One of the most beautiful French regions, Languedoc-Roussillon, lies in the Southern France between Pyrenees and Provence. It is a region with the rich history, geography, and culture. Whether you a nature lover, history lover, or just a ‘bon-vivant’ looking for some “art de la vie” inspiration, whether you are family with children, young or senior couple, you will always find more than 1 reason to visit the region and below I’ll give you 12 reasons to choose from.
1. Camargue wildlife
At the border with Provence, there is a vast natural park known as the Camargue, where you can observe wild nature such as pink flamingoes and many other birds, wild horses and bulls. You can visit the park either on a bike, on a boat, or on a horseback. There are also huge parts of the surface covered with salt water (especially near Aigues Mortes) and salt from Camargue is among the best you can get. For more info about Camargue click here.
2. Boat ride on Canal du Midi
240 km long canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, lined with trees and small stone bridges, running through charming villages and vineyards, is a nice way how to spend a day either by renting a boat with your family/friends or having a pleasant bike ride alongside the canal. More information about Canal du Midi here.
3. Breathtaking landscape
The breathtaking landscape of Languedoc-Roussillon includes mountains, irregular rock formations, cliffs, canyons, caves, and lakes. We just passed through the magnificent landscape on our way back, so this is a reason for another visit! You can get to more about amazing places here.
4. Sport and leisure activities
In Laugedoc-Roussillon, one can choose from wide range of ground, nautical, and air sport and leisure activities, as well as adventure sports to better discover the amazing landscape. For more ideas about sport and leisure activities, click here.
If you like biking, you will enjoy well-done biking paths, either alongside the coast or canals, in the natural park Camargue, or in the mountains. As we stayed close to Montpellier, we enjoyed biking from our apartment to a calm beach in the neighborhood.
Do you want to go to the south of France but you prefer to avoid crowded places in Côte d’Azur? Then go for the seaside in Languedoc-Roussillon! The nature lovers will appreciate beaches integrated into their natural environment. Beaches here are not that posh as in Côte d’Azur, offering more nautical activities such as kite-surfing, windsurfing, and others. Check this beach overview before you go, not to miss one of the best beaches of French South – Argelès Nord – from where you have a wonderful view of Pyrenees.
6. Maritime atmosphere in fishing harbors
Authentic fishing harbors such as the ones in Grau-du-Roi, Palavas, Sète, or Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer are the best place to admire boats and get some fresh fish and seafood. During the summer, many French festivals, nautical jousting, and titanic tournaments take place in the harbors.
7. Cathar castles and fortifications
The medieval period is probably the time that marked the region the most in terms of history and from when the most known castles of the region come from. You definitely need to see Carcassonne. More information about Cathar Castles here.
8. Roman aqueducts
Probably the most known aqueduct is Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct. With its 49m height, it is the highest Roman bridge in the world. It was built in the 1st century AD, in order to supply water from the source to Nimes’s thermal baths, pools, fountains.
9. Charming villages where the time has stopped
When traveling by car, I suggest you to avoid the highway in order to see some of the most beautiful villages of France. Some of them are almost lost in the mountains.
10. Excellent options for a day city trip
Cities such as Montpellier, Nimes, Avignon, Perpignan, Toulouse, and Carcassone worth visiting if you plan a city break. We visited Montpellier, a young vibrating city, and you can read more here.
11. The oldest wine region in France
South of France is the largest wine region in France, and also one of the oldest in the world. The wine used to be the main economic driver of Languedoc-Rousillon in the past centuries. The Mediterranean climate, quality of soil and the expertise guarantee wines of good quality. You will find a huge variety both in terms of grapes and wine types. Red wines count for 70 % of the regional production and we are talking about wines with notes of black fruit and sweet spices. But you will also find popular fresh and fruity white and rosé wines, as well as natural sweet wines (southern French specialty) and sparkling wines (it was in Limoux where the sparkling wine was ‘invented’ in the 16
Red wines count for 70 % of the regional production and we are talking about wines with notes of black fruit and sweet spices. But you will also find popular fresh and fruity white and rosé wines, as well as natural sweet wines (southern French specialty) and sparkling wines (it was in Limoux where the sparkling wine was ‘invented’ in the 16th century). The wine producers are now focusing on quality, new concepts while respecting the traditions and development of organic wines (organic grape production reaches nearly 10% in this region). For more info about wine click here.
12. Good good and local specialties
You can enjoy especially tasty veggies and fruits grown under the sun. Tomatoes and olive oil, as well as seafood from Languedoc-Roussillon, are appreciated in the whole France. Salt from Camargue is one of the best in the world. Local cuisine has been quite influenced by Spain (you will see a lot of tapas bar in the cities, Crème Catalane on the menus of the restaurants) and Provence (intense use of herbs such as thyme and rosemary). You should definitely some of the typical dishes from the region, such as Cassoulet, Brandade de Morue, or bull and rice from Camargue.
If you are a foodie and love good wine, you should definitely check the Calendar of wine and gastronomy events.
Have you visited Languedoc-Rousillon? Where did you go? What part did you like the most and why? What else would you add as a reason to discover the region?