Most of the small towns and villages close to the Canal du Midi are worth stopping off at. Examples include Villefranche de Lauragais, a 13th century 'bastide'
that was once a key centre for the woad trade,
and the orange brick
villages of Gardouch, Montgiscard and Ayguevives.
Brought to life every summer by the le Convivencia festival
, the Canal also features a number of locks that are part of its history such as Négra lock, where once the post office boats
carrying not mail but passengers stopped off.
The Canal du Midi has a total of 63 locks, and navigating them is always a highlight of boating on the canal. The helpful lock keepers are still today a friendly face for canal users, despite the advent of automated locks.
With its tow paths which today have found a new use as the Canal du Midi traffic-free 'voie verte' cycle path, , this amazing structure designed by Pierre-Paul Riquet in the 17th century is also part of the appeal of Toulouse, a Great Tourist Site in Midi-Pyrénées. Here, near the Pont des Demoiselles, the Canal du Midi is the tranquil home of pretty barges used as houseboats. You'll want to linger a while in the pleasant surroundings of Port Saint Sauveur. Then, at the Port de l'Embouchure, the Canal du Midi hands over to the Canal de Garonne , with which it forms the Canal des Deux Mers, heading out to the Atlantic Ocean.