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Cycling the Canal Du MIDI
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This guidebook describes a 240km cycle ride along the length of the Canal du Midi in southern France. Starting at Toulouse in the Haute Garonne and finishing at Sete on the Mediterranean Coast, the route is divided into five stages of about 50km. It is a flat, car-free and picturesque route mainly on the towpath, and is suitable for all abilities. The guide is written for those who want to explore the canal and visit attractions along the way. There are lots of optional detours to sites of interest near the canal, as well as six longer excursions including fortified Carcassone, Roman Narbonne, Vendres lagoon and the Portiragnes marshes. Detailed route descriptions are crammed with additional information about points of interest passed, and 1:200,000 scale maps clearly show the route for each stage of the way. Begun in 1666 the Canal du Midi is one of the world's most picturesque waterways and a World Heritage Site. This is 'La France Profonde', a region rich in history and culture, as seen in the grand homes and chateaux that grace the water's edge, and the fascinating Cathar strongholds of Carcassone, Lastours and Minerve.
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Table of Contents

Map key Overview map INTRODUCTION Regions of the canal History Wildlife Culture Cycling the Canal du Midi When to go Getting there and getting around Accommodation Food and drink Your bike What to take Cycling the towpath Health and safety Weather Maps Money and communications Using this guide THE CANAL DU MIDI Stage 1 Toulouse to Port Lauragais Stage 2 Port Lauragais to Carcassone Excursion 1 From Criminelle lock to St-Ferreol reservoir Stage 3 Carcassone to Homps Excursion 2 From Trebes to Lastours Excursion 3 From Homps to Minerve Stage 4 Homps to Beziers Excursion 4 To Narbonne and Port la Nouvelle Stage 5 Beziers to Sete Excursion 5 To Vendres salt lagoon Excursion 6 Across Portiragnes marshes to Serignan Appendix A Stage planning tables Appendix B Accommodation Appendix C Useful information Appendix D English-French glossary Appendix E Further reading

About the Author

Declan Lyons brings a lifelong passion for cycling and touring to this guide. As a teenager in the 1960s, he explored the wilds of Connemara on a rusty three-speed Rudge bicycle. Since then, he has toured extensively in Ireland and further afield. He has cycled throughout France including regular trips from the Channel to the Mediterranean. Declan now lives next to the Canal du Midi, where he has spent the past decade exploring its history, culture and wildlife - accompanied by his wife, son and fellow bike enthusiasts.

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