Capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, a town with an age old universty tradition, Montpellier is now a crossroads of cultural, scientific and artistic exchanges offering the relaxed way of life of Mediterranean cities. Its ancient architectural heritage stands alongside decidedly modern developments. The Ecusson is the oldest part of the town, the place de la Comedie dominated by the Opera (19c) stretches as far as the new Antigone area.
"Ville d'Art" in the heart of the vineyards of the languedoc hills, the city of Moliere saw the Etats generaux of the Launguedoc held within its walls in 1456. With an exceptional architectural heritage, from large patrician dwellings dating from the Middle ages to the town houses and mansions of the 18c, Pezenas is also home to numerous arts and crafts artists whose workshops are open to the public.
The Old Town
Between the Haut Languedoc and the beaches, Beziers is an historic town with a meridional flavour. Crossed by the Canal du Midi, wine capital of the Languedoc, Beziers is especially vibrant and full of passion in August during its famous feria.
View from Beziers
Capital of Narbonne Gaul, then residence for the Wisigoth kings and archepiscopal city, this "Ville d'Art", located on the Via Domitia, has retained its importance as a communications cross-roads. Its museums house many rare treasures, especially Roman paintings. The shaded boulevards and the banks of the canal de la Robine are pleasant places for walking in this typically Mediterranean town, which is also renowned for its wines.
The presence of history is impressive. Founded over 2000 years ago and built on its present plan in the 13c. Carcassonne is one of the most remarkable sites surviving from the Middle Ages. It is today a UNESCO world heritage site. The Aude and Canal de Midi seperate the "lower town" from the medieval city built in the 13c and restored in the 19c by Viollet le Duc.
The fortified city of Caracassonne
Under the reign of Augustus, Nimes along with Lyon and Narbonne was amongst the most important towns in Roman Gaul. Today "Ville d'Art et Histoire", it also counts modern architectural designs by Norman Foster (the Carre d'Art), Jean Nouvel, Phillipe Stark (the "halles" or market). Between the Provence and Languedoc, the town of seven hills is also famous for its heritage from antiquity and the atmosphere of its Whitsun and Wine Harvest ferias.
A maze of old narrow streets outline the old position of the fortified town.
A strange landscape of 750 hectares surrounded by hills, dotted with islands and peninsulas coloured purple due to a red schist. It boasts beaches, water sports, beautiful walks and carp fishing.
ST GUILHEM DESERT
Medieval city on the route to Santago de Compostela, one of the "most beautiful villages of France".
LAMALOU LES BAINS
Spa and climatic resort at the foot of the monts Caroux and de l'Espinouse. It has a 9 hole golf course and a casino. There is an Operetta festival in the summer.
Called "Little Nice" the village has a Mediterranean garden with 400 species of plants.