The Languedoc-Roussillon region of France is located in the far southeast. Today, it is mostly known for its incredible wine production - it produces over one-third of France’s wine - and ancient mountain villages with winding streets, Roman ruins, and a sense of mystery. Along the coast, the sandy beaches glisten in the sun and the cities seem to vibrate in the summer with the many holidaymakers that fill the towns and beaches.
The main cities in the Languedoc (called so for the language Occitan: “langue d’oc” and pronounced “Long-eh-Dock”) are Montpellier, Nimes, and Carcassonne. You’ll find most of the hostel accommodation in these towns, although there are also a few hostels outside of the cities in the hills. The word for “hostel” in French is “Auberge de jeunesse,” or you may also see “habitat jeunesse.” Either one will get you to a youth hostel!
The main language here is French, but the old language is Occitan and you may find older locals that still speak it. There are three distinct regions to the Languedoc-Roussillon. The first is the coastal region, home to the picturesque South of France beaches, glittery towns, and faster-paced life. The next is the inland region, where the ancient towns are still alive and hiking trails link old villages with the still thriving city of Carcassonne and vineyards dot the countryside. The third region is the Roussillon, which is very Spanish in nature and still speaks a dialect of Catalan. You will find, if you stay in the Roussillon, that you feel like you are in Spain rather than France.
Because this part of France has such a varied history there are plenty of things to see and do. One of the highlights is the Pont du Gard, near Nimes. It’s one of the finest examples of a Roman aqueduct outside of Italy. If you’re a hiker or keen to get outdoors, the Parc National des Cevennes is a great place to spend some time. You can hike or swim in much of the park, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site for its incredible wildlife and plant diversity.
Of course, being in France, you certainly have to visit a vineyard as well. This region is one of the newer appellations in France but no less storied. Some of the wines produced here include Syrah, Grenache, and Grenache-Blanc. Your hostel can help you arrange a wine tour if you want!
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Languedoc-Roussillon hostels. Welcome.