Canal du Midi © Occitanie tourism
Canal du Midi © Occitanie tourism

Our choice of must-see towns, monuments and other places of interest.

Related article: You Can Have It All in Languedoc-Roussillon

CANAL DU MIDI

Many operators hire out boats for trips up the Canal du Midi, which links the Med to the Atlantic, with plenty of locks and aqueducts along the way. Towns where you can hire include Castelnaudary and Carcassonne.
www.tourism-occitanie.co.uk/major-routes-foot-and-boat

Chateau de Queribus
Chateau de Queribus © Shutterstock

CHÂTEAU DE QUÉRIBUS

This gravity-defying Cathar castle is perched 728m up, like an eagle’s nest, atop a steep, rocky pinnacle. You’ll feel like a medieval knight as you negotiate its steep stairways and vertiginous terraces.
www.cucugnan.fr/citadelle-du-vertige/

Chateau de Peypertuse © Shutterstock
Chateau de Peypertuse © Shutterstock

CHÂTEAU DE PEYREPERTUSE

One of the best preserved Cathar castles, Peyrepertuse sits on a jagged limestone ridge, with sheer drops all around and views to die for. Drive up from the village of Duilhac or make the hot, dusty hour-long climb by foot. It’s well worth it.
www.peyrepertuse.com

Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard © Shutterstock

PONT DU GARD

Built in the first century AD to supply Nîmes with water, the Roman aqueduct is most impressive when it crosses the River Gardon on the Pont du Gard. The 50m-high, triple-tiered structure, with 52 arches, was a marvel of engineering in its time – and still is.
www.pontdugard.fr

Cite de Carcassonne
Cite de Carcassonne © Shutterstock

CITÉ DE CARCASSONNE

Carcassonne’s citadel, on the hill above the River Aude, is a picture-perfect medieval fortress. Two concentric walls, with crenellated ramparts and 52 pointed towers, surround a town of cobbled streets, courtyards and the inevitable shops selling souvenirs.
www.remparts-carcassonne.fr

Joutes Nautiques
Joutes Nautiques © Shutterstock

NAUTICAL JOUSTING IN SÈTE

Every summer in the Mediterranean town of Sète, rowers in boats propel themselves at top speed towards each other while jousters attempt to bump opponents into the water with huge jousting sticks. Great fun.
www.tourisme-sete.com/joute-nautiques-fete-tradition.html

Le Petit Train Jaune
Le Petit Train Jaune © Shutterstock

LE PETIT TRAIN JAUNE

This beautiful antique narrow-gauge railway links Villefranche-de-Conflent with Latour-de-Carol, crossing 63km of gorges and vertigo-inducing viaducts. Hop on and off to explore some of the prettier mountain villages.
www.tourism-canigo.com/the-yellow-train

Les Arenes de Nimes
Les Arenes de Nimes © Shutterstock

LES ARÈNES DE NÎMES

This stunning twin-tiered Roman amphitheatre from 100BC is still largely intact. In its heyday it echoed to the roars of 24,000 baying spectators as gladiators did their worst. Nowadays you can see concerts, shows and gladiator re-enactments.
www.arenes-nimes.com

Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert
Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert © Shutterstock

SAINT-GUILHEM-LE-DÉSERT

Not far northwest of Montpellier, in a steep ravine, is the delightful village of Saint-Guilhem-Le-Désert, with its famous Abbaye de Gellone. In summer there are impressive concerts staged here. The nearby Pont du Diable is also awe-inspiring.
www.saint-guilhem-le-desert.com

Cirque de Navacelles
Cirque de Navacelles © Shutterstock

CIRQUE DE NAVACELLES

Geologists call it an incised meander. The Cirque de Navacelles, not far from the Gard village of Blandas, is a bizarre looking land form that beggars belief: a dried up oxbow lake, surrounded by steep mountain walls, with an island rising from the middle.
www.tourismecevennesnavacelles.com

Gorges du Tarn
Gorges du Tarn © Shutterstock

GORGES DU TARN

For millennia the River Tarn has been carving steep canyons through the limestone of the Lozère. For the best views, start at Sainte-Énimie and drive the twisty road southwest to Le Rozier. Even better, hire a kayak.
www.tourism-occitanie.co.uk/major-sites/gorges-du-tarn

Collioure © Shutterstock
Collioure © Shutterstock

COLLIOURE

Pastel-coloured houses and the shimmering light off the Mediterranean have been luring great artists to this picturesque seaside resort near Perpignan for aeons. There are dozens of galleries and workshops dedicated to fine art.
www.visitcollioure.co.uk

From France Today magazine

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