Montpellier is the region’s capital.

The name Languedoc comes from the old term langue d 'oc. This term referred to a language that used ‘oc’, a derivative of the Latin word ‘hoc’ to mean "yes".

The area covered by the Pyrénées Mountains is the home of a variety of peoples. They include the Andorrans, the Catalans, the Béarnais, and the Basques. Each group speaks its own dialect or language, and each desires to maintain and even augment its own autonomy. At the same time, these diverse groups manifest a general unity. Even though Andorra is an autonomous principality, there are still close ties to both Spain and France.

The best known peoples of the Pyrénées are the Basques. They speak a language that is non-Indo-European. They have a long tradition of fiercely defending their autonomy.

Throughout Roussillon (especially in Pyrénées-Orientales), Catalan is widely spoken. French, the official language, is spoken with a heavy Catalan accent.



There are 5 Départements in Languedoc-Roussillon:

Aude [11]. Capital: Carcassonne

In 1790, the département of Aude was formed from part of the old province of Languedoc. Carcassonne contains a picturesque citadel with its restored medieval fortifications and buildings (see below).




Gard [30]. Capital: Nîmes

The département of Gard was created from an eastern portion of the old province of Languedoc in 1790.

Near Remoulins, the famous Pont du Gard (see below) traverses the Gard River. This is an ancient Roman aqueduct that once brought water to Nîmes from springs near the picturesque medieval town of Uzès. The Camargue, a coastal plain south of the city of Nîmes, includes part of the Rhône River delta.

pont du gard



Hérault [34]. Capital: Montpellier.

The département of Hérault was created from the central part of the historic province of Languedoc.

To Hérault’s north is the département of Gard. To the west is the region of Midi-Pyrénées. To the south is the département of Aude and to the east is the Mediterranean Sea. The Hérault River, which gives the département its name, flows across it from north to south, reaching the Mediterranean Sea in a lowland of small coastal lagoons.


Lozère [48]. Capital: Mende.

The département of Lozère is located in the southeastern part of the Massif Central on the Atlantic-Mediterranean watershed. All of Lozère’s rivers and streams, some 400, have their sources in the département itself. The Allier River, which originates in the Maure de la Gardille range, flows for 25 miles along Lozère’s northeastern border. The Tarn River begins south of Mount Lozère and the Lot River rises south of the Montagne du Goulet. It flows east through Mende. Several small rivers, including the Chassezac (see below), one of the wildest torrents in France, flow into the Rhône Basin via the Ardèche River and the Gard River.



Pyrenées-Orientales [66]. Capital: Perpignan.

The département was created from the historic province of Roussillon, the region of Cerdagne and fragments of Languedoc.

In the département’s west is the granite Carlit Peak that soars to the height of 9,583 feet (see below). The peak is surrounded by glacial lakes and by other peaks that exceed 8,500 feet. The Carlit Massif feeds the Ariège, the Aude, and the Têt rivers.




Best villages of Languedoc-Roussillon

The region lists 13 "most beautiful villages of France". Here's a few examples.


Aiguèze (30) aigueze


La Garde-Guérin (48)la garde guerin


La Roque-sur-Cèze (30) la roque sur ceze


minerve Minerve (34)


For the entire listing, go to:



Traditional Events

The Cavalcade of the Kings, Perpignan: 8th January
Traditional celebration of the arrival of the Three Magi with a parade and festivities.

Winter Fireworks, Pont-du-Gard: 8th January
Winter celebrations start from 14:00 at this magnificent location including circus acts and culminating in a fantastic pyrotechnics show around 17:30



Flamenco Festival, Nîmes: 10th – 22nd January
Nîmes' Flamenco Festival, held throughout town, is both a fiery and subtle affair.



Fecos de Limoux Carnival, Limoux: 30th January – 10th April
The annual Carnival is a tradition that has been followed for centuries, where over a series of Saturdays and Sundays different masked and costumes “guilds” parade through the town three times a day playing music, singing songs and playing pranks (all conducted in the ancient Occitan language). The torch lit evening procession, however, is more sombre and mystical. This year, the main highlight is on 20th March when all the groups parade, a total of around 500 ‘Carnavaliers’ and 90 musicians!


Holy Easter Week and the Sanch Procession, Perpignan: 22nd April
This important Christian tradition is celebrated in Perpignan with the sombre Sanch Procession - penitents dressed in black and red hooded robes walk to the rhythm of black-veiled drums and melancholic chanting behind carved sculptures representing scenes from the Passion of Christ - a beguiling sight.



Sand Sculpture Festival, Cap d'Agde: 11th – 13th June
For massive sand castles and sculptures of all shapes and sizes, enjoy an alternative day out at the beach this year!



Tour de France 2011, Aude and Hérault departments: 17th July
The Tour de France pays a brief visit to the Languedoc-Roussillon this stage on the15th stage which sees the tour starting for the first time from Limoux in the Aude department, heading through the region’s vineyards, past the foot of the medieval cité of Carcassonne, before finishing the day in Montpellier, a stage town for the thirtieth time which has welcomed the Tour every two years since 2005.


Market Days

Daily Markets take place in:

Aix-en Provence
Argelès-sur-Mer (plage)
Canet Seasonal
Grau d'Agde
St. Pierre s/ Mer

For all markets, go to:


The Gastronomy of Languedoc-Roussillon

The Cuisine

Regional cuisine relies heavily on olive oil and garlic. The soups include the garlic based aigo bouillido and oulade, which is made with potatoes and seasoned with pickled pork and various herbs.

Aubergines a la tomate.................... eggplants with tomatoes
Aubergines aux cepes..................... eggplants cooked with mushrooms
Blanquette de pommes de terre....... White meat cooked with potatoes
Calamars farcis................................ Stuffed Calamari
Ragout de Costello.......................... Meat and vegetables dish
Courgettes farcies............................ Stuffed Zucchini
Morue a la catalane.......................... Catalonia Cod
Pintade a la catalane........................ Catalonia turkey
Pois chiche a la catalane.................. Catalonia Chick peas
Ragout de Costello.......................... Meat and vegetables dish
Crème catalane................................ Catalonia Dessert cream (see recipe below!)
Fougasse au Pignons....................... Flat bread with pine nuts

Crème Catalane


Serves 4-5


6 eggs
1 litre of milk
Zest of half a lemon
1 stick of cinnamon
250g caster sugar
50g corn flour
Unrefined cane sugar




First separate the egg yolks form the whites into different bowls. Put the 250g caster sugar in a large bowl and add the egg yolks, and then whisk briskly until the mixture turns white.

Next reserve 200ml of cold milk in a bowl and slowly add the corn flour whilst gently whisking to ensure there are no lumps (nb - use a clean whisk). Leave this to one side.

Then pour the rest of the milk into a saucepan and gently heat, along with the stick of cinnamon and the lemon zest.

When the warm milk reaches boiling point, lower the temperature to a simmer and add the caster sugar/ egg yolk mixture, stirring well.

Allow the mixture to warm through again and then add the cold milk/ corn flour mix – keep stirring and remove the cinnamon stick. Continue to simmer the mixture until it starts to thicken to a creamy thick custard consistency, being careful not to let it burn or get lumpy.

When you’ve reached the desired consistency, pour the mix into the ramekins and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Finally and ideally just before you serve them, evenly sprinkle a generous amount of the unrefined cane sugar onto each serving, and either place the ramekins under a hot grill or use a cook’s blowtorch to gently caramelise the sugar.



The Wine

The lowland, warm in winter and hot and dry in summer, produces vast quantities of inexpensive wine. Béziers is the Center for the wine trade in Hérault département. Côtes-du-Rhône and Tavel are among the quality wines produced in the département of Gard.

AOC - Vins secs (Dry wine)- Cotes du Roussillon (white wine), Cotes du Roussillon (rose wine),Cotes du Roussillon (red wine) and Collioure (Rose wine)
AOC- Vins doux naturels (Natural Sweet wines)- Rivesaltes (Ambre), Rivesaltes, Tuile, Banyuls, Maury traditionels, Vintage, Rimage, Muscat de Rivesaltes. Vins de Pays- 70 different Vins de Pays under the appellation of Vins du Pays d’Oc.


The “appellation” Wines of the Languedoc covers 120,000 acres of vines on the slopes and garrigues of Languedoc. The production gives red wine, rose and white wine.

Four departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, Gard, Herault, Aude and Pyrenees Orientales share the biggest French vineyards. It assure 40% of the French production, with 18% in AOC and 70% in Vins de Pays.

Some vineyards draw their strength from the burning sun as they produce a sweet wine. They are made from ripe grapes in which pure grape spirit has been added to them during fermentation. Of the 12 appellations for natural sweet wines, only 6 are muscats.

Table linen:

Although not originally from this area, the Provencal fabrics and tablecloths are the style of the table linen in the Languedoc Rousillon region.

Here is their story ...
In the 17th Century, navigators brought to the port of Marseille some luxurious printed toile from India. They were an instant success in Europe for clothing and furnishing.
By mid 1600, craftsmen from Marseille and Avignon started to produce these very popular materials.
Traditional fabric manufacturers, considering these newcomers and their success as a threat, asked the French King to ban them. However, Marseille and Avignon enjoyed at that time a status of relative independence and were able to continue their trade. The ban on the "Indian" fabrics only increased the enthusiasm of the public for these brightly coloured materials ! The ban was lifted in 1759, many more "Indian" fabrics manufacturers opened, and the Provençal tablecloths and fabrics continue today to be an icon of French interior decoration.

Some of our Provencal tablecloths ...

You can see our entire collection on this page of our website:

red olive tablecloth

provence tablecloth

blue and yellow provence tablecloth

Lizzy red Provencal tablecloth

Monique yellow Provencal tablecloth

Arles Provencal tablecloth

Clara blue Provencal tablecloth

You can see our entire collection on this page of our website:

To get a price for any other size or place an order:

Contact & Order

line provence tablecloth blue and white provence tablecloth provence tablecloth pink provence tablecloth
Paquita linen Provencal tablecloth Elisa blue and white Provencal tablecloth Melanie ochre Provencal tablecloth Josette pink Provencal tablecloth


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Catherine Castelain
Date Last Modified: 4/3/15
Le Pin Parasol
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