In the South of France, at the heart of a triangle linking the Mediterranean, the Pyrénées and the city of Carcassonne, discover a destination combining relaxation and nature through a landscape of vineyard bordering the Canal du Midi.
In 2015, 25,000 visitors were captivated by the beauty of the vineyards of St. Chinian as well as the tranquillity and the timeless charm of the Canal du Midi.
Travelling through time, get back to the basics and immerse yourself in nature… Hint: The ideal spot for your next holiday vacation!
A UNESCO World Heritage destination
Whether travelling as a couple, family or with a group of friends, experiencing the Canal du Midi is an unforgettable adventure. Over water, on foot or bicycle, let yourself be carried away by the charm of the canals and learn about this historic treasure that’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The village of Capestang is the perfect gateway. In this family-friendly port, you may choose to drive small electric boats or to take a boat ride on a section of the Canal du Midi for a half day, or even a whole day.
You can also rent a houseboat (no need for a licence) for a weekend, a mini-week or a week.
On your bike or on foot, following the towpath is also exceptional. Every visitor is necessarily surprised by the parade of bridges, outlets, aqueducts, water troughs and other sites on the 240-kms stretch linking Toulouse to Sète. The opportunity to change pace and relive a hundreds-year-old history.
A vineyard in the heart of three AOCs
Here, the vast vineyards catch every visitor’s eye. Consider this an invitation to explore a beautiful wine country where passionate winemakers produce great wines with appellations of controlled origins: AOC Saint-Chinian, AOC Minervois and AOC Languedoc. The incredible diversity of soils and the mosaic of grape varieties offer a wide selection of wines. Wine lovers or curious alike will be filled with wonder at every turn and welcomed warmly in castles, farms, old mills, cooperatives or private cellars to taste the best of the wine country.
Some castles or domaines have diversified their touristic offerings with– for example– an old wine castel reconverted into a luxury hotel with catering and reception rooms. Small wine villages have even turned to wine tourism: you’ll find wine schools, wine bars and myriad other grape-based experiences. Beautiful discoveries are expected in a land of great wines!
This is one of the great strengths of this destination: offering in every season, many diverse activities in the heart of a preserved natural and historical heritage. Canoe, paddle, hiking or mountain biking between the Canal du Midi, garrigues and vineyards but also: ULM, heritage tours, museums, mini-farms/ zoos, or treasure hunts… These activities will delight adults and children alike!
A journey back in time
From dinosaurs to the present time, through the Neolithic, Catharism and religious wars, step into the history to Romanesque to Gothic art, from the Domitian to the ways of St James! The region is dotted with many classified monuments and sites: Gothic Collegiate churches, Romanesque and Benedictine abbeys, a paleontological and archaeological museum, and an eco-museum focused on traditional life in the old days. Visitors are privy to this exceptional heritage all year long with guided tours.
In the villages, hospitality is part of the oldest traditions which echo with the friendliness and the “good life” that’s found in the South of France.
In a quiet wine village or a hamlet near the Canal du Midi, accommodations run the gamut– hotels, guest houses, furnished accommodations, luxury homes or camping- to suit
Visitors can also find this friendliness at the terraces of a café or a restaurant. The joyous and delicious gourmet dishes will delight the taste buds. Don’t miss the region’s excellent organic fruit and vegetables, ripened in the sun and prepared by talented restaurateurs and producers.
For more information, please contact the tourist office “Du Canal du Midi au Saint-Chinian.” Tel: +33 (0)4 67 37 85 29. Web: www.tourismecanaldumidi.fr