Discover France's best-kept secret
Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine, some of France’s best wines and endless sandy beaches, the Languedoc-Roussillon has long been one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Development came relatively late to the area, ensuring that its traditional wine-making villages, medieval towns and verdant, rolling countryside haven’t been blighted by the over-development seen in nearby Provence and Spain.
The languid Canal du Midi, now a World Heritage Site, carves its way through the charming village of La Redorte - providing endless opportunities for superb walks, bike rides and boating. There’s nothing quite like floating beneath its tunnel of soft leaves with a simple picnic and chilled bottle of wine. Or dining on the banks of the canal at the La Rivassel restaurant.
Great beaches, castles, wineries and superb cuisine are turning the Languedoc into one of Europe's most popular destinations.
A region steeped in history
The beaches and bustling fishing villages of the Mediterranean are only a short drive away, as are dramatic Cathar Castles perched on rocky outcrops and that riot of fairytale spires and towers that is Carcassonne Castle.
Superb wineries abound - some of France’s top-rated wines now come from the Languedoc region, which is reputed to be one of the world’s most exciting wine-growing areas. Languedoc also offers excellent cuisine, in charming fishing ports along the coast, in the leafy-squares of countless villages and in smart eateries in the region’s towns and cities.
Access to the region is excellent and surprisingly economical - making even popping down for the weekend quick and easy. RyanAir, EasyJet, FlyBe and others offer a continual stream of flights to the area - to nearby Carcassonne airport, as well as Perpignan, Béziers, Montpellier, Nîmes, Toulouse and Girona just over the border in Spain. Train and road connections are also excellent.
“This Cinderella of the south was once over-shadowed by gorgeous Provence and the brash Côte d’Azur. Now, she stands as their equal, displaying a discreet charm that her more-visited siblings lost long ago”