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Canal de Garonne

Bike tour from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea

This self-guided bike tour takes you during 2 weeks along the Canal de Garonne and the Canal du Midi and will bring you from Bordeaux to Sète or Montpellier

Reviews (6) :
4.50 / 5
Reference C2M1401
  • Itinerant trip
  • 14 days
  • Moderate
  • From Mar 15 to Oct 15 (logistic supplement in low season)
  • Minimum age From 14 years old
GPSGPS-app available
1799€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • On this bike tour, you will go leisurely across South West France from Bordeaux to Sète. The route is overall flat as you cycle on greenways and canal towpaths, along the secret Canal de Garonne first and then along the emblematic Canal du Midi. After admiring Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne, you cycle across vineyards to the small town of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, and La Réole, where you start cycling along the Canal de Garonne. You ride along the canal passing charming villages such as Mas d’Agenais, Damazan, Agen with its beautiful canal bridge or Moissac and its beautiful abbey and cloister. You continue through Montauban to Toulouse, the Pink city. In Toulouse, you start riding along the Canal du Midi, which takes you through Castelnaudary to Carcassonne and its outstanding medieval fortress. Continue cycling along the canal to Béziers then Agde and the pond Thau. Just a few strikes later you can go for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea before arriving in the vibrant city of Sète, where your cycle holiday finishes. Unless you decide to add an extra day and cycle to Montpellier, the Gifted.
    If you look for quietness, nature and a pinch of culture, you will definitely love this cycle holiday between Bordeaux and Sète.

    Difficulty level: moderate. The first part of the itinerary is easy from Bordeaux to Gardouch (except the fact that some distances are large). The path is flat along the canal but hilly as soon as you divert from the canal. The route takes you on the boat hauling path of the canal and quiet country roads. The stages are 27 to 68 km long, which means 3 to 6/7 hours biking at a slow pace (10km/h). The boat hauling path being still a dirt track on
    several portions overall between Bram and Béziers (a lot of roots, the path can be muddy in case of rain), it is sometimes bumpy to ride. The second part of the itinerary requires more attention on the bicycle.

    Day 1



    You might want to enter the old city section by riding along the quays of the Garonne. The Bordeaux quayside is one of the most magnificent waterfronts in the world. Bordeaux was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2007 because of the beautiful 18th century facades and outstanding buldings. Discover the banks of the Garonne River and check out the buildings made with white chiseled stone.

    Day 2


    Bordeaux – Saint-Martin-de-Lerm

    This morning you’ll leave Bordeaux and take a pleasant , designated bike path out of town. Upon reaching Latresne, the path meanders away fro the river and you’ll riding on a converted railroad track. Don’t worry. No trains will be coming! The old train stations along the route offer friendly services for cyclists such as food, coffee and informations. We suggest you leave the cycle path and explore the bastide of Creon (Bastides are towns built from scratch in the 13th and 14th century). Check out the remains of the La Sauve Abbey or the Church of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne.
    The final leg of your route is a bit hilly until you reach your destination, Saint-Martin-de-Lerm.

    Day 3


    Saint-Martin-de-Lerm – Le Mas d’Agenais

    Get warmed up this morning by biking on a few hills before reaching the medieval town of La Reole on the Garonne River. From there, the path flattends out as you ride along the dikes and reach the Canal de Garonne. The pleasant cylce path runs alongside the canal. If you like, make a detour to the village of Couthures-sur-Garonne, where you can learn about ancient and present river life. The day ends when you reach the charming village of Le Mas d’Agenais and its outstanding church and its remarkable Rembrandt.

    Day 4


    Le Mas d’Agenais – Agen

    Start the day by biking along the path next to the canal. The route is dotted with quaint villages, containing locks where you can watch boaters navigate each lock. Just a stone’s throw from the canal, admire the bastide of Damazan with its colorful facades or the bastide of Serignac-sur-Garonne with its bell tower made of slate. Towards the end of the route, the bike path crosses the magnificent canal bridge over the Garonne River on the outskirts of Agen. You’ll soon be very close to the city center where you can absorb the sights, sounds and smells of southwest Frane’s way of life.

    Day 5


    Agen – Moissac

    46 / 54km
    Leave Agen on the canal bike path and wind amongst the hills. If you’re looking for a pleasant rest stop, check out the bastide of Valence d’Agen, built by the English. Continue biking past cute lock keepers’houses, many decorated with abundant flowers. Up to a challenge? Leave the canal path and head sightly uphill towards the fortified village of Auvillar, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Your shorter choice is to follow the Canal path until you reach Moissac. The town is known for its medieval buildings, including the abbey church, which has famous and important Romanesque sculpture around the entrance.

    Day 6


    Moissac – Montauban

    Today’s ride takes you along the canal bike path across the plain to Castelsarrasin. The route leaves the canal path for a short time and transfers over to quiet, backroads to the Abbey of Belleperches on the riverside of Garonne. From there, get on the canal path again until you reach the Montech Marina. Now the route follows another canal path all the way to Montauban, an old city built with pink bricks.

    Day 7


    Montauban – Toulouse

    The day starts with an easy ride back to the Canal de Garonne where you enter the suburbs of Toulouse. Soon you’ll see the junctions of the Garonne and Midi Canals. Cycle a bit further and you’ll be in the city center of Toulouse. Stroll around and explore the Roman Cathedral of Saint-Sernon, the Jacobins Church or the Renaissance mansion of Assezat.

    Day 8


    Toulouse - Gardouch

    You leave Toulouse on a cycling path along the Canal du Midi and enjoy riding out of the city away from cars, lulled by the soft sound of the water. You reach the first villages of the Lauragais, an area where the landscape is dotted with typical flat bell towers like in the village of Montesquieu-Lauragais. This rich plain surrounded by hills is opened to trade for centuries thanks to the canal.

    Day 9


    Gardouch - Bram

    40 ou 50km
    You leave the canal to ride on a nice overhanging road offering magnificent views on the canal and countryside. You reach the Cathar village of Avignonet-Lauragais before passing by Port Lauragais and the watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean sea. You then head towards Castelnaudary, where you will be warmly welcomed with a tasty cassoulet on the nice port. You keep on through the countryside to the charming abbey of Saint-Papoul and get back on the canal in Bram.

    Day 10


    Bram - Carcassonne

    You ride today on the canal hauling path to Carcassonne. You go through the new town and arrive on the banks of the Aude river, from where the impressing walls of the medieval city rise in the sky. Don’t miss out the visit of this fortress, which was very well restored.
    When you start cycling inside the Aude department, the cyclable path becomes bumpy. Be careful to the roots and the mud in case of rain.

    Cité of Carcassonne 3h

    9,00 € / adult

    Day 11


    Carcassonne - Le Somail

    Shortly after Carcassonne, the canal route takes you in Minervois . A La Redorte , be sure to observe the outfall of the Argent Double designed by Vauban, built to drain the excess water during floods or to clear the channel. The charming wine villages follow one another, each with its little harbor. Homps offers a possibility of a little more lively stopover before proceeding to one of the next villages where you step.
    The path becomes very narrrow and leafy sometimes during the journey. The cyclable path can be bumpy because of the roots along the canal. This part of the circuit requires more attention.

    Day 12


    Le Somail - Béziers

    At the beginning of this stage, you stay along the Canal du Midi and the Canal de la Robine. You then bike on nice country roads through Ouveillan. You follow the canal again which is meandering till the lively port of Capestang. It is worth to stop to admire the collegiate church of Saint-Etienne, which is dominating the village with its 45m-high bell gothic bell tower. You keep following the canal, pass under the Malpas tunnel and ride down the cascade of the 9 Fonsérannes locks. Your ride ends with a nice view on Béziers, where you sleep.

    Be careful on the towpath, which is very narrow and bumpy. Some vigilance is often required.
    Once you arrive around Béziers, you will find a beautiful cyclable path to enter in the city.

    Day 13


    Béziers - Sète

    Cycling along the canal is very easy on this stage. You ride on a cycle path and very smooth paths. You reach Agde effortlessly, and discover on the way the Estagnol marshes, the quiet port of Cassagières or the many constructions works like the lock of Libron or the bridge of Saint-Joseph. After Agde, you follow the Hérault river which flows into the lagoon of Bagnas. You then cycle the last stretch of the canal and end up at the Onglous light tower, and feel like you’ve "made it" as it is where the waters of the canal flow into the sea water of Thau Lagoon. But it’s not finished yet! A cycle path along the sea takes you to Sète, your final destination.

    Day 14


    Departure from Sète

    You can extend your stay to give you more time to explore this delightful area. Otherwise, check out of your hotel after beakfast.

    Extra day : Sète - Montpellier

    You leave the Venice of Languedoc towards Frontignan. Then you cycle along a lagoon towards Vic where you have the option of following the Canal in the middle of the lagoon (gravel) or taking a small detour towards the hinterland. Just before Palavas-les-Flots, you can visit the ancient cathedral of Maguelone. Pedal joyfully along the Lez river enjoying the panoramas of the lagoons, pink flamingos, horses... This towing path takes you directly to port Marianne, an emblematic district of the city, before taking you to the city center of Montpellier, the Gifted.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You’ll enjoy staying in these clean and cozy 2-Star hotels and Bed and Breakfasts that give you a pleasant rest after your day of biking. Breakfast is included when you spend the night in these friendly and family-run hotels.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You’ll get a good night’s sleep when you stay in these 2-3-Star hotels or Bed and Breakfasts. All properties have been selected for their cleanliness, style and friendliness of the staff. A hearty breakfast is included!
    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults (+1m55).

    You can of course also bring your own bikes, in this case a reduction will be applied (see the Tarif tab)


    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.
    If you expect to arrive at the next accommodation before 5 p.m., we recommend that you take an extra set of clothes with you in your bicycle bag.

    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy the itinerary and its points of interests.

    We can provide you with travel documents in paper format (for a supplement of €15 for printing and postage), which include:
    • a roadbook with maps that we drew at the easiest scale to follow on a bike
    • a roadbook with step-by-step description giving the direction to follow at each intersection and highlighting the points of interest

    Example of a map and of a step-by-step description

    Our GPS App

    For this trip, you can also use our smartphone app featuring GPS guidance (without extra fee).

    You will find in the app all the information given in the map and step-by-step roadbooks. You will be located on the itinerary with the GPS device of your phone. The route and directions to follow will be both viewable on the screen of your phone and announced aloud. As you ride along the itinerary, you will be given information about visits, restaurants, services and useful alerts on the way.

    -> You need to have a smartphone and download Le Velo Voyageur app on your Apple or Android store before the trip. All details concerning the downloading and the use of the application will be given after we have confirmed the booking and the balance is paid. Once the trip is downloaded, the GPS guidance can be used off-line.
  • Practical information

  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: fly to Bordeaux Mérignac. A bus shuttle takes you to the city center in about 30mn depending on traffic.
    • By train: go to Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station. To plan your trip www.trainline.eu


    If you drive to Bordeaux, you can park your car in a secured car park located next to Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station. On an indicative basis, the week rate (7 days) is about € 50 subject to availability.

    All details will be given in your travel documents.

    To get back to starting point:

    You take the train back to your departure point. You can take a direct regional trains. Regional trains are without reservation and take bikes without extra charge. You buy your ticket yourself. You will find the timetable of the day in your travel documents.

    Meeting time:

    The first day is an arrival day without cycling. You arrive whenever you want depending on from where you come. Please note that rooms are usually available in the middle of the afternoon depending on your accommodation. We thank you to advise us if you plan to arrive late.

  • Reviews
  • 6 bike travelers reviews 4.50 / 5

    Kiwis bike Atlantic to the Med

    On the 2023-10-11 by Susan H NZ
    A great ride tracks largely unsealed and with some interesting stop overs

    Canal des Deux Mers

    On the 2023-06-09 by GMG
    A very enjoyable voyage across the wonderful and historic southern French regions. Nice accommodation with welcoming hosts. The Velo Voyageur team were well-organised and responsive.


    On the 2022-10-13 by Jan
    Smooth on the Garonne. Canal du Midi beware!

    Exceptional bike ride across France

    On the 2022-06-20 by Tom
    The Canal des Deux Mers route provides amongst the best that France offers for a cycle touring holiday. There is so much history, culture and countryside to enjoy in hundreds of kilometres of largely off-road riding. Our enjoyment of this holiday was heightened by the excellent accommodation and the helpful roadbook from Le Vélo Voyageur. We would use their services again without hesitation.


    On the 2020-08-30 by LNC
    formidable sejour, tres bien organise et qui permet de profiter de ce tres beau coin du sud-ouest

    De Bordeaux à Sète en vélo - un parcours de rêve

    On the 2019-10-18 by Hélène
    Rouler sur les 700 Km de Bordeaux à Sète le long du Canal de la Garonne et du Canal du Midi en toute sérénité est un rêve réalisé. L'itinéraire de Vélo Voyageur fut un mix idéal de temps passé à vélo et à découvrir les petits villages le long du parcours. Cinquante kilomètres entre les étapes et des gites charmants et bien situés sont une récompense en fin de journée. Avoir confiance dans l'itinéraire, l'hébergement et le soutien de l'équipe de Vélo Voyageur a rendu notre voyage des plus agréables et idyliques.
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