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Ref CN47

Backroad cycling FranceTHE CANAL DE LA GARONNE: From AGEN to TOULOUSE A wonderful cycling mini-break along the picturesque Canal de la Garonne

The Canal de la Garonne may well be the little brother of the famous « Canal du Midi », but it is no less impressive! Mostly off-road, the route makes the most of a great network of cycle paths and green lanes, where the waters of the canal set the pace of the riding. A great opportunity to taste the pleasures of riding under your own steam from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea! No noise, no cars, no stress… just a gentle progression from lock to lock. We discover the incredible expertise and know-how deployed in order to create this gigantic hydraulic machine that spans from coast to coast. Our bikes offer us the freedom to take a few detours along the way in order to visit the Agen water bridge, the Villascopia archeological site and the Abbaye de Moissac, as well as the historical town centres of Agen, Marmande, Moissac and Montauban.
A great route from Agen to Toulouse which is sure to win you over with its charming mix of town and countryside!

Self-guided tour: from 235€ - Details Duration : 3 or 4 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 1 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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This tour is E-bike compatible

Highlights

  • A largely traffic free itinerary, mostly on green lanes and cycle tracks.
  • With very few hills along the route, the kilometres fly by with ease...
  • A great mix between leisurely cycling and the discovery of historical towns and villages.

Description

Comments

  • Special offers for private groups. Please ask us for a quote.
  • Guided tour available upon request.

Day 1: Agen - Moissac

Itinerary start: France Bike Trips services begin on day 1 at 10am at Agen SNCF railway station. On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Agen.

Agen is famous for its dried prunes, and the town offers plenty of opportunities to stock up before heading off on the day's route. They're delicious, and great cycling food to boot! We gradually leave the urban landscape of Agen behind us, until the canal joins the Garonne River for a short time. After having admired Agen's "pont-canal" (aqueduct) the previous day, the sight of the two waterways is a reminder of the aqueduct's utility, and veritable economic tool for the area, as Louis XIV intended. Two additional loops are on offer today: the first takes a detour via several high points, offering views of the surrounding countryside, while the second offers the chance to discover the beautiful village of Auvillar, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The day's route finishes in Moissac whose Romanesque abbey is well worth a visit.

Distance covered: approx. 45 km / Altitude gain: negligible.

Optional extra loop (Auvillar): + 10 km

Option extra loop 2 (surrounding countryside): + 15 km

Day 2: Moissac - Grenade

We begin the day by crossing the Tarn river by way of the superb Cacor canal bridge. A fair amount of the tour is now behind us as we enter the department of the Tarn et Garonne. The French accents have changed and the ocean seems a million miles away! We follow the canal to Castelsarrasin, starting point of a loop on quiet back roads that leads to the Abbaye de Belleperche and its tableware museum. A little further on, take the time to admire the Montech water slope in operation, an innovative and unique installation that replaces the equivalent of 5 locks! We then invite you to ride an out and back route along the banks of the Montech canal in order to discover the town of Montauban, that holds the French "art et histoire" certification. The day's route finishes by joining Grenade, your overnight stop.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Altitude gain: negligible

Optional loop (Abbey and museum of Belleperche): + 10 km

Optional loop 2 (Montech Canal): + 30 km

Day 3: Grenade - Toulouse

Before beginning this last stage of the tour there's an opportunity of riding a loop in order to discover the remarkable gardens of Larra and the labyrinth of the Château de Mélville (largest boxwood labyrinth in Europe). Once back at the Canal Latéral de la Garonne, our route takes us past several locks as the landscape becomes progressively more urban as we approach Toulouse, the "pink city" Take the time to visit the many sights of this wonderful city: from the Saint Sernin basilica to the Jacobin convent and many others, the city is home to an impressive quantity of architectural and heritage sites. It is possible to return to Marmande by train.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km (incl. 10 km in Toulouse) / Altitude gain: negligible

Optional loop (Château de Larra and Labyrinthe of Mélville): + 25 km

Optional loop 2 (Labyrinth of Mélville out and back): + 15 km

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Itinerary end: The trip ends on day 3 at around 3pm at Toulouse SNCF railway station. On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Toulouse.

Day 1: Marmande - Agen

Itinerary start: France Bike Trips services begin on day 1 at 10am at Marmande SNCF railway station. On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Marmande.

With your tyres pumped up, saddle adjusted, and road book in hand, you're ready to set off on this great backroad tour. Leaving from the train station, we begin our tour along the canal that follows the Garonne. The kilometres pass with relative ease, helped by the succession of beautiful landscapes along the way. The plane trees along the canal offer a welcome shade from the sun and the opportunity to stop and admire the boats as they make their way through the locks. A great opportunity for a chat with the boat crews! Don't miss the Saint Vincent church at the Mas d'agenais: there's a Rembrandt on display there! For those with the energy, an extra loop offers the chance to walk in Henry the 4th's footsteps and admire a mill and château that once belonged to him. Both buildings are superbly well preserved. Finally, we arrive in Agen. The town centre is particularly charming and is well worth taking the time for an extended visit.

Distance covered: approx. 65 km / Altitude gain: negligible.

Optional extra loop: + 25 km / Altitude gain: approx. 300 m

Day 2: Agen - Moissac

Agen is famous for its dried prunes, and the town offers plenty of opportunities to stock up before heading off on the day's route. They're delicious, and great cycling food to boot! We gradually leave the urban landscape of Agen behind us, until the canal joins the Garonne River for a short time. After having admired Agen's “pont-canal” (aqueduct) the previous day, the sight of the two waterways is a reminder of the aqueduct's utility, and veritable economic tool for the area, as Louis XIV intended. Two additional loops are on offer today: the first takes a detour via several high points, offering views of the surrounding countryside, while the second offers the chance to discover the beautiful village of Auvillar, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The day's route finishes in Moissac whose Romanesque abbey is well worth a visit.

Distance covered: approx. 45 km / Altitude gain: negligible.

Optional extra loop (Auvillar): + 10 km

Option extra loop 2 (surrounding countryside): + 15 km

Day 3: Moissac - Grenade

We begin the day by crossing the Tarn river by way of the superb Cacor canal bridge. A fair amount of the tour is now behind us as we enter the department of the Tarn et Garonne. The French accents have changed and the ocean seems a million miles away! We follow the canal to Castelsarrasin, starting point of a loop on quiet back roads that leads to the Abbaye de Belleperche and its tableware museum. A little further on, take the time to admire the Montech water slope in operation, an innovative and unique installation that replaces the equivalent of 5 locks! We then invite you to ride an out and back route along the banks of the Montech canal in order to discover the town of Montauban, that holds the French "art et histoire" certification. The day's route finishes by joining Grenade, your overnight stop.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Altitude gain: negligible

Optional loop (Abbey and museum of Belleperche): + 10 km

Optional loop 2 (Montech Canal): + 30 km

Day 4: Grenade - Toulouse

Before beginning this last stage of the tour there's an opportunity of riding a loop in order to discover the remarkable gardens of Larra and the labyrinth of the Château de Mélville (largest boxwood labyrinth in Europe). Once back at the Canal Latéral de la Garonne, our route takes us past several locks as the landscape becomes progressively more urban as we approach Toulouse, the "pink city" Take the time to visit the many sights of this wonderful city: from the Saint Sernin basilica to the Jacobin convent and many others, the city is home to an impressive quantity of architectural and heritage sites. It is possible to return to Marmande by train.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km (incl. 10 km in Toulouse) / Altitude gain: negligible

Optional loop (Château de Larra and Labyrinthe of Mélville): + 25 km

Optional loop 2 (Labyrinth of Mélville out and back): + 15 km

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Itinerary end: The trip ends on day 4 at around 3pm at Toulouse SNCF railway station. On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Toulouse.

Average tour rating:

3/5 - 1 Reviews
Noelene B. | Participant rating:
"Very helpful support before trip. Good details, etc.
Very happy with everything apart from the seats.
We did make a major mistake when booking as we decided to do the Garonne rather than Canal du Midi and made this decision as we had heard the Midi path was quite rough. However we did not consider the history of the Garonne so found the ride quite monotonous as we weren't passing thru villages etc but farmland day after day. We didn't take into consideration that the Garonne is only about 200 years old with no river traffic history over the centuries as with the Midi. But that was our mistake. However this aspect could be worth pointing out in the tour description. "
This review has received a response from France Bike Trips:

Thank you for your post-tour feedback. Effectively the Canal de la Garonne is a little less picturesque that the Canal du Midi (though still a superb tour in our opinion). One big advantage of the Garonne over the Midi is the quality of the cycling surface. Unfortunately some parts of the Canal du Midi have fallen into disrepair over the years meaning there are some rough sections that may not suit some cyclists, as well as detours on roads due to work being carried out. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but both remain 2 of the best cycling tours on offer in France.

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Please complete the form below in order to create an account

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What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
  • Update your contact details
  • View the status of your booking
  • View and download your travel documents
  • Pay your booking balance
  • Manage your photo albums created on our website
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Please type in your search terms.

You can prefix chosen words with the '+' sign to make them mandatory, or with the '-' sign to avoid results containing this word from appearing, e.g. west +nepal -canada

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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
X

Contact us

A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.

Send the message