Canal du Midi by Bike: Béziers to Sète
Cross the Canal at Avenue Fernand Sastre
After less than 1 km, cross a road near a roundabout and continue on the bike path along the Canal.
Less than 500m later, pass under a metal drawbridge (used to get trains across the canal to a nearby factory)
There is a chambre d'hôtes up ahead. To reach it, go up to the road before the next bridge. Turn left and follow the road for less than 100, and turn right just before the bridge.
There is also a houseboat docked on the north side of the Canal. To reach it, use the bridge to cross the Canal, and continue on the road for about 2 km. If you wish to avoid the road, cross the Canal at the Écluse de Villeneuve (the lock after the next), and backtrack on a paved lane for 1 km.
Otherwise, pass under the bridge, and reach the Écluse d'Arièges after 2 km. Shortly thereafter, you'll pass under the A 9 motorway, and then the bike path segues into a residential street, before you pass the Écluse de Villeneuve. Watch for traffic on the main road as you enter
6 km Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers is an atmospheric little town. It has several good accommodation options. Choose among two excellent chambres d'hôtes, a well-liked budget hotel, and a property with two studio apartments. Less than 2 kilometers farther along the Canal, you'll also find a luxurious houseboat.
To reach the center of town, follow the main road as it veers away from the Canal.
To continue along the Canal, pick up the bike path again. After 1 km, pass under D 64. Less than 1 km later, pass under a distinctive arched bridge, where the D 37E16 leads to
To get to the CHPéniche Les Anges d'Eux, cross to the other side of the Canal here. You can see the houseboat from the bridge.
1 km later, cross the D 37, a quiet country lane. The landscape here is very rural again. You'll pass a canal-side restaurant,
La Gambille, and 1.5 km later, you'll come to the Écluse de Portiragnes.
4 km Portiragnes
Portiragnes has two distinct centers: the village, and the seafront resort area. Cross the bridge here to enter the village.
Otherwise, continue along the Canal, and after 3 km, reach a road bridge. This is the D 37 again, a more substantial road at this point.
3 km Portiragnes-Plage
To reach the beach (plage) area of
Portiragnes, veer to the right just before the bridge and follow the bike path towards the sea. The shore is just 1.5 km from here.
This beach is famous for its exceptionally clean waters.
There's a popular hotel right on the beach:
Otherwise, cross under the bridge to continue along the Canal. Here, the bike path, smoothly paved until this point, turns rougher, but it's still easy going.
Here, you have the option of crossing to the other side of the Canal, where the towpath is in better shape. Either way, you'll reach the D 137 road bridge after 1 km.
5 km Vias
Vias has two distinct centers: the town to the north, and the beach resort area to the south.
The D 137 leads straight into
Vias, 1 km north of the Canal, but it is not a road suitable for cycling. Instead, here's a better way to reach the town: just after the road bridge, there is a smaller bridge from which a paved lane heads north from the Canal. If you are still on the south side, cross a smaller bridge just after the one you've passed under, and pick up a paved lane that leads away from the Canal. Follow this lane for 600m, and you'll reach an underpass that leads directly into the town.
There is also a train station.
Entering Agde: pass train station
6 km Agde
At the roundabout after the bridge over the
Hérault, follow the main street along the river (the D 51) for 300m, then veer right onto Rue Montée de Joly. Follow this street for 400m, then turn right onto Rue de Saint-Bauzely.
You'll pass over a railroad line after 200m. After another 150m, turn left, then veer right along a paved lane that becomes a gravel track. You'll pass a narrow bridge over a creek and reach the Canal. Turn right and follow the towpath. Pass under a bridge, and 2 km later, reach the last one of the 63 locks: the Écluse de Bagnas. After 3.5 km along a dirt track, you reach the D 51E5.
Here, it's time to bid farewell to the Canal du Midi. After 240 km, it has reached its destination: the Étang de Thau, a massive lagoon connected to the Mediterranean Sea.
Turn right and follow the bike path into Marseillan.
8 km Marseillan
Marseillan is a popular resort town with a leisure port (not to be confused with the Mediterranean city of Marseille, which lies 200 km due east).
The bike path takes you to a roundabout at the entrance of Marseillan-Plage (the beach area). To reach the beach, follow the
avenue de Méditerranée. You'll pass a tourist office just after the roundabout, and get to the boardwalk 500m later. To find H Le Richmont, turn left on the boardwalk and head along the beach until you reach the port.
To continue to Sète from the roundabout, follow the bike path across
avenue de Méditerranée, and continue on it alongside the D 612. You'll cross the river, and then you'll have a delightful 12-km ride along the sea on the new bike path. At the entrance of Sète, follow the road along the waterfront. After 800m, turn left on
rue de Périgord. Where this street ends at
boulevard Curie, turn right to follow another bike path, which less than 1 km later reaches the seaside again. Continue along the seafront to the port area.
16 km Sète
Crisscrossed by canals,
Sète is known as the "Venice of the Mediterranean." This picturesque town makes a great end point for your journey.
Reaching the B&Bs is a decent climb (70 to 120m from the port) but worthwhile.
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