The idea of linking the Garonne to the Mediterranean by a canal dates back to Antiquity under Emperor Augustus and was taken up by Charlemagne, Francis I and then Henry IV.
The initial objective was to build a maritime canal to facilitate the transit of goods by linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea without having to bypass Spain
In the Aude region, the Canal du Midi, which crosses the department from west to east, is a wonderful way to discover the heritage of the Aude. Beautiful stages punctuate the route: the small town of Castelnaudary and its large basin on the Canal du Midi, the famous fortified town of Carcassonne, the village of Ventenac-en-Minervois with its castle and its cooperative cellar, the picturesque little port of Le Somail and its stone donkey-backed bridge...
Discover the Canal du Midi and its landscapes, by bike or on foot on the towpaths, or by boat on the water. A refreshing journey.
There are many subtleties in the way the stairs, lock edges or even lock houses are built, but you have to be able to notice them.
There are many stops to be made along the way in the charming little villages that the canal passes through.