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Highlights of Languedoc

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  • Unesco World Heritage sites in Languedoc Roussillon

    ♦ Causses and the Cévennes
    ♦ Carcassonne the largest fortress in Europe
    ♦ Canal du Midi
    ♦ Pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela (Saint Gilles du Gard and Saint Guilhem le Désert)
    ♦ Pont du Gard
    ♦ Vauban Fortresses (Mont-Louis and Villefranche de Conflent in the Pyrenees Orientales)

  • Aigues-Mortes

    In the heart of the Petite Camargue – the fortified city of Aigues-Mortes, built by Saint Louis King of France, shares a rich history and an exceptional setting standing guard over the sea. It has numerous cultural events, a city marked by the crusades and the Templar Knights, it is today a tourist site where you can make a pleasant excursion into its past, its bullfighting culture, its wine and its environment, and plenty of small streets to meander amongst the local shops and restaurants.

    In the Camargue, high concentrations of rose coloured salt has resulted in a thriving production of “fleur du sel’. The salt production goes back to Antiquity, and is one of the main industries of Aigues-Mortes.

  • Bouzigues

    Located on the Etang de Thau (salt water lagoon) between Sète and Balaruc – perfect for day trip destination. Renowned for its cultivation of oyster and mussel production; dating back to the time of the Greeks (the earliest fishermen lived in troglodyte caves along the shore). It has a fifteenth century church, an attractive harbour, a narrow sandy beach (good for paddling and picnics), and plenty of cafes, bars and family run restaurants.

  • Camargue

    The largest river delta in Western Europe, covering over 900 square kilometres – a wild landscape of inland salt water lakes called etang. Home to more than 400 species of birdlife including the famous pink flamingos, with the greatest number of flamingos present between April and September. The brine etangs and marshlands provide a safe haven for the flamingos to nest and feed on plankton. Rice paddies, orchards and vineyards grow in and around the Camargue. Herds of wild white Camargue Horses and farms where Europe’s only cowboys – the Gardiens – raise fighting black bulls for the bullrings of Languedoc and Spain.

    Camargue Natural Park area includes a large UNESCO designated biosphere reserve The Camargue is ideal for bird – watching. The park’s wetlands are a major staging point for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds and it is between the months of April and June that the mating period occurs. It is at this time of the year that the Camargue attracts bird-watchers from all over the world.

    Hiking, cycling and beaches – The Camargue offers great hiking and cycling opportunities for those who like an easy cycle or walk. Hills are definitely not a problems as the altitude across the entire Camargue varies from 0.0 to 2.0 meters. To the east of Saintes Marie, there are Kilometres of deserted sandy beaches, accessible only along tracks or on foot, horseback or bike. Note: not all places are accessible by car.

  • Canal du Midi

    A unique waterway, built in the 17th century, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It provides a link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, passing through a region loaded with history… Said to be the most precious navigation works ever built by man. Real innovation was required to go under hills, down buttes, cross unpredictable rivers. Be intimate with the canal by navigating her on one of the boutique barges. These fully crewed deluxe barges or Peniches offer a fully inclusive week of regional gourmet food, top local wines, inclusive touring and accommodation in superb cabins with bathrooms and toilet.

    Visit for more information about boutique barging.

  • Capestang

    Located on the Canal du Midi – archaeological digs have unearthed evidence of roman villas, Visigoth tombs and tools dating back to Palaeolithic times. Many centuries ago, the village grew to become a town with a proud collegiate church (14th century southern Gothic architecture) and a château.

    The Canal du Midi, half way up the hill, dominates the village. The long vault of plane trees on its banks is a deliciously cool oasis in summer.

    Market day in the town square is popular with the gourmet chefs on board the boutique barges, purchasing the local produce for preparation for dinner for their guests.

    This prominent viticulture area (Vins du Pays des Coteaux d’Ensérune) runs from the hills to the lake with its Camargue like scenery.

  • Carcassonne

    Situated on the Canal du Midi, famous for Europe’s largest walled fortress – known as La Cité. It embodies 2000 years of French history and the “Bastide Saint-Louis” founded in the 13th century stretches in the plains of the Aude Valley. Set high up on a hill, Carcassonne’s ancient walled city is a collection of drawbridges, towers and atmospheric cobbled streets was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997.

  • Collioure

    The small Catalan port situated in the very south of France, 26 km (approx. 15 miles) from the Spanish border, COLLIOURE nestles between a rocky Mediterranean coastline and the unspoilt Pyrenees Mountains. An exceptionally sunny climate provide opportunities for you to enjoy swimming in the sandy or pebble beaches, creeks and clear waters.

    Collioure has always been a source of inspiration for artists. Picasso, Derain, Dufy, Chagall, Matisse and Marquet. Inspired by the special light, these artists have gathered here to capture the subtle blend of colors to immortalized this small Catalan harbor in their works, such as “Boats at Collioure” by Derain or “The Open Window” by Matisse . Called the City of Painters, Collioure continues to host artists from all backgrounds. Over 40 art galleries and a Museum of Modern Art continue to propose exhibitions. Thanks to these two artists, Collioure became the birthplace of The Fauvism art movement in 1905.

  • Fine wines and sophisticated cuisine to savor

    The vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon stretch from the right bank of the Rhone to the Pyrenees, extending down to the shores of the Mediterranean. The second largest A.O.C. producing region in France, Languedoc-Roussillon groups nearly 40 appellations offering a large range of wines: red, rosé, white, sparkling and cremant, muscatel, natural sweet wine, etc. Renowned for the diversity of its local produce, Languedoc-Roussillon is also a region where gourmet chefs rival each other in talent. The Languedoc, Provençal, Occitan, Catalan or Highlands culinary traditions bear witness to a clear taste for feasting.

  • Le Somail

    Le Somail, one of the most picturesque canal village in France. With its art galleries and famous second hand antique bookshop – Le Trouve Tout du Livre (transported brick by brick from Paris), you will be tempted to want to spend more time in this quaint hamlet. Dine in one of the small canal side restaurants or enjoy watching the locals play petanque. Jazz concerts are often performed here in the summer months. The Canal du Midi here is very picture perfect and is the home for a selected few boutique barges such as Tango.

    A unique experience – make sure you visit the quirky local goodies barge (Epicerie Flottante) moored near the arched stone bridge. The barge interior is a treasure trove: fresh baguettes, regional produce,including everything from saucisson to crispy meringues, preserves, lollies and dry goods, and even a few kitsch souvenirs.

  • Minerve

    Surrounded by deep gorges and at the very end of a limestone plateau.  Minerve is a charming village bathed in cobbled streets and stone houses perched high on a thin sliver of land with river running on both sides.  It was an old Cathar bastion that was destroyed by Simon de Montfort in 1210.  The village has a column in memory of a stake at which 140 Cathars were burnt at that time. Famous for its wine that has been produced here by local winegrowers for centuries. Accessible only by a high bridge. It was the site of a famous siege in the mediaeval age, with Cathars valiantly defending the town, and Catholics catapulting rocks across the ravine.

  • Montpellier

    The sophisticated small city of Montpellier is a must see. Only 3.5 hours TGV train from Paris, Montpellier is historical monuments, galleries, quiet alleyways, great shopping, restaurants, champagne and wine bars…the list goes on. ‘A true experience of living and breathing the French way of life. ‘A destination for all ages – close to the Mediterranean coast and ideal no matter what time of the year. With a beautiful Mediterranean climate, no wonder this elegant French city is so relaxed. The eighth-largest city in France, Montpellier has an appealing, small-town feel, as well as a lively atmosphere that comes from its student population. There is always something for visitors to enjoy, including the Christmas market, held throughout December on the Place de la Comedie.

    Discover – The Comedie Square, Classical private mansions, the royal square of Peyrou, Antigone district, the Fabre Museum, farmers markets are just a start.

    Montpellier is so good we even bought an apartment in the medieval centre. What better recommendation can you get?

  • Marseillan

    Situated on the Mediterranean coast, bordered inland by the Canal du Midi and the Thau basin and has the good fortune to combine both the beach and a small undeniably charming port, much appreciated by yachtsmen. Marseillan has retained its typically southern French authenticity where its inhabitants will share their relaxed way of life, their local produce and their love for traditional cuisine prepared at the local seafood restaurants.

    Thanks to its direct access to the sea, the Thau basin provides shelter for several fish varieties (sea- bream, wolf-fish, and mullet). A long standing natural shellfish habitat has resulted in the implementation of cultivated oyster and mussel beds.

  • Narbonne

    The busy Narbonne covered market is a fantastic day out for lunch and a great people-watching venue. Why not take a side trip to the weekly morning market in Narbonne? This indoor market (designed by Eiffel) is full of the best produce of the area. Even for non-shoppers, the markets on Thursday and Sunday mornings are very popular with more than 300 stalls on both sides of the Canal due la Robine, on the Promenade des Barques and the Cours Mirabeau.

    Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, and discover the beauty of the St. Juste Cathedral (one of our most favourite decorative Cathedrals in France) and some of the best well preserved gargoyles. Or simply take a moment to blend into the lively, local café scene.

    Lovers of old buildings will be charmed by Narbonne’s thousand year-old history, from Roman times to the construction of the Midi Canal, via treasures of the Middle Ages.

    Food and wine fans will have a ball in the many restaurants serving local produce and visiting friendly winemakers. This beautiful region on the Mediterranean has so much going for it… the southern sun shines more or less all year round.

  • Pezenas

    Located in the heart of wine-producing country, 30 minutes west of Montpellier, Pezenas is a quaint little town of approximate 8,000 inhabitants. Its medieval heritage and unique architecture, featuring some of the most beautiful carved stone façades, ornate wooden doors and ironwork knockers found in the south of France. This lively old market town is often referred as the jewel in the Languedoc crown and it is the ideal place to discover the region’s beautiful treasures.

    The architecture is also unique because of the “Hotels Particuliers,” or Mansions belonging to the noble families who followed the Court.

    Pezenas is filled with an eclectic mix of artisan shops, including potters, painters, hat makers, costume designers, and of course an abundance of restaurants and cafés. The town’s Saturday morning market is worth a look in.

    Pezenas Sights

    ♦ Town mansions dating back to the end of the Middle Ages and private mansions of the 17th and 18th centuries.
    ♦ Collegiate church Saint-Jean and its treasure.
    ♦ Museum de Vulliod Saint-Germain with Molière’s armchair
    ♦ Moliere and Pezenas: The famous Molière, French playwright and actor; considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. The history shared by Molière and Pézenas has given rise to the Molière memorial site.
    ♦ Arts and Crafts centre
    ♦ Door Museum
    ♦ Toy Museum
    ♦ Boby Lapointe’s Museum

  • Saint-Gilles

    Situated in the Camargue, the city of Saint-Gilles owes its fame to the pilgrimage which developed from the 11th century on around the cult of Saint-Gilles, and which became the fourth place of pilgrimage of the Christian world after Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago de Compostela. Thanks to its port on the Mediterranean Sea, the city was also the starting point of the first crusades. This period of prosperity ended with the Religious Wars which jeopardized the city.

    It is not until the 18th century and the Rhône to Sète canal that the city enjoyed an economic boom thanks to the transport of goods and to the development of viticulture. Nowadays, with its abbey church listed World Heritage by UNESCO in 1998 as part of the routes of Santiago de Compostela in France, Saint-Gilles is a city with a rich medieval past situated in the heart of a territory offering two characteristic faces:

    – The Camargue with its traditions, its natural and agricultural landscapes, listed “Grand Site de France” in 2014.
    – The Costières with its orchards of fruit trees and its grape-growing hillsides, belonging to the AOP Costières de Nîmes.

  • Sallèles-d’Aude

    Sallèles d’Aude is situated at the Canal de Jonction, which connects the Canal du Midi with the Canal de la Robine that passes through Narbonne, on to Port La Nouvelle, on the Mediterranean Sea.

    In the heart of the Languedoc wine region and was an essential port for the transporting of wine for many centuries. Salleles d’Aude is a pretty village where the canal is wide at the village making it possible for the larger canal peniches to turn round with ease. Take a pleasant stroll on the Eifel style foot bridge across the canal or visit the local museum – Musée de Vieux Salleles – an extensive selection of the tools, crafts and life styles of the times past. With history of over 2.500 years, Salleles was home to one of the greatest gallo-roman pottery villages that existed during the Roman Empire.

  • Sète

    “The Mini Venice of Languedoc” is the native town of Paul Valéry and Georges Brassens. It boasts museums and has some of the best local food specialties, in particular the seafood catch brought in by one of the largest fishing fleets on the Mediterranean. See the catch of the day being auctioned at the market or visit Listel Vineyard with a professional guide. Sete is a bustling port with secular traditions like the jousting that occurred in medieval times.

  • St Guilhem le Désert

    In the heart of the Hérault Gorge. An atmospheric Romanesque village of cobbled streets and ancient alleyways overlooking the meandering Verdus stream.  Surrounded by cliffs, verdant with thyme, oak and pine trees.   The village has kept its impressive medieval imprint with old houses in amber stone, an ancient tower, a shady square with a fountain and traditional plain trees. It is home to numerous artists, many of whom may be found in their studios around the square.     The Abbey of Gellone, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO was founded by Charlemagne’s counsellor Guile who returned in 800A.D from Rome to Languedoc.   St Guilhem is a popular stopover point for pilgrims following the route to Santiago de Compostela, and a picture perfect destination for a day tour.

  • Uzès

    Quite simply one of the most beautiful villages in France, Uzes sits on the edge of Provence and Languedoc. Succumb to the charm, authenticity of its narrow winding medieval streets and unsuspected hidden gardens. Discover the rich history of its ducal château. Experience the dignified wealth-flaunting stone façades of the Renaissance built by its prosperous 16th century bourgeoisie. The refreshing burble of centuries-old fountains, the bustling Wednesday and Saturday markets, outdoor cafés and whimsical boutiques. Uzes was an important town for the Romans as it has the source of the River Eure, from where Roman engineers built an aqueduct in the first century to supply Nimes, 50km away with its water supply. The most famous stretch of the aqueduct is the magnificent arches at Pont du Gare, three tiers high that carry the fresh water over the River Gardon.

    Uzes is the perfect location to have a car as it is within easy reach of the Carmargue, with its flamingos and wild horses, of spectacular caves, the beautiful Ardeche valley and the crystal clear waters of its river of the same name. Uzes is a place to relax and take in the many sights at your own pace.