3 days, peaceful by bike

Slow Tourism in Carcassonne

Max and his partner take their time cycling in Carcassonne for 3 days.

Visiting Carcassonne by vélo, so easy !

My girlfriend and I went with a couple of friends. We rented our bikes in the rue Courtejaire, a few minutes walk from the station. We just had to put our luggage in the bags we had reserved in advance. A welcome drink in a bar just next door, on the Place Carnot, and off we went on the interactive tour “Entre nature & patrimoine” (to be downloaded for free from Carcassonne interactive, the Tourist Office’s app). A 14km walk to discover the lower town (Bastide Saint-Louis) and its colourful facades, as well as the upper town and its masterly Medieval City, which you reach via the old bridge. It’s a sight to behold!

 

We slept in a “Accueil Vélo” hotel, so we didn’t have to worry about keeping our bikes. Our hosts gave us lots of good addresses, and we went to taste a delicious cassoulet. Invigorating, exactly what we needed!

The next day, breakfast on the terrace along the :

Canal du Midi

Then a guided tour (in french) of the canal, before going for a walk along the towpath. We used the interactive circuit “Between banks and locks” (26km A/R) to go to Trèbes.

Very practical, the app highlights all the sites to be seen along the way, including places to recharge your bike. What a pleasure to get into the rhythm of nature! You cross vineyards and fields in the shade of plane trees or in open areas (some plane trees have been felled because of the canker disease).

We pass through the Saint Jean and Fresquel locks, then the Evêque and Villedubert locks to Trèbes. We watched the barges go up and down.

We all loved the atmosphere on the canal. Everyone greets the boats and the walkers. We watch the barges and the boats pass the locks. For your information, there is water at every lock keeper’s house.

Le Canal du Midi sont de véritables chef-d'oeuvre de ce patrimoine classé à l'UNESCO
© vincent Photographie
Les écluses du Canal du Midi sont de véritables chef-d'oeuvre de ce patrimoine classé à l'UNESCO
©Vincent Photographies

The village of

Trèbes

is really nice.

The many bridges built along the Canal du Midi tell of the technical difficulties Pierre-Paul Riquet (the inventor of the canal) had to face in order to link the Garonne to the Mediterranean Sea.

To be noted, the aqueduct bridge (to see the barges pass over a bridge!) and a triple lock.

We stopped to taste olive oil and jams. Long live the panniers on our bikes! The view of the Cité on the way back is incredible.

In the evening, private wine tasting with the head sommelier of the Hôtel de la Cité. The place is magical (5 stars) and the cellar where the tasting takes place even more so! We left with a small selection, both for ourselves and for our families. We’ll have some great gifts to give for the holidays!

The wines of the South-West really have nothing to envy to the Bordeaux wines!

 

The next day, we wanted to take a dip before leaving, so we followed the interactive route to the

Cavayère Lake

(GR36 – 12km return). On the spot, it is very nice! It smells of thyme and garrigue. The tour of the lake is about 5km and you can do it by bike 😊.

We found a little spot in the shade of the pines to picnic and have a little nap! Soothing and rejuvenating! Then, pedal boats and ski lifts. There’s even a little guinguette where we had a coffee and a dessert 😉

On the way back, we stopped at the Australian Park to see red kangaroos and wallabies that love the dry and warm climate of Carcassonne (I heard it’s the same as in Australia!). The entertainment is excellent and we even got to see the animals being fed.

Le Lac de la Cavayère situé à 2 pas de la Cité Médiévale de Carcassonne vous accueille pour une pause fraicheur et baignade à Carcassonne.
©Vincent Photographie

The view on the Cité when we come back from the lake is unforgettable. We did some shopping, returned our bikes and took the train back! 3 days relaxed and super exotic!

We will be back 😊

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