In a most pleasant natural setting, the Canal du Midi is:
- 14 years of work
- 241 km long, from Toulouse to the basin de Thau
- 63 locks and 350 art structures
- 10,000 boats a year at Fonseranes Locks
- 90,000,000 m3 of water per year to supply the canal
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fantastic work that dates back to antiquity has remained for centuries in a state of project. Under the reign of Louis XIV, only the tenacity of a man, Pierre Paul Riquet, will overcome this crazy idea: create and feed an artificial waterway 241 km long, 10 to 20 m wide and 2 m deep connecting the Garonne (and therefore the Atlantic Ocean) to the Mediterranean with the technical and topographical means of the seventeenth century.
During its journey, and particularly in Languedoc, the Canal du Midi has encountered many obstacles requiring the construction of amazing structures, sometimes unique to their time.
Over 350 years old, it is today a great way of leisure on foot, by bike, by boat. From west to east, you will discover various treasures:
- The Malpas tunnel: first tunnel in the world dug for a canal, just on the outskirts of the Ensérune Oppidum.
- The 9 locks of Fonseranes: a real water staircase allowing to cross 21,50 m of elevation, on a little more than 300 m.
- The Béziers canal bridge : when the canal passes over the Orb, this capricious coastal river.
- The Libron’s works: the deviation of a capricious watercourse above the canal, through an ingenious system of valves.
- The Agde round lock: built in volcanic stone, this unique lock in the world allows the crossing of three waters (Canal du Midi, the Hérault river, and the Canalet).
- The tip of the Onglous: the journey ends with a symbolic place where the waters of the canal mix with those of the lagoon of Thau.