Strolls on the Canal du Midi, from Homps to Carcassonne

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi is a 250 km long river route that has linked Toulouse to Sète since 1680! In the Aude, it crosses the vineyards of the Grand Carcassonne and the typical villages of the Minervois. On foot, by bike or by boat, here are our favourite walks on the Canal du Midi!

The port of Homps, a beautiful stopover

A must-see stop on the Canal du Midi, between Corbières and Minervois, Homps is a small village known for its marina, its lively quays, its restaurants and its shops. Formerly a commandery of the Order of Malta, then an important port for the transport of wine, the village now lives to the rhythm of yachting and cycle tourism. On the "Quai des tonneliers", in the heart of the harbour master's office, the Minervois winegrowers welcome you with great pleasure.

You can hire a boat without a licence to sail on the canal, or simply stretch your legs in the shade of the plane trees along the towpath. To do: a river cruise in a gabare, with a passage through the Jouarres lock (2h round trip), swimming at the Jouarres lake, located a stone's throw from Homps.

La Redorte, an easy family walk

30 minutes from Carcassonne, far from the noise of the city and cars, discover La Redorte, a pretty village built around its 18th century castle. A signposted route allows you to discover the surroundings of La Redorte, between the Canal du Midi and the Argent-Double river. A loop of about 8 kilometres on dirt and tarmac paths, in a setting of water, stone and greenery.

The Port-la-Fabrique water stop is the starting point for this short, easy hike which allows you to discover the bridge-canal of the Argent-Double, a listed monument, begun in 1677 and completed in 1693, according to the plans of Vauban. On the route, after the bridge-canal, the building on the edge of the canal "La Dînée" dates from the time of the construction of the canal. It was the place of the third "dînée" (lunch break) for boatmen and travellers coming from Toulouse.

Puichéric and the Aiguille lock

There are nearly 63 locks on the Canal du Midi, but one of them stands out from the rest: the Aiguille lock! Head for Puichéric, between Marseillette and Homps, facing the Montagne d'Alaric. Here, wooden sculptures welcome the boats of the Canal du Midi: an elephant, an owl, a crocodile, and even Georges Brassens!

These unusual works, full of humour and fantasy, are the work of the lock keeper-sculptor Joël Barthès, now retired. It's fun to discover and children love it. Take advantage of your visit to Puichéric to bathe in nature at the pond of Marseillette. This former dry pond is now home to vineyards, orchards and even rice fields.

Trèbes and the Rode bridge (iconic monument of the Canal du Midi)

At the gates of Carcassonne, on the right bank of the Aude, Trèbes offers a charming and authentic stopover. The great lock of Trèbes, a triple lock with an imposing stone staircase, allows to feed two mills, very active in the last century. The canal walk leads to the Orbiel bridge-aqueduct, built by Vauban in 1688.

The Rode bridge, one of the most photographed monuments of the Canal du Midi, follows. Typical of 17th century structures, it is one of the few bridges that have not been altered by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the daring designer of the Canal du Midi.

Things to see and do: the church of Saint-Etienne and the "treasure of Trèbes" (320 oak corbels supporting the beams of the roof structure), the Domaine des Pères mill (olive oil producer, shop, visit and tasting).

Photo credit : Anne-Ed C/Pixabay

Strolls on the Canal du Midi, from Homps to Carcassonne
Canal du Midi à Narbonne dans l'Aude

Data :

Olydea - Hameau de JouarresHameau de Jouarres
11700 Azille
Holiday resort : 04 68 40 45 00Central booking office : +33(0)4 48 20 03 19GPS : Latitude 43.263409 Longitude 2.698683

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