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ABOUT THE REGION

Languedoc-Roussillon, popularly referred to as the Languedoc, is the central region of the south of France; it stretches from the Rhone valley in the east, to the Spanish border in the south west.

Unlike Provence, Languedoc has a considerable coastal plain, and except in the department of Eastern Pyrenees, most of the coastal area is flat. In the past, the land was swampy and plagued with mosquitoes, which is why tourism did not develop here in the 19th century, as it did on the coast further east. However, the swamps were drained long ago, and the mosquitoes brought under control, leading to the tourist development of this long coastline as from the nineteen-sixties.

Today, the coast of Languedoc is characterised by long sandy beaches, often with plenty of space, and a modern tourist infrastructure, with twentieth-century resorts such as Cap d’Agde, Palavas, or Narbonne Plage. The fertile coastal plain is given over to agriculture, vineyards and – particularly in Roussillon – fruit and vegetables. Languedoc is one of France’s major wine-growing areas.

Those who do not want to spend their holidays being char-grilled on a beach will prefer areas inland from the coastal strip, notably to  the valleys of the Cevennes, more wooded and rural, or the inland areas of the Languedoc, with their huge vineyards and “garrigue”, arid rocky Mediteranean hills with their vegetation of scrub, aromatic bushes and occasional fields.

The area has a lot of historic cities, such as Nimes with its superb Roman remains, or the famous walled city of Carcassonne.

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