By train, by car, by bike or by boat, there are so many ways to begin your journey and explore the Canal du Midi however you choose!
It is easy to reach the Canal du Midi by train thanks to the many TER (regional trains) that go to and from the main towns.
Toulouse, Castelnaudary, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Béziers, Agde, Sète… All these towns are easy to get to by train. From there you can then begin your adventure along the Canal du Midi by bike, on foot or by boat!
While you're there, take the time to visit these towns and learn about local heritage. They have some great surprises in store for you!
There are TER (regional train) routes all the way along the Canal du Midi so you can shorten a section or get to the departure point for your adventure.
Here are the train stations along the Canal du Midi route.
The train is the perfect solution for cyclists. From Bordeaux to Sète, you can get to the departure point for your ride, and travel with your own bike.
If your bike can be dismantled or folded, you can travel with it for free aboard all trains (TER, Intercités and TGV (high-speed trains)). Your bike must be transported in a special case that is no bigger than 120x90 cm.
If your bike is not dismantled or folded, you can still travel on-board TER and Intercités trains without a specific booking for your bike. It is free to travel with your bike as long as there is enough space on-board the train. Make sure you check your ticket for a bike logo, this will indicate whether or not you can travel on this particular train with your bike.
On TGVs and Intercités with compulsory bookings, it will cost you €10 to travel with your bike. You can purchase a ticket for your bike on the website SNCF connect.
To get to the departure point for your adventure along the Canal du Midi, you can also choose to drive there and leave your car in a car park for the duration of your trip.
The tourist offices can recommend where to park in the town of your choice. You could also leave your car in a long-stay car park, and these car parks can be booked in advance!
Finally, if you are staying at an accommodation establishment in the departure town, ask them if you can leave your car there for the duration of your trip along the canal.
The A61 motorway runs alongside the Canal du Midi from Toulouse. This is a part of the 'motorway of the two seas', and it continues from here to Trèbes and then Narbonne.
The A9 motorway also goes to Béziers from Spain or south-east France.
From Trèbes to Béziers and then Béziers to Marseillan, you can drive alongside the canal on the secondary roads.
The motorway may not be the best way to discover the Canal du Midi, but it is a way to gain easy access to the points of interest from Toulouse to the Seuil de Naurouze and in the canal stopover towns!
If you decide to explore the Canal du Midi in a camper van, you can use the 'autoroute des deux-mers' (motorway of the two seas) between Bordeaux and Sète.
There are also secondary roads along the route of the Canal du Midi to get to the villages between Toulouse and Carcassonne.
After Carcassonne, the canal runs alongside the D610, D11 and D5 secondary roads. In the departments of Aude and Hérault, these roads are sometimes quite narrow, so be careful if you are driving a camper van along them. You should also be careful when driving on roads lined with plane trees.
You should be aware that the road is not the best way to explore the Canal du Midi. The best solution is to bring your bikes with you and stop off to explore the banks of the Canal du Midi by bike.
There are plenty of camper van parking areas alongside the Canal du Midi.
Whether you are looking for somewhere to park for free or not, we recommend finding out about where these places are on specialised websites or at the tourist offices. Some homeowners will also allow you to park on their land overnight.
There are a few airports close to the Canal du Midi.
The biggest ones are Toulouse-Blagnac and Montpellier airports.
The airports of Carcassonne and Béziers Cap d’Agde are smaller but there are some flights here from other cities.
It is also possible to get to the Canal du Midi by boat.
You can get to the Canal du Midi from Bordeaux via the Canal de Garonne or via the Canal du Rhône in Sète.
The latter was built in 1666, and is the logical extension of Pierre-Paul Riquet's creation.
Be careful here though because the Canal du Rhône may be suitable for large boats, but the Canal du Midi is limited to smaller vessels!