My own discovery of Languedoc-Roussillon
Day Nr Zero… coming to Languedoc-Roussillon and arriving at Aigues Mortes…have been tiring but a good experience!
It was such a journey! You will think that it is going to take you not more than 3 hours to drive from Lyon to Aigues Mortes but it took us more than that…Well we simply didn’t calculated all the stops we had: picnics, photo shooting slots, big food shopping and on top of that loads of rain, hail and snow on our way. So we had to be very careful when driving and yet a bit disappointed as we could not visit some places we wanted because of a very heavy rain!
Yes, we left Lyon when it started snowing; we were experiencing quite mild snow, very heavy rain and some serious hail. Really! As much as we are both motivated to do sightseeing and as much as we love it, we stayed in a car and were admiring the view behind the windows and eating our lunch in the car…we finished with a bit of mess but its normal that you cannot control the breadcrumbs being limited with the space and its true that the French baguettes are too tasty to think about anything else but taste;-) Anyway the car picnic was yummy, made us happier and so we carried on our journey to arrive later in the evening …why so late? Oh well when it comes to the shopping I am losing the contact with the real world so it has happened…all in all we finally reached the destination and the small house we moved into was very nice…bedroom, kitchen, dining space; very good toilet and bathroom and especially clean, well equipped and warm! The last one so much important to me;-)
The only thing about the place I didn’t like was the fact that they charged a lot for TV and internet so we decided not to take it. It was a good decision….you don’t need those things during holidays or at least you can try not to use it;-) and so we did…
So driving down to the south was an interesting experience and we managed to take few photos as I have never seen vinars before and because the sky was amazing…after the snow, rain and hail, the clear and beautifully blue sky welcomed us in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
Languedoc-Roussillon …so, not only I haven’t heard about it before but also I still struggle to pronounce the name. Pretty difficult to get it right, isn’t it?
But this has only made me motivated to learn more about it. And here it comes: Languedoc-Roussillon is the southernmost region of France. It has over 2,5 mln inhabitants and is 27 375.79 km ² big. It comprises five departments: Aude, Gard , Hérault ,Lozère ,Pyrénées-Orientales (We stayed mostly in the Gard and visited others). Languedoc-Roussillon borders the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées on the one side, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean Sea on the other side.
The 3 top biggest cities of the region ( in number of inhabitants) are Montpellier, followed by Nimes, Perpignan. Actually, Montpellier – this thriving modern city in the Hérault, with a historic centre is the regional capital of Languedoc-Roussillon. Languedoc-Roussillon represents such diversity: fom ski resorts to beach resorts, from the medieval villages to spectacular castles, and from the dark caves to the little fishing ports, from modern cities to closeness to the nature and ancient sites. Languedoc-Roussillon’s architectural legacies date back to the Greeks and Romans. The region is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Roman Pont du Gard (we have visited), the tree-lined Canal du Midi, the fortified town of Carcassonne, Vauban’s fortresses at Villefranche-de-Conflent and Mont-Louis and the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain
The famous painters such as Picasso, Miró, Matisse, and Chagall have all been drawn to the Languedoc-Roussillon’s spectacular light and charm. The famous writers Molière, Valéry and Rabelais and Antonio Machado have all lived in this area.
Impressive cultural background, isn’t it? That’s not all, from the economic perspective, Languedoc-Roussillon has one of the highest rates of population growth in France. It has also one of the highest rates of GDP growth over the last 10 years. Foreign investors are attracted to the region as you can imagine, tourists are also attracted to Languedoc-Roussillon but this time thanks to its attractions, nature and welcoming environment.
I have also learned that the region is very famous for the wine production. In total, the vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon cover an area which is three times that of the vineyards of Bordeaux. The most well known wines produced here are the following Côtes-du-Rhône, Tavel, Corbières and Minervois, fine Muscats, and wines from Banyuls-sur-Mer, Rivesaltes and Maury. What is more, a large proportion of the grapes from here are used to produce table wine.
So to sum this all up, based on my observations, experience and more reading I would say that the Languedoc-Roussillon region is famous for :
- Amazing ancient sites
- Medieval cities – beautiful French villages (many!)
- Pont du Gard – WOW I am speechless here…
- The excellent climate and beaches (a lot of sun even in Winter & a lot of wind)
- The flat-lands of the Camargue (truly amazing!)
- A lot of German Lidl supermarkets (not sure why?)
- White horses
- Black bulls, bull chasing, bull fighting
- Olive trees
- Loads of large vinars fields, any many in the water
- Flamingos (many) which I seen there in February (they were not cold?)
- Terreaux saucisse
- Wine – apparently it has been France’s largest wine-producing area
So did you know any of this? Or do you know anything more about
Languedoc-Roussillon region? Let me know so I can improve the list. Do you like the sound of Languedoc-Roussillon region and its attractions? I hope you do. I liked it a lot. It is worth for all it offers and highly recommended for any type of holidays: active, lazy, relaxing, family oriented and with a group of friends. Enjoy and let me now if you have any questions or comments.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on here as more about Languedoc-Roussillon particular places and my experience connected with them will come soon…