The Midi Canal has long been a popular destination for boating enthusiasts—a meandering ribbon of peace and tranquillity that slices through southern France connecting Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea.
Sure, you could join the holiday crowds lining up to navigate their boat through the locks…or you could enjoy the views from the towpath and avoid all the hard work as you walk, or cycle, alongside the canal.
If you’re looking for an experience quite different to the well-known pilgrims’ trails or a dodgy knee has you looking for something a little kinder on the legs, the walk from Toulouse to Carcassonne is an ideal choice. Shaded by oak and plane trees and bordered by fields of sunflowers, the canal is as beautiful a walk as you’ll find anywhere in France.
A few days in Toulouse before you start walking will be quickly filled with visits to museums and art galleries or day trips to Lourdes, Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel or one of several nearby ‘most beautiful villages’. And five days of walking will be rounded off nicely with a visit to the medieval city of Carcassonne.
Toulouse and Carcassonne are both home to Michelin-starred restaurants, providing the perfect excuse to reward yourself for a walk well done!
Visit Toulouse, Castelnaudary and Carcassonne…
Presented in a light, easy-to-read format and illustrated with dozens of photos, this comprehensive guidebook covering distances, accommodation, suggested itineraries, practical tips on transport options, market days, available services and much more makes planning a breeze.
Ninety pages packed with everything you need to know to plan an itinerary and book accommodation (the morning before or six months earlier!) along the five-day, 105-kilometre (66-mile) walk along the Midi Canal from Toulouse to Carcassonne.
Enjoy lunch or a cold drink as you watch the boats pass by…
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How often is the guidebook updated?
I Love Walking in France guidebooks are updated in January/February each year.
If you purchase a guidebook but are not able to complete the walk before the new edition is released, let me know at [email protected] I will email you a discount code to download the updated guide at no cost!
Updates to content which occur throughout the year are listed at the bottom of this page.
Is the guidebook available in paperback as well as PDF format?
No, the guidebook is only available in PDF format.
Once the purchase is complete, you’ll be redirected to a web page containing a link to the guidebook. Download the PDF file by clicking on the link and saving the file to your device.
This provides easy access to website links so that booking accommodation, checking bus timetables and confirming the opening hours of Tourist Offices and other attractions is a breeze!
What’s in the guidebook that’s not covered on the website?
It’s true, you’ll find a lot of information here on the website, including:
- What to expect on the walk
- Map of the path and its location in France
- My suggested itinerary, including tips for sightseeing and market days
- A list of all the towns and villages where you’ll find accommodation and the distances between them
- Practical tips for walking safely and considerately
Inside an I Love Walking in France digital guidebook, you’ll also find—
- A complete packing list covering all the essential items you’ll need to take and a few optional extras
- Useful French phrases to help you book a taxi, book a room, ask about breakfast, order dinner, buy a train ticket and understand directions
- Dozens of photos
Each village has a dedicated section covering:
- Population (because a village of 35 will not have an ATM not matter how badly you need one)
- Accommodation—hotels, chambre d’hôtes, gîtes and campgrounds… including website links
- Available services—cafés, bakeries, grocery stores, doctors, pharmacies, banks and ATMs
- Train and bus services, including website links to check or download timetables
- Taxi phone numbers
- Tourist Office location and website
- Market days and other festivals
- A brief history of the village and details of museums, churches and other attractions
Does the guidebook include walking notes?
No. The advantage of walking along a canal is that it is very unlikely you’ll get lost! Many of the small towns that offer accommodation along the way are located a short distance from the canal and directions for reaching town and rejoining the canal are included in the guidebook.
Who is this guidebook for?
I love Walking in France guidebooks are for those wanting a broader experience of the French joie de vivre beyond the chemin—those wanting to travel a little slower and take the time to explore historic chapels, climb the tower of a ruined châteaux, visit local museums, plan their day around the fresh food market and, of course, to savour the delicious food and wine for which France is, quite rightly, famous.
If you prefer to travel simply and lightly—camping whenever possible, perhaps preparing your own meals each night and focusing mostly on the trail—you’ll find everything you need on Google Maps.
Do you have a refund policy?
Bien sur! If you are not completely happy with your I Love Walking in France guidebook, please email me at [email protected] within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
If a walking holiday along a French canal appeals to you, this is the book to have downloaded on your smartphone
“For me, the holiday planning is an important part of the holiday and generally starts in the early winter of the year before the holiday. Now I realise that this approach doesn’t suit everyone and that there are plenty of people who would happily do away with most of the planning and just get on and enjoy the holiday. If you are one of these people, this is the book for you.
No messing around on the internet looking for train timetables, accommodation, routes, things to do or see, places to eat or places to drink; it has all been done for you, all you have to do is read the book and then get on and make your bookings, it even has a section of useful French phrases and sayings to help you with the booking process. I have to say that as I get older it becomes more and more tempting to follow this course.
Melinda Lusmore has gone to the trouble of taking a holiday on your behalf to make your holiday easy and successful; she has walked the walk and found all the useful things along the way to make your holiday more enjoyable, even to the extent of listing local taxi companies in case you get footsore. That’s what I call attention to detail.
Seriously though, if a walking holiday along a French canal appeals to you, and it does to me, this is the book to have downloaded on your smartphone. I know I would.” Richard Winter (The Sixwheeler Chronicles)
The Midi Canal from Toulouse to Carcassonne (2023 edition)
90 pages covering 105 kilometres (66 miles) over five days of walking.
Terms and Conditions – As the author and a fellow traveller, I understand that you might share this book with other people, and with your travelling companions in particular, in the same way that you share a physical book. By purchasing this guidebook, you agree not to mass broadcast, email or upload this book to a peer-to-peer site.
Revisions to the Midi Canal guidebook
Pause Canal (Donneville) – listing removed
Au Gré du Temps (Donneville) – link updated
Maison de Bigot (Villenouvelle) – listing removed
Maison Joséphine (Villenouvelle) – listing removed
Campground Le Radel (Écluse d’Emborrel) – mobile number now 07 45 19 35 13
La Minoterie de Naurouze (Déversoir de Naurouze) – listing removed, bookings taken for entire gîte only
Hostellerie Étienne (Labastide d’Anjou) – listing removed
Le Péniche Kapadokya (Écluse de la Méditerranée) – listing removed
Villa des Roses (Castelnaudary) – listing removed
Le Clos d’André (Castelnaudary) – link updated
Maison Coup de Coeur (Bram) – mobile number now 06 42 78 87 69
Le Domaine Boudet (Pezens) – link updated
Péniche Mirage (Écluse d’Herminis) – link updated, mobile number now 06 67 59 38 22
Villa les Lauriers (Carcassonne) – phone numbers now 06 18 77 89 80, 06 35 36 77 87
Download the Haute-Garonne bus timetables – link updated