Medieval town of Carcassonne at sunset
Carcassone Saint Nazaire Basilica Medieval City France
Sunset in Gruissan
France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Canal du Midi
canal du midi with a lock near carcasonne
Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Fontfroide
Cathedral St Just and Pasteur of Narbonne
From Carcassonne to Narbonne
This 4-day tour offers a 115km walk through history and water, along the Canal du Midi between Carcassonne and Narbonne.
Leaving the sublime medieval city of Carcassonne, you will walk along the Canal du Midi and enjoy its peace. You’ll be charmed by Gruissan and its stilt houses before reaching your last stop: Narbonne.
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Listed as World Heritage site by UNESCO since 1997, Carcassonne lingers in the memory of all those who have walked the small streets of this medieval city protected by an impressive double enclosure.
The city of Carcassonne is the largest fortress in Europe. It consists of a fortified centre, the Château Comtal, surrounded by a double enclosure that also incorporates the Basilica of St. Nazaire and a group of houses. The outer enclosure, which includes fourteen towers, is separated from the inner enclosure (twenty-four towers) by a terrace: les lices, which is ideal for walking.
After lunch on the terrace, go and explore Ville Basse and its regular grid, typical of the bastides before continuing with the Museum of Fine Arts.
You will have earned your evening cassoulet!
You will spend your first night here in Carcassonne.
MyTripTailor advice: leave the car in one of the car parks on the outskirts of the city, especially the one that offers easy access to the nearby Porte Narbonnaise.
You leave behind the beautiful city of Carcassonne to explore a genuine technical feat: the Canal du Midi.
The beauty of its banks, the tranquility of its course and the richness of its route are what makes the Canal du Midi which crosses, from end to end, Roussillon and Languedoc, from Toulouse to Sète.
Over this leisurely shaded cruise, you will discover sun-drenched vineyards and towns and villages steeped in history. The canal is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Start with a shaded walk in the arboretum in the outskirts of Naurouze and go to admire the original circular plan of the Rieux-Minervois church and the treasure of the Quarante church.
No doubt, you’ll find a nice green space to picnic before leaving in the afternoon to take on the locks that is sure to please children: Aiguille lock, Fonséranes locks, the Repudre canal bridge as well as the oppidum d’Ensérune.
A family cruise on the canal is mandatory before reaching Castelnaudary where you will spend the night.
MyTripTailor advice : to capture the good life on the canal, you can choose to follow its banks on foot, by bike or on board a barge.
In the morning, you leave the Canal du Midi in the direction of Gruissan.
Stroll through this old village of fishermen and salt workers, with houses nestled in concentric circles (“circulade”) and dominated by the ruins of the Barberousse tower.
Allow time for a walk around the Gruissan lagoon (6km).
Passing the village, you arrive at the seaside resort that gives access to the beach, the name of which “plage des chalets” refers to the presence of the set of small stilt houses. Built ‘off the ground’ at the end of the 19th century, they served as dwellings for fishermen protecting themselves against the risk of flooding. Mostly built with wooden balconies, they extend along the beach, separated by a pier and pedestrian walkway. An absolute must!
You can choose to sleep here or head directly to Narbonne, your last stop.
MyTripTailor advice: beware if you leave Gruissan in the late afternoon, the traffic towards Narbonne-Plage is heavy!
The capital of Narbonnese Gaul, residence of Visigoth kings, an archbishop city, a bustling harbour, “Narbonne la Rose” recites names and prestigious architectural witnesses to a glorious past.
In summer, cover off the city in the morning to avoid the heat. Have lunch before enjoying the relative coolness of the Palais Neuf museums. Along with the courtyard facade of the town hall, the donjon Gilles-Aycelin, the St-Martial tower and the Aile des Synods, it forms a vast ensemble organised around the main courtyard. It houses the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Art and History.
If you still have time, it would be a shame to miss a visit of the Abbey of Fontfroide, a beautifully restored Cistercian abbey, cradled in a valley of Corbières.
MyTripTailor advice: Narbonne, labeled as a City of Art and History, offers discovery tours (1h-1h30) led by speaker guides.
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