Day 4: Castelnaudary to Alzonne (24.4 kilometres, 15.3 miles)
(Published October 2018, updated September 2020)
Many holiday-makers rent a boat and start their journey here in Castelnaudary and the four adjacent locks provide a tough introduction, but plenty of practice, for navigating their way along the canal.
Two boats leave Écluses Saint-Roch. The next lock – a double, Écluses de Gay – is 1.8 kilometres (1.1 miles) along the canal, offering just ten minutes or so to relax before the task of navigating the locks starts over again.
Between the activity at Écluses Saint-Roch and Écluses de Gay, ducks enjoy a few uninterrupted moments of splashing around.
Peace and tranquillity beyond Écluses de Gay.
Approaching Écluse de la Peyruque.
Sunflowers line the canal between Écluse de la Criminelle and Écluse de Tréboul (a few days later, most of these beauties would be harvested).
A riot of colour in the flowering garden around Écluse de Tréboul.
Écluse de Tréboul.
Between Écluse de Tréboul and the turn-off to Villepinte.
The first glimpse of Port de Bram through the arch of the bridge. There is a café here on the canal, but to reach the town you’ll need to leave the canal and follow the road to the right for 1.6 kilometres (1 mile).
Port de Bram is 18.5 kilometres (11 miles) from Castelnaudary – a little too far to plan a lunch break perhaps, but a welcome stop for a cold drink.
If you are walking a little slower than my suggested itinerary requires, Bram is an ideal location for an overnight stop. In addition to the hotel and chambre d’hôte, you’ll find a bakery, supermarket and pharmacy. And if you plan your stay for a Tuesday night, you’ll have the pleasure of visiting the fresh food markets on Wednesday morning!
Wednesday morning market in Bram.
Between Port de Bram and Écluse de Béteille.
Between Castelnaudary and Alzonne, accommodation is available in Villepinte and Bram (check here for a full list of towns offering accommodation options along the Midi Canal) but I recommend continuing on to Alzonne where you’ll find two chambres d’hôtes and a campground 2.1 kilometres/1.3 miles from the canal. You’ll also find a good range of other services, including a bakery, supermarket, pharmacy and ATM.
To reach Alzonne from the canal – at Écluse de Béteille, turn left onto the D134. Follow this road, going straight ahead at the kink where it crosses the D33. After 1.6 kilometres (one mile) the road joins the D8; turn right and continue a further 500 metres into town.
To rejoin the canal – retrace your steps.
Overnight accommodation in Alzonne
Learn more about walking along the Midi Canal from Toulouse to Carcassonne
Enjoy a walk along the Midi Canal from the comfort of your armchair 🙂
Day 4: Castelnaudary to Alzonne