Languedoc Roussillon



A holiday in the South of France does not necessarily mean that you have to trip over other tourists in search of a cool drink or an ice-cream on a hot beach during the summer.

In fact you could be cruising around a bit further inland in a variety of glorious landscapes, like you find north and south of Carcassonne, the Razès, a stunning winegrowing district, the Corbières, wild craggy and remote, the southern slopes of the Montagne Noire with little gems of villages tucked away in its many valleys, the Quercorb with its brooding oak forests, the Cathar trails with lots of famous, less famous and infamous castles, the northern slopes and foothills of the Pyrenees.

There is also a fantastic infrastructure left from the past in the form of its old railway network, now transformed into many kilometres of exclusive walking and cycling tracks, the Canal du Midi with its towpath and its present network of all the D roads eminently suitable for cycling, linking all those small hilltop villages.

And of course Carcassonne and La Cité, the great medieval fortress.

All of this is equally enjoyable, if not more so, during a slightly cooler spring with a riot of spring flowers and the pervading scent of lilac and broom growing everywhere in the wild, or in the autumn with all of nature and the vineyards turning in all hues of gold, red and yellow.

Even the winter can provide solitude in the rolling hills fringed with a lacework of the naked copses of trees in all their subtle colours.

From this location, any point between the Pyrenees and Montagne Noir is one and a half to two hours driving at the most. Driving times to all the big castles and Carcassonne are between half an hour to one hour maximum.