The area always used to be known as simply "Languedoc" and covered a large part of southern France, the modern Languedoc-Roussillon is a much smaller area, being the area covered by the Eastern Pyrenees department. It was, in the past, the northern part of Catalonia which extended from Spain, and some people here still speak Catalan as well as French.
The regional capital is the city of Montpellier, a thriving modern city in the Hérault department, with a historic and interesting centre; other major cities in the region are Nimes, Narbonne, Sete and Perpignan.
The coast of Languedoc is characterised by long sandy beaches and a modern tourist infrastructure such as the twentieth-century resorts of Cap d'Agde, Palavas, or Narbonne Plage.
The Languedoc-Roussillon region consists of 5 departments:
We are right at the bottom of France here so a drive from the Uk is a long one, but one I have done many times, possibly more relaxing is the TGV from Paris Gare-de-Lyon, or from Lille and many other cities. Motorway from Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Nancy, Lyon, Geneva will also get you here. There are airports at Nimes, Montpellier, Carcassonne and Perpignan, with low-cost flights from the UK, Belgium and Holland, elsewhere in the world of course fly into the main airports mentioned already.
Southern gastronomy relies on dishes that are meant to be shared like the well-known Cassoulet or Brandade-de-Morue. The Southwest of France also boasts refined food like the Anchoiade or the Bourride which are two fish dishes that use the aromatic herbs of the wild garrigue (wild scrubland). The herbs of thyme, rosemary, bay and sorrel, and others, play an important part in Languedoc-Roussillon's food history and also influence the Catalan and Provence cuisine and culture either side of this stunning region.
There is so much to do and it depends whether you are near the mediterranean coastline, in the countryside or in one of the many hill top villages, or indeed up in the mountains. Hiking and walking feature a lot as does cycling and mountain biking, plus lots of sea and river sports feature heavily as well as horse riding being very popular.
Styles of property for sale in the area can vary but most popular styles are hill-top cottages, edge of village villas, countryside Mas style farmhouses and fantastic Maison de Maitre properties. The traditional clay / terracotta style roof construction is almost flat and is very attractive and suitable for many roof terraces which are popular in the hill top villages.
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