Quick Guide to Languedoc Roussillon
Departments in Languedoc-Roussillon:
Aude, Gard, Herault, Lozere, Pyrenees-Orientales
Popular Towns in Languedoc-Roussillon:
Montpellier, Nimes, Perpignan, Beziers, Carcassonne, Sete
Languedoc-Roussillon is the most exotic of the French regions. You can see this in the history and culture - a land where Occitan and Catalan culture have often fought against French rule and revolts and religious persecution have upset the tranquillity, but which now embraces all three sides of its personality and thrives on its mixed heritage. Thanks to unification of these three backgrounds, the region boasts some of the most outlandish local traditions alongside a whole host of fusion food, history and scenery.
The landscape ranges from the Southern slopes of the Massif Central mountain range in Lozére sliding away to the Roman remains in Gard, along the coast to the rocky outcrops of Hérault, the seaside towns of Aude and back up again in Pyrenees-Orientales. But whether it's the landscape, the culture or just the beaches you love, the diversity of this region will keep you coming back for more.
Top things to see...
- The imposing largest fortified town in Europe - the fascinating Carcassonne.
- The water-jousting tournaments held in the Grand Canal in Sète - imagine two teams trying to knock each other off gondolas and you are halfway to picturing the madness.
- Catalan seaside villages such as Collioure or Port-Vendres along the coastline and open up onto the azure Mediterranean Sea.
- An open-air concert in Les Arènes, a romantic Roman amphitheatre in Nîmes.
- Rugby fanaticism taken to a whole new level at match in Béziers, complete with banners, chants and an electric atmosphere.
Top things to do...
- Go lagoon-hopping on the coasts, where new pools pop up and vanish every day.
- Take a hike in the southern tips of the Massif Central, all the drama of its northern counterpart, but with guaranteed better weather.
- Bike down the 12-mile spit of land that takes you into the Med at Cap d'Agde, with waves lapping all around you and only the sky, sand and sea for company.
- Enjoy your own private pool at the naturally formed coves tucked into the rocky coastline along the Côte Vermeille, which also make great rock-diving spots.
- Sip on an ice-cold drink while cruising down the Canal du Midi in the glorious sunshine.
Catalan, Occitan, Spanish influences, Roman heritage, coastline, Mediterranean Sea, sunshine.
Did you know...?
The University in Montpellier is the world's longest continuously open university in the world.
By road... Driving here is easy thanks to a good motorway in and out, and some of the coastal region can be a bit hard to reach on public transport, so to get off the beaten track, it helps to have a car to get around.
By air... Ryanair offer the most comprehensive service from the UK to the region, with flights from Stansted, Nottingham and Liverpool to Carcassonne, Montpellier and Nîmes.
By public transport... As a Mediterreanean coast, the region enjoys good public traqnsport, and the low-impact approach to get here is by Eurostar and then the local TGV, which regularly serves Nîmes, Montpellier, Sète, Agde, Béziers, Narbonne and Perpignan.