Being hailed as 'the new Provence' this region has much to
offer those wishing to escape the tourist hordes. From the
peaks of the Pyrénées and the Cévennes to the wide open spaces
of the Camargue of the wild horses: from the Mediterranean
coastline of the Golfe-du-Lion, where Phoenician fleets and
Roman galleys once made landfall, to the high plateau of the
Causses; every square meter of ground bears the imprints of
the many civilisations that have come and gone in the long
history of this hallowed region.
Today, however, the ancient and the modern co-exist side by side. Fortunately, the modern seldom impinges upon the architectural history of the millennia. Memorable places like the Gorges du Tarn, and the creeks and caves of the Catalan Vermilion Coast preserve their ancient villages intact.
You will lose yourself in the ambience of the Middle Ages when visiting the beautiful Romanesque abbeys of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Saint-Hilaire, and Saint-Martin-du-Canigou, or when you stand at the gates of the walled cities of the Cathars or Carcassonne - the largest medieval walled city in Europe. You will be similarly transported to the 18th century when you walk around the shady mansions of Montpellier, Uzès, Pézenas and Beaucaire, or when cruising along the Canal du Midi.
From village to village, from town to town, pageants, carnivals and religious festivals abound with the traditional battles of the "boules" being fought out in every town and village.
WHY NOT - mix Catalan Mountains and coast with the perched
castles of the Cathars. By bike or on foot this is beautiful
country, and with a timeless ambience that envelops one like
a goose-down quilt. Carcassonne at sunset is enchanting and
the local wines are little known but delicious. Spain is tantalisingly
close just over the Pyrenees. The charming Château de Garrevaques
here) has survived many attacks to remain in splendid
For a sample cycling itinerary click here