Constructing the Canal du Midi could be seen as a crazy idea: to artificially supply water for 240km, linking the Garonne to the Mediterranean.
Whether you're a lover of nature, culture or gastronomy, come to the Canal du Midi - this varied site is perfect for you! Classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the major works during the reign of Louis XIV, the Canal du Midi is a must-see attraction.
The southeastern part of the canal, between Toulouse and Marseillan, close to Sète, 211 km long, was called the Royal Languedoc Canal. The 200-km northwestern part, between Toulouse and Castets-en-Dorthe (near Bordeaux) was called the Garonne Lateral Canal, as it paralleled the Garonne river. The full length, once completed, was called the Canal des Deux Mers (the canal of two seas), now known as the Canal du Midi.
The water in the eastern part of the canal is supplied by the Reservoir de St Ferréol, so the water flows in the canal from near Castelnaudary east to the Mediterranean and from Castelnaudary west to Toulouse.
At its most mundane, the Canal du Midi is a lovely, peaceful waterway winding through the southwest of France.
Lined with shady trees and greenery, the tow paths now for cycling, jogging and leisurely walking, pleasure boats and narrow canal boats glide through the countryside without seeming to touch it.
You can find the basins and marinas at the towns and villages the canal passes through.
Facts and figures:
- 14 years to complete the work
- 241 km long, from Toulouse to l'Etang de Thau
- 63 canal locks and 350 pieces of engineering art
- 10.000 boats per year in Ecluses de Fonséranes
- 90.000.000 m3 of water per year needed for ‘le canal’
'Le Canal du Midi' is approx. 8 km from Chateau Marcel. Guests can make a boat trip on the canal in Homps. Price is € 14/pp. for a 2 hour trip on the canal.