The Montech Canal

Le Canal de Montech

The Montech canal also referred to as the Montauban branch, connects the Garonne lateral canal to the River Tarn. This short 10 kilometres long waterway is perfect for a getaway visit to Montauban, a city designated as a Town of Art and History by the French government.

The waterway connects le Canal latéral à la Garonne to le Tarn.

Navigation on the Montech Canal starts at Montech and ends at Montauban.

Construction began in 1838 and ended in 1844.

The Montech Canal is 11.00 kilometres long (6.84 miles) with a total of 11.00 kilometres of navigable waterway.

There is a total of 10 locks, with an average of 1 lock every 1.1 kilometres (0.68 miles).

The highest point on the Montech Canal is 106.00 metres (347′ 9″ ft) above sea level and the lowest point is at 84.00 metres (275′ 7″ ft) above sea level.

From Montech to Montauban

The water draft is 1.60 metres (5′ 3″ ft) and the air draft is 3.70 metres (12′ 2″ ft).

General lock size

There are "Small" lock types.
Lock length 29.00 metres (95′ 2″ ft)
Lock width 6.00 metres (19′ 8″ ft)

Barges cruising on the Montech Canal

Name Itinerary Passengers
Rosa Gascony: Montauban to Boé 8 View the itinerary

Self-drive boats cruising on the Montech Canal

Fleet Cruise route
Nicols Aquitaine View the Nicols boats
Locaboat Aquitaine View the Locaboat boats

The Garonne lateral canal was constructed between 1838 and 1856, thus connecting Toulouse to the navigable Garonne at Castillon, near Bordeaux. An extension of the Midi canal, this waterway completed the long wished project of a canal of the Two Seas. Bordering the Tarn river, the city of Montauban was isolated from this new and potentially very profitable network. In 1844, authorities agreed to build a short branch between Montech, on the Garonne lateral canal, and the Tarn. It was opened in 1856 with the lateral canal. The Montech canal is only 10 kilometres long and has 10 locks. The Montech water slope, which allows 40-metres long boats to bypass five locks, is located on the Garonne lateral canal.

With its small and pretty port, dozens of historical monuments, parks and museums, Montauban is well worth a visit. Located in an ancient episcopal palace, the Ingres-Bourdelle Museum holds a large art and archaeological collection. In 2016, a private collector opened a Toy Museum. An ancient bastide town with elegant arcades and grand pink houses perfect for strolling, Montauban also has water sports opportunities.


  • Desaunais, A. (1937), « Le canal du Midi » in Géocarrefour, n°13, pp. 175-187.
  • (s.d.), « Le canal de Montech » in Tourisme Tarn-et-Garonne [Online].
  • (s.d.), « Le canal latéral à la Garonne » in Projet Babel [Online].

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