The Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon: Places to Explore

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  • Albi

    Toulouse-Lautrec's native Albi is a well-preserved and busy provincial market town. In its heyday Albi was a major center for the Cathars, members of a dualistic and ascetic religious movement critical... Read more

  • Béziers

    The Languedoc's wine capital, or capital du vin—crowds head here for tastings during the October wine harvest festival—and centerpiece of the Canal du Midi, Béziers owes its reputation to the genius of... Read more

  • Carcassonne

    Perched atop a hill overlooking lush green countryside and the Aude River, Carcassonne is a spectacular medieval town that looks lifted from the pages of a storybook—literally, perhaps, as its circle of... Read more

  • Céret

    The "Barbizon of Cubism," Céret achieved immortality when leading artists found this small Catalan town irresistible at the beginning of the 20th century. Here in this medieval enclave set on the banks... Read more

  • Collioure

    The fishing village where famed painters Henri Matisse, André Derain, and the Fauvists committed chromatic mayhem in the early 20th century, Collioure remains the jewel of the Vermilion Coast. A town of... Read more

  • Cordes-sur-Ciel

    A must-stop for many travelers, the picture-book hilltop village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, built in 1222 by Count Raymond VII of Toulouse, is one of the most impressively preserved bastides (fortified medieval... Read more

  • Montpellier

    Vibrant Montpellier (pronounced monh-pell-yay), capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, has been a center of commerce and learning since the Middle Ages, when it was a crossroads for pilgrims on their... Read more

  • Narbonne

    In Roman times, bustling, industrial Narbonne was the second-largest town in Gaul (after Lyon) and an important port, though today little remains of its Roman past, except an impressive underground warehouse... Read more

  • Perpignan

    Salvador Dalí once called Perpignan's train station "the center of the world." That may not be true, but the city is certainly the capital hub of the Roussillon. No one can deny that its train routes... Read more

  • Prades

    Once home to world-renowned Catalan cellist Pablo Casals, the market town of Prades is famous for its annual summer music festival, the Festival Pablo Casals (www.prades-festival-casals.com), from late... Read more

  • Salses

    Salses has a history of sieges. History relates that Hannibal stormed through the town with his elephants on his way to the Alps in 218 BC, though no trace of his passage remains.... Read more

  • Toulouse

    The ebullient city of Toulouse is the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées and the fourth-largest city in France. Just 100 km (60 miles) from the border with Spain, Toulouse is in many ways closer in flavor to... Read more

  • Vernet-les-Bains

    A long-established spa town dwarfed by imposing Mont Canigou, Vernet-les-Bains's waters were so famed that many celebs, including English writer Rudyard Kipling, came to take the cure.... Exploring Read more

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