Here’s our choice of great restaurants and accommodation in the traditional region of Languedoc-Roussillon.
Château Pech-Céleyran, Salles d’Aude
This château, in a village between Narbonne and Béziers, has been in the Saint-Exupéry family for five generations. That’s given them plenty of time to perfect what’s on offer. Guests can stay in one of five gîtes, or four bedrooms, or indeed the nine-person apartment above the wine cellars. The vineyard produces some pretty special wines, including a couple of AOCs.
Les Chambres d’Andrea
This lovely guesthouse in the coastal town of Marseillan has a swimming pool and garden stocked with fig, cypress and tea trees. “Bathed in sunlight throughout the day, yet shaded and calm, it is a perfect spot to escape the bustle of everyday life,” say the owners, who named their property after their granddaughter.
Château de Pouget
A castle that dates back to the 12th century, an indoor swimming pool, a boulodrome, an orange grove, and a “romantic park ideal for cocktails and aperitifs”… all this and more at this four-star hotel in between Montpellier and Nîmes. There are four delightful bedrooms to choose from, all decorated in individual ways.
Galla Placidia, Narbonne
Fancy a night at the museum? This new hotel-cum-art gallery in Narbonne is about as close as you’ll get. “I want to promote female artists form the region,” says the hotel director Julie Fontanet who has filled the walls of her eight guest rooms with art. “It’s halfway between a boutique hotel and an artists’ gallery.”
Auberge du Vieux Puits
Gilles Goujon is the chef at this gorgeous auberge in the hilltop village of Fontjoncouse. His local “network of enthusiastic suppliers” have helped him win three Michelin stars, with menu prices commensurately elevated as a result. There’s also a swimming pool.
There are myriad hostels dotted across Languedoc-Roussillon but two of the best can be found in Narbonne and Carcassonne. The former is home to Le Carpe Diem, right in the city centre, with all the emphasis on sustainable tourism and prices from €20 a night. The latter has Hostel Le Couvent, a former 17th-century convent, with 70 beds (in dormitories and individual rooms), a tapas bar, a big central patio, and cocktails served on the rooftop. Prices start at €30 a night.
STAY ON A YACHT
Lull yourself to sleep with the rocking of the Canal de la Robine in Narbonne. Stay on a two-bedroom yacht called the Nubian, with breakfast delivered in the morning.
The seaside town of Gruissan, which featured in the 1986 film Betty Blue, now has a floating chalet village on the marina, available for holiday rentals.
Huttopia’s new chalet village in the mountain resort of Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via combines nature and comfort with eco-friendly accommodation in Parc Naturel Régional des Pyrénées Catalanes.
STAY ON A BARGE
The Alegría cruises the Canal du Midi from Béziers, offering cabins, a plunge pool and open-deck dining.
Complexe La Dune
Overlooking the beach resort of La Grande-Motte, this club offers rooftop dining, parties and DJs. David Guetta, Moby and Bruno Mars are among those who have performed here.
Le Bastion, Lagrasse
This new restaurant in the former ramparts of the lovely medieval town of Lagrasse offers an “avant-garde rural” menu of dishes like mullet ceviche and barbecued mackerel.
Owners Charlotte and Gaetan ensure every ingredient is sourced from less than 100km away. Enjoy Italian-style aperitivos in the early evening.
From France Today magazine