Towns

Agde

Agde

The city of Agde in Hérault was built on the lava flow and rocks of an extinct volcano, called "le mount Saint-Loup", by the Greeks in 600 BC. Agathê means 'the beautiful' in Greek and its inhabitants are called 'Agathois'.

Agde is known for the distinctive black basalt used in the local architecture, hence its nickname 'the Black Pearl'. It was a busy port in the 17th Century but is now devoted mainly to tourism.

There is plenty for visitors to see and do, with bustling streets and shops and many fish restaurants along the quayside. It has an imposing cathedral dating from the 12th Century plus the remains of the city walls originally built by the Greeks.

The town is located on the river Hérault estuary about 4 km from the Mediterranean Sea. Access to the sea by boat is via Cap d'Agde. The Canal du Midi connects to the Hérault at the lock (l'Écluse Ronde d'Agde) just above Agde and empties into the Mediterranean at Le Grau d'Agde.



Alès

Alès

Alès is one of the sub-prefectures of the Gard department situated north of Nîmes at the foot of the Cévennes mountains, near the Cévennes National Park and beside the river Gardon. It was formerly known as Alais.

In the 16th century it was an important Huguenot centre. In 1629 the town was taken by Lousi XIII and the Peace of Alais was signed which left the Huguenots free to enjoy religious and civil liberties, but they lost all their military advantages.

In 1865 the silk industry in France was threatened by a disease that was killing the silkworm. The government commisioned Louis Pasteur to find the cause. He moved to the south of France, the centre of silkworm breeding, to carry out his investigations in Alès. He discovered a parasite was infecting the worms and recomended the isolation and destruction of all infected silkworms which eliminated the disease. The town has dedicated a bust to his memory.

Another sight worth visiting is the Parc botanique de la Tour Vieille.



Arles

Arles

Arles nestles next to the Rhône river and is a favorite tourist destination in Provence, made famous in recent times by painters Van Gogh and Gaugin. It has been a center since Roman times, as evidenced by the wonderful Arena in the center of Arles, still used for bullfights. The area around Arles is famous for its natural beauty, especially in the Camargue.
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Béziers

Béziers

Located at the heart of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, lying halfway between the coast and the mountain foothills, the Béziers-Méditérranée urban community has a strong identity, firmly rooted in Occitan culture.
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Cap d'Agde

Agde

This seaside resort was created in 1963 for the tourist industry that thrives there and is one of the largest leisure ports on the French Mediterranean. It is also the European capital of naturism. The Village Naturiste is a large fenced-off part at the north-eastern edge of Cap d'Agde, although it is accessible along the public beach from the east. It is a self-contained town (although sometimes referred to as the 'Naked City'), with a 2 km beach, port and marina, campsite, apartment complexes, hotel, shops, restaurants, bars etc. where nudity is legal and common in the whole resort, day or night.

Agde can be reached by the TGV train direct from Paris or Lille and by air from are Béziers-Cap d'Agde airport with direct budget airline services to the UK and Scandinavia. Public transport and taxi services operate between Agde and Cap d'Agde.



Carcassonne

Carcassonne

The city of Carcassonne is exceptionally well-located in the South West of France in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon between Toulouse and Narbonne, and close to another Heritage site, the Canal du midi.
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Castelnaudary

Castelnaudary

Castelnaudary is a market town located 50 km southeast of Toulouse, about midway along the route from there to the Mediterranean. This route has been used since at least Roman times, and today carries road, motorway (A61), rail and canal links.
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Limoux

Castelnaudary

Limoux lies on the river Aude and is probably most notable for its sparkling 'champagne' type wine called Blanquette that has been made since the 16th Century and its festival, or carnival, called Fècos which respects a long tradition and lasts 3 months, held between January and Easter.
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Montpellier

Montpellier

Montpellier is the capital of the Hérault department as well as the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It is a vibrant city thanks to its student population with excellent shops and restaurants. The old city is lovely, bursting with history going as far back as Roman times.
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Narbonne

Narbonne

"Crossroads of Southern Europe" is still the slogan that greets your arrival here from the west. Offering excellent transport communication links to the rest of Europe, the A61 and A9 motorways meet here, as do two main railway lines running south from Bordeaux and east-west along the Mediterranean coast from Italy through to Spain.
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Nîmes

Nîmes

Roman and Hispanic and with contributions from the Camargue and the Cévennes, the Languedoc and Provence, Nîmes is a city of all accents! It has been fashioned for over 2000 years by southern sunshine, wind and various influences. 'Set at the crossroads of history and human relations', it has lived the history of Europe intensely. And although it has many influences and paradoxes, its personality is unique. Nîmes will open its heart to you.
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Perpignan

Perpignan

Perpignan is a strategically located border town, in the heart of the southern Euro-region (Barcelona, Toulouse, Montpellier). It is a veritable cultural, commercial and tourist crossroads. It is the capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales department and is 10 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast, 80 kilometres from the first Pyrenees ski resorts and 30 minutes from Spain. Perpignan boasts an exceptional climate all year round.
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Pézenas

Pézenas

Pézenas is situated on the River Peyne between Montpellier (with its museum and university cosmopolitan lifestyle) and Béziers (renowned for its Féria in August, as well as its flower markets). To the east are the seemingly endless beaches of the Mediterranean from Sète to Marseillan Plage and Cap d'Agde. To the north and west, within easy reach, are the hills of St.Chinian, Faugères and Minervois - all regions known for their excellent wine

The town has a population of about 7,000 and each summer assumes the role as the Doyenne of Culture - in this place of Molière.
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Sète

Sète

Sète is sometimes known as the Venice of Languedoc. It is the largest port on the French Mediterranean coast and is a seaside resort with almost 11km of beaches. The initial village started growing with the completion of the Canal du Midi in 1681. It was called Cette until 1927.

Built upon and around Mont St Clair, Sète is situated on the southeastern hub of the Bassin de Thau, an enclosed salt-water lake used primarily for oyster and mussel fields. To its other side lies the Mediterranean.

It is famous for its octopus and tomato pie called 'tielle', a local delicacy. There are many restaurants along the quayside offering seafood.

Mont Saint Clair is where some the most beautiful (and expensive) homes are to be found. It is worth a drive up to the top where there is a chapel and terraces from which, on a clear day, there are spectacular views beyond Montpellier, northwards towards the Cévennes and westwards as far as the Pyrenees.

One of the popular Sunday pastimes is jousting - on specially built boats. Two teams, clad in white, confront each other armed with long poles and a square shield. The object is to knock your opponent into the water and thereby score a point.



St Pons de Thomières

Sète

St Pons de Thomières is the 'capital' of the regional natural reserve park area (the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc). It sits on the river Jaur and marks the change in climate and landscape from the dry coastal planes along the Mediterranean, to the cooler mountainous regions.
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Toulouse

Toulouse

Toulouse was the capital of the former province of Languedoc (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution) and is now the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region. It is an old and ornate city with a long and rich history.
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Uzès

Uzès

Uzès is a charming medieval city with a maze of small streets and shaded squares lined with 17th and 18th century private residences. The famous Pont du Gard nearby is a viaduct built by the Romans to carry water from the river Eure to supply the town of Nîmes.
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