The Canal du Midi

Heritage and tourism

A feat of great technical prowess from the seventeenth century, and a UNESCO heritage site, the Canal du Midi is our pride and joy!

As you travel alongside or on the water, you can hear the pulse of history

Connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean avoiding the long voyage around the Strait of Gibraltar, was a hope first expressed in ancient times. This titanic project started in 1681, under the reign of Louis XIV: the Canal du Midi is an outstanding feat for its advanced technical, architectural and landscaping achievements. This UNESCO World Heritage Site tells the story of the genius of men, a crazy idea, a challenge, and a magnificent success...

The architect Pierre-Paul Riquet created the canal to promote trade, and its primary function was the transport of goods. For more than three centuries, alongside cereals and wine, a multitude of products was transported by water including coal, marble and salt among the most common.

In 1836 the first guide for pleasure travellers on the Canal du Midi was published, and today it is a major attraction for pleasure boating.

On foot, by bike or by boat, a trip along the Canal du Midi can be a trip back in time, and it's certainly a trip where you take your time!