Visit Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Stretching from the Pyrenees to Provence, from the Mediterranean to the mountains, Languedoc must surely be the most varied region in France - with something for everyone whatever you are looking for and whatever the season!
Four random places to explore: discover somewhere new in Languedoc!
Languedoc-Roussillon: an introduction
Languedoc-Roussillon is found in southern-central France, along the Mediterranean coast and stretching inland. It reaches Spain at its southern border and Provence on its eastern border.
The region falls into three distinct areas with different characteristics:
- the Pyreneean region to the south, stretching along the border with Spain and into the eastern Pyrenees
- the central part of the Languedoc (Aude and Herault departments) around the medieval architecture of Carcassonne and the cathar castles and traversed by the Canal du Midi. Several well known wines are also produced in this region.
- the northern part of the region (departments of Gard and Lozère), including a large part of the wild National Parc des Cevennes.
There is coastline with the Mediterranean in all departments except Lozere, featuring several popular coastal towns and beach resorts.
Explore Languedoc by region
Perhaps better known as part of the Massif Central than Languedoc-Roussillon, Lozere is best known for its dramatic and unspoiled scenery and outdoor pursuits. One highlight is the Gorges du Tarn (including the town of Sainte-Chely-du-Tarn , the very picturesque village at Castelbouc, and the 'most beautiful village' at Sainte-Enimie).
Some of the popular places to visit in the heart of the Lozère department include the towns of Mende and Marvejols. Other popular towns and villages in the southern part of Lozère include Florac (main town in the Cevennes), La-Garde-Guerin (remote unspoiled village) and Pont-de-Montvert
visit Lozère for more highlights and information
The most popular destination in the Gard department of Languedoc-Roussillon is undoubtedly Nimes, for the town and for its exceptional Roman ruins. Likewise the nearby aquaduct Pont du Gard is unmissable and an extraordinary Roman achievement.
Elsewhere in the Gard highlights include the fortified town of Aigues-Mortes, also Vigan and Anduze - gardeners will appreciate the impressive bamboo garden at nearby Prafrance. The medieval town of Uzes and attractive village of La Roque-sur-Ceze are also to be visited.
visit Gard for more highlights and information
The coastline and towns around the Etang de Thau are popular with visitors to Herault, and include Marseillan, Sete and Balaruc-le-Vieux and Palavas-les-Flots, while other places on the coast include Cap d'Agde and the 1970's resort at La Grande-Motte, which deserves to be visited for its architecture even if you don't like seaside resorts.
Most beautiful villages in this department include Minerve (25 km NW of Narbonne), Sainte-Guilhem (20 km E of Lodeve) and Olargues (40 km NW of Béziers). Enthusiasts of the French writer Molieres will be attracted to the town devoted to the author at Pezenas, and garden lovers to Roquebrun.
visit Hérault for more highlights and information
The Aude department stretches inland from the Mediterranean, along the Aude river, and includes Carcassonne and the nearby villages of Revel, Saissac and Montolieu. The ruined cathar castles are perhaps the highlight of a visit to Aude, such as those at Queribus and Peyrepertuse. You might like to also investigate the mystery of nearby Rennes-le-Chateau. (See related article at visit Cathar castles country). Also close to here are Limoux, Quillan and Rennes-les-Bains.
Castelnaudary is in the Aude on the Canal du Midi, and south-west of Quillan, itself south of Carcassonne, the River Aude and its tributaries have carved magnificent ravines and gorges in the landscape at the Gorges de l'Aude.
The classified most beautiful village of Lagrasse is also in the Aude department of Languedoc-Roussillon
visit Aude for more highlights and information
Pyrénées-Orientales (eastern pyrenees)
Passing along the coast visit the Fort de Salses and Fontfroide Abbey (south of Narbonne), then take the children off to the African Nature Reserve at Sigean.
You will see Mount Canigou as you venture inland - it is visible from many parts of the region, and is the main landmark of the department. The region between Canigou and the coast south of Perpignan is one of hills and low mountains called the Albères and follows the French border with Spain. Visit the 'beautiful village' at Castelnou.
There are two main rivers and roads that enter into the hilly regions, following the valleys of the Tech and Tet. Both pass through lovely scenery. The Tet Valley runs from Perpignan to Prades, via the two classified villages of Villefranche-de-Conflent and Eus, and the monastery at St-Michel-deCuxa near Prades.
Further south the Tech Valley passes through Ceret, an attractive town where Picasso lived. Continue on to see Arles-sur-Tech and then the Gorges de la Fou will keep the children (and you) entertained and shaded on a sunny day.
The coastal section of Languedoc-Roussillon before you reach Spain includes some attractive old fishing villages and resorts (and some less attractive resorts): visit Collioure, Banyuls-sur-Mer, Argeles-sur-Mer and Cerbère, and Elne Cathedral.
visit Pyrenees-Orientales for more highlights and information
See more ideas at Languedoc-Roussillon tourist information, with more towns, national monuments, national parks, towns in bloom etc across the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
Map of Languedoc-Roussillon
French version: Languedoc-Roussillon (Francais)