Two canals will accompany you on this brand new and outstanding bike tour. Get on your bike in Mediterranean Montpellier and enjoy a two-week long cycling holiday along the Canal du Midi and the Canal de Garonne to elegant Bordeaux at the gate to the Atlantic Ocean. Experience the charm of southern France and discover a region that is famous for its gastronomic and enologic highlights. But that's for sure not all that this area has to offer. The fishermen's town Sète with its harbor and its countless canals, the erstwhile Cathar stronghold Béziers with its cathedral, Roman Narbonne with its Archbishop's Palast, Carcassonne and its 'Cité', the best preserved medieval fortress worldwide or Toulouse, the metropolis at the river bank of the Garonne River with the famous Capitol and its 'Space City'. This tour really has got something for everybody. So do not hesitate and enjoy an extensive bike tour in the heart of breathtaking nature in an area marked by agriculture and especially by wine growing. We from France-Bike are sure that you will not regret it.
Day 1: Montpellier
Individual arrival in Montpellier. At the reception you will receive your traveler documents.
Day 2: Montpellier - Sète, ~45 km/28 miles
At 9:30am we will be at your hotel to adjust your rental bike and to give you all the necessary information about your tour. From the elegant city of Montpellier you will cycle along the Lez River on a bike path through a bird sanctuary to Palavas and the Mediterranean Sea. Then the way leads you along the Rhone-Sète Canal through the middle of a beautiful Lake District and finally to Frontignan-Plage and Sete.
Day 3: Sète - Beziers, ~60 km/37 miles
This morning you should not forget to take your bathing togs. Because in the morning you ride along the beach on a perfect bike lane to Agde. Here you can visit the old town and the cathedral made of black stones. From here you follow the Canal du Midi to Beziers.
Day 4: Béziers - Narbonne, ~45 km/27 miles
Via the bridge over the river Orb you reach the 7 locks at Fonséranes. Continue your ride along the canal, past the Celtic oppidum of Ensérune and an imposing Gothic church in Capestang. You continue on little roads and paths through the vineyards to Narbonne.
Day 5: Narbonne - Homps, ~40 or 45 km/25 or 28 miles
Visit the old town of Narbonne and its famous ancient monuments like the archbishop’s palace and the Gothic cathedral. Then you ride along the Canal de la Robine and on little roads to the Canal du Midi, which leads you to the little village of Homps, or a little bit further on to La Redorte or Olonzac.
Day 6: Homps - Carcassonne, ~40 or 35 km/25 or 22 miles
Today you continue to follow the Canal du Midi until you reach the fascinating, historical city of Carcassonne, the famous medieval walled town with its 2 circular walls and a huge medieval fortress, the largest one in Europe (World Heritage Site).
Day 7: Carcassonne - Castelnaudary, ~40 km/25 miles
You continue to ride along the Canal du Midi to Castelnaudary, home town of the famous Cassoulet. The landscape changes and the vineyards are replaced by fields of sunflowers and corn. On the right side you can see the little mountain chain of the ‘Montagne Noir’, where the canal gets its water from.
Day 8: Castelnaudary - Toulouse, ~65 km/41 miles
This is the last day that you ride along the Canal du Midi. Once more you enjoy the beautiful landscape and the nice, little villages that you are passing on your way to Toulouse. The Canal du Midi will accompany you until the very center of that beautiful city, so that you don’t need to mind any traffic. And your hotel in downtown Toulouse is only a few meters from the canal.
Day 9: Day off in Toulouse
This day is dedicated to discover Toulouse, the pink city at the river bank of the Garonne River. Take a stroll through the historic city center and visit the famous Capitol or the Gothic Cathedral St. Etienne. And for all those who love astronautics and technic we warmly recommend to visit ‘Space City’. But don’t fly out to far. You still got to pedal for some days.
Day 10: Toulouse - Moissac, ~64 km
The Canal du Midi ends in the center of Toulouse. From here you will now follow the Canal de Garonne to Bordeaux. This one is much younger than the Canal du Midi and so the scenery will change completely. Instead of the old track path along the Canal du Midi you are now riding on a much larger and mostly paved bike lane. And the buildings and constructions along the Canal de Garonne are more modern. This first stage on the second canal leads you to Moissac, where the canal is crossing over the Tarn River by a 356 meters long bridge. What an impressive construction. Another highlight of Moissac is the Benedict Abbey of Saint Pierre.
Day 11: Moissac - Sérignac, ~60 km
Your cycle tour continues along the Garonne canal, a convivial place where lots of stops are possible. You’ll pass through Mas d’Agenais a fortified wall and detaining the famous Rembrandt's painting: "Christ on the Cross" preserved in the church of St. Vincent. The path is easy and safe.
Day 12: Sérignac - Meilhan/Noaillac, ~60 km
Apart from the first few miles of cycling on small country roads, the rest of this itinerary will allow you to discover and follow the Canal de Garonne. Then you just have to take the pace and exploit your surroundings. Boats, barely faster than cyclists are stopped at the locks. Walkers, cyclists and boatmen exchange expressions of sympathy whenever one overtakes the other. From Castets-en-Dorthe the itinerary is beautiful, shaded everywhere by large trees. The road is continuous, easy and safe. You will discover splendid sights such as St-Macaire, Castets-en-Dorthe and finally Meilhan-sur-Garonne. Today your dinner is included.
Day 13: Meilhan/Noaillac - Frontenac/Saint-Martin-de-Lerm, ~25-55 km
You now get closer to the world famous Medoc wine capital Bordeaux. And so it is not a surprise that today you are cycling along vineyards. Take a break in one of the charming wine towns along your way like for example Frontenac and make some wine tasting. But be careful. There are still a few kilometers to ride to Saint-Martin-de-Lerm. Today your dinner is included.
Day 14: Frontenac/Saint-Martin-de-Lerm - Bordeaux, ~50-60 km
Your last stage leads to Bordeaux. Bordeaux, named before ‘Burdigala’, is a Roman city, inseparable from its vineyards and prestigious stones architecture. The river Garonne, heart of the city, welcomes walkers on the banks and offers boat trip. The quays suit everyone, hoping to witness the stop of a cruise ship, ‘amazing show’ of a giant of the seas in the city center. Capital of wine, Bordeaux is endowed with a rich history and architecture.
Day 15: Departure or extension of your bike tour
14 nights in carefully chosen 3 *** and 4**** hotels and guest houses
luggage transport (1 piece per person)
change of rental bike in Toulouse
carefully chosen roads and paths
detailed documentation, brochures, plans, maps, etc.
France-Bike security vest
self-guided tour - 15 days / 14 nights
arrival on Sundays
season I (1795 €/person in double)
season II (+80 €/person)
season III (+100 €/person)
"arrival any day“
possible 4 persons minimum or with supplement 80 €/person for 3 travelers and 120 €/person for 2 travelers
route (1)-(2): ~630 km
on flat roads that anybody can do, on tarmaced cycle paths and quiet back roads, sometimes on track towpath along the Canal du Midi, always flat and 90% on bicycle paths along the Canal de la Garonne
how to get there
by car: highway to Montpellier
by train: station Montpellier, direct von Paris with TGV
by plane: airport Montpellier, direct from London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Copenhagen and Stockholm
in hotel garage on request, about 100 € for the duration of the tour.
halfboard until Toulouse
If you booked halfboard until Toulouse, the dinner on the second night in Toulouse is not included.
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