To many, Languedoc-Roussillon (Occtanie) is the ‘real’ south of France. It’s a land of many different landscapes including glorious beaches, snow-peaked mountains, castles, picturesque villages, vineyards and fields full of sunflowers. It’s a land that is unspoiled and authentic, beautiful and historic. And it’s an area that is famous not just for its magnificent scenery – but for its exquisite wines, delectable gastronomy and welcoming folk.
Take a tour of the real south of France
Kay and Mark Williams of the ‘Real’ South of France Tours company are based in the glorious Minervois region, an area of outstanding natural beauty that’s famous for its wines. Their tours take in the very best of Languedoc-Roussillon – the most beautiful sights, monuments and towns and the most delicious restaurants.
Guests stay at their award winning chambres d’hôtes, voted in the top 25 B&B’s in France for its charm, luxury rooms and outstanding location in the picturesque village of Olonzac near the historic Canal du Midi.
Kay (who is from New Zealand) and Mark from the UK, fell head over heels for the area. They’ve spent years exploring its many treasures. Now they share their expertise, their knowledge of the secrets, culture, history and most charming parts of the region through their 7-day discovery tours.
“There’s no rushing about on our tours.” says Kay. “It’s a small group tour of 4-6 people. There’s no wondering where to book lunch or dinner. We want you to relax. To take your time to immerse yourself in the culture. Relish the wonderful laidback atmosphere of this truly special and unspoiled part of the south of France. But though you’ll never feel rushed on and off of coaches, or in and out of buildings, you’ll get to see a lot as we share with you the very best of the region…”
What you’ll see
No visit to the area will be complete without exploring one of the pin-up medieval castles of France – fairy tale pretty Carcassonne. With its pointy turrets and UNESCO-listed walled city it is a must-see. Surrounded by vineyards, it’s pale walls contrast with a pearly blue sky to create a magical moment that takes your breath away the first time you see it. And every time after.
Going back even further in time, in the town of Narbonne, you’ll spot Roman remains including the Via Domitia, the first Roman road built in the region which linked Italy and Spain. You’ll take a boat ride on the UNESCO-listed Canal du Midi. And in the town of Gruissan on the edge of the Mediterranean coast, prepare to be amazed by the stunning pink sea of the salt pans. It’s the colour of local rosé wine! Salt has been harvested here since Roman times – and the delicate flakes really do taste different to your ordinary table salt! And you’ll visit magnificent ancient abbeys, majestic caves and some of the prettiest and most enchanting villages in France.
Delicious gastronomy and memorable wines
This is a tour that will please the most ardent foodie. And all the marvellous exploring certainly gives you a hearty appetite. Languedoc-Rousillon is renowned for its cuisine – succulent oysters and seafood, cheeses and of course the famous cassoulet a robust stew. The tour includes colourful and vibrant market visits, including an indoor market voted favourite of the French in 2022. There’s an olive orchard tour and fabulous wine tastings. You’ll enjoy a cooking lesson with a chef in the foothills of the majestic Black Mountains – an inspirational setting for your gourmet experience. All meals are included from gourmet picnics to renowned restaurants where you’ll get a true taste of France. And all wines are included too, including vineyard tastings.
This really is a most extraordinary tour where you’ll feel a connection to the area, get to know it’s secrets, uncover its hidden beauty and discover the exceptional sites with your welcoming hosts.
Find out more at: realsouthoffrancetours.fr