Cycle route: free-wheel along the canal

What better way to discover the Canal du Midi and the numerous sites nearby, than on a bike?

The Canal has a continuous 240 km towpath for you to enjoy, with no sound and no traffic, in complete security.


Riding along the canal du Midi, with a free spirit and the wind in your hair, far from traffic and noisy towns... This form of transport is becoming more and more popular among tourists. Independence and liberty are now within everyone's grasp.

Various travel companies can organise everything for you, bike hire, route planning and booking accommodation. But it's also easy for you design your own journey, deciding how much you want to do each day, according to your level.
You could, for example, ride from Toulouse to Sète, in 6 days (250 km).

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Worth noting

  • You won't find it monotonous, riding your bike alongside the canal. The landscapes change constantly. You go through villages, cross vineyards and fields in the shade of century-old plane trees or in an open section. Nothing but pleasure!
  • Those who love riding and calm will have everything they need. Even in the middle of August, the towpath is not very busy. No hold ups. Enjoy nature!
  • You will find more tarmacked paths nearer Toulouse, whereas, in Greater Carcassonne, it is mainly dirt paths, which may have roots in them.
  • There's not a lot of uphill, or down dale. The route is quite flat and easy to access, whatever your level. Nowadays, electrical bikes can be hired, which can provide assistance if required.
  •  A word of advice: an all-terrain bike with quite large wheels would be a good choice.
  • Eating and drinking on route, is not a problem. There are lots of grocer's or mini-marts on the route, not forgetting the magnificent cafes and restaurants on the banks of the canal.
  • Finally, for a completely safe trip you can download the Canal du Midi app which will give you lots of great information and contact information for bike hire companies who have been awarded Accueil Vélo

From Alzonne to Carcassonne

From the Béteille lock to the port of Carcassonne, you'll cover a little under 20 km mainly on dirt tow paths, which do not present any great technical difficulty. In Villesèquelande, you can admire the Orme (elm) de Sully, one of the oldest in France, at over 400 years old. And as a welcome gift, you'll have a wonderful view of the Cité. Among the different possibilities for accommodation, the Carcassonnne campsite, at the foot of the Cité is under3 km away.

From Carcassonne to Homps

Head for Trèbes on a 41 km stage. Leaving Carcassonne, on good quality paths, you might meet a few joggers. You get a last look at the Cité at the Saint-Jean lock. This is less shade in this area as lots of the trees have had to be cut down being blighted with canker stain. As you reach Villedubert, you'll be riding through vines in Le Minervois, between sunshine and the discovery of vineyards such as the Millepetit and Millegrand estates and their bar/restaurants. In Homps, have a break at one of the cafes in the pretty port.

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Cyclists welcome

Accueil Vélo® is a national mark guaranteeing a high quality of welcome and services for

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Riding along tow paths - practical information