Many congratulations to those who have signed up to take part in the upcoming CSF charity ride starting 22 June. Over the 4 days you will ride along the Canal du Midi; pass numerous market towns; have the opportunity to explore the famous Narbonne food market (Les Halles); and sample some of the local seafood along the Mediterranean coast.
On the final day of the event (Sunday 25 June), the route takes us from Valras Plage to Sète, the Venice of Languedoc. We begin our day by heading inland until we reach the Canal du Midi at Portiragnes. For those looking to break up the morning ride, Portiragnes is a perfect jumping off point. Explore the narrow medieval streets surrounding its 12th century church and admire the magnificent doorways throughout the village.
From Portiragnes we travel along the Canal du Midi before heading inland meandering towards our lunchtime destination – Agde. Adge, an ancient roman town (525 B.C.), is one of the oldest towns in France after Beziers (575 B.C.) and Marseille (600 B.C.). Here, we will stop near the shores of the Hérault river and fuel up for the remainder of our ride.
Leaving the Herault river behind, we venture off to the town of Marseillan passing numerous vineyards along the way. Marseillan sits on the shores of the Étang de Thau, where 10% of France’s oysters are cultivated, and is home of the vermouth producer Noilly Prat. The predominate grape variety grown around this region is the Piquepoul (blanc); which was mainly used in the production of Noilly Prat until sales of the vermouth began to taper off in the later part of the 20th century. Now much of the piquepoul production goes into making the increasingly popular Picpoul de Pinet wine. A light refreshing white wine that pairs perfectly with the local shellfish from the Étang de Thau.
As we roll out of Marseillan, we join the local cycle path network until we reach the outskirts of our final destination Sète. We pass through the popular summer hotspot of Marseillan Plage before we soak up, in my opinion, the day’s best scenery. For the next 8 miles, we travel along the magnificent golden sandy beach this region is famous for. Mount Saint Clair (Sète) in the distance, the Med on our right and the Étang de Thau on our left. Simply stunning! There are many places to stop along the way to capture 'the moment'.
We’re nearly there! As we approach Sète, we will stay along the coast circumnavigating Mount Saint Clair until we reach the Port. Arrivée!
Now it is time to congratulate yourself and your riding companions for completing this cycle challenge in support of Cancer Support France. Celebrate your accomplishments by savouring the local delicacies among the numerous restaurants along the waterfront.