The Languedoc-Roussillon area in the South of France is more often overlooked as a holiday destination in favour of the better know Provence and Cote d'Azur areas. The area, which stretches from Montpellier and the mouth of the Rhone Rover in the East to Perpignan in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the South West, is however rich in scenery and culture and benefits from a balmy climate and great food! It has something to offer to everybody and there is much to explore.
The region is the largest single wine region in the world and produces Corbieres, Minervois, Banyuls, Costieres de Nimes, Roussillon, Fitou and Limoux wines amongst others, not to mention the sweeter Muscat wines that are renowned throughout the world. Throughout the region it is possible to visit the vineyards and sample the wines before making your purchase.
Culture and heritage are obvious in this region, particularly the influence of the Romans, apparent from the great Roman amphitheatre at Nimes and the famous aqueduct which is the Pont du Gard, West of the city. You will also find Cathar castles and the perfectly restored medieval Cite de Carcassonne which are testament to the bloody battles of the Middle Ages.
For families, the sandy beaches are a real attraction - visit La Grande-Motte an easy drive from Nimes. Here you will find marinas and facilities for every kind of sport from tennis and golf to watersports, all flanked by golden beaches and pine forests. The 'Golf du Lion' which stretches from La Grande Motte 65 miles to the West has been transformed into a series of holiday resorts where you can enjoy watersports and sun bathing.
If you prefer an active holiday then the area incorporating the Parc National des Cevennes North West if Nimes should be your destination. Here you can enjoy canoeing and rafting on the rivers, cycle touring, not to mention exploring the miles of waymarked footpaths which will take you through gorges and along river banks. The Parc Regional du Haut Languedoc inland from Beziers boasts more of the same, with high limestone plateaux and wooded slope, forest and mountain trails. You will also find caves and grottoes such as the 'Grotte des Demoiselles' and the 'Grotte de Clamouse'
The Canal du Midi is a 149 miles long waterway which wends its way from Sete on the coast through to Toulouse and passes through vineyards and sleepy villages - explore the tow paths on bike to discover the best treasures of the route.