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Declan Lyons has a lifelong passion for cycling and touring. He was bitten by the bug when, as a teenager in the 1960s, he explored the wilds of Connemara on a rusty three-speed Rudge bicycle. Since then he has toured extensively in Ireland and further afield. He’s cycled throughout France, including regular trips from the Channel to the Mediterranean.
You can see the plane trees bordering the Canal du Midi from Declan’s home in Portiragnes. He has spent the past decade exploring its history, culture and wildlife by bike – accompanied by his wife, son and fellow enthusiasts.
Guide to cycling the Canal du Midi in southern France, 240km from Toulouse in the Haute Garonne to Sète on the Mediterranean Coast. The flat, picturesque route is divided into five stages, each around 50km long. Includes detours to sights close to the canal as well as longer excursions, including Narbonne, Minerve, Carcassone and Béziers.