Along the Canal du Midi

Canal du Midi

Whether you are looking for lunch in some cozy village, are interested in engineering or just want a nice day along the river, the Canal du Midi is worth a visit. The canal begins at the town of Sète in the Mediterranean and ends at Toulouse, where the Canal de Garonne leads all the way to the Atlantic. Along the Canal du Midi there are many medieval towns, food markets and a varied nature.

Take it easy in Le Somail

Just a half-hour drive from Le Flamant Rouge lies the beautiful village of Le Somail. Here you can eat delicious home-made ice cream at La Cascade des Glaces, located along the Canal du Midi. Right next door is the Auberge du Somail where you can sit right next to the canal and enjoy all sorts of fabulous dishes, for example the unbeatable French Burger …
If you are lucky, there are flea markets on the village streets, and if you like books there is a huge, well-known second hand book store, Trouve Tout du Livre. If you’ve spent all your money on ice cream and burgers, well then they have a box outside with books just for free …

Le Somail Canal du Midi

Boat trips from Homps

From Le Flamant Rouge Guesthouse you can take the car about half an hour to the small village of Homps. Here the canal is lined with nice restaurants and there are several guided boat trips from here. Just go to the Capitainerie and ask. You can rent luxury boats that you can stay on and travel along the Canal du Midi for a whole week. But here is also the opportunity to rent a smaller boat just for a daytrip (no license needed) to go out on the canal and gently float between the plane trees …..

Bicycle from Beziers

If go by train or car to the larger city of Beziers, you can take a look at some of the city as well. Walk along Allée Paul Riquet, which is Bezier’s parade street (otherwise named after the fire soul who constructed the canal in the 17th century.) Bikes can be rented at relaxbiketours.com, located at one end of Allé Paul Riquet. Here you will be equipped with a map and helmet and other things you may need, and you will get great tips for your bike ride.

You can either cycle up, towards the beautiful village of Colombiers. This is is a scenic road along the Canal du Midi, with flowering poppy fields in May-June. Not far from Beziers you reach a lock staircase with nine locks, “The 9 locks of Fonseranes”. But it should also be said that the road is at times very narrow and mostly full of roots and stones, and not quite comfortable for the accustomed cyclist. Take it easy and bring a picninc! If you choose to cycle down towards the Mediterranean sea, the cycle path is more smooth and simple.

History

The canal has been in use since 1682 and was built to link the Atlantic with the Mediterranean. The work began in 1667 and took 14 years. The excavation, with notches and shovels, was carried out by about 12,000 women and men. During construction, they encountered a very brittle rock and therefore had to construct a 173 m long tunnel. The total length of the Canal du Midi is 24 km and its width varies between 20 and 24 m. The highest point is 190 meters above sea level. The waterway is 2 m deep and passes 130 bridges and 63 locks. The channel was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.

If you are looking for accommodation, you are welcome to contact us at Le Flamant Rouge Guesthouse in Peyriac-de-Mer!