The Arles Way Arles Way on the Canal du Midi
- 7 Nights
- 140 km
- Tour Type:
Castres is a nice town to begin the Arles Way. It has grown up around the Benedictine abbey of Saint Benoît, which is believed to have been founded in AD 647. Nowadways, it hosts the important Goya Museum of Spanish painting. Today, you leave the city and the monuments of Castres and head on your walk along the countryside. At Viviers-les-Montagnes, you will discover its rich heritage. Visit the 18th century castle and admire the church with its crenellated tower and Virgin.
From village to hamlet, along a small graveled road, you will arrive at the Sorèze limit of the Regional Natural Park of Haut Languedoc and the foothills of the Montagne Noire. At Revel, among other things you can admire the half-timbered houses, and the majestic hall of the fourteenth century surmounted by a belfry.
You will find this stage more refressing, as it follows the river that feeds the Canal du Midi in Naurouze Pass.
The path takes you to Villefranche-de-Lauragais, a bastide (large fortified country house) founded in 1270 by Alphonse de Poitiers, famous today for its cassoulet. Take time to visit the church of the thirteenth and fourteenth century “meridional” Gothic. Shortly before Montgiscard and its Gothic church of the fourteenth century you will find the Canal du Midi and its towpaths which will guide you for a while.
The path takes you to Villefranche Lauragais , a bastide (large fortified country house) founded in 1270 by Alphonse de Poitiers, famous today for its cassoulet. Take time to visit the church of the thirteenth and fourteenth century “meridional” Gothic. Shortly before Montgiscard and its Gothic church of the fourteenth century you will find the Canal du Midi and its towpaths which will guide you for a while.
We suggest to leave the Camino and follow the Canal du Midi for a pleasant and shaded walk along the water. You can also follow the Camino but it will be 5km longer. Ending at the Basilica of St. Sernin. Toulouse, Occitan capital, the pink city, the haut lieu of pilgrimages, opens its doors.
The Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in France. This town is also the centre of the European aerospace industry. The main attraction is the Saint-Sernin Basilica, the largest romanesque church in Europe, which contains one of the most beautiful pipe organs in France.
We have handpicked our hotels on the Camino de Santiago based on their character, facilities and comfort. You will usually arrive at your accommodation in the afternoon giving you plenty of time for a refreshing shower and a visit to the local village, or maybe just to unwind and relax yourself. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability.
Standard Hotel & Guesthouse
We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail.
How to Get There
Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.
Toulouse Airport 80km: From the airport to the station, you can take the shuttle bus (“AERO”, departing every 20 min, taking approx. 40min). See http://www.toulouse.aeroport.fr. The stop is Toulouse-Matabiau (train station). There is a well-served train connection between Toulouse-Matabiau and Castres (10 times/ day, 1h10 travel time). See http://www.voyages-sncf.co.uk/.
Castres Mazamet Airport 8km: Unfortunately, it is necessary to take a taxi between Castres and Castres airport, as there is no public transport (the distance is about 8km).
Toulouse Airport 8km: From the airport to the city, you can take the shuttle bus (“AERO”: every 20 min, taking approx. 40min). See http://www.toulouse.aeroport.fr .The final stop is Toulouse-Matabiau (train station). Other stops are on the way (e.g. the city centre).
Carcassonne Airport 90km: Between Toulouse (Matabiau) and Carcassonne, there is a train (taking approx. 45min). See http://www.voyages-sncf.com.
In Carcassonne, a shuttle bus links the city with the airport and is available 25 minutes after the arrival of a plane. See http://www.carcassonne-tourisme.com.