Area: 27 447 km2
Population: About 2 245 000
Capital city: Montpellier
Départments: 11 - Aude (Carcassonne), 30 - Gard (Nîmes), 34 - Hérault (Montpellier), 48 - Lozère (Mende), 66 - Pyrénées-Orientales (Perpignan)
From the peaks of the Pyrénées and the Cévennes to the wide open spaces of the Camargue of the wild horses, from the Mediterranean coastline of the Golfe-du-Lion, where Phoenician fleets and Roman galleys once made landfall, to the high plateau of the Causses, every square meter of ground bears the imprints of the many civilisations that have come and gone in the long history of this hallowed region.
Today, however, the ancient and the modern co-exist side by side. Fortunately, the modern seldom impinges upon the architectural history of the millennia. Memorable places like the Gorges du Tarn, Gorges de l'Aude, Gorges de l'Herault, Gorges de la Cèze and the creeks and caves of the Côte Vermeille preserve their ancient villages intact.
You will lose yourself in the ambiance of the Middle Ages when visiting the beautiful Romanesque abbeys of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Fontfroide, Saint-Hilaire, Saint-Martin-du-Canigou and Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, or when you stand at the gates of the walled cities of the Cathars or Aigues-Mortes and Carcassonne. You will be similarly transported to the 18 th century when you walk around the shady mansions of Montpellier, Uzès, Pézenas and Beaucaire, or when cruising along the canal du Midi.
Accommodation is plentiful and varied to suit the dimensions of every purse, from hotels to accommodation centers and camping sites. There are a thousand things to do, from sightseeing to sporting activities, aquatic and otherwise.
From village to village, from town to town, pageants, carnivals and religious festivals abound with the traditional battles of the "boules" being fought out on every town and village square.
Since prehistoric times, Homo Sapiens has left the imprint of his evolution all over this magical land. So much so that the oldest known European human skull in existence was discovered in this region.