After waking up to a very wet morning and the weather forecast promised more of the same to come, we did the obvious thing ‘headed south’
Most people who hold dreams of South-West France probably skip Castelnaudary, but they shouldn’t.
Paloma was parked up at the pleasant Canal site motorhome aire (N43.3141 E1.9484), sadly her battery light came on and now she’s residing in the local garage awaiting a new alternator and we’re having a different break in the The Hotel canal du midi a mere 300 meters away.
Admittedly the town is a bit quiet, a bit too underinvested, though this fact is indeed bewildering to me considering its prime location near the city of Toulouse.
You might see plenty of locals in tracksuits carrying baguettes, and there is almost a sort of forgotten air that lingers here but there is something I find really special about the place.
Castelnaudary is located in the Aude department in the Occitanie region and is well known for the 240 kilometre Canal du Midi, one of Europe’s oldest waterways, built in the 17th century connecting the Garonne to the Mediterranean, wildly considered an engineering masterpiece.
There is a superb sense of peace walking along the canal in the center of the city
The section of the town around the Grand Bassin – the old ‘canal port’ – is scenically the most impressive part of Castelnaudary.
The port has been awarded the ‘blue flag’ award, this is more commonly associated with beaches than inland harbours !
Castelnaudary is an important port on the Canal du Midi and you will see lots of pleasure boats tied up here in the port: the canal is very popular with visitors taking barge holidays in France.