Monday, January 2, 2017

Collioure - Jewel of the Cote Vermeille

If you're planning a holiday in Languedoc during 2017, it is well worth including a day trip to beautiful Collioure on your itinerary. With so much to see and do in this region, it's impossible to fit everything in, but Collioure is a pretty special place.

Enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery, and thriving village atmosphere. It's a 90 minute drive from Pézenas, and well worth the drive, to see the beautiful blue seas of the Cóte Vermeille, close to the Spanish border.

Soak up the distinct Catalan flavour of the area - it developed a reputation as an artist's haven during the 19th and 20th centuries - Matisse, Picasso and Dali amongst others, all visited and/or lived here.You can see the artistic influence in the colours of the village houses, and a proliferation of artists' studios nearby.

To get there from Pezenas, take the A9 autoroute heading South for Spain. It's a 90 minute journey you will find worth the effort.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

St Chinian - enjoy some of the best red wines in Languedoc

"Geography in a bottle"

As the international reputation of Languedoc wines continues to grow, plan for a trip through the scenic St Chinian terroir on your Pezenas holiday - it will delight the senses - both visually and taste-wise! Famous for their reds and deservedly so, with a typical blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre - enjoy a day trip from Pezenas via Beziers, making sure to stop for some wine tasting on the way. When you get hungry, Peter Gorley's eguide to winetasting and restaurants will guide you to the best choices. It is available at the link below. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Pezenas Old Town - Shops, Restaurants, Wine Bars

There's a new website profiling some of the restaurants, shops, artisan workshops that you will find in the old town heart of Pezenas. Take time on your holiday to enjoy a wonderful stroll through the medieval cobbled streets, with many shops having late night openings during Summer.
There's also the street festival on - Les Eestivales  - from 7pm the Cours Jean Jaures is closed off to traffic and live music kicks off an evening's free entertainment every Friday evening during Summer. Here local wine and food producers set up stalls which allow you to sample their wonderful produce at value prices. It's the best of the Mediterranean climate and outdoor way of life.

Here's the link to the website - very much a work in progress - but the photos alone are worth a look:-

Pezenas - a town not to be missed on your Languedoc holiday.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tour de France 2016

If you are holidaying in the South next summer, be aware that the Tour train will be making its way from the Pyrenees to the Alps on July 13th, most likely passing through Pézenas, on Stage 11 of the 2016 Tour.

Starting in Carcassonne and finishing in Montpellier this 164km stage will feature stunning countryside scenery as the Tour train rolls through of the Minervois, before heading through Herault, passing alongside the scenic Canal du Midi at points.

This is a super spectacle, and even if you cannot be there in person to enjoy the unique atmosphere, watching live on TV is a great option as you will still see the beauty of the Languedoc region. For those of you staying in and around Pézenas, it's simply a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the great French tradition.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tour de France Route 2015

Although Languedoc will not feature in this year's Tour de France, the race will pass through Millau on Saturday July 18th during Stage 13. To see the Tour pass over the amazing suspension bridge at Millau will be spectacular.
If you are planning on travelling to watch that stage, there's a terrific visitor centre there with tremendous views of the bridge, plenty of parking and facilities.
 Even if you plan on avoiding the crowds of the Tour de France, but are staying in Pézenas or the region, it's a straightforward, one hour drive north to the viaduct, and makes a terrific day out. Bring a picnic and camera!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Languedoc Wines - by resident expert Rosemary George

As we head into the Vendange (wine harvest), it's timely to consider some of the latest wines on offer. Rosemary George is a longtime fan of Languedoc wines, and has been travelling to the area for many years. Her blog Taste Languedoc regularly recommends some of the best wines in the region - and many are very reasonably priced.

Here's her take on Languedoc wines:

Why the Languedoc? Quite simply, it is without doubt the most exciting and innovative wine region of France. Everything is possible; the appellations may lay down ground rules, but the parallel vins de pays allow for unlimited experimentation, creating a host of new and exciting wines. Over the last twenty years or so this vast vineyard, which stretches from the Spanish border round to the delta of the Rhone has undergone a dramatic transformation, so that the wines have improved out of all recognition.

Pézenas is perfectly positioned as a base to explore the many vineyards. Here's why she chose the area:

... in 2004 we bought a house within easy reach of the towns of Pézenas and Clermont l’Hérault, which gives me a wonderful base for visiting the local wine growers. Our village does not have a particular reputation for its wine, but many of the nearby villages do. We are in very easy reach of Faugères, St. Chinian, some of the highlights of the Coteaux du Languedoc and the new area of Pézenas, as well as the Vin de Pays des Côtes de Thongue, which is one of the more innovative of the numerous vins de pays of the region. 

So if you've planned a trip to Languedoc that will include wine tasting, it's worth checking out her blog for recommendations of lesser known vineyards that make excellent, and reasonably priced wines. You will be spoiled for choice!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Youtube video Pézenas Old Town

Often a picture or video  clip evokes a much strong response than the written word. Here's a lovely, thoughful and consise video of the old town heart of Pézenas

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Driving from Calais to Languedoc

Many of us are getting ready for our long awaited school summer holidays, and thousands of families will be driving south to Languedoc. There are many debates as to which route is best - but fortunately help is at hand with a number of very useful websites. Advice is available on which route, tolls vs free roads, and how/when to avoid Paris.

The About France website is linked below: -

It also includes recommendations for accommodation along the way - many people take at least one overnight stop on this 10 hour journey.

The France for Families website also recommends certain chains as inexpensive, family friendly, and for ease of access. It recommends booking in advance is travelling during July and August.

The ever helpful Creme de Languedoc website also contains suggested routes from Calais, driving to the East of Paris and then South.

They also calculate the cost of tolls on your journey south.

Anyone travelling to Pézenas will inevitably take the A75 motorway south from Clermont Ferrand - it's free, except for the toll crossing the world's largest suspension bridge at Millau. You can stop off here at a spectacular viewing point, and enjoy a trip to the visitors' centre.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wine Tasting and Tours in Languedoc

Here's a lovely idea for learning, sampling and enjoying the wines of Languedoc. Very much an up an coming region, with lots of specialist producers, the region is so vast, where to start?

Well Pézenas is very much central to the action. And Vin en Vacances host 1 day tours of the surrounding Minervois and Corbieres regions.

They also hosts "Coastal Tours" - sure to focus on the famous Picpoul area south of Pézenas. If you haven't tried a chilled glass of Picpoul de Pinet, make sure it's on your to-do list when you visit. Lovely with seafood or as an aperitif. 

More information on wine tours and rates are available from their website:-

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tour de France 2014

This year's TDF has its widely announced start in the UK, spending the first 3 days making it way to London and then onwards to Eastern France, into the Alps, and across to the Pyrennees. Unusually, there are only two stages in the South - one into Nimes, and then after a rest day, on July21st, starting out from Carcassonne.

Here is the summary of the 2014 route through Languedoc.

The stage departing from Carcassonne will be visually spectacular, with plenty of shots of that amazing castle, and then rolling out into the stunning scenic countryside before they head up into the Pyrennees. Expect to see field after field of sunflowers swaying in the summer breeze. So if you can't make it to Languedoc this summer, take consolation that this may well be a stage best enjoyed from home.