Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi, known in the local Occitan language as the ‘Canal of the two seas’ (Canal de las Doas Mars), joins the Atlantic Ocean in the Garonne region of France with the Mediterranean Ocean.

It is 240km long and was built by Pierre Paul Riquet between 1667 and 1681, with the help of twelve thousand labourers .

Situated only 2km from Domaine Des Hirondelles, the Canal drifts lazily through the Minervois, its banks lined with trees dappled with sunlight, passing bridges, aqueducts and locks on its way.

Dotted along the Canal are calm, picturesque villages which have retained all their charm and some of the Lock Keeper’s cottages have been opened up as art galleries and restaurants. At each village there is a different eating experience to sample, from traditional ‘cassoulet’ near Bram, to the exquisite duck and goats’ cheeses in the Minervois, and from Beziers on, the shell fish of the Etang – oysters, mussels and shrimp. All washed down with fine Languedoc wine, of course.

Be seduced by the Canal and experience its wonders either by mountain bike, on foot or hire a boat and cruise along in style watching as the kingfishers dart and dive.

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