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.
Cuzco is the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, and the epicenter of the Andean Quechua culture. It has a monumental... Read More
Thimphu is the seat of the last of the Himalayan kingdoms. It sits in splendid isolation in a long, high valley in the... Read More
Mostar is where Christians converted to Islam, and where moussaka – consisting of sliced eggplants sautéed in... Read More
Santiago is Chile's capital of cool. It's mostly a modern metropolis, but with more than 500 years of history and relics... Read More
Tampere is a city of rock. In fact, Tampere, Finland, like Manchester, England, evolved from a market town into a major... Read More
Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More
Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More
Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More
Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More
Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More
St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More
Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More
St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More
Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More