Enjoy easy riding along the Canal du Midi for the star-studded section from medieval Carcassonne to the Beziers Cathedral.
2017 per person price
* Price based on double room occupancy - please contact us for details on single room supplements
|1 Night Hotel le Montmorency in Carcassonne||www.lemontmorency.com|
|1 Night Chateau de Siran.- Classic room||www.chateau-de-siran.com|
|1 Night Bastide de Cabezac in Cabezac - Comfort Room||www.hotel-bastidecabezac.fr|
|1 Night Hotel des Poetes in Beziers||www.hoteldespoetes.net|
|CLASSIC + PACKAGE|
|Hotel du Chateau in Carcassonne||www.hotelduchateau.net|
|Chateau de Siran in Siran||www.chateau-de-siran.com|
|Bastide de Cabezac in Cabezac - Superior room||www.hotel-bastidecabezac.fr|
|L'Hotel Particulier in Beziers||www.hotelparticulierbeziers.com/|
It is hard to believe that Carcassonne is real, when you first approach it from afar. The ancient city, (a settlement here from as far back as 3500 BC), sits majestically high, and is ringed completely by its castle-like ramparts. The city and its fortifications were rated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. You'll soak up the view from your hotel, located by the medieval walls. You will have time to relax and read your package of trip information by the swimming pool, before wandering in to explore the cobblestoned streets.
After your bike fitting this morning, you have a relaxing, easy ride , as it leaves Carcassonne and follows the roads and bike paths along the Canal (flat!). Your route takes you through a mix of villages with odd names, stemming from the regional language, which for centuries was not French, but the local "Occitan": Marseillette, Puichéric (with its 13th century church and annual pig festival) and La Redorte. You pass a first feat of canal engineering as well, the bridge of Orbiel, taking the canal over the Orbiel River! At the end of the day leave the canal bike path to ride through the tiny roads and villages of the picturesque Minervois vineyards – perhaps stop for a wine tasting, as your ride is almost finished... Your goal is the beautiful Chateau de Siran, in the heart of the village of the same name. Dinner at you hotel.
Your ride today starts in the middle of a beautiful terrain of vineyards and small villages, before returning to the Canal bike path in Homps, an ancient commercial port, where the regional barrels of wine were loaded into boats for the journey to Bordeaux. The small village today is charming and quite tranquil, making it hard to imagine its busy past. You’ll continue along the Canal bike path all the way to Le Somail, with its pretty bridges, at which point you leave the canal again to pedal through the olive groves, vineyards, and flowered fields of the scenic surrounding countryside. You are headed for the hamlet of Cabezac, sitting on the Cesse River, with its natural still pools. By the hotel, using the river for power, is a working olive mill, where you can stop for a taste of the production of the "eternal trees". Night in Cabezac itself, with dinner at the hotel's excellent restaurant.
The first half of today's ride is on small roads passing through several picturesque towns and villages such as Argeliers and Quarante, before returning to the canal path in Capestang. Be sure to stop and admire the “Tunnel de Malpas" which allowed barges to continue their route passing along its 165 metres of tunneled underground vaulting. No one believed that the canal's engineer, Pierre-Paul Riquet, could complete this feat, and in fact the King even ordered that he stop, and deviate the canal's route. He feigned obedience, but completed the tunnel in secrecy, unveiling it only after his project was done. Enjoy two other feats of canal engineering: the Fonserannes locks, and the Orb Aqueduct (in effect a bridge, carrying the waters - and traffic - of the Canal du Midi over the Orb River). At the end of the day, you arrive in Beziers. After settling in to your lovely hotel, take some time to explore – we provide a small walking tour to help. (please note the CLASSIC itinerary stays in Villeneuve-les-Beziers this evening just past Beziers).
After a final breakfast, you can catch the train from Beziers train station for your further travels. Bon Voyage!