France » Canal du Midi | Canal in France

The most beautiful canal of the world – especially before and after high season!


Canal du Midi | Canal in France: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 240 km
Number of locks: 63
Lock dimensions: 30.00 x 6.60
Max. depth: 1.60
Max. headroom: 3.30
Degree of difficulty: For beginners (many locks)
Requirements: No license asked for hired boats
Character of waterway: back to nature
Profile of waterway: Used by tourists only
Facilities groundside: Good

Weitere Informationen

Waterway has access to:

Canal de Garonne | French Canals
Canal du Rhône à Sète | Canal of France
Mediterranean Sea

Description, history and tourism to the Canal du Midi:
The world’s most famous canal! In 1662, Paul Riquet presented his great project, the Canal des Deux Mers, to King Louis XIV’s finance minister, Colbert. In 1665 he received permission to create a tributary at the highest planned point. However, he had to pay for the work himself. Having proved that enough water could be brought to the Seuil de Naurouze, the contract to build the canal was signed by Louis XIV in 1666. In 1669 the construction work began in Naurouze, in 1680 Riquet died almost penniless: however, his oldest son, Jean Mathias continued the work. The canal was passable as of December 1682. Between 1686 and 1694, Vauban subsequently undertook a number of improvements.
1856 was the canal’s best year, with some 110,000,000 tons kilometers of materials and some 100,000 passengers being transported. Around 1980 the freight traffic was discontinued and tourism began to develop. In 1996, the canal was incorporated into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Esperance
The last cargo vessel on the midi: after the freight stopped, only hope remained…

Information for a houseboat holiday on the canal du Midi from Roussillon into the Midi-Pyrénées
Advantages: You will certainly not be bored. There is water everywhere, as well as food and restaurants. The endless rows of trees on the right and left banks of the canal offer pleasant shade, even in the middle of summer. Those who take their time will also come to appreciate the canal construction, which is over 300 years old.
Disadvantages: The canal has generally become the byword for house boat holidays during the past few years, which has unfortunately lead to the fact that, during the main season, traffic is similar to that at the Bastille in Paris. The associated traffic jams at the locks can be an exhausting and nerve-racking affair.

Houseboat Holiday in France, Canal du Midi

Locaboat Plaisance, Argens Minervois, Ecluse Négra
Le Boat, Castelnaudary, Port Cassafieres
Nicols, Le Somail
Les Canalous, Carnon, Homps
Caminav, Carnon
ADNavis, Amica Tours, Beziers
Rive de France, Colombiers
Minervois Cruisers, Cinesta
Navicanal, Toulouse