The canal of midi in Toulouse, France.

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Canal du Midi

Toulouse, Gers & Vallée du Tarn

The Canal du Midi is an engineering wonder, a 241km waterway constructed under Louis XIV to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea. Deservedly inscribed on Unesco's list of the world's cultural heritage since 1996, the stretch wending from Toulouse towards Port Lauragais has 40km of cycling and walking paths to enjoy.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Toulouse, Gers & Vallée du Tarn attractions

1. Capitole

0.61 MILES

On the eastern side of place du Capitole (the main square) is the 128m-long façade of the Capitole, Toulouse's city hall. This neoclassical masterpiece,…

2. Basilique St-Sernin

0.64 MILES

This well-preserved Romanesque edifice is built from golden and rose-hued stonework up to the tip of the octogonal bell tower. Entry is free, but it’s…

3. Église Notre Dame du Taur

0.64 MILES

This striking 14th-century church commemorates the city's patron saint, St Sernin, who was reputedly martyred on this very spot.

4. Place du Capitole

0.64 MILES

Toulouse’s grandiose main square is the focal point in the heart of France’s "Pink City"

5. Cathédrale de St-Étienne

0.65 MILES

The city cathedral dates mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries, and has a gorgeous rose window. It's also the burial place of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the…

6. Musée St-Raymond

0.68 MILES

Having trouble imagining Toulouse decorated with 4th-century nude Venuses and Corinthian columns? This light-filled museum neatly aligns the city's modern…

7. Couvent des Jacobins

0.81 MILES

With its palm tree vaulted ceiling, the Couvent des Jacobins is one of Toulouse’s oldest and most recognizable buildings

8. Hôtel d'Assézat

0.86 MILES

Toulouse boasts more than 50 hôtels particuliers – private mansions built for the city's nobles and aristocrats during the 16th and 17th centuries. Among…