Languedoc-Roussillon

General Info

Regional Map
Conseil Régional
Tourism: Languedoc-Visite
Capital: Montpellier
Departments: Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, and Pyrénées-Orientales
Arrondissements-14, Cantons-186, Communes-1,545
Population: 2,569,891 (2008 est.)
France Languedoc Region Departments Map

Overview

Languedoc Nimes Arena
Languedoc-Roussillon region curves along the Mediterranean towards Spain and offers visitors both mountains and beaches.The name Languedoc is derived from "langue d'Oc" where the formerly independent people once spoke Occitan, the tongue of the troubadours. Roussillon was once French Catalonia. The two separate regions of Languedoc and Roussillon stretch from the foothills of the Pyrénées mountains on the Spanish border to the mouth of the Rhône river to the East and to the Cévennes mountains to the north.
Roussillon was Spanish until, under King Louis the XIVth, the Treaty of the Pyrénées was signed with Spain in 1659 which placed the border between Spain and France at the Pyrénées. Bas-Languedoc (lower) is famous for its Roman ruins, beaches, bull-fighting, and for being the largest wine-producer in France. Haut-Languedoc (upper) is an area of natural parks, mountains, sparse populations, and ideal for outdoor activities, especially the Grands Causse limestone plateaus. This region also surrounds the Golfe-de-Lion in the Mediterranean and is home to two wonderful gorges- the Tarn and Ardèche.

Languedoc-Roussillon Departmental Information

Notable Towns and Sights in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region

Aigues-Mortes (Gard) is located on the western edge of the salt marshes of the Camargue (Provence region). It is a well-preserved walled city built by King Louis the XIth in the 13th-century and was France's only Mediterranean port at the time. France Languedoc Aigues Mortes
Amélie les Bains (Pyrénées-Orientales) is a spa town located in the technology valley and has fragments of Roman baths as well as many sulfur springs. There numerous sulphur springs have temperatures of 68°-140° (20-60 celsius) and are used as baths by sufferers of rheumatism and lung conditions. The two main spas are located in the large military hospital and in the Roman ruins. France Languedoc Amélie les Bains
Anduze (Gard) has a bambouseraie (bamboo gardens) nearby built in 1984 which may be reached by the fun Train à Vapeur (steam train). Office de Tourisme. France Languedoc Anduze rain
Argèles-sur-Mer (Pyrénées-Orientales) is located at the southern most coast of France near the Spanish border on a U-shaped bay on the Mediterranean with 4.2 miles (7 km) of wide beaches. There are also several creeks nearby suitable for scuba diving. The town has exceptional facilities for the handicapped and disabled, and has earned the nickname Handiplage due to its efforts to help disabled visitors. France Languedoc Argeles sur Mer
Bagnols-sur-Cèze (Gard) was a Roman town and is situated at the crossing of the Cèze and the Rhône River Valleys. It boasts residences from the 13th to the 17th-centuries and the old center of the town retains its historic feel with small streets and well-preservered architecture France Languedoc Bagnols sur Ceze
Banyuls-sur-Mer (Pyrénées-Orientales) is situated at the foothills of the Pyrénées and has a harbor with a typical fishing village and holiday marina. The Aquarium, built in 1885, belongs to the University of Paris and is located in the harbor. France Languedoc Banyuls sur Mer
Beaucaire (Gard) is located on the beautiful Rhône River opposite the town of Tarascon (Provence) and is near Avignon, Arles, and Nîmes. It is historically important since at the end of the Hundred Years War in 1453, Charles VII of France declared that Beaucaire would become the site of the Foire de la Madeleine, a commercial fair that would enable the trading of goods from all of the Mediterranean countries to all of France. Beaucaire Mairie . France Languedoc Beaucaire Château
Béziers (Hérault) lies on a bluff above the Orb river and is the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer and builder of the famous Canal-du-Midi. It is also known for being the viticulture or wine-making capital of the Languedoc region as well as for its bullfights and rugby. Every August, the city hosts the Feria de Béziers which is centered around bullfighting and attracts over a million visitors. Notable attractions here include the fortified Saint Nazaire Cathedral and the Pont Vieux (bridge). France Languedoc Beziers
Canal du Midi runs 149 miles (240 km) from the city of Toulouse to Sète on the Mediterranean sea. It was built under the reign of King Louis the XIVth and was supervised by the engineer and tax collector Pierre-Paul de Riquet over a fourteen year period. Map
Capestang (Hérault) is near Béziers and east of Carcassonne and has the Canal du Midi running just north of the village (map). Capestang has about 3,000 inhabitants and is located only 14 miles (22 km) from the Mediterranean sea. Notable sights here include the église Saint-Etienne with its 141 foot (43 m) high tower and the Castle of the Archbishops of Narbonne which has 161 decorated panels from the 15th-century. France Languedoc Canal du Midi
Cap d'Agde (Hérault) is a large beach development which has a fenced-off area with the largest naturist (no clothing is typical) resort in Europe and is about 1.2 miles (2 km) long and very wide. It is close to Montpellier and Sète. France Languedoc Cap d'Agde
Carcassonne (Aude) is a fortified medieval city with double-ramparts and 53 distinct towers which, when seen from a great distance, is truly breathtaking. It is divided into the walled Cité de Carcassonne and the ville basse (lower city) which was established in the 13th-century. The walled city encompasses towers, dungeons, moats and drawbridges, and serves as one of the most impressive examples of medieval France. Festival info . France Languedoc Carcassonne Cité

Cévennes are a range of mountains in the Massif Central covering parts of the departements Gard, Lozère, Ardèche, and Haute-Loire. They run from the Montagne Noire (southwest) to Monts du Vivarais (northeast), with the highest peak being Mont Lozère 5,574 feet (1699 meters). Another notable peak is the Mont Aigoual at 5,141 feet (1567 meters).

Chemin Stevenson Trail, also called GR70, traverses 157 miles (252 km) across several regions in France. Robert Louis Stevenson fans may retrace his route on hiking paths such as in his "Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes" from 1879. It is one of his earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of wilderness literature.
France Languedoc Cevennes Mountains
Cirque de Navacelles is a large circular landform located towards the southern edge of the Massif Central plateau (photo). It is located between the Hérault and Gard départements and is very isolated with only a few small communes in the surrounding area. The nearest city is Millau two hours away. Recently, the Cirque has become more accessible to visitors due to the recent completion of the A75 autoroute from Clermont-Ferrand to Pezenas, providing a direct route between Paris and the Mediterranean. France Languedoc Cirque de Navacelles
Collioure (Pyrénées-Orientales) is a picturesque seaside Mediterranean town just north of the Spanish border. It became famous after attracting the Fauvist artists Matisse and Derain, and later Picasso and Braque. France Languedoc Collioure
Fitou is a village that overooks the Mediterranean and the saline lakes of Leucate near the hills of the Corbières. Fitou was the first red wine in this region to obtain AOC status in 1948. Only nine villages from two separate areas have the right to make Fitou wine- The villages of Fitou, Caves, Treilles, La Palme, and Leucate on the Mediterranean coast, and Paziols, Tuchan, Villeneuve and Cascastel in the mountainous areas a few kilometers further inland. Fitou is made of a blend of mainly Carignan and Grenache, balanced with Syrah. France Languedoc Fitou grapes
Florac (Lozère) This small town has the main visitor's center for the popular Cévennes National Park whom also restored it. Florac nestles at the foot of the "Rochefort", a dolomite spur of the Causse Méjean and spreads into the large river valley. Notable here is Le Château de Florac, a 13th-century castle that belonged to the Barony of Anduze (photo). It was rebuilt in 1652 after the religious wars and recently restored by the Cévennes National Park agency. France Languedoc Florac
Fontfroide Abbey (Aude) is a former Cistercian monastery situated 9 miles (15 km) southwest of Narbonne near the Spanish border. It was founded in 1093 by the Viscount of Narbonne. The abbey fought together with Pope Innocent III against the heretical doctrine of the Cathars who lived in the region. France Languedoc Fontfroide Abbey
Gorges-du-Tarn cut through the limestone plateaux of the Causses of Sauveterre and Méjean. The scenery is spectacular and fans of canoeing, kayaking, and rafting gather here to enjoy the Tarn river. Small medieval-looking villages are tucked into the terraced walls of the gorge and the lengthy drive around the rim is well worth the day. Gorges du Tarn Batelier - boating France Languedoc Gorges du Tarn
Grottes or caves in this region include the Grotte des Clamouses and the Grottes des Demoiselles. France Languedoc Grottes des Demoiselle
La Réserve Africaine de Sigean (Aude) is an animal reserve with more than 3,800 animals situated among garrigues (low, soft-leaved scrubland) and ponds. It is located 10 miles south (15 km) of Narbonne and north of Perpignan. France Languedoc La Réserve Africaine de Sigean
Lamalou-les-Bains (Hérault) is west of Montpellier in the Orb valley of the southern Cévennes. The waters here are both hot and cold and are used in cases of rheumatism, sciatica, locomotor ataxy and nervous maladies. The village lies at an altitude of 200 meters and offers commanding views of the rivers, lakes and mountains situated in the Parc Régional du Haut Languedoc.   Lamalou.org France Languedoc Lamalou-les-Bains
Laroque-des-Albères (Pyrénées-Orientales) is a Catalan village positioned at the foothills of the Pyrénées mountains. The 12th-century castle here one of the finest examples of incastellation (confined or enclosed in a castle) in the area. France Languedoc Laroque des Alberes
Minerve (Hérault) is located in the arid and sparse hills of the rich Minervois wine region (photo) and has slightly more than a hundred residents. The town is approached by a tall bridge spanning the gorge over the Cesse and Briant rivers converge. This bridge into the village is closed to all passenger vehicles not owned by residents of Minerve. Of all of the original 13th-century fortifications, only a slender octagonal tower, known as the Candela, survives. It is one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. France Languedoc Minerve
Montpellier (Hérault) is the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and is only 6 miles (10 km) from the Mediteranean coast. It was revitalized in the 1990's by the incumbent mayor as well as the arrival of the TGV Méditerranée which reduced the travel time from Paris to less than 3-1/2 hours. It is one of the most progressive cities in the south of France and its University is one of the oldest in France. Notable sights here are the oval-shaped Place de la Comédie or "L'Oeuf" (egg). France Languedoc Montpellier Place Comedie
Narbonne (Aude) extends along its East-West axis from the Mediterranean Sea to the coastal buttresses of the Corbières Maritime Mountains, encompassing the La Clape limestone range. Narbonne enjoys the many advantages of a seaside resort with a 3 mile (5 km) beach and a marina. It is also an urban centre resonating with history such as Roman (cultural) sites, museums, the gothic Cathedral, and the Canal de la Robine. France Languedoc Narbonne Cathedral
Nîmes (Gard) is surrounded by vineyards and seems a bit Provençal, but is firmly rooted in the Languedoc region. It has recently been experiencing a renaissance in terms of its new architectural projects under a new mayor. The city is known for its Roman antiquities including the superb Les Arènes (amphitheatre) and the Maison Carrée (photo). Also notable are the Musée Archéologique and the Musée des Beaux Arts as well as the elegant Fountain Gardens. Nîmes is also the origin of popular denim fabric (serge de Nîmes) which Levi Strauss imported to California during the 1849 gold rush. France Languedoc Nimes
Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) was the capital of the former region of Roussillon (French Catalonia) from the middle of the 10th century to the 17th century. This medieval town is undoubtedly one of the centers of Catalan, Roman, and Mediterranean cultures. France Languedoc Perpignan
Pont-du-Gard (Gard) is in Remoulins and straddles the unpredicatable Gardon River which originates from the Cévennes. This 2000 year old Roman aqueduct from the first century A.D. is on three levels and is 161 feet (49 meters) high and 902 feet (275 meters) long. This Unesco World Heritage Site is well-preserved and was built to bring water from Uzès to Nîmes. France Languedoc Pont du Gard
Pont-du-Diable (Hérault) or "Devil's Bridge" is on the Hérault River located over a steep-sided gorge about 4 km northwest of Aniane. It was constructed by Benedictine monks in the 11th century to link the abbeys at Aniane and the Gellone Abbey at Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. The legend says that each night the devil would undo all of the work completed by the two Abbeys. Saint Guilhem promised the devil the soul of the first creature to cross the bridge if he would stop undermining the work. A poor dog was sent across to trick the devil and angry, the devil tried to destroy the bridge, but without success and threw himself into the river. France Languedoc Pont du Diable
Pont-St-Esprit (Gard) is near the opening where the Ardèche River flows into the Rhône River. It is a small historical city with about 9500 inhabitants near Montélimar. France Languedoc Pont Saint Esprit
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert (Hérault) is situated in the narrow valley of the Gellone river where it meets the steep-sided gorge of the Hérault River. This medieval village is located on the Chemin de Saint Jacques pilgrim route from Santiago de Compostella. In 806 Saint Guilhem established the monastery of Gellone in what was then an isolated area. It is one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. France Languedoc Saint Guilhem le Desert
Saint-Martin-du-Canigou (Pyrénées-Orientales) is a monastery built in 1009 near the town of Casteil on Canigou mountain in the Pyrénées and near the Spanish border. It was built by Guifred, Count of Cerdagne in atonement for the murder of his son and was populated by Benedictine monks. France Languedoc Saint Martin du Canigou
Sète (Hérault) is a major fishing port city on the Mediteranean and is the eastern starting point for the Canal-du-Midi. It has beautiful Italianate houses along the Grand Canal which are painted in pastel colors and is referred to as the Venice of Languedoc. Mont St-Clair overlooks the city with fantastic views of the Cévennes and the Mediteranean coastline. France Languedoc Sete
Uzès (Gard) is located about 15 miles northeast of Nîmes. (photo) It has several medieval towers the most notable being the 11th-century Romanesque Tour Fenestrelle. A Capucin (order of catholic friars) chapel was built in 1635 to house the remains of the dukes d'Uzès and now occupies the site of the 1st-century temple of the first Roman Emperor, Octavian Augustus. France Languedoc Uzes Tour Fenestrelle
Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (Gard) is a picturesque town across the Rhône River from Avignon. It was founded in the 13th century and was nicknamed the "City of Cardinals". France Languedoc Villeneuve les Avignon

Les Plus Beaux Villages in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region

Natural Parks in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region

Additional Resources for the Languedoc-Roussillon Region

Average Monthly Temperatures in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region

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