Discover France's best-kept secret
Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine, some of France’s best wines and endless sandy beaches, the Languedoc-Roussillon has long been one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Development came relatively late to the area, ensuring that its traditional wine-making villages, medieval towns and verdant, rolling countryside haven’t been blighted by the over-development seen in nearby Provence and Spain.
The town of Marseillan, just down the road from the Domaine de la Mandoune, is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike, with its charming port bustling with sail and fishing boats and lined on both sides with bistros that spill out onto the quay. The restaurants here offer everything from the freshest oysters and mussles to more complex fare at the 'Château du Port' - to fun and relaxed retro meals at 'Delicatessen'.
Great beaches, castles, wineries and superb cuisine are turning the Languedoc into one of Europe's most popular destinations.
A region steeped in history
The beaches and bustling fishing villages of the Mediterranean are only a short drive away, as are dramatic Cathar Castles perched on rocky outcrops and that riot of fairytale spires and towers that is Carcassonne Castle.
Superb wineries abound - some of France’s top-rated wines now come from the Languedoc region, which is reputed to be one of the world’s most exciting wine-growing areas. Languedoc also offers excellent cuisine, in charming fishing ports along the coast, in the leafy-squares of countless villages, or in smart eateries in the region’s towns and cities.
Access to the region is excellent and surprisingly economical - making even popping down for the weekend quick and easy. RyanAir, EasyJet FlyBe and others offer a continual stream of flights to the area - to nearby Carcassonne airport, as well as Perpignan, Béziers, Montpellier, Nîmes, Toulouse and Girona just over the border in Spain. Train and road connections are also excellent.
“This Cinderella of the south was once over-shadowed by gorgeous Provence and the brash Côte d’Azur. Now, she stands as their equal, displaying a discreet charm that her more-visited siblings lost long ago”