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Canal du Midi Tours

Canal du Midi
Overview
France’s longest and oldest canal, the Canal du Midi is both a feat of civil engineering and a popular sightseeing destination in the southern Occitanie region. Built by engineer Pierre-Paul Riquet in the late 17th century, the 150-mile (240-kilometer) waterway connects the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean via the Garonne Canal.

The Basics

Beginning in the Étang de Thau on the edge of the Mediterranean and ending in Toulouse, the Canal du Midi was a groundbreaking project and important navigation channel at the time of its construction. These days, the UNESCO-listed waterway is mostly favored by houseboat owners and pleasure cruisers. Famed for its scenery, the snaking green canal is lined by towpaths and towering plane trees. In passing through the region of Occitanie, it also wends its way past sweeping vineyards, Roman ruins, and medieval villages.

From Toulouse, biking and walking tours provide an introduction to the historic waterway. For more long-term visitors, self-piloted or hosted canal boat cruises offer a relaxing way to explore the bucolic scenery.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Canal du Midi is considered one of the 17th century’s greatest engineering triumphs; as such, it’s popular among both history buffs and sightseers.
  • Be sure to pack bug spray if visiting the canal, particularly during the summer months.
  • Wear light layers, as canal cruises can be breezy.
  • Keep your eyes peeled: the canal is lined with more than 300 historical structures including locks, tunnels, bridges, and aqueducts.
How to Get There
The Canal du Midi rings the eastern edge of Toulouse before continuing its journey southward. There are numerous access points for its tow paths.

When to Get There

The Canal du Midi is busiest during the summer months—particularly in July and August, when vacationers from all over France head to the south for a seasonal escape. Note that many canal locks are closed for maintenance during the winter, so it’s best to plan a boat trip during the warmer months.

Popular Stops Along the Canal
Planning to cruise the Canal du Midi in style? Come hungry for a stop at the heritage city of Castelnaudary, as the market town is the world capital of cassoulet. The waterway also runs through Carcassonne (a UNESCO-listed fortified city dating to ancient times), Béziers (one of France’s oldest cities), and numerous vineyards in Occitanie, the county’s largest wine region.

Address: Toulouse, France
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2 Tours and Activities to Experience Canal du Midi

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
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Toulouse E Bike Tour

Toulouse E Bike Tour

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high-end electric bike with a guide. Get a thorough safety briefing and then set off to see the sights. Pedal through the St. Etienne neighborhood and see the Cathedral then ride along the Canal de Brienne, where you take in river views, and get to know some local secrets down hidden alleyways.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.05
From
$47.05
Taking safety measures

Half a day electric bike ride around Toulouse

SPECIAL OFFER

Half a day electric bike ride around Toulouse

From the south, starting pedaling along the canal du midi, this bike tour will then lead you through St Aubin and Matabiau neighbourhood before joining the Twin Bridge area, the very end of the canal du midi. Up north you will ride along the wild the Garonne river banks and around Sesquière lake for a peaceful moment. The river will lead you back in the city center to wander around the former St Pierre harbour and la Daurade harbour, not to forget the magnificent Pont neuf (new bridge) and the enjoyable atmosphere along the quay. Water is the guiding thread of this tour, you will discover all the water circulation through the city’s network and how canals works with each other.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.43
$74.29
$14.86 savings
From
$59.43
$74.29
$14.86 savings
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Canal du Midi?