During your holiday in the Aude region, set off to visit the Canal du Midi, which crosses the department from west to east. Expore the villages in the Minervois region, the canal bridges and picturesque canal locks all the way to the medieval city of Carcassonne.
The Canal du Midi in the Aude region
The Canal du Midi crosses the Aude department from west to east, from the Languedoc plains all the way to the Mediterranean coast, via the Minervois wine region, Castelnaudary, Carcassonne and Narbonne. You can ride a bike along the tow paths, sail with your family on a rented boat with no licence needed (a small barge or "pénichette") and treat yourself to a visit with a guide so you won't miss any of the sights. Leaving from your holiday residence, here is our suggestion for a trip along the Canal du Midi, taking you all the way to Carcassonne.
A trip along the water to Carcassonne
Our holiday residence is in La Redorte a village not to be missed during a trip along the Canal du Midi. In 1693, Vauban built a unique structure here: the Argent-Double Aqueduct. Soon you will arrive in Puichéric "the Venice of the Minervois region". Don't miss the Aiguille canal lock and its metal sculptures. The trip continues in Marseillette, the birthplace of the singer, Olivia Ruiz, and the land of the last Aude rice fields, at the edge of the Minervois region. We then head for Rustiques. This is your chance to visit a small historic village with its medieval garden and archaeology museum. In Trèbes, the old town, Saint Étienne church, the triple canal lock and the monumental steps are among the sights not to be missed. After a quick visit to Malves-en-Minervois, with the silhouettes of a large standing stone and of a castle listed as a Historic Monument, you will arrive at the outskirts of the famous medieval city of Carcassonne.
Another recommended route: starting from the village of La Redorte, cycle along the shaded paths of the Canal du Midi as far as Homps, an important port in the history of canal transport and wine shipping on the Canal, then the Pechlaurier Aqueduct, built in 1689, and Argens-Minervois, where the charming outdoor cafés known as "guinguettes" are always a lot of fun.
A little history and geography
The Canal du Midi is 240 km along and links Toulouse to Sète on the Mediterranean Sea. It goes through the departments of Hérault, Aude and Haute-Garonne. It is the masterpiece of its architect, Pierre-Paul Riquet, and was inaugurated in 1681, during the reign of Louis XIV, after 14 years of work. The canal has been listed as part of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1996 and is Europe's oldest canal to be still in use. Since the mid-1970s, river tourism has replaced commercial activity and goods transport on the canal. Each port, each canal lock along the way is well worth seeing during your stay at our holiday residence, Le Château de la Redorte. From the River Garonne to the Mediterranean Sea, the canal features almost 350 canal structures, including 63 locks, 126 bridges, 55 aqueducts, 7 canal-bridges, 6 dams and 1 tunnel.