Pedal softly along the beautiful tree-lined roads
Leisurely bike along flat terrain, taking in the picturesque scenery
Cruise through southern France feeling the breeze in your hair
Ride past superb vistas as you clock up the kilometers
Experience the delights of France
Explore the canal paths and tranquil beauty of this region
Get to know the exquisite UNESCO fortified village of Carcassonne on the last few days of the tour

Cycling France Tour of the Canal du Midi

Duration
7 days
Site savings
$33
From
$3,189 USD

Join this southern France sojourn for a memorable escape. The cycling on this tour is graded as easy, mainly flat roads and canal paths, with lots of coastal aspects, peppered with fascinating villages, and of course the food and wine. Unsurprisingly for France, this region has a strong winegrowing culture. You will visit some amazing French towns and villages on this cycling tour, and the variety is wonderful. A highlight is the UNESCO listed town of Carcassonne. The striking Citadelle of Carcassonne at the end of the tour was plundered for building materials until it was restored to glory in the early nineteenth century and is now one of the most visited sites in France.

  • Category
    For Food Lovers
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Culture Level
    Familiar
  • Skill Level
    1 - Beginner
  • Activity Level
    2 - Moderate
  • Elevation
    1 - Easy
  • Terrain
    Flat
  • Distance
    145.4 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    29.1 miles
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Tour de Vines
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    7 days
  • Main Destination
    France
  • Distance
    145.4 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    29.1 miles
  • Elevation
    1 - Easy
  • Terrain
    Flat

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrival

    The town of Sète is built on the slopes of a hill jutting out into the Mediterranean. It is a bustling town with a busy port along with canals and quays lined with restaurants and bars.

    There will be time to explore cobbled streets and canals of the town. In the evening, dinner will be spent in a superb local restaurant, with a menu taking advantage of the freshest local seafood.

    • Le Grand Hotel, Sète
    • Dinner
  2. Day 2Sète to Béziers

    Leaving Sète, you have water on both sides as you travel along the spit of land that divides the Mediterranean from the Etang de Thau. The Etang is the largest producer of shellfish in the south of France. At the end of the spit is the picturesque port of Marseillan.

    After lunch, follow an old railway line which translates to a flat ride as you head for Béziers where you will be spending the night.

    • 35.4 miles
    • Hotel Particulier, Béziers
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  3. Day 3Bézier circular ride

    You will stay in Bézier again tonight, so no packing! Meet with a local guide for a walking tour of Bézier before the cycling leg of the day.

    After the tour on foot, re-start the cycling tour by taking a circular ride out to the seaside town of Valras, where if the weather is nice a picnic can be prepared whilst you take a dip in the Mediterreanean.

    Back in Bézier, you can relax or take in more of the town before heading out to dinner.

    • 23 miles
    • 767.7 ft
    • Hotel Particulier, Bézier
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  4. Day 4A visit to Colombiers

    Cycle south towards Canal du Midi which you'll reach after a few miles at the Ecluses de Fonserannes. Gaze at this feat of engineering which in essence is a flight of staircase locks that help transport boats on the canal.

    Turning westwards you'll soon reach the village of Colombiers with bars by the canal that are perfect for a coffee stop. Cycle further on the only climb of the whole tour until you reach the Oppidum d'Enserune. The oppidum are the remains of a Gaulish and Roman hilltop town dating from the 6th century BC. In addition to the artifacts in the museum at the summit, there are also amazing views of the Lac de Montady, a now dried up lake which was cultivated in the 13th century in an experimental irrigation pattern, leaving a wonderful dartboard shaped field system which can be seen from the hill.

    Get back on the canal with an opportunity to stop for refreshment/lunch at canalside villages like Capestang and then onwards to your Château hotel where you can stroll in the shady gardens before a wine tasting in the Chateau’s Caves.

    • 28 miles
    • 1,233.6 ft
    • Château du Puits es Praxt, Ginestas
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  5. Day 5Cycle to Siran

    Today is a short day distance wise but a bit lumpy as the route takes you into the heart of Cathar Country, the scenic village of Minerve. After a stop in Minerve, you'll ascend and descend through vine- and yellow broom- covered hills ( the same route the riders of the 2016 Tour de France took  backwards!)  

    Take a quick fun stop to test your bikes on the “Magnetic Hill” and then a thrilling descent into Siran, your resting place for the night. For those looking to stretch their legs further, you can turn around and climb the same descent you just rode down back up to Mont Celebre taking the same direction as the riders in 2016! If you have had enough riding for the day, you can sit back and relax at the pool.

    • 21.7 miles
    • 2,066.9 ft
    • Bastide de Cabézac, Bize-Minervois
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  6. Day 6Carcassone

    Cycle along the canal into the final destination of the tour, the magical fortress of Carcassonne. The French government was on the point of demolishing this medieval fortified town, until public outcry forced a rethink. The architect Eugène Violet-le-Duc was charged with restoring the citadelle, a process which continued after his death. The result is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a magnificent spectacle, especially with the walls illuminated after dark. The interior is a maze of cobbled lanes and squares with myriad cafés, bars and boutiques.

    A final group dinner has been arranged for this night where you an reflect on a fabulous week of cycling.


    • 29.2 miles
    • 1,236.9 ft
    • Hotel du Château, Carcassonne
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  7. Day 7Departure

    Breakfast at the hotel is a hearty affair, and there is a chance to swap email contacts before you make your way home. Onward transfers are included if required.

    • Breakfast