FRANCE  |  Rousillon-Languedoc, France Travel Guide
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Rousillon-Languedoc , France


The Languedoc is a hidden jewel of Europe, and the most discriminating tourists are delighted to discover it. The area has many of the same traits that endear people to next-door neighbor Provence: a warm coastline, outdoor markets, picturesque hillside villages, gourmet dining and vineyards dotting the landscape. Yet Provence is the one with the reputation that causes tourists to flock there, its popularity thanks in large part to books like A Year In Provence, by Peter Mayle. Make no mistake. The Languedoc Roussillon is as enchanting, if not more so, than its trendier neighbor. The Languedoc has a certain immeasurable quality to it. Fond memories cling to you well after you return home. Perhaps it’s a crisp, dewy morning that reminds you of a dawn stroll to a bakery. Maybe you catch a whiff of some intangible, indescribable smell reminiscent of a mountaintop in the Languedoc. It could even be a dream in which you were there and wake with a longing to return.

The Languedoc can suit almost any traveler’s tastes. It is not densely populated, and there are many wonderful rural outposts for anyone desiring a retreat from the bustle of the big city. Those who prefer to be in the thick of things, however, have the option of visiting the region’s larger cities, such as Carcassonne, Montpellier and Perpignan. There are beaches, mountains, valleys and the Canal du Midi. There are medieval villages, ancient Roman ruins, Cathar strongholds and stately cathedrals. Any visit must feature a sampling of the local cuisine, which is delectable.

Did You Know? The name Languedoc actually came from the terms for the two different languages of France spoken during the Middle Ages. In this region of France, they spoke Langue d’oc, while the Parisian French spoke the Langue d’oil. Both refer to the word for yes, literally meaning, language of yes. You may recognize oil, as it later evolved into the more familiar oui.


Destinations in Rousillon-Languedoc (4)

  • Carcassonne, France

    Carcassonne is France's claim to medieval fame. Cité de Carcassonne, or simply La Cité, is a glorious, fortified castle-city, perched on a small hill above the river Aude in the south of France, its ramparts...

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  • Mende, France

    Mende, in the rural and mountainous Lozère, is a small city of about 12,000 people. This is a wonderful destination for anyone who wants to be in a town, but in the midst of nature at its finest, unique wildlife and outdoor...

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  • Montpellier, France

    Montpellier is at once a trendy, hip college town and a medieval village filled with grandiose historic sites. There are ultra-hip designer boutiques and art galleries, alongside ancient churches and sculptures. It can be so jam-...

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  • Perpignan, France

    Perpignan is the last major stop on the rail route to Spain, and Perpignan's railway station, Gare de Perpignan, is "le Centre du Monde" – "the Center of the World" – at least according to Salvador Dali, the...

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