Saturday, 29 May 2010

Walks and wildlife in the Languedoc

The region known as the Languedoc was incorporated into France during the 13th Century although it had existed as a political region long before that. Because of its language it continued to be administered largely independently for many years after its incorporation. Although now firmly a part of France there is still a strong feeling of being different, but none more so than in the department of the Pyrenees-Orientals, where there is a very strong feeling of being Catalan.

The Languedoc is a region of incomparable natural features, stretching from the Garonne to the Rhone. For a long time the Languedoc felt over awed, under the influence of its more affluent neighbour - Provence, but with increased interest in it's better

Friday, 21 May 2010

Find your Property for sale January in the Aude

This time of year brings to mind thoughts of holidays or you may have made
new year’s resolutions that you would achieve your dream of buying a
property in France during 2010 and perhaps are now realizing that if you are
going to achieve this you had better get started.
This is an extremely good time to buy in France for the many reasons I list

The property market and price increases slowed during the latter part of
2009 due to the outside influences of the financial markets in other countries,
giving way to a much more stable market At present there

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Property for Sale in the Languedoc

It is the perfect time to buy property in the Languedoc.

Interest rates are at their lowest - though Banks are very tough on their lending policies- a good move for the French economy. Prices are also on the rise. In the last 6 months, prices in the Languedoc have increased by 4% - and look like they will continue to rise.

Have a look at Estate Agents sites in the Languedoc - such as:

Friday, 14 May 2010

Complexities of the French Language

La Baguette

Most of us are totally satisfied with the most obvious meaning of this word- and that is the french stick that has a plethora of uses.
However, it does not end there- here begins its voyage...........
Here are some more meanings:

  • switch

  • stick

  • pointer

  • baton

  • ramrod

  • rod

  • tally

  • moulding

  • molding

  • trim

    Then a few expressions to add to the complexity:

    • baguette de protection
      side trim

    • baguette magique

    • baguette de tambour

    • faire marcher quand à la baguette
      have somebody at one's beck and call 


    A diving rod

    Ramrod, gun, wand used to

French social customs


French Social Customs You Must Know

In general the French value formality. While some foreigners see this attention to formal detail as "rudeness", the French see this as a necessary part of daily life and consider it rude to not be formal. This is especially true in Paris but you will find the further south in the country you go, the less formal the people are. However, most Americans will still find French culture substantially more formal than their own.

French Speaking Customs

Perhaps the most import French social custom to remember is to use vous for instead of tu whenever addressing a stranger, someone who is older than you, or someone who is an authority (like an officer). Amongst peers in informal situations (like going out to a club at night), tu is acceptable although as a foreigner you should wait to hear it before you engage likewise in using it. You will

History and influences of the French language

One cannot speak about the origins of the French language without addressing the topic of Romance languages, the family of language to which French belongs. Even though Romance languages, share certain qualities not found in contemporary Latin that is taught today, it is believed that Latin is the father of the Romance group of languages. Latin was a language used by Romans during the Roman Empire, which dated to the years before and after the birth of Christ.

Julius Caesar, an emperor of the Roman Empire, conquered Gaul, now known as present-day France in 50 BC. The Romans found these people speaking a language known as Gaulish. Little is known today about the origins of the Gaulish language, but it is known to be an ancient Celtic language dating to before 500 AD used in the western and central parts of Europe and Asia Minor. Little remains of

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Plight of the Bumble bee in the Languedoc

The bumble bee in Languedoc

Albert Einstein once said that if the bee disappeared off the face of the planet, man would only have four years of life left. Honey bees pollinate four fifths of the flowering crops, which in turn provide a third of the human diet. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
OK, Einstein didn’t actually say that – it’s an urban myth. But there is a very

Economic activity and industry in the Languedoc

The Agriculture
Viticulture is concentrated in the plains of Aude, Hérault, and Gard, which produce about one-half of France's grapes. Animal husbandry predominates in the Causses region.
The agriculture of the Hérault département is a monoculture based on wine.  The irregation canals, that were recently built, have mainly fallen short of diversifying agriculture.   The exception is locally grown vegetables and fruits.  The Compagnie Nationale d'Aménagement de la Région du Bas-Rhône et du Languedoc ("National Company for the Development of the Region of the Lower Rhône and Languedoc") has brought approximately 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) under irrigation in an effort to diversify agricultural output.

Sheep are raised in the north of Hérault.  Some of Hérault’s ewes' milk is sent to the cheese factories at Roquefort, in the neighbouring département of Aveyron.
Cultivation of vines, fruit, and vegetables in the

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Food and drink in the Languedoc

Languedoc snails

Cooking traditions in Languedoc Roussillon have roots in the same primary products as those in Provence. The main ingredients in Languedoc Roussillon cuisine are olive oil and tomatoes, garlic, onions and aromatic herbs are also used. The only difference may be that cooks use a little bit less garlic than in Provence. Sea food products are an essential part of the Languedoc Roussillon cuisine.
Gastronomically, the Languedoc isn't the most renowned of France's regions - a turbulent history and a degree of confusion due to culinary diversity being the main reasons for this. Its location at a geographic crossroads means that a wide variety of ingredients are available and the diverse cuisine this leads to make it a great all-rounder. On the coast is the seafood of the Mediterranean, go north and there is the full range of mountain produce - many overlook that Lozere is part of the region. Catalonia to the southwest brings a refreshing non-French influence. The Pyrenees and Gascony, land of

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Termites and Capricorn beetles in the Languedoc

The termite problem in France, long localized mainly with the Southwest region, is now recognized by the government to be a nationwide epidemic. In order to establish effective and definitive means of fighting this scourge, we should learn more about termites, the insects that eat away our house and home...
Termites, the perfect social insects
  • Clearly defined roles
    The termites found in buildings in France belong to the genus Reticulitermes. Like bees and ants, they are organized in a society where each member has a very specific role.

  • Workers, feeding of the colony
    Tiny white individuals that move quickly, they make up the largest portion of the colony. They literally swarm inside the pieces of wood they infest. Their work involves consuming cellulose, digesting it and then regurgitating it to feed all the other members of the colony. This is what is known as trophallaxis. Always on the lookout for new sources of food, workers tirelessly prospect at full speed. They are also the ones that cause damage and that build the "cords" that reveal the presence of termites in the walls of a building while allowing them to move around obstacles without being exposed to the light.

  • Soldiers, defending of the colony
    White and the same size as workers, "soldiers" are significantly fewer in number. They can be recognized by their disproportione, highly-colored head with

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Cathar History in the Languedoc

Doctrines The term "Cathars" derives from the Greek word Katheroi and means "Pure Ones". The Cathars professed a theological dualism in which two coequal divine principles, one good and one evil, struggled against each other from eternity. They believed all matter to be evil because it was created by Satan, the principle of evil. The soul, which has its origins in the realm of the good God, is trapped

Friday, 2 April 2010

Hiking in the Languedoc

Hiking in Languedoc is an exceptional experience and the tours listed below are exceptional walking holidays in France. Please click each one or scroll on down the page for background information on some remarkable long distance trails for hiking in Languedoc.
A.The Stevenson Way (GR 70) As far as the rating of walking tours in France goes, this hiking trail is often ranked in the top ten. It is a trek that takes you from Le Monastier, near

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Flooding in the Languedoc

If you’re thinking of buying in the Languedoc region of France, it's essential to check that the properties aren’t built in a flood risk area.

Flooding can be a serious problem in France and in particular in the Languedoc region. It is vital that all prospective home buyers are aware of flood zones, of the legal obligations that exist for vendors, and the steps one can take to protect oneself from buying a dream property which turns into a river bed once or twice a year! This guide should help you to avoid that particular pitfall.

There has been serious flooding in the Gard and Hérault in 1988, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003 and most recently in 2005. Since the most recent floods, the realisation is dawning on many in the region that this is becoming something of an annual occurrence. Regional authorities are continuing to assess prevention measures and plan for better defences.

The French Weather Broadcast (The Météo) displays a colour graded public warning system called “La Carte de Vigilence” (The Warning Map) to help residents take protective measures against storms. The “Carte de Vigilence” can be accessed

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Best Languedoc Festivals

Le Poulain, Pezenas

The Languedoc region has some excellent festivals that perfectly sum up the relaxed way of life in the South of France. If you are visiting the Languedoc, then follow our guide to find the best festivals across the South of France, month by month.Please check the dates on the festivals' site.


Pezenas: Le Poulain

This festival at the start of Lent in late February or early March features a parade led by the local totem-animal from Pezenas: Le Poulain. This is a mock horse, constructed of a cloth head draped over a wooden frame. It is pushed through the streets in a grand procession. The history dates back to 1226 when a foal was born to the favourite mare of King Louis VIII. The festival kicks off a three-day Mardi-Gras festival in the town (see Le Poulain Festival for more information).

Nimes: Feria de Primavera

Held four weeks before Easter, this is the first Feria of the season in Nimes. Nimes knows how

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wine revolts in the Languedoc

The story began with a small yellow insect. It developed, 100 years ago this month, into the biggest civil revolt in France in the 20th century. By comparison, the events of May 1968 look like a modest squabble over the right of French youth to wear purple trousers and long hair.

The Southern Wine Revolt of 1907 generated vast demonstrations (up to 800,000 strong), three days of anti-government riots and six deaths at the hands of the military.
The rebellion seemed to threaten at one point the secession of Languedoc and Roussillon - the great wine growing area along the Mediterranean coast - into an Occitan, rather than French-speaking, breakaway state. At the height of the crisis, on 20-21 June 1907, a local regiment mutinied and joined the protesters.
The revolt led, eventually, through a complex pattern of appeasement and state treachery, to the creation of French, and eventually European, rules for the classification and protection of wine. This system - the appellation côntrolée system - survives

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Understanding Olive Oil in the Languedoc

The craft of turning olives into oil has been honed in the Mediterranean region over thousands of years, and techniques have been passed down from generation to generation. The process is truly a regional art. The method used in Greece is different from the one used in Spain, and each individual grower might have a unique way of tending the trees and producing the tasty liquid gold.

Mediterranean olive trees must mature for several years before they produce olives. Careful pruning optimizes the number of olives a single tree will bear. A meticulous hand is necessary because it takes at least ten pounds of olives to produce one liter (about four cups) of olive oil.

Hundreds of olive varieties exist, but only several dozen are grown commercially around the world. Some varieties are bursting with health-promoting polyphenols, while others contain few. The type of olive used to make any particular bottle of oil is rarely listed on the label. However, for those

Gastronomy and History of Food in the Languedoc

Languedoc was a dominion of the Counts of Toulouse — independent principalities in southwestern France — until the thirteenth century when it became a possession of the French Crown. There were two medieval French dialects spoken, oc, spoken in the south, and oïl, spoken in the north, derived from their respective words for "yes." The language of the south, Occitan, known as langue d'oc , was a Romance language that flowered from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries when troubadours composed lyric courtly love poems called canso and traveled to the seigneurial courts reciting their works.  
The land of Oc circles from Roussillon, near the Spanish border, to the Rhône River. In the past many French people considered the Languedoc a desert of French gastronomy. But the rich tradition of cooking in Languedoc was evident long ago if we consider Racine's comment, who first remarked, while staying

Friday, 29 January 2010

Famous people from the Languedoc

Quelques personnages célèbres du Languedoc-Roussillon

Some famous celebrities and personalities of Languedoc-Roussillon

• Tautavel Man : About 455 000 years ago, before man had even mastered fire, a man aged about 20 years old, and about 1m65 tall, lived close to the village of Tautavel in the Pyrénées-Orientales region. He had all the characteristics of the first European inhabitants, ancestors of Neanderthal man and of modern mankind.

• Cneus Domitius Ahenobarbus : This Roman proconsul built the Roman Road from the Alps to the Pyrenees in 118BC and gave it his name, the Via Domitia.

• Simon de Montfort (probably 1150-1218) : Often described as the « legendary knight », Simon de Montfort lead the 1209 crusade against the Albigensians. His unshakeable

Health and well-being in the Languedoc


Thalassotherapy & Balneotherapy

Many thalassotherapy centres - or sea water health spas - have sprung up on the sunny Languedoc-Roussillon coast.

Seawater and tapwater therapy

The healing properties of sea water, seaweed and mud baths, together with medical know-how, provide a real answer to the stresses and allergies caused by modern living. The region’s spas offer courses of treatment and personalised programmes using top notch facilities, from sea water bathing pools and hot baths to high pressure showers... While thalassotherapy and hydrotherapy are based on specific types of water, balneotherapy offers similar types of treatments using tap water (‘eau de ville’).

Thalassotherapy centres

Thalasso Mediterranee - La Grande-Motte
Acres of green open space and a mild climate have made la Grande Motte the ‘hot spot’ for sun treatments. In the autumn and winter, the combination of cooler air and the ever-present sun help to recharge your batteries and get you back on top form. The spa’s philosophy is

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Historic Languedoc

The Château de Quéribus stands out against the mountainous landscape of southern Languedoc, a striking monument that appears to cling to the shrub-covered slope like a barnacle on a rock. At first, only the keep is visible, a solid structure whose walls are five metres thick. Then, behind it, a more extensive complex emerges: a hall with impressive vaulting, a courtyard, the remains of a barracks.

There are views of the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees from here and, to the west, another castle, Peyrepertuse, whose ruins are draped across the ridge. The two are part of a chain of fortifications that once protected Languedoc’s southern frontier. They also provided shelter, during the 12th and 13th centuries, for Cathars, religious dissidents who broke away from the established church.

The route south from Peyrepertuse to the Aragonese frontier would once have involved negotiating the canyon at the foot of the Gorges of Galamus; now a road has been built, which clings precariously to the rock face, edging carefully around sharp indentations and sudden bends. A nerve-racking drive for

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Looking to set up a Gite in the Languedoc?

Since 2004, there has been a huge increase in the amount of Gites available for rent in France. This is partly to do with the increase in property purchases in France, and especially in the Languedoc. The thinking behind this was to create an income flow to pay for the property for the year.The market is pretty full today, however, there still is a good income to be made if the property as well as the pricing is correct.

Firstly, what is a Gite? It is a self catering short term rental property that is fully equipped.This can be an apartment, a village house, a villa, a home in the country.

How to choose the right property. This is tough, as there are demands for every kind of property.However, consider:

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Sporting activities in the Languedoc

Canoeing and Kayaking
Popular areas for canoeing and kayaking are the river Aude and the Gorges du Tarn. Most of Languedoc's rivers are shallow and the canoeing is not very difficult here. Given the large number of rivers in the Languedoc area there are many canoeing and kayaking centres.
Navigable rivers for canoeing and kayaking are classified into six grades, Classes I to VI. Class I being for easily navigable rivers, Class V for extremely difficult, and Class VI for rivers that are only navigable depending on the water level and presenting many risks. 

Further information can be found HERE

Caving and Potholing

For those who want to practice caving, the caverns of

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

2010 outlook for Property for Sale in the Languedoc

Firstly, Happy New Year. It has come and thankfully gone those festive weeks, and now we start predicting what could lie ahead for Property for Sale in France.

The French property market is bracing itself for a tough year ahead in 2010 but property experts do not expect a sudden recovery despite prices showing signs of stabilising.
Although the global economic downturn has made the last 18 months hard for the estate agents, France has benefitted from not having an overpriced market and a system that is more cautious and less gung-ho in terms of lending.

It hasn’t seen the kind of boom and bust that has affected its neighbours in Spain and Britain.
The economic crisis has dented confidence and recent research from the FNAIM, the professional organisation for estate agents which has 12,000 members,

Monday, 21 December 2009

Black truffles in the Languedoc

Truffles are among the most highly regarded products in cuisine, especially French-Italian cookery. They are strongly flavoured, and a small amount goes a long way in adding an exotic taste to your culinary efforts.
Although they are preserved for use all year, it is during the winter harvesting months around January that the truffles can be bought and used fresh and is the best time to appreciate their flavours.
Where are black truffles found?
The fungi known as the Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum) is found in Spain, southern France and Italy. The best known regions for finding the truffles in France are in the south-east and south-west and both of these regions hold 'truffle markets' during the season.
They are found in open woodlands and forests

Friday, 18 December 2009

Unusual historic restored sites in the Languedoc

Gard - Barjac

Located at the crossroads of the Cevennes National Park between the gorges of Ardeche and Ceze, the town of Barjac is a Renaissance city known for its flea markets and festival songs lyrics. Owner of Chateau des Comtes de Grimoard de Beauvoir du Roure (included in the Inventory of Historical Monuments in 1993); the town has invested heavily in fresco fireplaces. A museum will house the sculptures that the artist Daniel Souriou gave to the town. This will create an artistic centre that should be completed by the workshop of Anselm Kiefer, who lives nearby in the old silk mill in La Ribaute.

During the restoration of the castle, frescoes depicting allegorical scenes from the 17th century have been discovered over the fireplace. The objective of the town, which has embarked on a major cultural activity, is to restore the paintings in order to discover the wider public.

Hérault - Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

The treasure of the lapidary cloister of the Abbey Gellone

Historic Monument in 1987 and listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in

Thursday, 17 December 2009

History of the french language

French dialects developped from the Vulgar Latin which was brought to Northern Gaul with the Roman conquest in the 1st century B.C.  The history of French language is divided into 6 main periods:
  1. Gallo-Romance (5th-8th centuries). The Vulgar Latin in Gaul has developped specific features that made it distinct from the Latin spoken in the other regions of the Roman empire. The Reichenau Glosses are a good example of its phonetics and vocabulary.
  2.  Old French (9th-13th centuries). The dialects of Northern Gaul developed into separate language (Langue d'oil, see below) with a grammar of its own. The first written materials in it date from the Strasbourg Oaths of 842. The Old French literature flourished since the 10th century (chansons de geste etc.). French in this period was already taught in the neighboring countries (especially in Germany). In 11th-13th centuries it was the dominant language of the English administration . It was, also, the language of the crusaders in the Levantine countries.
  3. Middle French (14th-15th centuries). This period was marked by changes both in the pronunciation and in the grammar. A common literary language, based on the dialect of Île de France (the region of Paris), was promoted by the writers. French was replacing Latin in the texts of the public administration in France.
  4. Early Modern French (16th century). The aim of the writers of this period, as is the case of the poets of La Pléiade, was to elevate the French language to the level of Latin as a medium for literary expression.In 1539  a royal decree 

French men

One for the girls now- have a read of why French men are considered irresitable!!!

From the first impressions you recognize a French man by his outfit. A Parisian has no competitors for fashion sense. Ordinarily you would never buy an orange scarf for your boyfriend, until you see a Parisian walking along the Champs Elysees with an orange silk scarf complementing his "decontracte" style. Only the Italians come closer with their particular sense of elegance and distinction.

Attitude. French guys look straight into your eyes when they are talking to you. Ok. Sometimes their eyes stray away towards your boobs, but quickly they come back to meet your eyes. It is actually considered bad manners not to look into the eyes

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

French Eating Habits

Compared to a 1994 survey conducted by the French government's Committee for Health Education (CFES) on French food and health, the results of its latest survey demonstrate that French eating habits are still very closely linked to their national heritage of eating good food for pleasure.

Although receptive to new ideas and trends, the French have changed their eating habits much more slowly than, say, the British. 76% of the French eat meals they have prepared at home, though the younger generation of singles between the ages of 18 and 29 buy convenience foods. This may be due to the fact that they live outside the structure of settled family life. Many young French, once they move away from the home are becoming much more convenience food orientated - though will emulate meals from their upbringing given time and money.

Around the table

The favourite place to eat a meal both for lunch and dinner is in the home.

75% of the French

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The benefits of red wine

Before I start, I implore you to take this article as it is meant- and make informative judgements yourself!!

There has been a lot of negative and positive press about the benefits of wine, especially red wine. Here are some positive facts for drinking red wine:

* Reduced risk of death from nearly all causes: European researchers suggest that moderate daily intake of red wine (22-32 g of alcohol) has a protective effect on all-cause mortality. According to studies from France, UK, Finland and Denmark, moderate consumption of wine is more beneficial than that of beer or spirits.

* Smoking: Acute smoking significantly impairs vessels' natural ability to relax, or vasodilate. Red wine, with or without alcohol, decreases the harmful effect of

An Englishman in the French Alps

'An Englishman in the French Alps'
I apologise in advance for offending anyone, but in unavoidably being an Englishman my views tend to migrate towards the more abusive end of the scale.

French Driving

The first thing that struck me about the French was their driving, I have a daily brush with death on my way to the office. They are all in such a hurry whilst in their cars but when they get to their place of work they move at an almost snail pace, perhaps their driving is in some way compensatory for the rest of the day.
There also seems to be no conceivable logic to their road systems, a fact I found out by being nearly killed on a roundabout whilst on the way back from a road trip to Courchevel. I’m quite happy with them driving on

Monday, 14 December 2009

French Food

Paris and Ile-de-France are central regions where one can get practically anything from the country since all train lines meet in the city. In Paris alone there are over 5,000 restaurants and you can have any cuisine you desire.

In Champagne game and ham are popular and of course the special sparkling wine – champagne. Fine fruit preserves from Lorraine as well as the famous Quiche Lorraine. The classic quiche Lorraine contains heavy cream, eggs and bacon, no cheese. As such a quiche is a baked dish that is made primarily of eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Other ingredients such as

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

History of Narbonne

Narbonne (Narbona in Catalan and in Occitan, commonly Narbo especially when referring to the Ancient Rome era) is a town and commune of southwestern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon région. It lies 849 km from Paris in the Aude département, of which it is a sous-préfecture. Once a prosperous port, it is now located about 15 km from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is marginally the largest commune in the Aude département, although the préfecture (capital) resides in the slightly smaller commune of Carcassonne.

Narbonne is linked to the nearby Canal du Midi and the Aude River by the Canal de la Robine, which runs through the centre of town.

Cathedral in Narbonne

Narbonne was established in Gaul in 118 BC, as Colonia Narbo Martius. It was located on

Friday, 4 December 2009

French property prices attract overseas buyers

This extract is a useful guide from the Evening Hérault:

A coincidence perhaps, but several UK broadsheets were looking at French property prices at the weekend. The general consensus is that prices are getting seriously cheaper, and so are loans (if you can get them in the credit crunch), and the Languedoc is singled out as the place to be…

Mon Dieu! Recent price falls for holiday homes in France mean the country is now offering rich pickings for British bargain-hunters.
France’s mainstream housing market has not witnessed the sharp downturn seen in the UK and many other countries, mainly because its mortgage lending practices have been far more restrictive. However, it is a different story when it comes to overseas buyers. Prices paid by foreigners boomed in recent years, creating a bubble that has now burst – allowing others to buy at rock-bottom prices.
- The Guardian
On the one hand, where are prices falling fastest? There are echoes of

Property trends for 2009 in France

As it is December, it is time to reflect a bit of the past 11.2 months in the property market in France, and more pertinantly, in the Aude, Languedoc.

What have been the trends? Well, fewer Brits and Irish - for sure! With € and £ siddling at 1:1 there has been a market decrease in your average Brit buyers. I have seen a good handful of upper budget buyers who are coming here to live. The climate , in all ways, is better here then the unpredictability of the UK economy and outlook.

The home market here is strong. Banks, over the last decade, have been very tight with lending money, and even more so these days - hence le Crunch here is one of the

Languedoc Property Trends

Languedoc-Roussillon - Property Trends

Languedoc-Roussillon - Property Trends

If the Languedoc's enviable position on the Mediterranean, within easy access of the Pyrenean ski resorts and across the border from Barcelona, isn't reason enough to start phoning round estate agents now, then the relatively affordable houses that can be found in this region should be. Far from the pretentions of the Côte d'Azur, this region offers an altogether more down to earth take on Mediterranean living. In short, this is the best of the Aquitaine, or Côte d'Azur without the high prices.

What's more, the region boats an incredible array of

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Minerve, Cathar Village in the Languedoc

Minerve Museum

The village of Minerve perches on a high ridge in the wild landscape of the Causses, in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of Southwestern France.   No cars are allowed, so visitors park outside the village and walk across the bridge above the River Cesse. Water flows in the river only in winter. The rest of the year, it’s a dry, rocky ravine.
Minerve, with its cobblestone lanes and flowery window boxes, is charming now, but it has a bloody history.  In 1210, when it was a Cathars stronghold, the dreaded Simon de Montfort pitched battle against the town, and he and his troops and their catapults won. When Minerve finally surrendered, the Cathars still would not give in, and so 140 of them were burned on the village square. Legend says they leaped into the fire, singing.
Today, Minerve is a lot more cheerful. Visitors are welcome to

Collioure and Fauvism in the PO, Languedoc

Collioure is famous for the artists(who called themselves Fauvists) like Picasso, Matisse, Derain and others. The sculptor Maillol also found inspiration here and his works are prominently displayed.
A 12th century Moorish belltower dominates the site, and Collioure is considered to be a true town of the "Cote Vermeille" due to the vermillion color of the water.

You can follow the "Chemin de Fauvism" a self-guided path that takes you around the town, with reproductions of famous paintings by Matisse and Derain, at the site where they were painted.
Another favorite place is the "Moure", which is the old quarter of town. It contains steep but pretty streets, pastel-tinted homes, small galleries and shops and cafes.

What in the world is Fauvism? I asked myself this

Monday, 30 November 2009

What's happening to the French Baguette?

I am contemplating about the joys and tribulations of looking for Property for Sale  in the Aude, Languedoc, south of France, drinking strong black coffee and eating a crispy piece of baguette smothered in apricot jam. I had been in the local bar in Argens Minervois the previous evening, and had overheard a heated debate on the sad future of the French Baguette. I decided to investigate further, and here are my findings.

France eats approximately 30 million baguettes a day. Wow (that’s a half a baguette for everyone every day). So do you think nothing’s special

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Montpellier Aude Languedoc

This city has a population of about 245,000 inhabitants and shows a population growth of about 1.7% per year, and is constantly receiving visitors and students who approach for studying at its famous medicine university.

Montpellier shows the peculiarity of being among a very small amount of French cities which do not have a Roman background in their past. Besides this, there also are several other interesting facts, as well as many historical events and constructions by which Montpellier is among the most visited towns of the region.

The city of Montpellier is also famous by being home of one of the best medicine universities of Europe. This university was created by

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Canal du Midi

The Midi Canal, in existence for more than three centuries, (327 years), was constructed by Pierre Paul Riquet between 1667 and 1681, with the help of about twelve thousand workers, who dug out 7,000,000m³ of earth to connect Toulouse and Sète.

This represents 240km(150miles) of canal, built using only manpower, during the reign of Louis ⅩⅣ, the Sun King, “ Le Roi Soleil ”.

Conceived to enable the transport of goods and the French Navy between the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea, it is now almost exclusively used by pleasure boats.

During your trip you will discover a

Discover Rural Aude, Languedoc

In the Aude, Languedoc, sunkissed rooftops blaze a burnt orange. There are sweeping vistas of both mountains and sea. The food is robust, and the wines don’t mess around. The narrow streets of the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne are lined with armored knights displaying daily specials at the cafes.

World-renowned vineyards dot the landscape in Bordeaux, the most influential wine region in the world. The distinguished university city of Toulouse is regarded as the best place to live by the French themselves. At Cap d’Agde,Aude, Languedoc, is  also known as “Naked City” and the world’s Mecca of nudism, visitors can bank, shop or beachcomb in the buff.

Tourists can climb to the eerie ruins at Montsegur, where the Cathar religious sect made a lengthy stand against 10,000 Crusaders before voluntarily marching to their fiery deaths rather than converting their spiritual beliefs.

This area boasts more days of sunshine

Enjoy a romp around the Aude, Languedoc

This Aude Languedoc property site is designed to give extra credibilty to buy property and find property for sale in the Aude, Languedoc as a holiday home or main residence.

There is detailed information on all you need to know about buying property in France and especially in the Aude,Languedoc. This can be found on

If you come to the Aude to buy Property, and need a Gite to stay in, have a look here:

Happy romp!!