The Canal du Midi is 150 miles long and links the Mediterranean with the river Girond in Toulouse. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built 100 years before the canals in the UK for military and commercial purposes (to bypass the pirates in Spain and Gibraltar!) it is now used entirely for leisure and tourism. Hire a self drive boat by the hour from Capstang or take a trip on a tourist boat from Carcassonne (park in the railway station), Homps, Capstang or Beziers. The best stretch of canal is probably at Beziers because of the staircase of 9 locks ("ecluses"). If you want a day trip with lunch it is advisable to book in advance (www.lesbateauxdumidi.com). The canal is closed November to March for maintenance.
The old centre of this historic town is set on top of an escarpment with grand views from the Place surrounding the Cathedrale over the river Orb which flows down from the Mountains to the North before continuing to the Mediterranean at Valras. The main claims to fame are it's involvement with the Cathar movement and the consequences of their loyalty and being the birthplace of Paul Ricqet who built the Canal du Midi complete with its necessary infrastructure to provide a waterway with links to the Bay of Biscay near Bordeaux saving trade boats a method of getting to the Mediterranean without going round the coast of Portugal and Spain. You can also visit the Cathedrale Cloisters and gardens which perch on the Cathedrale escarpment and it is possible to look around the Cathedrale itself. There are two other key Churches and museaums to visit and there are plenty of restaurents and cafés to be found down the tree lined Allée Paul Ricqet, the new Place near the Mairee and at the back of the Cathedrale. Many peopple love the old market and there are a variety of other regular markets to visit about the centre. We provide a booklet along with dedtailed maps for getting into the town easily because the one way systems and sometimes crowded roads can be offputting for new arrivals! This is a living town and some parts are careworn but the old centre is well worth a visit. In high season there is a 'tourist train' which takes you around the main sights including the 9 locks on the Canal du Midi at Fonseranes which is particularly enjoyable if you like to see people messing around in boats!
Lovely town with lots of shops, cafés and markets in the center of downtown.
Beziers has a flower market on the pedestrian strip on Thursday mornings. The Cathedral has a beautiful look out and worth the climb to the top for a bird's eye view of Beziers and the Canal du Midi winding through.