What to See + Do in the Languedoc

Winter in the Languedoc can be quite magical. The days are usually fresh and cool but the sky, more often than not, is such a bright blue and the streets and countryside feels so vibrant that you can legitimately couple up your chunky scarf with a pair of sunglasses. The locals take back occupancy of their streets and behind the windows of brasseries winter concoctions are being served, carafes are being poured and it feels a very merry pocket of the world to be a part of.

MY FAVOURITE WINTER SPOTS IN THE HERAULT

Plat du Jour at La Taverne du Port, Marseillan

The bijoux port town of Marseillan is, simply, a beauty. Perching on the edge of a large lagoon, the Étang de Thau, its sheltered situation lends itself perfectly for winter wanderings in the Langudeoc. Come for the plat du Jour at one of my favourite spots, here, La Taverne du Port. Walk off whatever fresh fish you’ve been presented with by heading to the other side of the harbour, picking up Promenade de la Belle Scribote – the clue’s in the name; it’s a lovely promenade, no post-lunch inclines! – and walking south around the lagoon.

Place Royale du Peyrou, Montpellier

I really love this part of the city. From this large esplanade you can get a sense of the capital of the Hérault. Standing with the magnificent Arc de Triomphe behind you as the gateway to the city, you’ll have the imposing aqueduct in front of you, views over the University to your left and towards the Mediterranean coast on your left. On Saturdays you’ll find one of the city’s liveliest local market – Marché des Arceaux – under the arches of the aqueduct.

The Beach by Grau de Vendres

The first time I found this spot was on a blustering January afternoon. It was cold with harsh winds whipping over the grasses and fine sand swirling everywhere but I instantly fell in love with it. If you find your way to the little Vendres port and then follow the path down to the car park, there’ll be only sand dunes and driftwood, happily away from any hustle and bustle at all. I have never been in summertime, I think I’m keen to keep this rugged bit of coastal wilderness just how I see it each winter. I hope you enjoy it, too.


3 WINTER 2017 / 2018 EVENTS

The three events I’ve got my eye on for this winter:

Open Sud de France 2018 | 4 – 11 February, Montpellier

This is France’s third biggest tennis event in France.

Exposition Regards Croises | 21 November – 26 January, Carcassonne

An exhibition by the Photographic Landscape Observatory (OPP) of Aude, presenting photographs of the same view points over the last 6 years.

Les Nuits du Fromage | 20 January, Béziers

An evening of raclette, wine and Spanish hams.