All about the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France
From the peaks of the Pyrenees mountains to the wide open spaces of the Camargue and the Mediterranean coastline, the Languedoc-Roussillon is filled with the history of many centuries.
It’s adjacent to Provence and shares the relaxed vibe of that region, with simple humble food and unfussy wine. As with Provence, Roman artefacts, ruins and the remains of roads and aqueducts abound. Historic villages of the Cote Vermeille are a stand-out.
Walled cities are scattered throughout the region, but the crown jewel is the medieval city of Carcassonne. An important stronghold that changed hands many times in the Middle Ages, Carcassonne was set to be demolished by Napoleon Bonaparte but public uproar got it restored, much as with Bruges in Belgium. Re-enactors use the long summer nights to bring the area’s turbulent history to life with battles of the “boules.”
As laid-back as the area is, there is a bit of hustle and bustle in lively Montpelier, site of one of the world’s oldest medical schools.
With just about 200,000 residents, Montpelier is a walkable city with an extensive old town area that bans cars. Make a point of trying the region’s specialty, cassoulet, and finish off your meal with a creme Catalan, the local version of creme brulee.
Rail from Paris to Montpellier departs from Paris Gare Lyon. The trip from Paris to Montpellier last about three and a half hours.
Visit the Montpellier tourist office to learn more about the city.
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