Canal du Midi
The extraordinary history of the Canal du Midi began in 1663. Pierre Paul Riquet persuaded the King that he could build a canal that would join the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The hard work of some 15,000 labourers and Riquet's personal fortune went into creating the canal, which took over 14 years to construct.
Running for 240km, the waterway is supplied by a complicated system of feeder canals and reservoirs. It includes extant examples of the earliest inventions related to hydraulic engineering. An outstanding architectural achievement, the Canal du Midi also provides an ideal route to discover the region's gastronomic delights.
The Canal du Midi was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in December, 1996.
Cruising the French canals is surprisingly easy and you do not require a licence to do so. To prevent damage to the canal banks, the maximum speed is set at 6-8 kms/hour.
The Canal du Midi is open to navigation from March to November.
The lock operating hours are from 8:00am to 12:30pm and from 1:30pm to 7:30pm.
The catch from the calm waters of the Canal du Midi can include exceptional fish: carp, perch, pike, roach and sometimes even crayfish. Boat hire companies can provide advice on getting the necessary fishing licence as well as the location of the nearest fishing supply shops.
Discover the Canal du Midi on board our canal boat, the Gabriella...