roman towns and picturesque olive groves. The route begins in the incredible walled city of Carcassonne and concludes by the glistening waters of the Mediterranean.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 10 12 14 17 20 24 28 27 25 20 14 11
    mm 63 65 64 67 68 51 29 46 58 81 61 76
  • Arrival in Carcassonne
    Night 1: at Hotel le Donjon or Hotel Mercure la Cité (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Carcassonne
    Spend your first day (without bikes) exploring the fairy-tale town of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's best-preserved medieval towns. Discover the Château Comtal; wander the narrow, medieval streets; or enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Canal du Midi (pay locally).
    The medieval ramparts of Carcassonne
  • Carcassonne to Homps: 48km

    Your cycle ride begins through the grid-patterned streets of the newer (13th-century) part of Carcassonne to reach the Canal du Midi, whose towpath leads past ornate locks and bridges so typical of this grand waterway. The final stretch takes you away from the canal, to explore forgotten villages south of the River Aude to reach your destination in the port of Homps, where you stay two nights at the charming Le Jardin d’Homps.
    The Canal du Midi, en route from Carcassonne to Homps
    Carcassonne to Homps: 48km
  • Choice of routes from Homps: 43km to 52km
    This route is a real highlight – a challenging but hugely rewarding ride into the foothills of the Montagne Noire to reach the picturesque village of Minerve, where you can stop for lunch and admire the ancient walls and citadel. Then continue along the scenic Gorge de la Cesse before taking in views across the plain of the Aude and returning to your guesthouse for a well-deserved dip in the outdoor pool. Option to shorten the day by not visiting Minerve.
    Circular route from Homps: 52km
    Circular route from Homps: 43km
    The village of Minerve on the circular route from Homps
  • Homps to Narbonne: 40km
    Moving on from Homps, pass through a series of delightful ports – where you may wish to enjoy a wine tasting – and a lovely swimming spot on the River Cesse, before continuing towards Narbonne along a section of the Canal de la Robine, an off-shoot of the Canal du Midi. You spend your last two nights at the centrally located Hotel La Résidence.
    Narbonne
    Homps to Narbonne: 40km
  • Out-and-back route to Gruissan: 31km
    You may choose to spend your final day exploring Narbonne's Old Town on foot, taking in the magnificent 13th-century cathedral and ancient fortifications. However, we recommend you follow the cycle paths through the salt marshes and lagoons south of Narbonne to Gruissan, a bustling Mediterranean marina and port, whose narrow alleyways encircle the ruins of a 12th-century watchtower. The entire route is more or less on the flat.
    Gruissan Castle
 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is a mixture of welcoming hotels and one guesthouse (see our page about chambres d’hôtes for more information).

In Carcassonne we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. Both are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation. Wherever you stay in this incredible town, we recommend adding an extra night.
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 6 nights: 15 April 2024 - 02 July 2024, 01 September 2024 - 15 October 2024, 15 April 2025 - 02 July 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 15 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 Apr - 21 May 2024 £1065 £535
    22 - 29 May 2024 £1095 £570
    30 May - 26 Jun 2024 £1155 £590
    1 - 28 Sep 2024 £1155 £590
    29 Sep - 9 Oct 2024 £1065 £535
    15 Apr - 21 May 2025 £1110 £560
    22 - 29 May 2025 £1140 £595
    30 May - 26 Jun 2025 £1205 £615
    1 - 28 Sep 2025 £1205 £615
    29 Sep - 9 Oct 2025 £1110 £560
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Electric bikes available: add £73pp

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    6 nights: 15 April 2024 - 02 July 2024, 01 September 2024 - 15 October 2024, 15 April 2025 - 02 July 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 15 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 Apr - 21 May 2024 £1360 £535
    22 - 29 May 2024 £1420 £570
    30 May - 26 Jun 2024 £1460 £590
    1 - 28 Sep 2024 £1460 £590
    29 Sep - 9 Oct 2024 £1360 £535
    15 Apr - 21 May 2025 £1415 £560
    22 - 29 May 2025 £1480 £595
    30 May - 26 Jun 2025 £1520 £615
    1 - 28 Sep 2025 £1520 £615
    29 Sep - 9 Oct 2025 £1415 £560
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes all elements in the 'cycle price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Electric bikes available: add £73pp

    Included travel: Out UK–Carcassonne via Paris (Eurostar/TGV/regional rail), approx duration 9h30. Pay locally for taxi from Carcassonne station (0h10). Home: Narbonne–UK via Paris (TGV/Eurostar), approx duration 9h & walk (0h10).
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    If you book your holiday less than 10 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

    6 nights: 15 April 2024 - 02 July 2024, 01 September 2024 - 15 October 2024, 15 April 2025 - 02 July 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 15 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 Apr - 21 May 2024 £1150 £535
    22 - 29 May 2024 £1200 £570
    30 May - 26 Jun 2024 £1250 £590
    1 - 28 Sep 2024 £1250 £590
    29 Sep - 9 Oct 2024 £1150 £535
    15 Apr - 21 May 2025 £1200 £560
    22 - 29 May 2025 £1250 £595
    30 May - 26 Jun 2025 £1300 £615
    1 - 28 Sep 2025 £1300 £615
    29 Sep - 9 Oct 2025 £1200 £560
    3rd & 4th person discount -£77 to -£80
    Single traveller supplement £77 to £80

    Includes all elements in the 'cycle price', plus a return Channel crossing between Folkestone and Calais with LeShuttle for your party and one car.

    > More information about travelling self-drive

    Electric bikes available: add £73pp

    A supplement of approximately £65 per car per single journey applies for travel at key dates over Easter, while from May onwards a supplement of approximately £42 per car per single journey applies for travel over public holidays and at weekends during school holidays. See the self-drive page or contact us for more details.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel La Résidence, Narbonne
    Superior: 15 Apr - 02 Jul 2024 £18
    Superior: 01 Sep - 15 Oct 2024 £18
    Superior: 15 Apr - 02 Jul 2025 £19
    Superior: 01 Sep - 15 Oct 2025 £19

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day’s hire of a standard bike except at Hotel du Donjon. If you are upgrading to an e-bike, add a further £15pp per day.
    Hotel le Donjon, Carcassonne (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Apr - 02 Jul 2024 £135 £247
    01 Sep - 15 Oct 2024 £135 £247
    15 Apr - 02 Jul 2025 £145 £261
    01 Sep - 15 Oct 2025 £145 £261
    Le Jardin d’Homps, Homps (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Apr - 30 Apr 2024 £81 £134
    01 May - 30 Jun 2024 £88 £145
    01 Jul - 02 Jul 2024 £101 £169
    01 Sep - 15 Oct 2024 £88 £145
    15 Apr - 30 Apr 2025 £84 £139
    01 May - 30 Jun 2025 £92 £151
    01 Jul - 02 Jul 2025 £105 £176
    01 Sep - 15 Oct 2025 £92 £151
    Hotel La Résidence, Narbonne (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Apr - 31 May 2024 £121 £207
    01 Jun - 02 Jul 2024 £135 £232
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2024 £135 £232
    01 Oct - 15 Oct 2024 £121 £207
    15 Apr - 31 May 2025 £130 £219
    01 Jun - 02 Jul 2025 £145 £246
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2025 £145 £246
    01 Oct - 15 Oct 2025 £130 £219
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Carcassonne, Béziers or Montpellier
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris or Barcelona.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Montpellier (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Birmingham - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Béziers Ryanair 
    Bristol - Montpellier easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Carcassonne Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Béziers Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Carcassonne Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Montpellier (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Montpellier (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Montpellier easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Béziers Ryanair 
    Luton - Montpellier easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Béziers Ryanair 
    Stansted - Carcassonne Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Béziers Ryanair 
    Manchester - Carcassonne Ryanair 
    Manchester - Montpellier (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Manchester - Montpellier(via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Montpellier (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Teesside International - Montpellier (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris or Barcelona.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Béziers

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Béziers to Carcassonne (1h) £15-£16 1630
    direct taxi Béziers airport to hotel (1h25) £145-£155 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Béziers airport (0h45) £73-£76 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Carcassonne

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Carcassonne airport to hotel (0h20) £15-£16 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Carcassonne airport (0h45) £81-£84 flexible
    rail Narbonne to Carcassonne (0h30) £20-£21 1200

    Connecting travel options - flying via Montpellier

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Montpellier to Carcassonne (1h25-1h45) £31-£32 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    rail Narbonne to Montpellier (1h) £29-£30 1130
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported (1 bag per person)
  • high-quality bicycle
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • Our chosen bike rental shop will provide you with a comfort bike with 21 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade (see price panel), subject to availability, and must be requested at the time of booking. The bike shop also has a limited number of tandems.
  • While we would always recommend that you take your own well-fitting helmet, they can be hired locally for a small fee. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to hire a helmet.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes, which remain the principal means of navigation).
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our cycling holidays in Europe page.
  • You are responsible for damage to or loss of the rental bike while it is hired to you. Always be careful to lock it up, ideally to an immovable object, and remove all easy-to-steal accessories whenever you leave it unattended.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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