On this stretch, boats and barges line one side of the waterway, while the north bank becomes a walking and biking path. The Canal du Midi is truly magnificent. Four adjoining channels are also included. From step to step it worked better - learning by doing with success. 12000 men worked here and Riquet became its architect and had to have many capacities. Wine , cheese and bread while underway and then to a new village and a restaurant for dinner. Picturesque Languedoc is France’s most productive wine region with many delicious ‘drink now’ varieties on sale, direct from the vineyards (free tastings welcomed) that border the waterway, for just a few euros per bottle. (Photo: The city's Musée des Augustins is a fine arts. Would be more appealing to me, but it would also take a few days to see a substantial part of the entire stretch. Unfortunately, this is not regulated and often we heard that people were told to just dump their toilet into the Canal.This is an UNESCO World Heritage site and as such, one would assume care of the Canal would be of prime importance. But that would take several days, and I'm afraid it might be a bit boring after a while. But to be honest, our main goal was not the dam but the nearby town of Revel, every Saturday there is a wonderful market in and around a medieval market hall. As such the UNESCO Organization … The Canal du Midi, designed and built by Pierre-Paul Riquet in 1662-1681, is a remarkable work of engineer­ing, justifying its inclusion in the Unesco world heritage list in 1996, and one of the most popular cruising waterways in France. We docked at towns like capestaing and trebes for the night and picked up bread and croissants each day after 7 am when the bakeries opened. Your main worries should be RAIN and WIND! The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it has a truly fascinating history. The original purpose of the Canal du Midi was to be a shortcut between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, avoiding the long sea voyage around hostile Spain, Barbary pirates, and a trip that in the 17th century required a full month of sailing. Finally, at the edge of Ayguesvives, I came across canal locks. Oh, and it does smell so nice over there. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, with everything Mother Nature has to offer. By closing the gates successively a boat can safely navigate through the section. Canal du Midi is a hasty work executed with fluid paint, but not with the broken stroke that is found in other pictures that Matisse did in that period. Cant' be beat. That being said, a boating cruise is still something on the list for my future visits to Occitanie. Enjoy wine tasting, cycling, and sightseeing at medieval villages. The canal is served by several tour operators offering novices the chance to navigate their own barge along the entire watercourse or selected sections of the waterway. Obviously, we realise now the reason for the putrid water. However, most people cycle the Canal Du Midi in the "better" months of summer. He was also very conscious of the impact of the canal to the landscape, so he planted trees and plantations along it. Four adjoining channels are also included. english version. There are a couple of lock gates by the side of the road, where it’s fun to watch the boats maneuvering in and out of the waterway. Every year, hire boats ply its emerald green waters, with some making the voyage all the way to the Mediterranean coast. Everyt curve in the canal opens a new vista, I draw and paint , filled two sketchbooks and feel the need to return to pick up what i missed. From the standpoint 17th century engineering, doubtless it must have been regarded then as a miracle. I visited this WHS in February 2014. The Garonne joins the Canal du Midi east of the city center. How to visit a canal of more than 240 kilometres in length - indeed a good question. Canal du Midi boat hire : go with the flow in the south of France, along this jewel of the waterways Your cruise in this famous waterways region, extended by the Canal Latéral à la Garonne, allows you to cover up to 500 km on your Pénichette ® or self-drive boat – with no license needed! The Canal du Midi is a masterpiece of civil engineering - and it works until today. Traveling west-east from Toulouse to Sète, the locks numbered 1–18 are ascending and 19–86 are descending. It is pretty underwhelming nowadays, just a little harbour with small private boats and swans. Her beautiful interior makes the most of traditional materials such as African hardwoods and shining brass to create a warm onboard feel, reminiscent of a classic yacht. We have made two Canal trips in France the latest during Aug/September this year. It’s well worth spending at least one day sightseeing whilst you're here. As with all locks on the canal, the chamber is oval, the curved walls better withstand the water pressure. It's therefore an ideal place to drop anchor in and explore. I decided to have a closer look at two separate places: Castelnaudary and Toulouse. This is a must-have compact travel guide to the Canal du Midi, a picturesque waterway in Southern France, popular for boating trips and holidays. Travellers along the canal are quick to offer a ‘bonjour’ to one and other. Later on I visited the Canal du Briennes near Toulouse and pretty much had the same experience there too. The canal there looks like any stream in an urban setting, nothing too exceptional. And for me as a Northern European, it is very nice to see that life has a different pace along the banks of the Canal. For anyone who is not sure whether they can cope with locks, try this route - only 14 to navigate and it's good fun. The town once served as the resting place for passengers on the mail barge operating between Toulouse and Agde. The French can be proud. First we headed for the round lock at Agde, a basin with three gates that connects the canal with the Hérault River. I went by train from Montpellier to Toulouse, and from Narbonne onwards, you can see it from the train in many places; the motorway also runs alongside it. You will. The structures and technical facilities might not be very impressive for today's visitors. On the north bank, the walking/biking path is paved, while on the south bank there are unpaved car tracks. The Canal du Midi was officially inaugurated in 1681. From Agde, travelers have the option of navigating the La Nouvelle branch of the Canal du Midi to Sète, another Mediterranean port and a popular seaside resort. Also, the Canal de Brienne, a side canal connecting it to the Garonne River, makes for a pleasant walk. When money didn’t arrive from the court (the project cost 15 million libras) he had to spent his; he died before the canal was finished. Cruising this 300 year old waterway, you will savor the slow easy pace of travel as you pass lush vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc wine region. A historical, gastronomic and wine-growing destination, sailing on the Canal du Midi combines peaceful navigation and discovery of the heritage of the south-west. In our trip to France we have seen the Canal du Midi, built between 1667 and 1694, that is 240 km long (360 km with his four lateral canals) and in average 18 m large and goes from the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean coast to Toulouse, where flows into the Garonne, that goes to the Atlantic: it links the two seas and has 328 structures (locks, lifts, aqueducts, spillways, bridges, tunnels). Vineyards, the beautiful old trees, which are so typical for France. Here, the Canal du Midi spans the Orb River as an aqueduct (pictured) called the Pont-canal de l'Orb, claimed to be the first of its kind. Personally, I think it still is. This was not our understanding as we were told that the toilet mascerator separated solids from liquid and this was disposed of at port dumps. A wonderful trip. In for a laugh? The bridges cross three canals: du Midi, Latéral and Brienne. Canal Du Midi Climate. Video: Nokia N95 8GB. Three of us were on the canal for a week from corbieres to trebes and back with a side excursion by bus to medieval carcassonne. This isn’t your only option. Once used to transport goods and people, the waterway is now mainly used by boaters and other tourists. This was one of the great technical innovations by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer of the canal. The canal is located in the south of France, connecting the Garonne River at Toulouse to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean. (Photo: A cultural highlight is the remarkable Basilica of Saint-Sernin. The Canal du Midi cuts through this sleepy town located near Carcassonne, which is certainly worth a diversion. Canal du Midi ~ Carcassonne ~ Robine Canal ~ Narbonne The sun-drenched South of France home of vineyards, sunflower fields and the world-famous, historic, Canal du Midi . all the people we met were nice and nothing was crowded in mid May. It is one of the technologically most significant canals in the world: it uses lock staircases, reservoirs, aqueducts, dams, bridges, and tunnels. Another option: by bicycle on the old towpath along the canal. I then drove to the edge of the city, to the municipality of Ramonville-Saint-Agne, where the canal touches a small marina of Port de plaisance de Port Sud. The surrounding landscape was also taken into account: the canal was framed by trees and plantations. Also known as the Languedoc, the Canal du Midi cruise region boasts roughly 700,000 acres under vines, and is the single biggest wine-producing region in the world. We stayed in Carcassonne, and the next day we went to the Bassin de Saint-Ferréol, the main water reservoir of the Canal du Midi. Our route is level and car-free. You can feel it. We have seen the beautiful canal at Fonséranes, near Béziers, where are nine lifts that go over 25 m and are 315 m long, a port and a bridge, that makes the canal cross the river Orb. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, the Canal du Midi is an engineering masterpiece stretching 240 kilometres (150 miles) from Toulouse to Sète on the Mediterranean coast. Canal du Midi barge holidays are an entirely unique way to see the South of France. Historic Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France. We enjoyed very much our trip along the Canal du Midi. The Pont Neuf arch bridge dates back to the late 16th and early 17th centuries. We were a party of four adults, novices at boating, and one of us (me) didn't like boats or water! It is an UNESCO world heritage site and attracts many visitors every year. The Canal du Midi, a silky pale green liquid ribbon that meanders, connecting the Mediterranean port city of Sète to Toulouse is one of the most notable and oldest inland waterways of Europe still in use. Port Saint-Sauveur on the Canal du Midi is one of two river ports located on the waterway at Toulouse. Tie your boat up and watch the. When it comes to barging in the South of France, the scenic Canal du Midi is a must. Canal du Midi. 2.480 Average 10 connections, Epic beauty of tree-lined Canal du Midi under threat as. Pierre-Paul Riquet designed the canal with monumental grandeur, displaying the power of 17th century France. The Canal Du Midi is surrounded by vineyards, fields of sunflowers and poppies. Not a hotel but in fact a 16th-century Renaissance palace, the ornate Hôtel d'Assézat houses the Bemberg Foundation, a major city art gallery. And all under the eyes of about 50 spectators which gave good advice. Besides the city hall, the building houses a theater and the national orchestra. Early Sunday morning I walked on the towpath along that Canal until it joins the Canal du Midi. There are moorings and facilities placed at regular intervals, often with electricity and water and sometimes even showers and a laundry. Information about the 240km long Canal du Midi. This is the largest open body of water within the canal, and also the site where its official opening took place. For casual visitors, this is probably the one of best spots to see the canal, but to really enjoy it, a boat ride is likely to be preferable. We decided on the Mediterranean route as this involved less locks (cowards!) It’s a whole different kind of cruise experience. How to "visit" this Canal, that stretches for over 240km and is visible right from the highway a number of times? All the meals were good. Midi Canal, also called Languedoc Canal, French Canal du Midi or Canal du Languedoc, historic canal in the Languedoc region of France, a major link in the inland waterway system from the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The chapel dome of Hôpital de La Grave is reflected in the Garonne River. It runs for 240.01 kilometres through 95 locks from Port de l'Embouchure (Toulouse) (where it joins the Canal de Garonne - (Main line) and the Canal de Brienne) to Pointe des Onglous (where it joins the Étang de Thau). This amazing engineering project opened the way to new economies. The Canal du Midi was one of Europe’s major construction projects prior to the Industrial Revolution, and even though it never really fulfilled its promise of being a major artery of the French economy and is today mostly used by house boats ad other pleasure boats, it is still quite a fascinating achievement. Since I was based in Carcassonne, I first enjoyed an afternoon walk by the juniper tree-lined canal with its bridges and locks near Carcassonne. The Canal du Midi is recognised as one of the most beautiful and popular waterways in Europe. (Photo: From Seuil de Naurouze, we head eastwards towards Castelnaudary through a tranquil and pastoral countryside. So, visit the Canal du Midi and the Aude region, enjoy it. Seuil de Naurouze marks the highest point (190 m, or 623 ft above sea level) of the Canal du Midi. It’s forbidden to tie to a tree, so ground stakes must be used (you need to carry your own), but the reward is a huge amount of flexibility in terms of where to stop for the night. Overall, I feel that taking a first-hand look at Canal du Midi does not add a lot in terms of appreciation of this feat of engineering beyond what you can gather from reading about it. We had a marvellous week and I would recommend it to anyone. Halfway between Toulouse and Carcassonne, the huge basin at Castelnaudary is also an interesting sight, as it is the largest body of open water on the canal (about 7 hectares). One could argue that you can do Canal du Midi justice only by renting a boat to navigate a portion of it. Here, the scenery became really picturesque, and I spied couples and families enjoying idyllic tranquillity. Carcassonne is a real gem. The Canal du Midi is also a love affair of man , nature and engineering . We also visited Castelnaudary, the highest point of the canal at Col de Naurouze, and the junction with the Garonne in Toulouse. The Languedoc is responsible for more than a third of France’s total wine production. Through a Canal du Midi boat hire, you’ll see stunning cathedrals, grand châteaux, ancient ruins and medieval cities. Our Canal du Midi Cruises. But one have to take into account that most of the constructions date from the 17th century and were built with rather simple equipment. Museum fans will love Castelnaudary, Béziers, Narbonne and Toulouse! There are explanatory panels, but I'm not sure if I understood all the technical details. Probably because we stayed two nights at Marseillan - a lovely village with really nice restaurants. The first stop was in the center of Toulouse, between Boulevard des Minimes and Boulevard Matabiau. The photo shows the lock in Homps where we had a sumptuous picnic. The costs vary from €2-€20 per night. De Toulouse à Agde. In Toulouse I was staying near Canal de Brienne, one of the side canals that is also included. Unless you take a cruise, though, you have to be content to visit it in bits and pieces. It was fun to watch how a hobby skipper finally managed to steer his boat through all the lock chambers. The construction is a jumble of slide gates, ring gears, bars and chains. One of the delights of travelling along the canals is that you can pull over and tie up almost anywhere. Finding myself in Toulouse and having only a couple of hours to spare in August of 2017, I figured I'd stop at a few random points along the canal and call it a reasonable visit. Normally, the levels of the two streams are very similar, so that a conventional aqueduct was not applicable. The principle is that the river is split in two streams, which cross the canal through separate aqueducts. I finished off my visit with a great Cassoulet at Le Tirou, the number one restaurant in town if you want to try the best cassoulet ever! Learn how to create your own. The Ultimate Guide by Andrea Hoffmann & Hans Zaglitsch is a handy-sized, up-to-date guidebook covers all the practical information and sightseeing opportunities that boaters – whether first-timers or experienced – need to know during their holiday on the Canal du Midi. Passing through historic water locks you will discover charming medieval villages and ancient fortress cities. Renting a boat on the Canal du Midi is the best way to explore this beautiful corner of France. The Canal du Midi remains the masterpiece of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a French canal-builder and engineer. Just as at Castelnaudary, there's not a lot to see except for the straight canal and the trees closing it in on both sides. Canal du Midi Cruise. With eight successive chambers and nine lock gates a boat can be lifted a height of 21 metres at a distance of 300 metres. Little tip for visitors in the neighbourhood of Bezier: a bit to the west lies the village of Nissan, close to the Canal du Midi. Great Republic Day sale ends today, Experience productivity at its finest with the Vostro 5402. The old towpath varies in quality from a road that can be driven by car to a trail of a few inches wide. In Béziers is also the steepest section and the most spectacular place on the Canal du Midi, the Fonserannes Locks. For this voyage, we are traveling east from Toulouse and stopping at various points along the way to take in the views. Nevertheless, his desire not to superimpose colours and the fact that he left large areas of the background in a pale grey colour can be related to neo-Impressionism. The massive Orb Aqueduct in Béziers is a later addition, it was built in the 19th century and is the longest bridge on the Canal du Midi (240 metres). He was conscious that he was creating a symbol of the power beyond a functional communication wateway: he ensured the quality of the architecture and the works were designed with monumental dignity and simplicity. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Canal du Midi three times, although I have never been able to navigate the Canal by boat. Discover the coast of Canal du Midi in a houseboat with 6 Cabins. The 17th-century Saint-Marcel bridge in Le Somail. Discover the Canal des Deux Mers à Vélo, an exceptional cycle route linking the two seas of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. A shame. Visitors to Carcassonne will find that the canal is also next to the train station there. From here, your voyage continues to Agde. Cruising the Canal du Midi. Photo: Béziers - Lifts of Fonséranes on the Canal du Midi. 1 locations, The site has It is a typical place at the Canal du Midi, the technical facilities of the lock seem unchanged and also the lock keeper's house has been preserved. You can pedal along for almost 800km beside the Canal de Garonne and the Canal du Midi, the latter a World Heritage Site, to explore unforgettable landscapes and sites. (Photo: Travel before March 21 & save 20% on your next booking, Last chance! A remarkable work of engineering, the Canal du Midi twists and turns through some of the most beautiful countrysides in southern France. but it was what we needed - a leisurely week to appreciate the waterways, food and wine and great weather. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. You need to be aware about lock procedures and also that the bridge at Frontignan only opens three times a day so you need to plan your arrival time to coincide with these openings. 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