Languedoc-Rousillon in the south of France is often referred to as simply Languedoc but there is nothing simple about this amazingly diverse region.
Fringed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, home to several thousand hectares of fertile undulating vineyards, boasting clusters of medieval architecture, hilltop fortresses, gothic Cathedrals and spectacular scenery – this is a region that offers almost everything to the holiday maker.
There are more than 200kms of sandy beaches and deep lagoons – absolutely perfect for a relaxing break. For the days when you want to see the sites – you are totally spoiled for choice in the glorious Languedoc-Roussilon region and the best of these are listed at the bottom of the page.
One of the most popular holiday destinations in the region is Cap d’Agde one of the largest leisure ports on the French Mediterranean and location for a large family-style naturist resort with about 40,000 visitors on a daily basis during high season. Although the Cap d’Agde is well known for its naturist resort there are actually 11 beaches here to suit everyone.
If an activity holiday is more your thing there is plenty of opportunity here for hiking, trekking and mountain biking.
Montpellier is the capital of Languedoc-Roussilon – you’ll find vast boulevards lined with shady plane trees, a huge car-free central square laid out in the 1700s surrounded by elegant balustraded buildings, even a vast triumphal arch –Montpellier enjoys a reputation for being a lively, fast-growing city with a prominent collection of museums. While there don’t miss the lively and dynamic old quarters in the town, where you’re bound to find somewhere to sit and relax and watch the world go by with a glass of local wine. Oh, and it’s just minutes away from the beach.
For a taste of medieval history a visit to the citadel of Carcassone is an absolute must – a fairytale collection of drawbridges, towers and atmospheric cobbled streets set atop a hill and at its core, the cité – this amazing place was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997. At the bottom of the hill you’ll find it’s less touristy and there are plenty of shops and places to eat and drink.
There are striking testimonies to the Roman influence in the region – the Pont du Gard, the amphitheatre at Nîmes and the ruins at Sommiėres are wonderful examples of the great civilisation’s presence in the region. The 2,000 year old Pont du Gard was the highest bridge ever built by the Romans at 49 metres high. It was originally constructed to carry water to Nîmes where you’ll find the oval arena of the magnificent amphitheatre. This marvellous structure is still in use today and is the venue for concerts and bullfights for which the region is famous and will accommodate up to 25,000 spectators.
Inland is the Haut Languedoc region with more mountainous terrain providing challenging walking trails for lovers of the great outdoors. The Parc National des Cévennes with its spectacular fauna and flora makes for a perfect venue for enthusiastic hikers or lovers of nature and the Gorges du Tarn provides all the requirements for a first-rate canoeing experience,
The people of Languedoc-Roussillon are proud of their region and Catalan heritage and that is evident everywhere from the popularity of bullfights and paella to the brightly painted facades of the houses.
Things to do in Languedoc-Rousillon
Try the local cuisine – specialities include cargolade – grilled snails in their shells, and crème Catalane
The walled city of Carcassone
Take a wine trail tour – the region produces fantastic wine
The Corbiéres hills provide an outstanding backdrop to dozens of deserted coves and beautiful, vast sweeping beaches
Cycle, walk or take a boat trip along the tree shaded Canal du Midi – for quintessential French country atmosphere
Admire the work of Toulouse-Lautrec at the collection housed in his home town Albi
Admire the splendid Pont du Gard aqueduct, a wonderful relic of Rome’s presence in the area
Join a donkey trek in the Parc National des Cévennes where you won’t fail to be impressed by the river gorges and dramatic ravines of the Cévennes foothills (Lozère and Gard)
Marvel at the size and the breath taking splendour of the 49 metre high Pont du Gard and the magnificent 50km aqueduct that straddles the Pont du Gard.
Visit the beautiful town of Avignon – marvel at the majestic beauty of the buildings and the architecture and take a tour of the Popes Palace… it is the largest Gothic Palace in the world…