The Canal du Midi

A corner of greenery in Carcassonne

Work of Pierre-Paul Riquet carried out in the XVIIth century to connect the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, it crosses the heart of the city and offers a real tourist route to discover on foot, by bike or by boat.

Bateau de plaisance sur Le Canal du Midi
Ecluse de Carcassonne

Several hours or several days on the Canal allow you to discover the richness of this place.

District

The Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi was built by Pierre-Paul Riquet in the 17th century to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. It was once used to transport goods and people, but is now used by many boaters and tourists and runs through the heart of the city of Carcassonne. Since 1996, the Canal du Midi has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The locks, bridges, aqueducts and canal bridges that run along the 240 km of waterway are a testament to both a technical feat and a work of art.

© Vincent Photographie

The locks of the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi has 63 locks along its 240km length.

But what are the locks for?

Locks are used to level the water level of the Canal to allow boats to navigate easily. The locks work like dams, holding back the water and releasing it little by little, allowing all boats to pass through the different water levels.

Open air exhibition & Kiosk

(Re)Discover the history of the Canal du Midi and more with this exhibition located around the Kiosk in the Square André Chénier. These 12 complementary panels will offer you themes such as: Riquet the visionary genius did it! These boatmen who live with their families on the Canal, The living forces that made the Canal, Fin Platane and biodiversity in sight…

Our tourist advisor welcomes you at the Canal Kiosk to help you in your visit of Carcassonne.

  • From June to September
  • Available in French, English & Spanish
Ju Photography

Your Guided tour

Want to discover the history of the Canal du Midi?

Welcome to the 17th century! Follow our atypical characters during the dramatised visits. They will help you discover the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site with humour. A real journey through time to discover Pierre-Paul Riquet’s masterpiece.

  • Available from June to September
  • Available in French
Les écluses du Canal du Midi sont de véritables chef-d'oeuvre de ce patrimoine classé à l'UNESCO

The History of the Canal in Carcassonne

1666
Louis XIV validates the project of the Canal des deux mers by the edict of Saint-Germain-En-Laye. Pierre-paul Riquet was able to start work on the project, which would last 14 years. Nearly 12,000 people will work on this unique project.
1681
Official inauguration of the Royal Canal and start of navigation
1810
Creation of the new route of the Canal du Midi passing through the town of Carcassonne.
1980
End of merchant traffic. The Canal is now dedicated to leisure and tourism.
1996
The Canal du Midi is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Immediate boarding

Your boat trips

Opt for a guided cruise or hire a boat with friends for several days on the Canal du Midi.

THE COCAGNE CRUISES
CARCASSONNE

THE COCAGNE CRUISES

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CARCASSONNE

CRIS'BOAT

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CARCASSONNE

LES CANALOUS

 

Rent your bike to cycle along the Canal

Itineraries for your walks

Discover the Canal du Midi by foot and by bike. Go from lock to lock and discover the natural heritage of this UNESCO listed site at your own pace.

The Free Mobile App “Carcassonne Interactive” will be your essential guide for a successful walk.

Faire du vélo le long du Canal du Midi est un véritable bonheur pour profiter du grand air
©Vincent Photographies
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Experiences

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3 days, peaceful by bike

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

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4 gastronomic days in Carcassonne

Gwen & Mathieu will take you for 4 days in the streets of Carcassonne and will make you discover the good food of the city as well as the excellent wines to taste!

 

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