Covering the area between Provence and the Pyrenees, Languedoc-Roussillon is known for both its history and singularity. Indeed, as one departs Provence and enters Languedoc, they may find themselves feeling as though they are in another country altogether, for it is here where France’s Medieval roots are most firmly planted.

Highlights of Languedoc-Roussillon range from the regional capital Montpellier, which shines as a model of the Middle Ages, to the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO protected waterway linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic via 328 locks, aqueducts, bridges, and tunnels. Imagined by the Romans, denied by Leonardo da Vinci, and eventually constructed under the Sun King himself, King Louis XIV, the Canal represents one of the most impressive feats of civil engineering in modernity. It effortlessly blends its natural surroundings and technical achievements into a veritable work of art.

To truly capture the essence of the Canadl du Midi and the heart of Langudoc-Roussillon, Ker & Downey recommends hiring a private river barge to witness the vast diversity of scenery found here. As travelers glide down the canal, they can experience the joie de vivre of “slow travel” at its most luxurious, with delicious food, friendly locals, picturesque villages, and engaging activities, from cooking classes to bicycle excursions.

Languedoc-Roussillon is also recognized for its living history. Sites such as the Pre-Roman Oppidum of Enserune, the Roman city of Narbonne, the plenteous ancient olive farms and wineries, and the fortress of Aigues Mortes – where King Louis IX (Saint Louis) departed on the Crusades – stand as intact and infallible remnants of the past.

Perhaps the most well-known of them all is Carcassonne, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site and Europe’s largest medieval fortress. A visit here provides a fascinating glimpse into the defense constructions of the fortress, which were built on the top of cliffs dominating the valley and which today offer breathtaking views as far as Spain.

Let your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant reveal a world of history and luxury as you explore Languedoc-Roussillon with your private guide and private river barge.