Midi Bike Tours
History & Distances
8 days, Source to Sea
7 days, Ideal
5 days, Essential
Languedoc Bike Routes
5 days, Passa Pais & Minerve
7 days, Passa Pais & Canal Du Midi
6 days, Albi to Beziers
Midi Bike Rentals
Canal Du Midi One Way
What To Bring
Bike + Train
“Solid and well equipped bikes.”
Norway. (p. 2)
"Tusen takk for lånet av
veldig fine sykkeler! Og utrolig god service."
Gret & Niels
Marian & Ria
“Great bikes, excellent quality.”
UK. (p. 8)
“Best service ever.”
Amit and Angie
India. (p. 11)
"Super fahrräder und tolle
empfehlungen und tipps für die tour. Sehr netter empfang."
Thomas & Ruth
Germany. (p. 14)
"Kiitos kovasti! Pyörät ja maisemat aivan loistavia."
Riikka & Alex
Finland. (p. 24)
“Vélo de très bonne qualité, accueil très sympa. Il ne fallait pas
Vincent et Cathy
France. (p. 26)
"Es war eine wunderschöne
Fahrradtour nach Poilhes. Die Räder haben wunderbar funktioniert."
Paul & Martha
Germany. (p. 27)
“The bikes were great and their delivery and customer service was
Canada (p. 42)
“Excellent bikes, wonderfull service, will recommend!”
Phil and Dee
Dublin (p. 44)
“What a find, great bikes and great staff!”
San Francisco (p. 44)
Author of Dutch cycle guide
for Canal Du Midi rented bikes from us to cycle to Bordeaux:
"Prima service van Relax Rentals! Van harte
aanbevolen voor een fietstrip langs het Canal Du Midi."
Canal Du Midi
Tours: The Canal Du Midi Experts!
Relax Bike Tours, based out of Béziers, France, is
excited to offer you a fantastic cycling holiday along the Canal Du Midi.
Our route is level and car-free. The Canal
Du Midi is surrounded by
vineyards, fields of sunflowers and poppies, and shaded by 1000's of large plane
trees. In the distance one can see the tops of the Pyrenees mountains.
CANAL DU MIDI HISTORY
Du Midi runs from the city of Toulouse down to the Mediterranean port
of Sète. The Canal Du Midi
is considered an extraordinary 17th century feat of engineering
and as such has been an UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1996. The Canal Du Midi is part of the Canal
des Deux Mers (Canal of the two seas); the other part being Canal de Garonne
which runs from Toulouse to Bordeaux. The entire length of the Canal des
Deux Mers (Bordeaux to Sète) is 525 Km, and can be cycled with ease. The
Canal Du Midi measures 240 Km in length. Its main aim was to
transport wheat, wine and textiles while avoiding the dangerous waters around
The Romans were the first to
contemplate a waterway joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean but were
unsuccessfull in finding a way to make this happen. 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 main problem that had to be solved was finding the
water to feed the canal. Riquet solved this
centuries old problem by creating a huge dam and artificial reservoir, the
Bassin de St Ferréol in the Black Mountains.
This lake was the largest man-made lake at the
time. The water from this reservoir feeds the
canal at Seuil de Naurouze, about 10 Km east of Castelnaudary.
This is the highest point along the canal at 189
meters above sea level. This is also the
continental divide of France; rain falling to the east will flow to the
Mediterranean, and rain falling to the west will flow to the Atlantic.
The canal was a masterpiece of both hydraulic and
structural engineering, and took 12,000 labourers to build. Paul
Riquet took good care of his workers and paid
both men and women the same salary, unique for the 17th
Century. Days off due to rain, bank
holidays, Sunday and sickness leaves were all paid. Lodging
for the workers was provided for a nominal fee as well. Construction
was started in 1667 and it was opened officially 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 only came true two centuries later, when
his canal was linked to the Canal du Garonne. The
Canal Royal was renamed the Canal du Midi during the Revolution, and by 1856 it
carried 111,000 metric tonnes of cargo a year. But
commerce dried up almost overnight after the Bordeaux to Sète
railway line was opened in the 1860’s.
The canal had a renaissance in the early 1990’s, thanks in no small part to
tourists who fell in love with its combination of beauty, nature and engineering
It has 91 écluses (locks) which serve to ascend and
descend the canal a total of 189 meters.
It has 328 structures, including bridges, dams
and even a tunnel. Its length is 240 Km.
Du Midi Cycling Distance Chart
(Click to enlarge)
Location de vélos /
Bicycle rentals /
Alquiler de bicicletas /
ενοικίαση ποδηλάτων /
rothar ar cíos /
noleggio di biciclette /
Rent A Bike Canal du Midi : Toulouse -
Castelnaudary - Carcassonne - Narbonne - Béziers - Agde - Sète
Relax Bike Tours &
70 Allees Paul Riquet, 34500 Beziers, France
Tel: (+33) 06 38 12 32 82
Relax Bike Rentals / Relax Bike Tours we use better products for better rides!
obligatoires prévues à l’art.
L. 121-18 du code de la consommation et
21/06/2004 sur la confiance dans l’économie numérique (LCEN):
Relax Rentals, 70
Allées Paul Riquet, 34500 Béziers, France. RCS Béziers 539 587
139, Entreprise Individual Code Naf 7721Z. Prix en TTC.
du site: Host Papa,
68 King William Street, London, UK EC4N 7DZ