The Languedoc-Roussillon offers numerous possibilities for enjoyment. Your holiday villa lies in the famous wine producing area of Minervois. You will find all sorts of Chateau’s, from really large and well known to small and charming. The villages in the region are authentic and picturesque; here you will experience the tranquillity that is absent from hectic daily life.
Map of the region
Beaufort is a lovely historic village with sheltered views. The whole village has been declared a historic monument.
Pouzols is an old village on a hill between the vineyards. From Béziers or Carcassonne you take the Route Minervois (CD610 or RD5). From Narbonne you go in the direction of Saint Pons to Pouzols. There is a “Cave Co-operative” where you can taste and buy delicious wines. In the local post office shop you can find basic supplies. For more comprehensive shopping it is better to drive to Olonzac (2 km). There are many picturesque villages in the area and one of the more interesting is Aigne with its village centre shaped like a snail’s shell which has many artists and artisans as residents. Street fairs are held throughout the year.
You can explore the beautiful surroundings from Aigues-Vives, a day at the beach on the Mediterranean (France or Spain), a shopping spree in Narbonne, Béziers or even Barcelona. In the winter months wonderful skiing or ‘langlaufen’ (cross-country) in the Pyrenees, for example in Font-Romeu, Andorra and ‘Les Angles’.
From the famous Mediterranean town of Agde, dominated by farming and fishing, the ‘Canal du Midi’ runs through a romantic landscape. Cruising between the multi-coloured blooms, under the blazing sun filtered by the plane trees, you can feel the atmosphere of ‘Canal du Midi’.
Carcasonne and La Cité is one of the best preserved castles in France and is certainly worth a visit. On the 14th July a large firework display is organised. This area is primarily known for the Cathars. Close to Carcasonne you find the ancient Mirepoix, with its 12th century arcades and its colourful market (Monday morning).
For those interested in archaeology and prehistory there are the grottos. Well worth a visit is the underground river of Lambouiche, close to Foix. With a length of 3800 meters, it is the longest navigable underground river; the tour is by boat.
Béziers is a Mediterranean town with many historic buildings. It is a perfect town for a shopping spree, with its quaint narrow streets running out onto the Boulevard Paul Riquet. He was the architect of the Canal du Midi and you will find his statue on the boulevard named after him. Here you will also find pleasant terraces outside the cafés and on Saturdays there is a market. On the highest point in Béziers stands the Cathedral of St. Nazaire and from here is a wonderful view over the surrounding area and the river l’Orb. The Canal du Midi runs south of Béziers.
Parc Naturel Regional du Haut-Languedoc with its picturesque villages like Roquebrun is a forested, mountainous region, great for walking and picnics. Experienced walkers generally know their own limits. For the amateur walker the rule is: don’t bite off more than you can chew. In this region many of the paths can be quite steep. This is also a fantastic place for canoeing. The river l’Orb can sometimes be wild, this is due the fact that the river Jaur merges with l’Orb at a point where it passes through a gorge. It is wonderful to canoe through this gorge, the finish is in Roquebrun.
Roquebrun stands beautifully at the beginning of a small valley. Above the village tower the ruins of a settlement dating from the Middle Ages. There is enough to see in the surrounding area and you won’t get bored. Had enough of and rivers mountains? The coast of Languedoc offers beach lovers choice enough, from quiet peaceful beaches like Gruissan and St. Pierre la Mer (close to Narbonne Plage) to the lively Narbonne Plage itself. Gruissan is certainly worth a visit, if only to see the wooden beach houses built on stilts in the middle of the 19th century.
Cap d’Agde, with its style of a (bloated) fishing village, Gruissan, Port-Leucate, Port-Barcarès and Saint-Cyprien are important yachting and wind-surfing centres. The town of Sète and the smaller harbour town of Grau-du-Roi are the most important fishing harbours in the region. In the circa 40 harbour towns and beach resorts of the Languedoc-Roussillon you will see the blue flag flying, as a sign of the quality of the beaches and waters. Along the coast you will find all manner of beach and water sports.
The sub-tropical climate, the wonderful sandy beaches, vineyards and mountains rising to heights of almost 3000 meters make this a holiday region of immense variety. Lozère (1699m) and Aigoual (1565m) are the highest peaks in the Massif Central; Canigou (2784m) and Carlit (2921m) in the Pyrenees.
Coullioure is a gorgeous little fishing village and a visit is highly recommended. In the sixties many artists came here, especially painters were impressed by the wonderful quality of the light, the result is some of the most wonderful paintings.
From Perpignan en Le Perthu you drive quickly and safely into Spain. Just over the border lies Figueras. In the old theatre of Figueras, the birthplace of Dali, you will find the theatre/museum Dali; the only museum in Europe dedicated to the work of Salvador Dali. In the whole world there is only one other museum of this sort: the collection Morse Cleveland, in the USA. It is the second most visited museum in Spain, in number of visitors only surpassed by El Prado in Madrid, and brings together paintings, sculptures, jewellery and engravings of the artist, some of which originate from his personal collection. The sum total gives a fantastic impression of the career and uniek personality of this original, surrealist artist.
It is said “Barcelona is not a City, it is a feeling”, a very relaxed feeling at that. If you simply stroll over the Ramblas, visit the Familia Sagrada, or dance the night away in one of the many discothèques, in Barcelona everything happens very ‘tranquilo’. Barcelona is the city of Miró, Picasso en especially Gaudi and in the many restaurants you can find fantastic Tapas. It is also possible to take tour around the city by tour-bus, a fascinating experience.