5 Towns worth visiting along the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage site steeped in rich history that retells the legends of early Europe. Every town and village along this beautiful waterway has something special to show from its wealthy trading days during the medieval era. Explore the architecture of the Visigoths and Gauls to the mysteries of the Cathars while enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean climate.



Famously known for being the home of the Cathars, the condemned Christian group who were expelled by the Holy Roman Empire and their crusaders. Carcassonne was first inhabited at around 3500 BC, and became a fortified trading city since the Iron Age.

Carcassonne is a scenic town, with a fairy-tale city topped with turrets and surrounded by sprawling vineyards and green hills. The main attraction is undoubtedly the old fortified city which has stood testament to many ancient sieges. The new town, contains all the quintessential French styled architecture along with an array of brasseries serving the best of the local cuisine and wines.




Beziers is yet another ancient town in the South of France and still holds its authentic Languedoc experience. Beziers is peaceful and invites you to enjoy its historic paths in and around the town. Beziers is most famous for its bull fighting summer festival that lasts for 4 days, which you can enjoy during the month of August. Other notable sites include the St. Nazaire Cathedral offering panoramic views of the city, the Musee des Beaux Arts and Roquebrun. Roquebrun is a nearby village offering some of the most delectable wines with clean rivers to swim in!

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Narbonne was once a thriving city, mainly used as a trading centre due its convenient port located near the sea. Eventually the silting increased and this changed the course of the river, resulting in the city losing its main economic trade. The city had been inhabited by the Gauls, Visi-Goths and Romans over the centuries and you can view some of the amazing traces of these settlements in Narbonne. Places of note include the ancient Narbonne Cathedral, the museums in the Archiboshop’s Palace and the Roman Horeum (granary). You can also go for a swim at the Grussian Beach nearby!



Minervois Region

Cruising along the Canal du Midi in the Languedoc region means you are spoiled for choice with fresh food and wine. The Minervois region is undoubtedly the crowning glory of this wine region. The entire area is home to some of France’s best red and whites, so stopping off and exploring the many vineyards is a must.

A fantastic stop along the Canal du Midi is the small town of Ventenac, also known as Ventenac en Minervois. This little village was founded by a retired Roman soldier around 300 AD. It was eventually taken over the Visigoths then handed back to a wealthy Baron. The village grew as the farming industry flourished. Today, Ventenac is quiet and has wonderful restaurants, wine tasting cellars, beer tasting and a Sunday flea market!


Capestang is the last little medieval town you’ll encounter before Beziers. It is definitely worth your time to visit Capestang to get in that last bit of the French Languedoc experience before the Canal du Midi ends. Capestang sites include an 11th century collegiate church for nuns and monks and the Capestang Castle, the summer home of the Archbishop of Narbonne. Enjoy the La Voie Vert car-free bike lane into the Languedoc region, go horseback riding, eat at the budget friendly restaurants or take a wine tour!


capestang le boat