Bike tours along the Canal des Deux Mers

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A canal listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

With Canal des Deux Mers cycling holidays, you’ll ride along the Canal de Garonne leads from Bordeaux to Toulouse in the south of France.  This section is called the “Canal des Deux Mers” (the canal of the two seas). These waterways connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. There are a lot of barges and river cruise on this waterway. It’s a great itinerary between vineyards and medieval villages, along the Garonne. You will gently cross beautiful towns and cultural sites like Moissac.

Many cities in Aquitaine known for their cultural heritage and / or their gastronomy mark out your cycling route: Bordeaux the proud for their chateaux and red wines, Agen and its prunes, Montauban and its old medieval center, Toulouse the pink city, Castelnaudary and its delicious cassoulet, Carcassonne on a hilltop with its impressive medieval city and these rampart. But this bike route also crosses wine regions with very different traditions like Sauveterre-de-Guyenne or the Minervois. 

The oldest canal in Europe still in operation

 Canal Du Midi is considered as an extraordinary 17th century feat of engineering. It has been an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. The Canal de Garonne which runs from Toulouse to Bordeaux  is part of the Canal des Deux Mers. It’s a really romanesque countryside.

 The Romans were the first to contemplate a waterway joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean but were unsuccessfull.  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 canal was a masterpiece of both hydraulic and structural engineering, and took 12,000 labourers to build.  The construction was started in 1667 and it was opened officially for barge 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 coastline only came true two centuries later…The canal was linked to the Canal du Garonne.  The Canal Royal was renamed the Canal du Midi during the Revolution.

With Canal des Deux Mers cycling holidays, you can cycle on the marked cycleway from the elegant, historic wine city of Bordeaux to the “pink” town of Toulouse. You shall experience cycling in a very relaxed way along almost bicycle paths, through the magnificent south of France countryside. You can switch itineraries if you like to discover more a side than the other. If you’re a wine lover you can  visit a chateau or an appellation mostly of the time during you cycle adventure! To be more confortable during your cycling tours, we can Bike hire or an E-bike as you prefer!