One of the most gorgeous locations for a holiday is the South of France and an area that is hard to beat is the Languedoc Roussillon region. It pretty much has everything a tourist could want, wonderful scenery including the Mediterranean coastline, La Montagne Noire, the Pyrenees plus numerous inland lakes and fast flowing rivers. There is some fantastic architecture both Medieval and modern, examples of which are La Cite in Carcassonne and the Millau Viaduct near to Montpellier not to mention the famous Canal du Midi.
Add to that the available sporting opportunities, such as skiing, snowboarding, horse riding, cycling, walking and white water rafting, to name but a few, and an area steeped in history that includes the Cathar fortresses, the abbeys and the historic sites of the Albigensian crusade such as Minerve and Montsegur. Then throw in one of the largest wine producing regions in the world, certainly in France anyway, why would you want to go anywhere else.
So if you are visiting the South of France in this region make sure you don’t miss out on some wonderful opportunities for a day out. Here are a few suggestions to get you started, 5 to be precise.
Number 1 on the list has to be the fabulous city of Carcassonne with it’s live and working Medieval fortress ‘La Cite’ a Unesco world heritage site since 1997. La Cite played a big part in the Albigensian crusades after Simon de Montfort forced the inhabitants of the city to surrender and then used it as his own fortified retreat. Today La Cite along with the lower city (Ville Basse) is a thriving tourist attraction seeing over 3 million visitors a year. There is certainly plenty for the tourist to do on a day out in Carcassonne, with amazing architecture to see, theaters, music to listen to, restaurants, bars, shops and the Canal du Midi, another world heritage site, to visit.
Number 2 is a visit to the Corbieres wine region, the capital of Cobieres is Lagrasse which is a small but beautiful medieval town that sits in the heart of Corbieres country half way between Carcassonne and Narbonne. There is a small river that runs through the town over which you will find some stone built bridges from which you can get a great view of the Abbey of St Mary. Driving through the country lanes to get to Lagrasse you will pass lots of ‘degustations’ where you can stop for a little wine tasting and perhaps buy a bottle or two to take home or to help lunch go down and Lagrasse is definitely a lovely backdrop for a lazy lunch in the sunshine.
Number 3 is a visit to the Mediterranean coastline via Narbonne, going north to south there is Gruissan, La Franqui and even further south, Collioure. You could spend a whole day in any one of these locations without too much trouble just enjoying the Mediterranean Sea and it’s changeling scenery. Gruissan plage is a wide expanse of golden sand while Collioure has a small shingle beach being more of a fishing port. Many a fine artist has resided in Collioure utilising the amazing clarity of light of this region to influence their paintings, this would be your chance to experience why they thought it was so special.
This is just some of the many places that me or my friends have experienced and think is something a traveler might be interested in visiting. Stay tuned to my blog for more updates of vacationers and backpack travel life and where are the best places to go.