The region of the Languedoc Roussillon, where we have lived for the past 6 years, is a wonderful land stretching from the Massif Central down to the Pyrenees and around the coast towards Provence. Blessed with the same geography and climate as its more expensive neighbour, Provence, it is fast becoming one of the most popular areas in which to buy in France. Here you will find incredible ruined Cathar castles, often set high up on the hills, making you wonder how on earth they were built so long ago, pretty circulade villages, ancient Roman towns, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Cite of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi, not to mention miles upon miles of fine sandy beaches stretching down alongside the Mediterranean sea.
The name Languedoc derives from the ancient language “Langue d’Oc” where the word “oc” meant “yes”. You will still hear the old Occitan language spoken amongst the old folk and down in the south of the region Catalan is still spoken: a somewhat eclectic mix of French and Spanish.
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What attracts so many foreigners to buy in this region is not only its beauty, beaches and weather but its fine towns such as Montpellier, Nimes, Carcasonne, Narbonne and its easy access back to the UK with 5 airports within easy striking distance. There are airports at Beziers, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Toulouse and Perpignan to choose from. Then you have its proximity to Spain. There is something very pleasant, relaxing and fun about jumping in the car and driving across the border to a different country: you can do that here!
If you are a nature lover you are blessed here with wonderful flora and fauna and huge areas in the Corbieres mountains with scrubland, incredible plants and trees dotted around as well as river gorges such as those at the Cathar village of Minerve categorised as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”.
No piece about this beautiful area would be complete however without a mention of the wine! This is the largest wine growing area in the world. We are literally surrounded by vineyards and as I write in mid March, we see the first growth on the vines which have lain dormant over the winter. As spring takes a hold, you could swear you almost see them growing each day. We are spoilt for choice: each village has its own wine domain, sometimes several and the local community is proud of its heritage.
There is something very pleasant, relaxing and fun about jumping in the car and driving across the border to a different country: you can do that here!
With still low property prices across much of the region, super cities and fantastic countryside and scenery, a very laid back lifestyle and ace climate, this is an area which is still relatively undiscovered but is gradually becoming more so. France is a huge country offering so much but this gem in the south, in our view, really does have it all.