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This area is known to some because of the etymology of the name Languedoc denoting which word they used for yes as opposed to the French one (although they both come from Latin) Having said that, some scholars of Greek may claim it as referring to the word for ‘NO’.
Being such a diverse region, the area’s climate varies although it is mostly Mediterranean with hot, dry summers, rainy winters and moderate springs and autumns providing sunshine for a long period.
The coastline, which is sheltered by mountains, is usually sunnier and warmer than the inland and mountainous areas which are cooler.
What to see
Some major towns and cities are; Ales, Beziers, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Narbonne, Nimes, Perpignan and Sete.
Carcassonne was a medieval city and its walls are still intact. It is a world heritage site and is truly impressive.
Ales was the centre of silk making and coal mining. It is also on an important pilgrim route.
Montpellier is the regional capital. The city has ancient and modern architecture and a tram line. The town offers a plethora of museums and art galleries for the visitor.
Sports and activities
There are also all sorts of sports available. Some of them are: swimming (also possible in some of the rivers and lakes apart from the sea), scuba diving, sailing, canoeing and kayaking, white-water rafting, wind-surfing and kite-surfing and sand-yachting are all possible in the Languedoc.
Cycling and horse-riding are also possible as are walking, climbing and caving.
Winter sports include skiing, snow-kiting and dog-sledging.
See this site in general: http://www.creme-de-languedoc.com/Languedoc/events-festivals.php
Carcassonne has a festival (Festival of the city) for most of July which includes theatre, dance and music performed by artists from all parts of the globe. See the town’s website:
At Couiza, every August there is a fair based on organic products and a free concert. It is called L’Aude a la Bio.
At Quillan, annually, the Pyrenees Audoises Folk Festival is held. The festival will have groups and individuals from various diverse countries for a series of events.
Rivel will has its ‘Week of Entertainment’ in the summer. There are exhibits of paintings, art workshops for children and various other activities.
At Beaucaire visit the Madeleine Festival in the summer. There is a night parade, concerts, bull runs and wine tasting. Visit the town’s website for all information about the town including events.
The South Country Rock Festival is held at Junas every summer and there is a variety of country and western style entertainment for all ages.
Fireworks at La Grande Motte are let off every day during the Festival de feux artifice.
Montpellier hosts, during the summer, entertainment including locally produced wine for wine-tasting, music and arts and crafts at the Estivales de Montpellier.
The Festival Convivencia is in the summer and is a festival of music concerts held in towns bordering the Canal du Midi. Concerts are free and take place on the banks of the canal.
The Festiv’Allier runs in the summer is 4 days of cultural exhibitions and entertainment including two evenings of French song at Place des Moines.
The area has an abundance of vineyards and has been producing wine for many centuries.
Grapes from other parts of the world have been introduced to the region and the area boasts many high quality good wines.
The sweet wines are produced in the plains near the coastal area and include; Rivesaltes and Muscat de Lunel.
The food of the region varies depending on the district. The common thread is the high quality local ingredients.
The area is blessed with rosemary and thyme, bay and olive trees, wild garlic and leeks.
The flavours of the food are emphasized by the simple cooking methods.
Main dishes are made using tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes.
Seafood dishes commonly comprise oysters,mussels and clams.
Roquefort cheese is produced at Roquefort-sur-Soulzon and is made from ewe’s milk. It is aged in caves and is of a creamy texture. All over the Languedoc cheese made of goat’s milk produced mostly by small-holders. Try goat cheese with some honey which is typical of the Languedoc. Pelardon cheese can be eaten served in thin slices of a type of ham with a green salad.
When it is colder you can sample daube de boeuf which is also found in Provence. It is shin of beef marinated in red wine, spices, orange peel and other tasty ingredients and then cooked until it is extremely tender and served with macaroni.
Cassoulet is also enjoyed in the winter. It is supposed to have originated in Castelnaudary. It is made from beans, tomatoes, garlic, wine and various meats with confit of duck or goose and Toulouse sausages.
Peaches and nectarines from the Languedoc, strawberries, figs, apricots, cherries and melons are all delicious here as the area gets so much sun.