20 Things We Love about the Languedoc

Let’s be honest, there are just so many wonderful things about the South of France that it’s no mean feat picking just 20,  but since we enjoy a challenge, here’s our pick of the twenty best things about spending your precious summer holiday time in the Languedoc…

Things to do

Many of the villages surrounding Quarante  and Cruzy  offer a countless variety of experiences from the magnificant walled medieval fortress at Carcassonne and the rugged beauty of Minerve, the antique center of the region in Pezenas, or the 12thcentury Abbey of Fontfroide, to the Les Halles enclosed daily market in Beziers. All are short drives from  Quarante.


Carcassonne Castle


Short distances

  • Quarante to Beziers
    15 mins drive
  • Quarante to Narbonne
    25 mins drive
  • Quarante to Montpellier
    1 hours drive
  • Quarante to Aix-en-Provence
    2.15 hours drive
  • Quarante to Valras beach
    20 mins drive

The Spanish border is just over an hours drive to the south or continue on a short train ride to Barcelona for a complete change of pace.

Swimming is available at nearby lakes and rivers including  the Cesse River  near Bizes Minervois or the Lac de Cavayere near Carcassonne.  Mediterranean beaches are also within a 30 minute drive.



World Heritage Sites

The World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi offers a romantic and sensual view of the area from the tree-lined shores or from a boat or barge slowly traversing the countryside.


The fascinating Cathar castles and caves from Villerouge Termines to Peyrepertuse  are all nearby drives.  Taste the olives and muscat at the Thursday market in  Lesignon Corbieres  or regal yourselves at the Narbonne indoor marche.    The exploration of local and regional wineries, restaurants, pizzerias and boulangerie-patisseries is something we never tire of.


Hiking, biking, climbing, caving and bird watching areas abound.


Twenty Things to Enjoy in the Languedoc

Here is a short list of things our family enjoyed during our year-long stay in the Minervois region:

  1. walking/hiking- marked trails exist in nearly every small village or town- easy to follow and a fun destination when tied in to a picnic or lunch in a café.
  2. beaches- don’t overlook Bages and Collioures
  3. festivals
  4. markets– note the times and places
  5. Spain- the drive from Collioures south is a must
  6. Pyrenees- a one hour drive
  7. Albi and the Toulouse Lautrec museum
  8. Carcassonne
  9. Frontfroide- lovely abbey near Narbonne
  10. Minerve
  11. Minervois barge cruises
  12. Brocantes- French version of antiquing
  13. Chamber music series ( see Caunes Minervois)
  14. Vide Greniers- all summer long various towns close their streets for these day long garage sales
  15. Bicycling
  16. Grape picking
  17. Café/croissant mornings
  18. Wine tastings in nearly every village
  19. Relaxing
  20. Cathar castles/grottos