Traveldir.org features a collection of France travel, vacation and hotels related articles. Please feel free to submit your travel guide, personal travelogue, France hotel guide or any other travel related story.
Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the 26 regions of France, spreading from the Spanish border to the Cote d'Azur. As well as being home to some beautiful stretches of coastline and popular summer beaches, the area is known for the historic towns of Nimes, Montpellier and Narbonne.
The area around the Pyrenees Mountains on the French side of the border is also known as French Catalonia. While not as fiercely independent as the Spanish region of the same name, the area still retains some of the ancient traditions, particularly in the food and architecture. The scenery on the French side of the mountains is spectacular and may be familiar to fans of the Tour de France, as the race passes through this region most years. The Tet Valley, served by a high, twisty road with great viewpoints, runs from Perpignan to the mountains at Bourg Madame, though in the winter this route can often be blocked. There is some skiing in the French Pyrenees, though not as many resorts or skiing lessons so it's not recommended for beginners.
While most of the sun worshippers head along the coast to Nice or Cannes, those looking for more naturally beautiful scenery should probably head in the other direction to Languedoc-Roussillon. The Espiguette in Montpelier is one of the top beaches in the region, with miles and miles of sandy dunes so you can always find your own space, even in the height of summer. There are nine beaches at Cap d'Agde, ranging from family-friendly coves to the open stretches of sand at the nudist beach. The port of Collioure is ideal to visit if you want to spend a few hours on the beach but the rest of your day exploring. The small beach by the harbour is fine for a nap in the sun, but the town's main attractions are the Italianate ramparts and seafront bars serving chilled Rose wine.
Nimes is located at the far eastern end of Languedoc-Roussillon and is known for two things; as the town that denim was named after and its fabulous collection of Roman ruins. Actually, the amphitheatre is not all that ruined and is one of the best preserved in all France. It is still used for music concerts and bull fighting today. Other buildings worth visiting are the Square House, a Roman temple, and the nearby Pont du Gard aqueduct, built by Agrippa.