Route de Pouzols,11200 Paraza
+33 (0)6 86 75 15 58
Amid all her training for the UCI Masters’ World Championships in Perth last year, Gillian somehow found the time to set up this super cyclists’ base in the Aude countryside. Gillian’s cycling lodge is a homely stone farmhouse offering ensuite B&B accommodation for cyclists of all abilities – tourers, road riders … you’re all welcome. Gillian offers a service here tailored for cyclists to help you make the most of cycling in this quiet corner of the Langeudoc/Occitanie countryside. If there’s a road within a 100km radius of here, Gillian’s probably ridden it. She also prepares delicious breakfasts to power you through the day and – as a passionate vegetarian cook – can offer delicious evening meals for when you come in off the bike. She can also suggest some lovely restaurants nearby so you can sample the regional cuisine. Onsite pool and plenty of space to relax. If you’re not arriving with your own bike, there’s a friendly hire outlet in town. Free wifi. French and English spoken.
8 Route Départementale 117, 11230 Puivert
+33 (0)4 68 20 66 08 or +33 (0)7 86 70 43 15
From €50 per night or €350 per week
The Au Petit Verger is run by Martyn, a cyclist who also runs a small cycle tour company from his base here in the Aude. There are five bedrooms, so ideal for small groups and families. The B&B is near good road routes and some nice MTB trails as well. For more challenging rides, the Plateau de Beille, Col de Porte-Pa and Port de Pailhères – all TDF cols – are within striking distance. Martyn can also arrange days out further into the Pyrenees. But don’t worry if your legs aren’t up to climbing – there are also some family friendly leisure rides nearby. There is a full bike workshop and secure garage for storage, plus stacks of inhouse knowledge from Martin when it comes to routes and ride ideas. Free wifi for all guests. Airport pickups and bike hire also possible.
77 Route Départementale, 11140 Axat
+33 (0) 4 68 74 04 83
From €60 (with breakfast)
This is a cyclist-run B&B (with a self-catering option as well) set in a renovated townhouse on the Aude River. Graham and Sandra’s Echappée Chambre d’Hotes is in Axat, a lovely village that hosts its own sportive each year (see here). There are two TdF climbs nearby: the Col du Jau and Col du Pailheres. Otherwise, think mountain landscapes and gorgeous gorges. Feel free to pick the brains of Graham, who will only be too happy to share his favourite rides with you. Quality road bikes can be hired inhouse (there is a choice of frames and groupsets). Free wifi.
21 Grand Rue, 11200 Homps
+33 (0)4 68 75 30 76
From €89 per room B&B, book directly
From €525 per week for the self-catered holiday cottage
Le Jardin d’Homps is a popular stop on the Canal du Midi route. All feedback we’re received suggests this is more than justified (there is a review by cyclists here). The B&B is run by an English-speaking Dutch couple, Gerda and Thomas, who enjoy hosting cyclists. It’s midway between Carcassonne and Béziers and between Carcassonne and Narbonne, making it an ideal spot for a stopover. There are just 5 rooms plus a small cottage for self-caterers. The rooms have comfortable extra-long (2.10m) beds. There is a large private pool plus peaceful gardens. Loads of local advice and restaurant recommendations available from Gerda and Thomas, along with local bike rental.
Hameau de Jouarres
Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon (Occitanie)
+33(0)4 68 40 45 00
La Residence du Chateau de Jouarres is in a great location for an overnight stop on the Canal du Midi, or a longer stay to explore the surrounding countryside. La Residence du Chateau de Jouarres offers self-catered apartments suitable for 2 – 8 people in the grounds of a former 18th century chateau. It is set amongst the vineyards of the Minervois and Corbieres regions east of Carcassonne. Each apartment has a terrace or a balcony with views overlooking the pool area, woodlands or gardens. Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchenette (although you can also request breakfast if you don’t have supplies). There’s secure bike storage, a laundry room, free wifi in communal areas, BBQ area plus a large pool. There is also an English-speaking manager to help with local advice. Nearby Homps has a good selection of restaurants and local shops. Larger supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and weekly markets can be found in in the nearby small towns of La Redorte, Azille and Olonzac. Nightly rates available April – June and September – October (July and August week-long bookings only)
43 quai d’Alsace, 11590 Sallèles-d’Aude
+33 (0)4 68 46 83 03 (France) or 0844 232 5841 (UK)
From €60-€100 per room for two people all year (includes breakfast).
This is a canal-side B&B run by two cyclists, Nick and Isobel. This is a magic place for cycling. The B&B provides direct access to the canal towpath – from here it’s a 45-minute ride to Narbonne (and the European Bike Express route). Sallèles-d’Aude itself is a wine village and ideal for vineyard routes through Minervois, Corbieres and La Clape (leave time for wine-tasting!) Nick and Isobel can share their favourite local routes with you and offer maps and even hybrid bike hire. There’s also the option of an evening meal if you don’t feel like going out (vegetarians and others with special dietary requests are catered for). You can also ask for a picnic for the next day. There’s a garage for secure bike storage plus plenty of tools for on-road repairs. French and English spoken, plus a bit of Spanish, German and Italian.
8 Avenue du Languedoc, 11700 Capendu
From €85, book online
This is a regular stop for Tour de France teams when the area is on the route. Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin were among the top names in the pro peloton to stay here in 2016 – it’s fair to say the hotel is probably up to the rigours of hosting tired and hungry cyclists! With hearty breakfasts, an onsite restaurant and free wifi, it’s ideal for road cyclists as well as leisure riders exploring the Canal du Midi.
2 Rue du Comte Roger, La Cité, 11000 Carcassonne
From €112, book online
Hotel Le Donjon was recommended to us by cyclists who stayed there. They described it as a great stop on the Canal du Midi route. The staff are friendly and can direct you to the bike storage room, plus the rooms themselves (and in fact the entire hotel) are on the lavish side of comfortable. There’s a bar and restaurant, hotel gardens, plus free wifi. Some of the rooms have lovely views out over the gardens or the ancient city itself. The hotel has English, French and Spanish-speaking staff. You can read a review by cyclists here.
Place Auguste Pierre Pont, 11000 Carcassonne
From €259, book online
This is without a doubt a luxurious option if you are passing through Carcassonne. The magical Hotel de la Cité is a fairytale place to stay in a fairytale city. The hotel’s 19th century neo-gothic architecture is right at home in the old medieval town centre. Hidden passages and false doors add to the magic. The restaurant – Michelin-starred, no less – is a great place to sample local cuisine. All the extras are here: pool, massages, safe bike storage.
12 Quai de Lorraine, 3 Allée Ambrosia, 11100 Narbonne
From €105, book online
Villa Ambrosia is a bike-friendly B&B with a difference – its own indoor pool running through an atrium. It’s a fabulous design that also incorporates a hot tub and fitness area. It’s in a great location for cyclists riding the Canal de la Robine. Breakfast is served Continental-style, complete with homemade pastries and jams. There is wifi. The owners speak English, French and Spanish.
6 Rue du 1er Mai,11100 Narbonne
From €95, book online
Hotel Le Residence was recommended to us by cyclists riding the Canal du Midi who had taken the Canal de la Robine diversion. The staff are friendly, a breakfast fit for cyclists is served up each morning, and there is free wifi as well as a luggage store. The hotel is wonderfully decorated, and has been restored so as to retain its old 19th century French feel. The staff speak English, French, and Spanish. You can read a cyclist’s review here.
12 rue de la Liberation, 11230 Puivert
+44 (0)777 629 0239
From €40 to €75 per night (minimum 3-night stay preferred)
Confort du Sud is a lovely 50km ride south of Carcassonne, making it an ideal spot for a cycling holiday. Nestled in Cathar country at the foothills of the Pyrenees, there are rides for all abilities from the door. Ade and Leesa tell us they are hoping to see more cyclists come and enjoy the area on two wheels. The house itself has room to accommodate up to 8 people and comes complete with lots of luxuries to ensure you enjoy your stay. A small enclosed rear garden offers privacy – plus an area for al fresco dining. There’s a fully equipped kitchen plus laundry for guest use, along with heaps of space for safe bike storage (there are also house bikes you can borrow if you don’t have your own). There is lots to do for cyclists and non-cyclists alike, with a swimming lake close by, plus villages with cafes to kick back in. This is a good base for cycling clubs and an ideal spot for the Figure of Hate sportive that’s held in nearby Axat every year. Free wifi. English spoken.
La Pène, 11240 Escueillens-et-Saint-Just-de-Bélengard
+33 (0)6 40 44 95 16
From €1250-€4550 per week (sleeps up to 18)
This is a lovely base for cycling. Mark and Andrea love hosting cyclists and can share their favourite local rides with you. (See their cycling pages here).
The well-appointed Maison Tranquil sleeps up to 18 people in 7 bedrooms, offering a superb place for cycling groups and families. Just 40km south-west of Carcassonne, there is plenty to see and do in this area. Take time to enjoy the private grounds – almost 4 acres in total – plus the private lake and pool. It’s also very family friendly – it comes complete with a treehouse and swings to keep mini-cyclists occupied.
Lieu dit Pouroutounat, 09500 Mirepoix
Ariège/Aude border, Occitanie
+33 (0)5 81 06 04 55 or +33 (0)6 23 24 32 01
From: £795 per week (it can sleep up to 6 people)
Grange de Pierre is a renovated, high-spec farmhouse set in 3 acres of parkland. Ideal for self-caterers, it can sleep up to 6 people, making it a great base for small groups. This is true Cathar country with lots of history plus the gentle flow of the Canal du Midi just to the south. For more challenging rides, you can head off into the foothills of the Pyrenees. (Think quiet, open roads). Mirepoix, an old market town, is a few kilometres away for supplies, plus it has enough restaurants and bars to keep you happy if you don’t fancy cooking. Non-cyclists can enjoy walks, ancient architecture and vineyard visits. Private pool and barbecue area, relaxing terrace and gardens. Free wifi. English spoken
L’écluse de la Méditerranée, 11400 Mas-Saintes-Puelles
From €75, book online
Stay on the Canal du Midi itself on Péniche Kapadokya, a B&B barge a short ride (8km) from Castelnaudry. There are two decks plus it’s air-conditioned for the hot summer months. Families with children are welcome – there are twin and double cabins plus private bathrooms. Breakfast is served up on the deck. Bikes are locked to the deck overnight – bring your own lock for extra piece of mind. Note there is no wifi on board.