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The Canal du Midi

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Occitanie

The Canal du Midi - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Occitanie
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Designed in the 17th century by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the Canal du Midi, which has 64 locks interspersed along its length of nearly 240 kilometres, flows from Toulouse in Haute-Garonne to Thau Lake, near Sète, in the Hérault. This colossal construction made a link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and required the work of 12,000 men over fifteen years, from 1666 to 1681. Today it is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and is an unmissable tourist destination, great for exploration as well as relaxation, whether by boat or travelling along the charming, shady banks: canal boat cruises through the locks, romantic strolls by the waterside, or bicycle rides along the towpath...

In the land of Aude, the Canal du Midi crosses the department from west to east, and provides a wonderful way to see its heritage. Beautiful stopping places break up the journey: the little town of Castelnaudary with its big lake on the Canal du Midi, the famous fortified city of Carcassonne, the village of Ventenac-en-Minervois with its castle and Wine Cooperative, the picturesque port of Somail and its stone humpback bridge... Also not to be missed, not far from Castelnaudary, is the Seuil de Naurouze, at Montferrand. This peaceful place, the highest point along the canal, situated on the watershed between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is great for strolling, with an arboretum, a pool, streams bringing water from the Black Mountain and the obelisk in honour of Riquet.

In the Hérault is an unusual work not to be missed: the 9 locks of Fonséranes.

Additional information
The Canal du Midi