River tourism and cruises on Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi that connects Toulouse with Sète is the oldest waterway in Europe and is declared a World Heritage Site. It is an ideal place to rent your river boat in France.

In 1667, Pierre-Paul Riquet (1609-1680) designed and began the construction of the famous Canal Royal of the Languedoc for the transport of goods between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The construction of the canal du midi employed twelve thousand people, many of them women, was carried out with shovels and picks, and took 14 years. The canal was opened in 1681.

The Canal du Midi and the Embranchement de la Nouvelle (Canal de Jonction and Canal de la Robine) form the largest and most popular river cruise destination today. Today it is one of the paradises for river navigation, the journey will take you to discover the spectacular slopes of the Minervois or the sunflower fields of the Aude region, of Béziers (Cathar city): an invitation to feel the perfume of the lavender fields. The canals, with a very pleasant climate from April to October, cross diverse and picturesque rural landscapes, quiet villages and lively cities full of history and charm.

You will feel like a painter when the shadow plane trees (typical Midi tree) are reflected forming a vault over the canal, you will learn about the history of the Occitan language as you get closer to the towers of Carcassonne, and further on we invite you to a gastronomic getaway in a Catalan farm.

Discover river tourism on the canal du Midi with our boats without a license on this canal, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Renting a boat on the Canal du Midi allows you to enjoy a leisurely cruise through the vineyards of the Languedoc wine region and discover a unique natural heritage such as the Étang de Thau and historic cities such as Carcassonne, Toulouse, Béziers and Agde. .

The canal du Midi passes through a typical Mediterranean landscape. Enjoy an authentic vacation in a great region. The Canal du Midi will transform your river experience into a unique memory. Be amazed by the medieval architecture of Carcassonne, the friendliness of the inhabitants and the landscapes.

You will be able to discover the pleasure of river navigation on the Canal du Midi and also on other canals and rivers such as the Canal du Rhône à Sète, the Canal de la Robine, the Pond de Thau, the Petite Rhône and the Canal latéral de la Garonne.

With the locks, the canal bridges and the scale of locks of Fonseranes, river tourism on the Canal du Midi is enjoyed at every turn. On the way from the dynamic city of Toulouse to the golden sandy beaches of the Mediterranean you can enjoy wine tastings, bike rides and visits to medieval towns and ancient walled cities. 

Main points of interest of the canal du Midi:

  • The sunny weather from March to October
  • The medieval city of Carcassonne
  • The roman city of Narbonne and its port «des marchers»
  • The lock ladder by Fonserannes
  • The Beaches from the Etang de Thau, Narbonne and Port la Nouvelle
  • The seafood restaurants and the wines of the Languedoc and Minervois
  • Castelnaudary and its culinary specialty: the Cassoulet ...

Main cities of the canal du Midi:

  • Toulouse: City that has an exceptional heritage. For its streets and monuments, the so-called pink city.
  • Castelnaudary: Capital of the cassoulet, a typical stew from the south of the country. Discover the Grand Bassin, built in the 17th century, and explore its surroundings.
  • Carcassonne: Discover the largest medieval stronghold in all of Europe: the immense fortification of Carcassonne, built in the 13th century.
  • Narbonne: City of art and history that offers an authentic journey through time.
  • Argens-Minervois: The Cathar city of Minerve,
    it is a wonderful gateway to the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park and one of the most beautiful villages in France.
  • Beziers: City full of charm, and second most important on the Canal du Midi.

 The Canal du Midi is ideal for beginners because it is easy to navigate. The locks are automatic, free and operated by lock keepers and remain open every day of the year, except May 1 and November 1. Along the Canal du Midi you will find many piers, and most of them have electricity and water for you to recharge.Thanks to the hooks and ropes that your boat includes, you can stop at any point of the canal.

Read more
Alert circle

For some tours, a license is required, please contact us

Choose your Boat