Waterways & Wine Villages of the Canal du Midi

From $1500 per person

****# (87%) Based on 4 customer reviews
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Canal du Midi and Canal de la Robine
  • Quiet roads and cycle tracks through Mediaeval towns and villages
  • Wonderful wine country; visit the renowned Minervois wine region
  • Beautiful, historic cities of Narbonne and Beziers
  • Ancient fishing ports; golden sandy beaches; superb lagoon birdlife including flamingos, eagle-owls and black-necked grebes

What's included?

  • 6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 11 May '17 to 10 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 91%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Optional routes for rest days

Excellent for...

Waterways & Wine Villages of the Canal du Midi

On this six-night cycling holiday you'll enjoy a wonderful, scenic loop of the cities and waterways which surround the picturesque and UNESCO-recognised Canal du Midi. Keeping the canal within close proximity you'll follow its course along quiet roads and tracks, enjoying its scenic tributaries and impressive structures, and discovering mediaeval villages and towns, renowned wine regions and a wonderful variety of birdlife along the way.

Your cycling begins in the charming and typically French village of Homps, from where you'll follow cycle tracks and quiet roads through some of France's best wine country, including the Minervois region famous for its rich, fruity reds - be sure to stop for a tasting! Next you'll enjoy picturesque cycling along the connecting canals and rivers of the Canal du Midi, including the Canal de Jonction, Aude River and UNESCO Canal de la Robine, taking you down to the old Roman port of Narbonne. A lovely day of coastal cycling follows, past ancient fishing ports, golden sandy beaches and the idyllic Vendres Lagoon - home to a large collection of birdlife including flamingos, little bustards, eagle-owls and black-necked grebes - as you make your way up to historic Beziers on the Orb River. From here it's an impressive route back to Homps along the Canal du Midi, taking in the remarkable Malpas Tunnel, Fonserannes Lock and Works of Libron, along with the charming towns of Colombiers and Capestang.

We've chosen three charming hotels for you, two of which have swimming pools. In Homps your home is Le Jardin d'Homps, a classic French townhouse with a tranquil garden and small pool; in Narbonne you stay in the C19 Hotel La Residence with its old-elegance feel and superb location just 50m from the canal; while in Beziers we've handpicked a boutique townhouse with attractive, contemporary rooms and a lovely terrace with plunge pool. This is a great region for food and wine; as such we've left you free to choose from some excellent local restaurants for your evening meals.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Homps

Arrive at your hotel, Le Jardin d'Homps in time to sample one of the local restaurants on the banks of the canal.

Day 2 - Homps to Narbonne 40km/25mi

Today you’ll follow the UNESCO-recognised Canal du Midi through some of the region’s prettiest wine villages, including Minervois, Argens-Minervois, Paraza and Ginestas – perhaps stopping off for a tasting at one of the many châteaus en route! You’ll visit the picturesque town of Le Somail which straddles the canal before a scenic route takes you along the connecting canals and rivers of the Canal du Midi - the Canal de Jonction, the Aude River and the UNESCO-listed Canal de la Robine – to the impressive city of Narbonne.

Day 3 - At Narbonne

You could easily spend today exploring the fascinating Roman city of Narbonne. Visit the Archbishop's palace and cathedral, browse the daily Victorian market, or spend time in one of the many museums covering subjects from Modern Art to underground Roman warehouses! Alternatively, take the train to fairytale Carcassonne with its UNESCO-listed castle and quaint cobbled streets, or cycle to the end of the Canal de la Robine and relax on the beach, enjoying a lunch of fresh fish at Port-la-Nouvelle.

Day 4 - Narbonne to Beziers 61km/38.5mi

A wonderful day's cycling lies ahead as you leave Narbonne along the Canal de la Robine, heading through the ancient fishing port of Gruissan which sits proudly on a hill between two lagoons and is surrounded by miles of glorious white sands. The village's narrow winding streets are overlooked by the crumbling ruins of a C13 castle and three mornings a week there's a lively open-air market selling some fantastic local produce including fruit, wine, fish and other seafood. Keep following the coastline and you'll pass some tempting wine merchants on your way to pretty Narbonne Plage with its 5 kilometres of Blue Flag beaches. Be sure to visit the Vendres Lagoon, reached along the River Aude - a nature reserve home to a whole host of birds including flamingos, before joining the Canal du Midi and making your way to Beziers.

Day 5 - At Beziers

You’ll be spoilt for choice this morning. Stay in Béziers, one of France’s oldest cities, and follow its winding streets up to the 13th century cathedral perched above the Orb River, or cycle to Portiragnes Plage - perhaps the nicest beach in the area – for a lazy day by the sea. You could take the train to the picturesque port town of Sete, the ‘Venice of the Languedoc’, or to Agde, a lively seaside resort built on the site of an ancient volcano!

Day 6 - Beziers to Homps 54km/34mi

Today you'll witness two of the Canal du Midi's most impressive structures - the Fonserannes Locks and the Malpas Tunnel - as you make your way back to Homps. Your route takes you via the pretty port town of Colombiers, the picturesque village of Poilhes and, after a stretch through sprawling vineyards, the town of Capestang, home to a number of shops, restaurants and wine caves and an excellent place to stop for lunch today. After making your way through peaceful Ouveillan with its old streets and ramparts, you'll rejoin the Canal du Midi for your final cycle back to Homps.

Day 7 - Leave Homps

For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Dordogne Gastronomic Cycling

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Le Jardin d'Homps, Homps   (3 Acorn)

Hotel Jardin

This lovely classic French townhouse is situated in the centre of sleepy Homps. Decorated in classic quirky French style it has a homely feel.

All 5 rooms are large and airy with en-suite bathrooms and juliet balconies looking over the idyllic tranquil garden and swimming pool.

Breakfast, weather permitting, is served on the sunny terrace and is a classic French affair all served on the terrace in good weather.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market

Hotel La Residence , Narbonne   (3 Star)

Hotel Residence

Hotel la Residence is in a great location just 50m from the canal, and 5 minutes from the centre of Narbonne.

A C19 mansion, there is a nice mix of authentic charm and elegance, the classical public rooms make way to modern contemporary bedrooms which are of a good size.

Breakfast is a buffet affair with a good choice of local produce.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Particulier Béziers, Béziers   (3 Acorn)

Hotel Particulier de Béziers

In the heart of Béziers this townhouse offers good sized rooms and a lovely terrace area by the pool where breakfast can be taken.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hôtel Père Léon, Toulouse   (3 Star)

Hôtel Père Léon, Toulouse

The Hôtel Père Léon is ideally situated just a short walk from the historic centre of Toulouse, with the main sights just a short walk away. Just 50 metres from the metro there is easy access to the rest of the city. The hotel is in Place Esquirol, a bustling, lively square and in close proximity to many bars and restaurants.

The hotel itself has a modern contemporary feel, which has been recently renovated. The ensuite rooms have soundproof windows and all mod cons. Breakfast is a buffet affair with a good choice of French staples, and a hot section.

The hotel has its own bistro restaurant with seats outside where you can enjoy a drink or dinner.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange flights and connecting transfers to your hotel.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs MacDonald on 11/10/2016

Really enjoyed the holiday, and all the arrangements were excellent, without being intrusive. Although we are both pretty fit, some of the distances were challenging for us, even in ideal conditions, leaving us little time to birdwatch and enjoy the wineries. Delightful part of the country, and well chosen hotels, especially the Jardin d'Homps and Hotel Particulier. Some of the notes were difficult to follow, especially around/through some of the villages, and with the mixed use of the 'canal on the right', and 'the right bank of the canal'.

Reviewed by Mr Hughes on 06/08/2016

This was a really lovely holiday with beautiful scenery in a picturesque area.

Reviewed by Mr Baynton on 03/07/2016

Good weeks cycling in France following the canal du midi. Headwater rep Greg was very helpful and provided us with useful tips. Standard of hotel good especially hotel in Beziers (Hotel Particulier) which was a gem. Cycling enjoyable challenging at times due to the wind and heat. Bikes supplied were of a good standard. Would definitely book another cycling holiday after this experience.

Reviewed by Dr Dixon on 13/06/2016

Considering the heat, up to 36 degrees C, we found the cycling distances quite demanding in the time available. We found cycling between 12 and 2pm too much in the heat, Certainly we had no time to linger and do wine tasting! The route directions, while mostly good, did include some significant errors - we left details of these with our Rep so that corrections could be made. A more detailed street map of the route into Beziers would have saved us a lot of confusion. We loved the hotels, particularly the welcome. All the hotels had very good restaurants close by.

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 11$1500
May 13$1500
May 15$1500
May 17$1500
May 19$1500
May 21$1500
May 23$1500
May 25$1500
May 27$1500
May 29$1500
May 31$1500
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1535
Jun 4$1535
Jun 6$1535
Jun 8$1535
Jun 10$1535
Jun 12$1535
Jun 14$1595
Jun 16$1595
Jun 18$1595
Jun 20$1595
Jun 22$1595
Jun 24$1595
Jun 26$1595
Jun 28$1595
Jun 30$1595
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1595
Jul 4$1595
Jul 6$1595
Jul 8$1595
Jul 10$1625
Jul 12$1625
Jul 14$1625
Jul 16$1625
Jul 18$1625
Jul 20$1625
Jul 22$1625
Jul 24$1625
Jul 26$1625
Jul 28$1625
Jul 30$1625
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1625
Aug 3$1625
Aug 5$1625
Aug 7$1625
Aug 9$1625
Aug 11$1625
Aug 13$1625
Aug 15$1625
Aug 17$1625
Aug 19$1625
Aug 21$1625
Aug 23$1625
Aug 25$1625
Aug 27$1625
Aug 29$1625
Aug 31$1625
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1535
Sep 4$1535
Sep 6$1535
Sep 8$1535
Sep 10$1535
Sep 12$1500
Sep 14$1500
Sep 16$1500
Sep 18$1500
Sep 20$1500
Sep 22$1500
Sep 24$1500
Sep 26$1500
Sep 28$1500
Sep 30$1500
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$1500
Oct 4$1500
Oct 6$1500
Oct 8$1500
Oct 10$1500

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.


Every two days from 11 May '17 to 10 Oct '17, for 7 days (6 nights). Prices on request


All continental breakfasts.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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