Bordeaux to Carcassonne Canal Bike Tour

Seven nights; seven days of easy bicycling holiday on traffic free canal pathways and quiet roads linking Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, and Carcassonne.
“The Freewheeling company, and the tour guides did an excellent job. I was VERY pleased with the experience and will gladly recommend this tour company to my friends.” - Sue S.


Start: Bordeaux, near Place de la Bourse, 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

Finish: Carcassonne, 09:00, day eight.

Day 1

Bordeaux to Les Esseintes ~69km
Meet in Bordeaux for your introductory briefing and bike fitting. Today’s ride includes one gradual climb of about 100 meters/300 feet, but is otherwise along gently rolling terrain. Tonight, you will rest well in an old farmhouse that has been converted into a comfortable inn near the fortified town of La Reole. LD (Meal inclusions are shown for guided trips. Please note that self-guided trips include breakfast only).
Maison Des Quatre Saisons, Les Esseintes, or
La Camiranaise, Camiran

Day 2

Les Esseintes to Saint Léger ~53km
Cross to the southern bank of the Garonne river in La Réole. You will have the chance to visit the 11th century Chapel Tersac in Meilhan today, then descend to the Garonne’s lateral canal – your first of the trip. The canal path riding under the Plane trees is simply lovely. As you will it, leave the canal to visit the villages perched above, like le Mas d'Agenais; a picturesque little town with a lovely old wooden market hall. Finish in Saint Léger where your charming chateau awaits. BLD
Chateau de Grenier, Saint Léger

Day 3

Saint Léger to Agen ~50km
Cycle or transfer back to the canal this morning. On your ride today, you will pass through Vianne, the only Bastide to be named after a woman. Today, Vianne is a world-renowned glass-making centre, where specialist craftsmen, artists and designers blow and decorate opal, crystal and coloured glass objects. Continue through Serignac and take a moment to stop and see the fine altar and gilt-wood altarpiece of the 11th century church. BD
Chateau de Lassalle, Laplume; or
Pelissery Chambres d'Hôtes, Lamontjoie

Day 4

Agen to Escatalens ~50km
The ride from Agen provides many rewarding sights. In nearby Donzac you may wish to sample the ‘black wines’ of Cotes d’Brulhois, so named for their deep colour and body. Another quick diversion takes you to Auvillar; one of the prettiest towns in rural France with great photo opportunities at the circular stone market. In Moissac you will find great shopping on Rue Jean Moura where local artisans are happy to show off their porcelain, lace, and paintings. Be sure to visit la Bambouseraie at Chateau de Leriet; a bamboo grove in Castelsarrasin dedicated to the Zen philosophy. BL
Le Moulin de Moissac, Moissac, or,
Chateau Lavalade, Castelsarrasin, or,

Day 5

Escatalens to Toulouse ~50km
Today’s ride near the canals takes you to the picturesque walled town of Verdun-sur-Garonne with its 14th century tower. Enjoy your lunch at any of the cafes along the waterway as you amble towards tonight’s destination. Those interested in wines of the Midi-Pyrenees will be interested to visit the Fronton vineyards which are famed for their use of the exclusive grape variety ‘Negrette.'The ‘rose-coloured city’ of Toulouse is yours to explore this evening. There are many superb options for dinner tonight! B
Hotel Albert 1er, Toulouse

Day 6

Toulouse to Castelnaudary ~65km
Leave Toulouse along the Canal du Midi and ride through Lauragais - home to the production of Pastel blue; a unique dye obtained by pressing flowers. Continue along the banks of the canal to a gorgeous park in Montferrand on the Naurouze Sill – a watershed on the highest point of the Canal, from where water flows in both to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Also nearby is the 1372 Fortress of Anjou a fortified village lined with beautiful 15th century houses around its 14th century church. Finish near the charming village of Castelnaudary, whose legendary recipe for Cassoulet can be tasted as part of a hearty dinner. BLD
Chateau Coquelicot, or,
Hotel du Canal, Castelnaudary,

Day 7

Castelnaudary to Carcassonne ~50km
Your destination is the fortified city of Carcassonne - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in Carcassonne in the afternoon; guided trips will include a 90-minute walking tour of the old city. Once you are checked in and settled your guides will bid you farewell and you’ll have the evening to explore the lower town and the cobbled streets of the ancient walled town independently. BL
Tribe Carcassonne, Carcassonne

Day 8

Your Freewheeling Adventure concludes after a relaxed breakfast included at your inn; Les Trois Couronnes is about 1km or 15 minutes walk from Gare de Carcassonne. B


Route expectations:

A great ride for all ages and abilities. Less than 70km per day on easy grades along and near the canal. The route is mainly paved canal paths with some rough sections and country roads. Vehicle support is available at irregular access points. Some inns are located away from the canal and require riding on roads.

Get intimate with rural France as you trace the Canal des Deux Mers – an ancient thoroughfare linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. In the Middle Ages, when transport over land was slow and dangerous, canals were constructed to ship wares all over Europe quickly and more effectively. Goods were placed on barges in the narrow waterways and then bow-hauled to their destinations by gangs of men on shore. Although this method of transport is long gone, the remnants of these well traveled routes provide a thought-provoking counterpoint to modern life, especially when following the canal paths at a bicycle’s pace. The canals are dotted with locks, each one a tiny hub of activity for the cozy hamlets and rural communities surrounding them, and the well worn trails beside the canals are perfect for contemplative cycling.

Between Saint-Emilion and the fantastic medieval castle-town of Carcassonne the route is lined with vineyards and graceful plane trees and is still considered one of the masterpieces of Louis XIV’s reign. On the way to Toulouse, you follow the Canal de Garonne - a secluded waterway reaching well into the heart of rural France and boasting hundreds of structures including locks, bridges, dams, and a tunnel. Riding this route through appealing walled towns of the Midi-Pyrenees, each nestled among farms and vineyards, you will follow paths well suited to cycling. This bicycle tour will transport you away from the bustle of traffic, enjoying level terrain, lush and charming scenery, and peaceful gardens. We invite you to come and linger by the water’s edge.

Map & Elevations

Click here for the elevation profile
Day # Daily distance
  ~69 km
~53 km
~50 km
~50 km
~50 km
~65 km
~50 km

Learn more

Extend your trip with another one of our tours in France and other neighbouring Western European countries.

Spend a few days before your tour exploring around St. Emillion where you'll find many places to sample the wines of the region! Check out Union des Producteurs for more information.

"Spent three days in Bordeaux in Hotel Continental suggested by you - a perfect location to tour the city. Afterwards, spent two extra nights in Carcassonne, at the same hotel you used. Also a great location." - Caroll and Brian.

"There's no way these guides could be better than they were!! ...superb!! I've been on a couple of tours before and have always been impressed with the guides, but (they) set an even higher standard this time... always calm, always attentive, incredibly kind and adaptable to what the members of the group were interested in doing or seeing. There was a mix of hotel type accommodation and B&B. I liked that a couple of locations were in towns and others were more rural… definitely the best of both worlds!" – Anne F.


US 3895 C 4445 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 light picnic lunches, 4 dinners, van and guide support (2 guides on groups of 6 or more), route instructions, maps, guided walking tour of Carcassonne, luggage handling, taxes

US 3495 C 3995 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, route instructions, maps, daily luggage transfers, on call support, taxes

Single room

US 785 C 895


Hybrid: US 200 C 225
Electric Assist: US 345 C 395
Full Carbon Road: US 395 C 455

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.