If you are looking for a holiday destination that has it all then you need to head to the Languedoc region in the South of France. Here you will be able to enjoy so many activities that you will need more than one visit here to accomplish just a fraction of what is on offer.
The Languedoc region has long been the perfect holiday destination and it is easy to understand why. Situated in the South of France, this vast area stretches from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and borders the tip on Northern Spain. Through its tumultuous history, the region has seen many changes.
At one time the region was called the County of Toulouse and was independent from the Kings of France, now its capital is Montpellier, the 8th largest City in France and home to one of the worlds oldest Universities, the University of Montpellier founded in 1160.
The Languedoc region is often referred to as ‘the Real South of France’ due to its beautiful, unspoilt countryside and slower pace of life and traditional villages where wine making takes centre stage,unlike the faster life style in places such as Provence.
The beauty of the area,vibrant history and amazing food and wine are all reasons enough to go and stay in this enchanting area.
Languedoc- Tips on What to See and Do
What to do.
The Languedoc Region offers something for every taste. From discovering the rich history of the region in its castles, abbeys and ruins to filling you days with fun packed adventure, adrenalin rushes and relaxing walks you will never be short of something to do.
Carcassonne is a city that must be visited. This fortified town in the Languedoc region is a place that is a must see for anyone interested in history. Its strategic importance dates as far back as Roman times when a settlement was developed here in 100 BC.
Throughout history it continued to be an important city but was made famous in 1209 because of the role it played in the Albigensian Crusades, also known as the Cathar Crusades which were a 20 year campaign by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc. The city at the time was a stronghold of the Occitan Cathars and when the Pope’s armies arrived the city surrendered to avoid mass slaughter. The castle in Carcassonne is the world’s largest medieval castle and although it is a little touristy it is well worth a visit. The castle is the second most visited place in France, after the Eifel Tower.
The Languedoc region is littered with ruins, abbeys and castles but the towns and cities are also a great place to take in some sightseeing. The main Cities of Languedoc are Montpellier, Nimes, Carcassonne, Avignon, Beziers, Toulouse and Narbonne. There is still a great charm about most of the towns and cities of this region as tourism developed later than in other parts of France so the boom that hit other areas and destroyed some of its beauty never happened here.
In the towns and cities of this region you will still discover a quaintness and charm in the narrow streets and medieval walkways. Each place has something different to offer the traveller so exploring lots of the cities is a good idea. Toulouse has amazing shopping and dining, Nimes is famed for its Roman architecture, Carcassonne for its castle, whilst Narbonne homes a renowned indoor market and Avignon is well-known for Palsais de Papes.
Adventure and Activities.
Due to the wonderful weather in the South of France in the Summer months, anybody who enjoys outdoor pursuits will be spoilt for choice when visiting this region. Exploring the beautiful region on foot is one way to enjoy the splendors on offer. Or if you prefer take a relaxing canal holiday on one of the beautiful canal tours.
For those wanting a little more adventure from their holiday there is lots of canoeing on offer and due to the three mountain ranges within the region there is plenty of rock climbing in the Summer and skiing in the Winter months. All of these activities can be enjoyed with the back drop of some of the most stunning scenic views to be seen anywhere in Europe.
As you would expect from a region that produces world-class wine there are plenty of wine tours available for any budding wine enthusiasts. The weather in the region makes for the perfect environment to grow grapes, with plenty of high temperatures and low rainfall which produces a full-bodied, high alcohol wine. There are 16 main wine regions in the Languedoc with a history of producing wine dating back 2600 years ago to Greek times.
Now there are over 3700 wine produces in the region many of whom are smaller independent companies. The huge range of wines that are now on offer from this region have been receiving much praise and accolades over the last few years. There are a lot of tours to suit everyone from the most knowledgable to those just starting out and there are even child friendly tours as well .
The Languedoc region is the world’s largest producing wine region and over the years the quality of the wine has grown changing from a region churning out quantity to now producing a quality of wine that you would expect from a country that prides its wine production above all else.