The Canal de la Garonne is a waterway in south-west France. It was actually opened in 1856 as the Canal latéral à la Garonne in order to bypass the unpredictable river Garonne, it’s a distance of 194km (121miles) from Toulouse, where it then connects with another waterway the Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi then flows to Castets-en-Dorthe, where it falls into the tidal river. The two canals from an important water connection of 600km across southern France from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Now you can cycle on the marked cycleway from the elegant, historic wine city of Bordeaux to the “pink” town of Toulouse. You shall experience cycling in a very relaxed way along almost car-free routes, through the magnificent south France countryside. Of course, you can also join this cycle tour to our Canal du Midi cycle tour to make a longer cycling holiday in France.
You can combine this trip with the Canal du Midi to make an 11 Night Tour with prices from £1351. You can book this 11-night version by clicking the Proceed Booking button.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
During the course of the day arrive into Bordeaux by train, plane or car and settle in at your comfortable centrally-located hotel. Bordeaux is an interesting city to explore with several landmarks, of course, you may even wish to start sampling the famous local wines. Bordeaux is on the banks of the River Garonne.
Today you start your cycling holiday by following the cycle path out of the city beside the River Garonne. Later you join a converted railway line in the town of Latresne. At the Romanesque abbey in La Sauve which was built in the 12th century, you join a country lane south to reach the town of Cadillac and your hotel (with swimming pool). It is located below the impressive 17th-century “Chateau de Cadillac”. The Chateau has been a ceremonial residence and surprisingly a prison for women!
You set off today on winding country lanes from Cadillac to Saint Macair. You will have to do some ascents, but a rewarding landscape awaits with impressive wine estates and typical French villages. After a visit to the Bastide de St Macair, you now cross the River Garonne to the beginning of the cycle-path “la veloroute des Deux Mers”, translated to “your cycling route between two seas”. Accommodation tonight is at a charming chambre d’hotes in Meilhan-sur-Garonne, or a bit further inland (8km) in Marcellus.
Today you now follow the Canal de la Garonne which means cycling on the flat from Meilhan-sur-Garonne all the way to Serignac. Enjoy the shade of ancient plane trees and take time to make small detours along the way. The church in Mas d’Agenais has an authentic painting by Rembrandt on display. In the beautiful village of Damazan, you shall see its fortress and historic arcades. Another stop could be Tonneis, worth the 10km detour for its lovely square on the banks of the Garonne and a wide choice of restaurants, cafes and shops.
Today, you begin with a gentle section along the canal among plane trees and orchards. After 10km the channel intersects with an aqueduct, creating a unique way to reach Agen with its pleasant city centre and renowned Museum of Arts. Your route then continues along the canal, tucked in between the railway and a busy road until you reach Valence d’Agen, another beautiful town with curious round washhouses. Your last section is peaceful once again, as you fully enjoy the scenery on your way to the historic town of Moissac, a UNESCO world heritage site and an important stop on the “Chemin de Saint Jacques”. It has an 11th century Abbey of St Pierre with a stunning cloister.
Today you cross the beautiful Pont-Canal du Cacor which crosses the river Tarn to reach Castelsarrasin. This has a small port and a 13th century Abbey of Belleperche. In the shade of old planes, you now follow an uninterrupted a quiet trail to the centre of Toulouse. This last section has many places to see, the water slope in Montech, the special Ponts-Jumeaux and the junction of 3 canals. After Grisoles with its special brick houses, you reach the historic Castelnau-d’Estretefonds. From here you can, if you wish, cover the last 25 km of this ‘Canal de la Garonne’ route by train.
Depart after breakfast.
Fly into Bordeaux airport or maybe Paris airport and then train to Bordeaux
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