A Laid-back Holiday in Languedoc-Roussillon


The Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France is the perfect spot for a relaxing break. Less packed with tourists than the surrounding regions, it is a low-key and affordable area in which to holiday. Its location on the south coast means it enjoys long, hot summers and mild winters so the weather is pleasant for most of the year. Fewer tourists mean more space on the beautiful beaches, on the regional roads and in the local restaurants, even during peak season. The coastline is far wilder here than in neighbouring regions so it's ideal for those who like a more rustic holiday.

The bright lights of Nice, Marseille and Toulon are within easy driving distance if you fancy spending a day or two in a more urban environment. The frequent Corsican ferry services from Toulon and Nice mean it's possible to spend a few nights in one of the fantastic gites in Corsica if you're looking for a two-centre holiday.

The Languedoc-Roussillon coastline is home to many old fishing communities and this is reflected in the local cuisine. Seafood is very popular in the region and freshly-caught fish is served in most restaurants. Oysters, monkfish and shellfish feature prominently on local menus so Languedoc-Roussillon is a real treat for lovers of seafood. Traditional fishing is still a major source of income in many coastal communities and you'll see hordes of old fishing boats setting off each morning. As well as fish, beef stew is another local specialty. The local dishes are, of course, best accompanied by one of the wonderful regional wines. The beaches of Languedoc-Roussillon are legendary and the relative lack of tourists means you'll have acres of golden sand to yourself if you desire. Most beaches are undeveloped so just remember to take plenty of water with you, along with a parasol for shade. If you prefer a few more creature comforts on a day at the beach, a journey east along the coast will take you to the more developed beaches of the busier resorts of Marseille and Toulon. A hire car is recommended if you're staying in Languedoc-Roussillon as public transport can be a little patchy in some places. If you do decide to spend a few nights in one of the rustic gites in Corsica, you can drive to the ferry port at either Toulon or Nice, leave your car there and collect it on your return.