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  • place-de-la-comedie-montpellier - The Place de la Comedie, home of The Opéra national de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon opera company in Montpellier, France.
  • mont-louis - The fortified citadel of Mont-Louis in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.
  • canal-de-la-robine-narbonne - Boats and paths along Canal de la Robine in the middle of Narbonne in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
  • cite-de-carcassone - Cité de Carcassonne in the city of modern Carcassonne, is a medieval fortified city of Gothic architecture. It's in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
  • nautical-joust-sete - A nautical joust contest,The Grand Prix of St. Louis, held annually in Sète, France, since July 1666.
  • nimes-ampitheater - The Roman amphitheater Arena of Nîmes in city of Nîmes, originally built in 70 AD and remodeled in 1863.
  • Canal-du-Midi-barge - A peaceful boat ride down the Canal du Midi through the heart of Camargue in Languedoc-Roussillon, southern France.
  • pont-du-gard-breakfast - Have a breakfast beside the historic Pont du Gard, an ancient aquaduct system in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France.
  • tarn-river-and-gorge - The picturesque Gorges du Tarn, where you can canoe on the Tarn River between the Causse Méjean and the Causse de Sauveterre, in southern France.
  • canal-du-midi-biking - Biking alongside the Canal du Midi  in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. The canal is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Bages-mountains-France - Bages et le Canigou enneigé is, a mountain in the Pyrenees in Southern France.
  • finiels-summit - Hiking on the summit Finiels Finiels, the highest point in the Mount Lozère mountain range in  the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
  • place-aux-herbes - Place Aux Herbes in Uzès is a square filled with shopping, dining and dwellings. It's in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
  • collioure - A waterside view of Collioure, a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department  of southern France.
  • pont-du-gard - The ancient Roman aqueduct bridge, Pont du Gard, crossing the Gardon River in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
  • gate-villa-franche-de-conflent - Vilafranca de Conflent, a fortified commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France, originated in 1098.
  • saint-guilhem-commune - The commune of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is one of the most beautiful villages in France. It's in the Languedoc-Roussillon region along the Mediterranean.
  • France-Pont-du-Gard - Plan a day trip to Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge in southern France, on your next Mediterranean cruise.
  • South-of-France-roman-ruins.jpg - A visitor poses in the front of the ancient Roman aqueduct bridge, Pont du Gard, crossing the Gardon River in southern France.
  • uniworld-south-france.jpg - A tour guide tells visitors the history of Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge in southern France.
  • uniworld-south-france-1.jpg - A tour guide for Uniworld tells the tale of Pont du Gard, the ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River in southern France.

Languedoc-Roussillon: The other south of France

our guide

The vibe

Between France's Provence and Spain's Costa del Sol lies Languedoc-Roussillon, a large region of southern France with a long Mediterranean coastline and a border that presses up against the Pyrenees and Spain. 

Languedoc-Roussillon — it's a mouthful so some business locals are touting the brand Sud de France — doesn't have any large cruise ports, but cruisers may find their way to any of the inviting village cafes along the coastline or to one of its landmarks, such as Pont du Gard, Canal du Midi, Carcassone or the castles of the Pays Cathare. With 10,570 square miles and 2.5 million people, the farflung region includes its capital of Montpellier and the cities of Sète, Nîmes, Alès, Béziers, Carcassonne, La Palme, Narbonne and Perpignan.

While there are no large-scale cruises offered here, there are some small, luxury boats that can be rented to cruise the region's many canals. The 150-mile Canal du Midi, which connects the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, is certainly a highlight. 

Top reasons to go

  • Picturesque cafes along the coastline
  • The 150-mile Canal du Midi
  • Hundreds of charming villages with local wines

Sonia Gil of Sonia's Travels shares her visit to the historic Pont du Gard, part of the Roman-era aquaduct system in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, in this 3-minute video.

Top things to do & see 

The charm of Languedoc-Roussillon is captured in hundreds of villages, each with unique character and individual charm. Predominantly a wine-growing region, many villages are famous for excellent individual wines.

  • Cevennes — A fine area of wooded mountains, where the re-introduced griffon vulture can be seen. 
  • Cirque de Navacelles — An amazing cirque where the road almost unbelievably descends to a tiny village.
  • Côte Vermeille — Canton in the south.
  • Gorges d'Héric — The gorges Heric are near the village of Heric and Mons-La Trivalle in Herault. They were carved by the river of Heric in the massif of Caroux. It is said that there is a narrow gauge railway connected with these grooves.
  • Le Sidobre — Le Sidobre, just east of Castres, forms the westernmost extremity of the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc. It is cut by deep river valleys and covered with marvelous woods. It renowned for its granite: huge boulders litter the woods, often carved by the millennia into fascinating shapes, such as Les Trois Fromages and l'Oie.
  • Monts d'Espinouse — A beautiful range of relatively low mountains, wild and craggy with few paths, around the D14 from Olargues to Fraisse-sur-Agout. A small side road (to the left from the above direction) leads to the tiny pretty village of Douch, from which there is a good path to the summit of Mont Caroux, where you suddenly come across a great southern vista.
  • Pic Carlit — Though nearly 3,000 meters in height this mountain does not require specialist climbing skills in summer. It offers fabulous views and a good chance of seeing ibex and chamois.
  • Pont du Gard — The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River, from which it takes its name. It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département of southern France.
  • Canal du Midi — This 150-mile network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, etc.) is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times.
  • Carcassonne — This fortified French town in the Aude department is most known for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress restored by the theorist and architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in 1853 and added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. 
  • Domaine de Pommayrac — Offers a charming country landscape of vineyards, pine forest trees and hilly meadows.
  • Pays Cathare castles — Cathar castles is a modern term used by the tourism industry (following the example of Pays Cathare, or Cathar Country) to designate a series of fortresses built by the French king on the southern border of his lands at the end of the Albigensian Crusade. 
  • Pyrenees  A mountain range in the south, at the border with Spain that offers great hiking and incredible views of the countryside.
The fortified citadel of Mont-Louis in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.
Paul Palau / Courtesy of Sud de France DeveloppementThe fortified citadel of Mont-Louis in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.

YOLO (You only live once!)

France's western Mediterranean coast is a hotbed of windsurfing. Gruissan, a little more than six miles away from Narbonne on the coast, offers both sea and lake windsurfing options.

Need to know

Documents: U.S. and Canadian citizens will need a passport. 

Language: French with a smattering of Occitan and Catalan. 

Currency: The euro.

Safety: There are many pick-pocketers in this area of France, so be sure to keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.

Wikivoyage contributed to this article. 

Your take

How about you? Have you been to the Languedoc-Roussillon region, on a cruise or otherwise? What was the highlight? Have any tips? 

Help improve this article! See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

Updated September 5, 2015

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Cruiseable team
The Cruiseable editorial team consists of award-winning travel writers, cruise bloggers and journalists.

Overheard

“Local students are flocking to La Panaceé, a splashy new art space in a former pharmacy school, for the mix of experimental exhibitions (say, water calligraphy depicting the history of toast) and lounges, including a café lit by neon tubes.”

AFAR magazine

 

“Imagine yourself among the French aristocracy while dining under Cellier Morel's 13th-century stone ceilings. The food, however, is anything but archaic: dashi-stewed sea bass and an elevated aligot, a rustic blend of potato and tomme cheese.”

AFAR magazine

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