Most helpful positive review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Gem of a cycling guide
on 29 March 2011
Over the last two years my wife and I have used the first edition of this invaluable guide to help us enjoy cycling in the area of the Canal du Midi in the south of France. The book has been thoroughly researched and well written with excellent descriptions of the features of the towpath based cycle route from Toulouse to Sete in well paced stages along the canal. It's not difficult to follow a canal but the author provides clear simple maps showing features such as locks, supplies, places of interest and where to cross to the other bank. Complete and informative descriptions of the historical background to the canal, it's extensive and some unique water features and the interesting local villages and sights along the way are provided. Additionally canal linked cycling excursions varying from a few kms to a whole day trip are also detailed which visit villages and marshes providing architectural features and wildlife such as flamingos, otters and little and great egrets which can be seen.
There are 7 appendices providing useful lists of accommodation along the route (ranging from camping, a range of hotels and floating barges), intermediate distances, language glossary, repair shops, tourist offices, market days and further reading.
We found all the information in the guide to be up to date and accurate although the stretch from Agde to Sete has now changed dramatically where the only cyclable route has been dug up, but there are signs that it is going to be replaced by a super smooth cycle track. A note to this effect has been inserted in the second edition but I think it may be a year or two before the new route is available.
For anyone taking an interest in the Canal du Midi, whether you are a cyclist or not, this guide will provide fascinating and informative reading and is well worth carrying in your bar bag.