This most southerly region of French Catalonia nestling on the Spanish border is one that continues to delight and charm, offering plenty to discover during your holiday.
The coast of Languedoc-Roussillon has long flat sandy beaches with a full range of watersports and golf at St Cyprien. Meanwhile the hinterland is surprisingly green, composed of gently sloping vineyards, Cotes de Roussillon, Banyuls and Rivesaltes and a whole host of fruit trees including peaches, cherries, plums and oranges. Further inland in Languedoc-Roussillon the Pyrenees rise, remarkably green and covered with trees and shrubs. To the north is the mediaeval town of Carcassonne, which rises like a mirage between vineyards and hills. Languedoc Roussillon also offers the fascinating land of the Cathars.
With so much to see in Languedoc-Roussillon, a self-drive touring holiday is an excellent choice, either driving all the way from the UK or flying to the south of France before collecting a hire car. Visit other regions including Tarn and Provence to the north or Bordeaux and the Basque country to the west. Discover the Catalonian and Basque cultures by travelling along the Spanish border, or explore the valleys, fortresses and mountains of southwestern France. A rail holiday offers the chance to view the beautiful French countryside during the journey south, travelling by train to Carcassonne before exploring Languedoc-Roussillon by car, or stopping off in Beaujolais en route to the region.
Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan 12.4, Feb 11.5, Mar 12.5, Apr 17.6, May 20.1, Jun 26.5, Jul 28.4, Aug 28.1, Sep 26.1, Oct 21.1, Nov 15.8, Dec 13.5.Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France
Cultural Highlights Sample the earliest cherries in France and other seasonal fruit. Take a visit to see the local ceramics and paintings, travel on the narrow gauge railway from Villefranche de Conflent to Font Romeu. There are Folklore and music festivals in August. Gastronomy Sample anchovies, macaroons, Rousquilles aniseed biscuits. Local wines include Banyuls and Rivesaltes wines and Cotes de Roussillon wine. This is one of the most highly-regarded new wine regions of France.
Self-drive: You can cover the distance from Calais to the region with just one overnight stop in each direction. However, an easier journey would be with two overnight stops in each direction, perhaps Burgundy, the Ardeche or at Les Frenes out and the Rhone Valley and Champagne on the way back. By Air: Toulouse is only about two and a half hours' drive away from Ceret and about an hour from Carcassonne and has several flights a day from Gatwick (BA). It is also possible to fly to Montpellier from Gatwick (BA operated by GB Airways). By Motorail: Take the train with your car from Calais to Toulouse or Narbonne.
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Paris Airport Main airports are in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon, with scheduled and low cost airlines flying into the country from all over the UK. Currency Euro (£1 = Euro 1.24) Size Roughly 600 miles wide and 700 miles long Population 66 million Average temperature Varies dramatically, from about 8 degrees in winter in Brittany to 26 degrees in summer in Corsica, with snow on the Alps and Pyrenees year-round
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