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The other listed site in Carcassonne

One thing you can do in Carcassonne, is visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites during your holiday.
Unique! After exploring the Cité and the ramparts, set off for the Canal du Midi, which can be reached by walking through the Bastide Saint-Louis. More than just a walk, it's a step into the Middle Ages, when the Sun King, Louis XIV, reigned.

The canal, which links Toulouse and Sète, winds through the vineyards to Carcassonne town centre. The port is located opposite the station and the square André-Chenier.

Savouring the tranquillity of this unique waterway, is to allow yourself to be soothed by the sun shining playfully through the leaves of the plane trees, or to relive the sensations of the thousands of sailors since Riquet, but it's also to appreciate the picture-perfect landscapes which surround you.

®Sonia Marnez

Maison éclusière ®All-Things-French

Floating along on the water, you can leave all the stress, emails and queues behind you to really enjoy this 'slow' mode of travelling.

Whether you take a bike ride, along the old towpaths, or you sail like a captain in a hired boat, or you go for a guided walk, it is a time of peace for everyone, where either nature's beauty or the tranquillity is the star.

At each port and each lock there is also a chance to moor up and discover the surrounding area and the picturesque villages in Greater Carcassonne.

From lock to lock

A trip along the canal, in a boat or on bike, would not be complete without watching a boat pass through one of the seventeen locks in Greater Carcassonne. Stop a moment to see how the water is transferred from one side of the other, raising the barge, and allowing it to pass through.


The best bits

  • Going on a 2 hour guided cruise from Carcassonne (at the port opposite the train station)
  • A bike ride along the towpath, in the shade of the plane trees, from either Trèbes or Carcassonne
  • Strolling next to a lock or along the towpath
  • Sailing in a boat, with no licence required, for a week
  • Eating in a restaurant at the water's edge

The canal by bike

What better way to discover the Canal du Midi and the numerous sites nearby, than


Boat hire

Hiring a canal boat is to take on the challenge of an unusual holiday, as

  •  It links Toulouse and Sète, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic: 240 km long, between 10 and 20 metres wide and 2 metres deep.
  •  It is home to 350 works of art: including 63 locks, 126 bridges, 55 aqueducts and 7 canal bridges.
  • It is fed by water from the montagne Noire (the Saint-Ferréol and Lampy lakes) which descends the mountain to the seuil de Naurouze, the highest point on the canal
  •  The Garonne lateral canal (1857) links Toulouse and Bordeaux, forming the Canal des deux mers
  • It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996
  • Constructed according to the plans of a genius, Pierre-Paul Riquet, and thanks to a meeting with Colbert, the Financial controller for Louis XIV. Between 1666and 1681, Riquet, an adventurer of the impossible, overcame al the obstacles to make his dream a reality, which still amazes us to this day.

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A short history: Between Carcassonne and the Canal, a tormented love affair
The original plan for the Canal went around the town of Carcassonne. This choice was made by Riquet himself, for technical reasons. Negotiations began in 1670 with Carcassonne town councillors, but these were unsuccessful as to bring the canal into the town would require a further excavation of 2 kilometres. Riquet, therefore, asked Carcassonne for 100,000 pounds for this extra work. Carcassonne rejected this, so the canal would have to be located 2 km from the town. An historical, but above all economic, error.
Very happily, technical problems arose with the crossing of the river Fresquel so the Canal route had to be redrawn. Works began in 1787 and were completed in 1810 with the Canal, finally flowing through the centre of Carcassonne.



Campervan and motorhome areas nearby

In a motorhome, find the areas specially arranged for you near the canal du Midi.


Homps, port Minervois

Go with the flow and the Canal du Midi Ideally located, from Homps you can



The charm of the canal du Midi Trèbes, 5 minutes to the east of Carcassonne,

Le Canal du Midi à Carcassonne et sa région

The canal du Midi

The other listed site in Carcassonne One thing you can do in Carcassonne, is visit