From vineyards to beaches and from ancient villages to seaside resorts, the Canal du Midi provides a link between all the gems our region has to offer. Amid the tranquillity of nature and a spirit of togetherness, it reflects our lifestyle and traditions.
Between nature and culture, no matter how you travel, the canal promises fabulous adventures as well as peace and quiet. So grab your walking shoes, jump on a bike or take out a boat to follow one of Europe’s oldest canals, and we’ll take you exploring every nook and cranny of Languedoc!
Go with the flow
A canal can of course have as much to offer as any river, and the Canal du Midi is no exception. Between lush green countryside, medieval villages, stone bridges, locks and little river ports, a boat trip is the perfect way to see the treasures of the French department of Hérault.
Embarking at Agde, Vias or Portiragnes, pick your direction and enjoy your cruise on the calm waters of the canal. Stop to visit these towns, to enjoy their lovely atmosphere, the local produce and a chance to do a little shopping.
When you find yourself on the lagoon of Thau, enjoy the spectacle of the sun setting over the Mediterranean Sea and the oyster beds, as you round off the day in gourmet style with a seafood platter and a local white wine.
Renew with the joys of cycling
If you’re not into boats, there’s another excellent way to see the superb Languedoc scenery unfurling along the canal. Instead of gliding along it, cycle alongside in the shade of the plane trees!
This iconic waterway may be more used to boats, but it sees quite a few cyclists as well.
From its starting point on the Thau lagoon, the cycle paths follow the banks of the canal, past locks and river ports. Boosted by the sea air, follow the canal all the way to Agde. You’ll see the oyster beds and pass close to the Bagnas lock, the first on your itinerary. While the boats wait patiently to pass through, you’ll leave them behind to pursue your adventure.
Take this opportunity to move away from the initial route to explore the Bagnas nature reserve and Château Laurens, before continuing to the historic centre to see the medieval buildings.
You can then return to the Canal du Midi to enjoy its pleasant peacefulness. Your bike ride continues amid the beautiful surroundings…
Feet firmly on the ground
Not keen on transport, be they boats, bikes or cars? Just as well, because all you need to explore along the banks of the Canal du Midi are two feet and a reasonable level of fitness!
If you fancy hiking around Agde, pick your itinerary, set your pace and, above all, take your time along the towpaths.
For a picturesque route between countryside, canal and Mediterranean Sea, we recommend walking from Agde to Vias. The first part of the itinerary is across the sand at La Tamarissière. Once you’ve crossed the dunes, there are no more uphill sections for the rest of the way. You can now enjoy an easy walk along the Canal du Clot. After a few kilometres, you’ll arrive at the point where the Canal du Clot meets the Canal du Midi. The choice is yours. Turn right and head for the sea air, or turn left to explore the lush green prairies. As you walk along the canal, Languedoc reveals its most beautiful scenery.
Beneath its apparent peace and quiet, the Canal du Midi is teeming with life. Even in the Languedoc sunshine, the water is opaque and the fish enjoy some privacy. But when their curiosity is aroused by worms or other bait, they don’t hesitate to appear at the surface. Try casting your line along the canal’s banks and quaysides.
From the banks of the river Hérault in Agde centre, head towards the canal to find a peaceful spot in the shade of the trees. Take with you some supplies purchased at one of the best markets in Hérault. Oysters from Thau lagoon, pasties from Pézenas, ‘tielles’ (octopus pies), and why not a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet?
Between sports activities, relaxation and tasting delicious products, you’re going to love your day on the banks of the Canal du Midi.
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