A road trip guide to Languedoc, France wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few key things. Abundant wineries, Cathar Castles sprinkled across the land, and rolling hills topped with picturesque villages makes the Languedoc special. Whether you come for a long weekend or plan out a few weeks of exploring, it’s certainly the kind of road trip you don’t want to end.
With the peaks of the Pyrenees to one edge and the sea to another, everything in between has something to offer. Along the way, there seems to be a village nearly every fifteen minutes, boasting a charming abbey or old cathedral. You could spend each day popping in and out of these sights, but we found the true pleasure to be held over long lunches and unforeseen adventures.
Bright wines and cassoulet were not to be missed, but pleasant surprises like a truffle bar and a open-fire lunch featuring maison garlic pâté in a chateau dazzled. The days felt anchored by the sights and smells that set apart this region to neighboring areas like Provence. It was understated, untouched, and left us wishing for more time to discover these foreign lands.
Take a look at our road trip guide to Languedoc and see just why you’ll want to visit this part of France.
A Road Trip Guide to Languedoc, France
Where to Stay in the Languedoc
Tucked away in the peaceful village of Montreal and only a short drive away from Carcassonne, is Camellas-Lloret. It’s a destination in and of itself (you can read about our stay here). Well-appointed rooms in a 18th-century home makes for a comfortable stay. Your hosts Annie and Colin are what makes this place so wonderful — it’s their thoughtfulness and attention to detail that extends past the stay. They’ll help you arrange your time, tailor your itinerary, and give their first hand knowledge for what to experience in the Languedoc.
Where to Eat in the Languedoc
For your time in the region, you’ll find yourself road tripping through different towns and villages. Often, we planned our day around one or two meals (lunch + dinner). Here are a few of our favorite meals that we had in the Languedoc:
Barrière Truffes (Carcassonne): Part wine bar and part truffle bar, the dishes have fresh shaven truffles sourced by the owner himself. The owner is delightful — he opened up a few bottles of white wine for us to try. We loved the wine so much that we brought a bottle home. If you’re looking for an introduction to the regional wine, come here.
La Table de Norbert (Carcassonne): A classic, wood fire oven sets the tone for the menu here. The main dishes are made over the fire for an incredible taste. Be sure to reserve in advance and order the duck.
La Taverne à Bacchus (Limoux): Tucked in a chateau, this tavern with a wood-fire oven was our favorite meal. Their charcuterie is not to be missed (it’s made in house and yes you’ll want to buy some more garlic pate for the road). Be sure to reserve in advance.
L’Auberge du Dominicain (Montréal): Cassoulet is a regional dish and one of the best we had during our time was at this restaurant. The portion is big enough to share with two people and the “royale” is the way to go.
Le Salon de Vauban (near Black Mountains): If you come up this way for a walk, this tea and cake house is a must stop. Their cakes are incredible and it’s a great stop for the afternoon.
Other restaurants we had on our list: Freaks, Brasserie a 4 Temps, La Cambuse du Saunier, and Restaurant Le Commerce.
Things to Do in the Languedoc
Truly some of the greatest pleasures of the region is hopping in the car, heading out for a drive, and stopping as you wish. You could easily ten days here doing this and not see it all. We opted for a combination of some set plans and some spontaneous adventures which made for a great time.
Explore La Cité de Carcassonne. This historic medieval citadel is great for an afternoon of exploring. Perched up on the hill, the views looking over Carcasonne is stunning as well.
Visit the picturesque village of Lagrasse. One of our favorites of the time there was the quiet village of Lagrasse. Easily spent an hour or two here walking around the village, along the river, and soaking in the view.
Get a taste of picturesque abbeys. The region is highly known for abbeys and definitely worth a visit. I’d stop at Fontfroide Abbey and Abbey Villelongue.
Stop in on a Saturday farmer’s market. On a Saturday morning, we drove to the town of Revel to see the farmer’s market. We picked up a ton of goodies for a picnic in the mountains. The markets in France are an experience of themselves.
Visit castle ruins in the mountains. In the small town of Lastours, there are four castle ruins you can walk through. As you ascend up the mountain, the views open up to the incredible countryside. It’s a great morning excursion to combine a hike with a sight.
Visit the Village of Books. Also known as Montolieu, this picturesque village built on a ravine has a long history of making books. There’s a museum, book shops to explore, and tiny streets to get lost in.
Experience the Canal du Midi. Whether you opt to go down on a boat or walk along the canal, it’s a perfect late afternoon place to find yourself.
Take a walk in Les Cammazes. If you want a quiet stroll in the countryside of the Black Mountains, head to Les Cammazes. It’s a great spot for a stroll along the tree-lined water channel.
Explore the town of Mirepoix. When in the area, it’s definitely worth a pop into the town to see the church and the old architecture of wooden beams in the center.