Your Canal Du Midi Cycling Holidays Experts!

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Canal Du Midi

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8 days, Source to Sea

 

7 days, Ideal

 

7 days, Sportive

 

5 days, Essential

 

 

Canal Du Midi

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Languedoc

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5 days, Passa Païs & Minerve

 

7 days, Passa Païs & Canal Du Midi

 

6 days, Albi to Béziers

 

 

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Guestbook entries:

 

“Solid and well equipped bikes.”

Lasse

Norway. (p. 2)

(click to see PDF)

 

"750 Km - what a great experience - on a Relax Rentals bike. Bordeaux to Agde, no trouble with bikes, very reliable - Merci"

Roz & Dave, Sue & Paul

Australia (p. 63)

(click to see PDF)

 

"We would have loved to stay on the bikes for another week or two. We recommend Relax Rentals."

Pasquale

Norway (p. 65)

(click to see PDF)

 

"Our third bike tour in Europe and by far the best equipped, best organized, and friendliest hosts."

Robert & Barbara

Australia (p. 67)

(click to see PDF)

 

Author of Dutch cycle guide for Canal Du Midi rented bikes from us to cycle to Bordeaux:

fietsen langs het canal du midi boekje

"Prima service van Relax Rentals! Van harte aanbevolen voor een fietstrip langs het Canal Du Midi."

 

“What a find, great bikes and great staff!”

Tony

San Francisco (p. 44)

(click to see PDF)

 

“The bike was great! Great service in pick-up and delivery!”

Brigette

Australia (p. 46)

(click to see PDF)

 

“Excellent bikes – Rolls Royce! And brilliant friendly service.”

Vanessa and Mike

UK. (p. 51)

(click to see PDF)

 

“Best rental ever! Thanks.”

Bastian

France (p. 60)

(click to see PDF)

 

"Super fahrräder und tolle empfehlungen und tipps für die tour. Sehr netter empfang."

Thomas & Ruth

Germany. (p. 14)

(click to see PDF)

 

"Kiitos kovasti! Pyörät ja maisemat aivan loistavia."

Riikka & Alex

Finland. (p. 24)

(click to see PDF)

 

“Vélo de très bonne qualité, accueil très sympa. Il ne fallait pas manquer ça!”

Vincent et Cathy

France. (p. 26)

(click to see PDF)

CANAL DU MIDI HISTORY

 

The Canal Du Midi runs from the city of Toulouse down to the Mediterranean port of Sète.  The Canal Du Midi is considered an extraordinary 17th century feat of engineering and as such has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.  The Canal Du Midi is part of the Canal des Deux Mers (Canal of the two seas); the other part being Canal de Garonne which runs from Toulouse to Bordeaux.  The entire length of the Canal des Deux Mers (Bordeaux to Sète) is 525 Km, and can be cycled with ease.  The Canal Du Midi measures 240 Km in length.  Its main aim was to transport wheat, wine and textiles while avoiding the dangerous waters around Gibraltar.

 

The Romans were the first to contemplate a waterway joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean but were unsuccessfull in finding a way to make this happen.  Later, Charlemagne also revisited this idea but abandoned it after carefull studies.  Finally, a Béziers native called Pierre-Paul Riquet started looking into the problem during the 1600's.  Paul Riquet was a tax collector for Louis XIV, and as such build up a considerable fortune for himself as well.  However, most of this money he spend to construct the Canal Du Midi, hoping to gain money from charging tolls upon its completion.

 

The main problem that had to be solved was finding the water to feed the canal.  Riquet solved this centuries old problem by creating a huge dam and artificial reservoir, the Bassin de St Ferréol in the Black Mountains.  This lake was the largest man-made lake at the time.  The water from this reservoir feeds the canal at Seuil de Naurouze, about 10 Km east of Castelnaudary.  This is the highest point along the canal at 189 meters above sea level.  This is also the continental divide of France; rain falling to the east will flow to the Mediterranean, and rain falling to the west will flow to the Atlantic.

 

The canal was a masterpiece of both hydraulic and structural engineering, and took 12,000 labourers to build.  Paul Riquet took good care of his workers and paid both men and women the same salary, unique for the 17th Century.  Days off due to rain, bank holidays, Sunday and sickness leaves were all paid.  Lodging for the workers was provided for a nominal fee as well.  Construction was started in 1667 and it was opened officially as the Canal Royal de Languedoc on May 15, 1681.  Unfortunally, Paul Riquet passed away a few months before this grand opening.

 

Riquet’s dream of reaching the Atlantic only came true two centuries later, when his canal was linked to the Canal du Garonne.  The Canal Royal was renamed the Canal du Midi during the Revolution, and by 1856 it carried 111,000 metric tonnes of cargo a year.  But commerce dried up almost overnight after the Bordeaux to Sète railway line was opened in the 1860’s.

 

The canal had a renaissance in the early 1990’s, thanks in no small part to tourists who fell in love with its combination of beauty, nature and engineering prowess.

 

It has 91 écluses (locks) which serve to ascend and descend the canal a total of 189 meters.  It has 328 structures, including bridges, dams and even a tunnel.  Its length is 240 Km.

 

Canal Du Midi Cycling Distance Chart

 

canal du midi distances chart

(Click to enlarge)

 

Relax Bike Tours & Rentals, Béziers France: High quality bicycles for Canal Du Midi

"Servicing Béziers, Serignan, Vendres, Vias, Portiragnes, Magalas, Colombiers, and other cities in the area."

We own and operate our own fleet of bikes

WHY TRAVEL WITH US?

We are an accredited travel agency

Located 800 meters from the Canal Du Midi

All tours are private and can be customized

Relax Bike Tours & Rentals

70 Allées Paul Riquet

34500 Béziers

France

 

Tel (France): 06 38 12 32 82

Tel (International): 00 33 6 38 12 32 82

 

Email: relaxbeziers@gmail.com

Web: http://www.relaxbiketours.com

 

Atout France n° IM034170006

Relax Bike Tours is a registered Travel Agency in France.

 

For more videos check out our youtube channel

lonely planet
national geographic
accueil velo

Rent A Bike Canal du Midi : Toulouse - Castelnaudary - Carcassonne - Narbonne - Béziers - Agde - Sète

+
-
en
fr

canal du midi distances chart

We own and operate our own fleet of bikes

We are an accredited travel agency

Located 800 meters from the Canal Du Midi

All tours are private and can be customized

lonely planet
national geographic
accueil velo

canal du midi distances chart

lonely planet
national geographic
accueil velo
en
fr

canal du midi distances chart

lonely planet
national geographic
accueil velo

WHY TRAVEL WITH US?

  • We own and operate our own fleet of bikes
  • We are an accredited travel agency
  • Located 400 meters from the Canal Du Midi
  • All tours are private and can be customized
national geographic
lonely planet
accueil velo