From Sète to Toulouse, along Vias and Marseillan, the Canal du midi is one of the major sites in the Languedoc region. It was created by Pierre Paul Riquet in 1667. The tax collector (born in Béziers) of the Sun King had the crazy idea of connecting the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. The objective is first of all economic: to develop trade in the Languedoc.
The Canal du Midi is a remarkable project and a real achievement that has brought together 12,000 people, men and women, for 15 long years. It was in the 19th century with the emergence of railways that its commercial use gradually gave way to tourism. The "Two Seas" Canal extends 240 kilometres between the Thau lake, near Sète, to Toulouse, also called the pink city.
Since 1996, it has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Emblem of local culture, the Canal du Midi is the unity of the region and the villages that border it.
Discover the Canal du Midi walking, by bike or on the water
The Canal du Midi has its source at the spring of Alzeau in the black mountains and flows through all of Occitanie. On its banks no less than 350 engineering structures are listed!
To admire the Canal du Midi, you don't need to travel far, at Vias Plage we have the chance to enjoy this magnificent structure. The Canal passes a few hundred metres from the campsite. To discover it in several ways: on foot, by bike or by boat!
On foot: Family walk
The towpaths will guide you along the canal in the shade of the plane trees. You will appreciate the atmosphere and natural landscapes of this remarkable work. Accessible for all levels, its trails are flat and straight. You will easily enjoy this walk with the younger ones.
We advise you to take your picnic with you to enjoy a moment of relaxation on the banks and admire the green setting and the calm waters of the Canal in the shade of the plane trees.
By bike: for the sportier ones !
The 33 km of trails along the Canal du Midi between Béziers and the Thau lake are easily accessible, safe and suitable for all ages. Classified as greenways, the banks are reserved for hikers and non-motorized vehicles. They are also suitable for people with reduced mobility. Near the campsite, do not miss the round lock of 1680 in Agde and the removable bridge of the Libron of 1857 in Vias.
If you do not have a bike, you can rent one at the campsite reception for half a day, a day, a week or more (prices at reception).
By boat: Let yourself be carried on the water
Become a captain for a few hours by renting a boat without a licence near the campsite (about 1.5 km, near Europark, Vias Evasion). The most adventurous can even rent a barge and try a trip on the calm waters of the canal. But, remember to revise your navigation signs, on the canals, they will be essential to you.
No matter how you get around, if you keep your eyes open, you'll probably meet ducks or coypu who like to dig their burrows in the river banks. More rarely, you will be able to see water chickens, grey herons and if you are lucky turtles.
As for the flora, you will admire the alignment and size of the plane trees that make the canal so special. They border the canal and bring a peaceful and warm atmosphere to it.
The essential of the Canal Du Midi
The locks of Fonseranes
The 9 locks at Fonseranes are the most visited tourist site in the Hérault and have also been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1996. The impressive water staircase, completely restored, is a real technical feat that allows boaters to climb 21.50 metres in 312 metres distance.
We go there to admire this exceptional structure, watch the boats and barges pass by, but above all to soak up the atmosphere and friendliness that prevail there. We enjoy a real moment of sharing with passionate lock keepers who teach us a little more about the canal and the region. Boaters are helped to dock during a stopover.
On the spot, we eat and taste a good wine at the restaurant "9". A bistronomic kitchen and a panoramic view of the canal.
Before returning to the campsite, make a detour to the Orb canal bridge in Béziers. Only 15 minutes' walk from the locks, this exceptional structure carries the Canal du Midi over the Orb. 240 metres long, it is one of the largest channel bridges in France. The crossing by barge is unique and unusual. It offers an incredible view of the city of Béziers.
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