Ten reasons to visit OCCITANIE this summer!

Ôo is the name of the village in the Haute Garonne department The lac d’Ôo is a lake and a wonderful hiking trail. Oh my goodness is what will come to mind when you reach the end of the hike with this view in sight! A one hour forty minute drive from from Toulouse, it is easily accessible from the village d’Ôo. Just a 365 m dénivelé (elevation) so not difficult to ascend. This is a classic, mythic trail not to be missed! It is just 14km from the town of Luchon, queen of the Pyrenees. Park your car at the Granges d’Astau where you will appreciate a cold drink on your return. More about the lac d’Ôo area

Carcassonne is a medieval walled city in the department of Aude. Visiting the Ramparts and Chateau Comtal will propel you back to the 15th century, when the walls were built. Restored in the 1800’s by the architect Viollet-le-Duc and now a Unesco heritage site Carcassonne (la cité) is a must see for any visitor to Occitanie. The little ones will love the jousting shows in the summer time. Adults and adolescents will appreciate the outdoor concerts at the theatre Jean Deschamps. There are restaurants and bars, lots of shops and a stunning cathedral in the southern gothic architecture with the trademark octagonal tower that you see here in this region. Go early in the morning or early in the evening for the best photo ops, and fewer people! If you should visit in the summer when the days are long and hot you will be happy to know there is a lake nearby called the lac de Cavayère where you can swim and kayak and paddle, and a sectioned off play area for children. More about Carcassonne

Colliiure is one of the prettiest towns on the Mediterranean coast, in the Pyrenees Orientales department. Near the Spanish border Collioure stands out with its winding roads and high cliffs, unusual on the open broad Languedoc shores. From the Chateau Royal the dramatic views of the Vermillion Coast are spellbinding. It is a contained little town where you hardly need a car or even a bike as everything is at your fingertips. You’ll find lively bars and restaurants, kayak and paddle rentals, a modern art museum, and a hilltop fort with a medieval weapons museum which is a nice little hike through the vineyards if you need a break from hanging out at the beach. More about Collioure

Ile-sur-Têt is also in the department of Pyrenees Orientales. About thirty minutes from the city of Perpignan, the Orgues of Ile-sur-Têt are quite extraordinary and you will suddenly feel like you are in the desert or on the moon. The geological formations are other worldly. With the lush surroundings beyond the park you won’t know where to point your camera. As lovely as it is for a summer walk, I found myself longing to see it again with snow atop the mountain background. I , is also for incredibly beautiful!

Toulouse is the city from which all your adventures begin, but that’s not all. Toulouse, the pink city, is the jewel of the region with the Basilica of St Sernin, Place St Etienne and les Jacobins to name just a few places to visit. The canal du Midi runs through the city, as does the Garonne river, both offering water activities and gorgeous views. The City of Space is a museum with activities for all ages. There are museums and galleries, hop on hop off bus tours and many more places of interest for everyone to enjoy, including the Envol des Pionniers and Aeroscopia museums. Toulouse is after all the aerospace capital of Europe and has deep roots in aviation. Toulouse is vibrant, friendly, beautiful and chock full of outdoor eateries and watering holes. South west hospitality is legendary.

More about Toulouse

A is for Albi on the banks of the Tarn with the museum of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Visit Albi

N is for Nîmes, located in the Gard department between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cévennes mountains. The Rome of France is where you will find a 2000 year old temple, the Maison Carré, the astounding roman amphitheatre, which is amazingly preserved and absolutely worth a visit! You shouldn’t miss the Museum of Romanité or the Tour Magne. The gardens of the fountain is a lovely green space in the city with statues to admire as well as pretty waterways.  visit Nîmes

I is for innovation. Toulouse is not all beauty and no brains. Innovation is in the DNA of this city. It is here that the concorde was born, as well as the A380. Even with 2000 years of history Toulouse is very forward thinking. The city is a major centre of innovation with over 600 start ups in diverse sectors notably in computer science, medicine and automated transportation. FrenchTech is everywhere.  For more information visit www.toulouseatout.com/toulouse-captiale-innovante 

E is for ecotourism. There are ways to travel and be responsible to the environment and to the local people who you will be meeting and engaging with, to enrich your overall experience. Mass tourism is for the unimaginative and probably a thing of the past. 

www.guide-toulouse-pyrenees.com and www.lio.laregion.fr are just two of many websites in addition to www.mybeautifuloccitanie.com which will help you find ways to discover the beautiful region of Occitanie without a heavy carbon footprint.

Last but not least Occitanie is the largest wine producing region in France 🍷Cheers!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post “10 reasons to visit Occitanie this summer.” Follow me to keep up with me on my travels around beautiful Occitanie……………………………à bientôt Christina.

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