Languedoc Guides

The following are books offering advice on Languedoc travel, including walking.

Where there is an accompanying button, you can click on it to go the Amazon site, or in some cases other third party sites, to see more information, read reviews and purchase copies of the book in question.

Books ...
Languedoc Guides
Languedoc Maps
Languedoc Cooking
Languedoc Wines
Languedoc Gardens
Languedoc Life & Novels
Learning French
More Books ...
Cathars and Cathar Wars
Dualism & Heresy
Languedoc History
Counts of Toulouse
Castles & Chivalry
Troubadours & Occitan
More Books ...
The Ark of the Covenant
Knights Templars
The Holy Grail
The Priory of Sion
The Jewish Kabbalah
The Da Vinci Code
Holy Grail
Knights Templars
French Films

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Walking in the Languedoc (A Cicerone Guide)

John Cross  
 5 stars

This book is the fruit of many years' exploration of the central part of the Languedoc, north of Béziers (near which the author lives).

Much of this area forms the Parc Naturel du Haut Languedoc, at the heart of which is the Espinouse massif, rising some 850m from the valley floor. Close by is the valley of Lac du Salagou, a man-made lake surrounded by impressive hills. Further east is the valley of the river Herault, which provides the explorer with limestone gorges, caves and cliffs.

All three of these areas are well provided with footpaths on which it is rare to see another human being. The book gives useful information not only on the walking routes, but also climate, geology, wildlife, getting thee, things to see, etc

The book provides walks for hikers of all standards. Some are straightforward; others are for the fit and experienced. All the walks described are circular. There are 31 in all, varying from 6 to 20 km.

Note that this book covers only part of the Languedoc - it will not be of much use if you are based in the Aude or the Lozère departéments.

Paperback. 155 pages. Well illustrated. Maps for each walk. pocket size ideal for carrying on walks. Second edition 2007.



Cycling the Canal du Midi

Declan Lyons

 5 stars

This Cicerone guide follows the 240km route along the tow path of the Canal du Midi through the southern Languedoc. This canal offers the cyclist flat, car-free paths as well as access to tougher excursions in the nearby hills and mountains. Information is accurate, comprehensive and well laid out. Excellent maps and hansome photographs of the route are provided.

This is an excellent book, covering the 240km route in five stages: Toulouse - Port Lauragais - Carcassonne - Homps - bezers - Sete, with excursions to St-Fereol, Lastours, Minerve, Port de la Nouvelle, Vendres and Serignan. There is also a useful introduction to the region and its history and practicalties of cycling here, supplemented by Appendices on planning, accommodation, tourist offices, an English-French glossary, market days, bike repair shops and further reading.



Crossbill Guides: The Nature Guide To The Camargue, La Crau and Les Alpilles

Dirk Hilbers, Gert Bosgra et al

 5 stars

This is a fantastic book - the very antithesis of popular mass tourist guides. The Crossbill Guides Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting nature conservation and their books reflect this focus - non-comercial, factual, informed and sympathetic, and clearly written by experts with a love of their subject.

This book deals mainly with the Camargue, one of the most interesting and unusual areas of Europe with many unique features and spectacular wildlife - it includes the most famous nature reserve in France. The book covers with an assured ease all aspects of the landscape: geography, habitats, marshes and lagoons, beaches and forests. It is excellent on on flora and fauna. Also climate and history. Lots of information with superb photographs and maps.   Extensive list of plant and animal species covered - in Eglish, Latin, German and Dutch.

Also covered are two other nearby areas - far well less known but just as interesting. La Crau containing steppe (!) and Les Alpilles an area of rocky outcrops presagig the Luberon and the Alps proper.

There is also a section on 13 walking routes, along with additional sites and things to do.

Paperback. 198 pages - quality paper extremely well bound.  Lots of superb colour photographs and maps.  ISBN 90 5011 2226

This is everything a guidbook should be. Highly recommended. Let's hope Crossbill do more books on the Languedoc (There is already one on the Cevennes - see below).

Unfortunately not yet available through Amazon in the US - but visit or


Crossbill Guides: The Nature Guide To The Cevennes And Grands Causses

Dirk Hilbers and Gert Bosgra

 5 stars

This is another fantastic book - and completely free of tourity sales guff. As the title suggests it concentrates on the the Cevennes and the neighbouring Grands Causses. It covers with Crossbill's usual assured ease all aspects of the landscape: geography, geology, rivers and gorges, climate, forests, scrubland, meadows, heaths and bogs. It is excellent on on flora and fauna. Lots of information with superb photographs and maps.   Extensive list of plant and animal species covered - in Eglish, Latin, German and Dutch, but mysteriousy not Occitan or French - with a dedicated list of local orchids.

There is a section on 19 walking routes of varying difficulty, along with interesting sites and other extras.

Paperback. 254 pages - quality paper extremely well bound.  Lots of colour photographs and maps.  ISBN 978 90 5011 2796

This is everything a guidbook should be, and just as good as their one on the Camargue - see above.

Unfortunately not yet available through Amazon in the UK - but visit or


Signpost Guide Languedoc and Southwest France

Gillian Thomas
 5 stars

Essentially for motorised tourists.

Information for motorists, especially foreigners unfamiliar with practicalities like routes, signs, traffic laws, and parking.

Hundreds of attractions are described in detail, together with recommendations for shopping, dining, and accommodation.


Walking in the Cathar Region: Cathar Castles of South-west France (Cicerone International Walking S.)

Alan Mattingly
 5 stars

A comprehensive walking guide to Cathar Country. It covers 22 walks based on the castles that dominate the foothills of the Pyrenees, covering the castles and other locations that featured in Cathar history.

This is an interesting and valuable guide. It includes three long-distance walks among the 22: Le Sentier Cathare (The Cathar Trail), Le Chemin des Bonshommes (The Path of the Cathars) and the Grande Randonnees 7 & 71. Mattingly, who lives in the region, clearly knows his stuff - walking, the area, its history and its wildlife.

Each walk has as its focal point a castle or other location associated with the Cathars. Summaries of the historical connections of each location are given, illustrating the tragic story of the downfall of the Cathar Church, from the massacre in Beziers in 1209 through the heart-rending siege at Montsegur in 1244 to the burning of the last known Cathar parfait in 1314. The walks are cleverly arranged to match the chronology of the Crusade.


Wild Swimming, France

Daniel Start
 5 stars
Wild Things Publishing Ltd
ISBN-13 978-0-9571573-0-9


This is a guidebook with a difference. It covers places in France, mainly in the South, were you can swim in rivers and lakes. Some of the places are relatively unknown. Many are spectacular. The book is not specific to the Languedoc-Roussillon, but has separate sections on the Languedoc, the Cevennes, the Corbieres & Roussillon, and the Pyrenees.

There are advantages to wild swimming - you avoid not only salt water, but all the crowds that go with beaches in the summer. And no entrance fees. There is natural beauty in abundance, and all sorts of bonuses for geologists, climbers, naturists, naturalists, and others. Some of these places are also of historical interest.

This book is thorough. You'll be surprised at how many wild swimming places there are. Each is described in detail, with maps and information on how to get there, including latitudes and longitudes. There are separate sections on each area, but locations are also classified by features and facilities: canoeing & boating, great for kids, offering food nearby, campsites, waterfalls, chateau & history, skinny-dipping, jumping, wild camping, blue pools, and canyons, arches & formations.

The author (and photographer), Daniel Start, is an environmental consultant who spent three years camping and swimming in France researching this book. More strength to his arm.

256 pages including an introduction and masses of excellent photographs. Paperback, but very sturdily bound and professionally produced. Highly recommended.



The Rough Guide to Languedoc & Roussillon 2

Brian Catlos




Paul Strang

Mainly about the wines of the region, but no worse for that


Wonderful Languedoc Roussillon

Alain D. Naud, Catherine Bibollet, Angela Moyon (Translator)


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