Information and Tourism
As a region, Languedoc-Roussillon is a relatively recent vintage, created by combining two historic areas, Lower Languedoc and Upper Languedoc, with the Pyrenees-facing area of Roussillon.
Languedoc-Roussillon's regional capital of Montpellier is charming and compact, packed full of historic monuments, including the medieval Tour des Pins. It is also one of the most dynamic and fastest growing cities in France, with a reputation for having an exceptionally youthful population, as well as a university and medical school of high repute.
South of Montpellier and past the expensive-looking Cap d'Agde beach resort, the town of Béziers plays host to the annual Feria de Béziers, a bullfighting event that attracts huge numbers of spectators each August. The city of Nimes is also a bullfighting venue, but is perhaps better known for its rich Roman past and discovery of denim.
Illuminated at night, the fortified city of Carcassonne is undeniably impressive, a sight that could sit quite easily in a book of fairytales. Its history extended far beyond its walls in recent years when Kate Mosse's novel 'Labyrinth' reached the bestseller list. The city's turrets and stone walls have also served as a conveniently historic backdrop to many a blockbuster movie, including 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' starring Kevin Kostner.
There is no escaping the fact that Lower Languedoc likes its wine, particularly of the robust and red variety. Vineyards dominate the landscape. In fact, the vineyards here are three times the size of those found in the Bordeaux region. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that the region's wine really started to shine.
Roussillon is a place apart, looking more in the direction of the Pyrenees and the Spanish frontier than its French compatriot neighbours. Along its coastline are popular seaside resorts that are renowned for endless hours of summer sunshine. Its main city, Perpignan, was once declared by the Catalan surrealist artist Salvador Dali to be the centre of the world. Today, Perpignan is better known as the capital of Catalan culture.
Languedoc-Roussillon Information and Fast Facts
- Country: France
- Main city or administrative centre: Montpellier
- Population: approximately 2.6 million
- Language: French
- Area: 10,570 square miles / 27,375 square kilometres
Map of France