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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.
 

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 and 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.
 

New itinerary coming soon

We are currently unable to take new bookings for this holiday while we make some changes. Please contact us if you'd like to register your interest.
 
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 du Donjon et des Remparts (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
  • Choice of routes from Carcassonne to Homps: 42.5km or 44km

    Carcassonne to Homps: 44km
    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. Your destination is the port of Homps, where you stay two nights at the charming Le Jardin d’Homps.

    Alternative route along quiet lanes: 42.5km
    Whereas our primary route follows the Canal du Midi all the way to Homps, this alternative is a little more varied in terms of terrain. After around 15km, you leave the canal to pedal along tranquil country lanes via the quiet villages of Rustiques, Badens and Aigues-Vives, passing orchards and vineyards before rejoining the towpath for the final stretch into Homps.
    The Canal du Midi, en route from Carcassonne to Homps
    Carcassonne to Homps: 44km
    Wet weather option: 42.5km
  • Circular route from Homps: 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.
    Circular route from Homps: 52km
    The village of Minerve on the circular route from Homps
  • Homps to Cruzy: 41km
    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. You then leave the canal, heading up into the hills for sweeping views before a picturesque descent through vineyards with your destination, Cruzy, and its arched church tower set out below you. You stay at Le Clos Mazerolles.
    Homps to Cruzy: 41km
    The route from Homps to Cruzy
  • Cruzy to Narbonne: 27.5km
    Finishing with a section along the Canal de la Robine, an offshoot of the Canal du Midi, today's route is relatively short and flat, meaning that you have plenty of time to explore the fascinating Roman town of Narbonne on arrival. You spend your last two nights at the centrally located Hotel La Résidence.
    Cruzy to Narbonne: 27.5km
    The Canal de la Robine, on the route from Cruzy to Narbonne
  • 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, reached by cycle paths from Narbonne
 

Accommodation

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

Options to extend or shorten your stay

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 1 dinner
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • 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.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – cycling holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • 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.
  • 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 (but not, currently, with Ryanair). 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 cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), 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.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • 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. 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.

    At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere.
  • 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.
Last fetch time is : 12/1/2021 4:03:00 PM