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Discovering the Languedoc – Our Top 10 of 2022

2022 has been another pretty busy year of discovering the beautiful Languedoc area. We’ve eaten in many restaurants, shopped in a multitude of markets, strolled through various villages and towns and swam in a lot of rivers! Here are our favourites of the year:

discover the Languedoc

1. Favourite Meal Out 

One of our favourite meals out this year was a spontaneous lunch at Le Bastion in the stunning village of Lagrasse. We took all 4 of Théo’s grandparents for a day out – a little stroll around the very picturesque village, followed by lunch.

We didn’t have a reservation but we popped in when we arrived in Lagrasse and they were happy to fit us in. Mathilde, our waitress, was ultra-friendly and the food was delicious – Michelin class food without Michelin prices.

Wild swimming languedoc

2. Favourite Activity

Our favourie day out this summer was a day spent with friends and our kids in one of the prettiest villages in Languedoc – Roquebrun. Perched on the edge of the River Orb, you can swim here in the summer. The river is slow-flowing and there is a little weir that you can slide down. This brought hours of fun for all of us.

Bring your water shoes to protect your feet from all the pebbles. In summer you can park your car for 3 euros, and you can buy an ice cream and some drinks. On the left side of the bridge, at Canoe Roquebrun, you can rent out canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

There are some great options for lunch too!

Discover the Languedoc

3. Favourite City

Narbonne is our closest city and luckily it’s our favourite too. It is a lively, medium-sized city which claims to have 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. You can easily spend a day roaming the historic streets. Every street corner reveals interesting remnants of its 2,500 years of history. And all this at a leisurely, walkable distance.

The Canal de la Robine runs through the centre of Narbonne creating picturesque bridges and perfect picnic spots. The indoor market “les Halles” was voted the best indoor market in 2022 and contains some fabulous food stalls and restaurants including the gem Chez Babelle.

And if shopping is your thing then the cobbled shopping street is a fabulous place to while away a few hours!

Discover the Languedoc

4. Favourite Hike

We had a fabulous time at the Cirque de Mourèze this year. This valley lies between the Orb and Hérault rivers, and the landscape is breathtaking. Somewhere between a lunar landscape and a western setting, these bizarre, uniquely-shaped Dolomite rock columns tower up to 530 meters, sculpted by erosion.

Let your imagination run wild with the strange rock formations, trying to spot the “sphinx” or “camel” is a fun game to play with children.

There are several options for hiking circuits – we opted for the 30 minute one as we had Théo’s little legs to consider but we still saw so much of the fantastically marked area and came away with big smiles on our faces. The trails end in the quirky little village of Mourèze, where there are a few options for eating/drinking. We were unlucky to time our finish just after 1pm so were unable to find anywhere serving so would advise maybe taking a picnic or booking somewhere.

discover the Languedoc

5. Favourite Beach Day

Held in September every year, the Festival du Vent in Portiragnes Plage is an amazingly colourful spectacle to behold. The sky is filled with the most beautiful and gigantic kites fluttering and flapping in the breeze.

During the Festival you can see the pros in action, demonstrating the incredible things that they can do with their kites and also battling for the European Kite Freestyle Championships.

There are numerous restaurants/snack bars on the beach and in the village. We chose Plage du Bosquet and weren’t disappointed.

It’s a fun day out for the whole family!

discovering the Languedoc

6. Favourite Village

There are so many wonderful villages to discover in the Languedoc that this is a hard one to choose but we’ve decided on Minerve this year as we’ve had a few trips here with various friends and family members and it never disappoints.

There is a spectacular 3-hour hike that you can do that takes you through vineyards, past beehives, down to the bottom of the Gorge du Brian and then back up again to finish by the enormous historic catapult of the village.

The village itself is steeped in Cathar history, is included in the list of the most beautiful villages in France, is surrounded by stunning scenery and has some wonderful restaurants and cafés to boot!

discover the Languedoc

7. Favourite Wine Tasting

On our way back from a day hiking in the beautiful Gorges d’Heric we drove through the little hilltop village of Saint-Jean-de-Minervois – famous for its sweet Muscat wine.

It was the perfect opportunity to pop into Domaine de Montahuc where we received a very friendly welcome from a very muddy man! Just back from the vines, he was happy to invite us into their stylishly renovated cave and let us try not only the famous muscat but also their delicious white and reds. 

discovering the languedoc

8. Favourite Cycle

There are so many wonderful cycling routes to discover in the Languedoc both off-road through the pine forests and along the tranquil country roads. But a real hit for us (especially Théo!) is the voie verte cycle path.

You can pick up this magical, tranquil route in the neighbouring village of Cruzy. It then crosses vineyards, alongside poppies, thistles and almond trees all foraged by a myriad of insects and passes through the charming villages of Quarante and Puisserguier. The route follows an old railway line and leads to the majestic Canal du Midi in Capestang.

 

discovering the languedoc

9. Favourite Festival

The Fête de Saint Louis in the pretty seaside town of Sète is held annually in the middle of August and is a great day out. The highlight of the festival is the spectacular water jousting tournament that dates back to 1666. Sète organised its first water jousting tournament to celebrate the foundation of the port, which played an important role during the construction of the Canal du Midi.

During the tournaments in the 18th century, the married men went up against the young bachelors. Red was the colour of the married men, blue the colour of the bachelors.  Many of these traditions are still in use today.

We had great fun checking it all out, watching the jousting, eating street food, visiting the little funfair and generally soaking up the atmosphere.

discovering the languedoc

10. Favourite Market

Every Tuesday morning the charming village of Olonzac puts on a great show. The sprawling, L-shaped market takes over the centre of town. Half of it is dry goods – clothes, shoes, soap, bags, kitchenware, jewellery, books and even antiques, while the other half, on a tiny street that winds up through the center of the circulade, is everything food related. You can sample olives, saucisson, fruit, cheese and even a little glass of local wine while you shop.

Lots of our weekly food shopping is done at the market. It may take more time but we think it’s worth every minute for the best fruit and vegetables of the season, the freshest meat and eggs or exquisitely made local cheeses.

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Free Guide

If you’d like more inspiration for your trip to this wonderful area download this guide to 7 hidden gems

Free Guide

To find out about some of our favourite restaurants in the area you can download this handy guide