Driving to Languedoc Roussillon, south France
Driving via motorways to Languedoc Roussillon in the south of France is a dream after struggling along British motorways. Generally, they are a lot less congested - but you'll pay quite a lot in motorway tolls to use them. You can pay for toll with cash, of course, but don't assume your non-French bank card will work in the card aisles, as it often won't. The speed limit on motorways to Languedoc is generally 130km/h - but sometimes drops to 110km/h.
If you're driving down to Languedoc, there are three main motorway routes down to the region - shown on the map. We'd recommend Route 2, the middle route down the relatively new A75 motorway, as it takes you into Languedoc across the stunning new Millau Bridge (designed by Norman Foster, and the tallest in the world). If you're interested, you can stop off at the bridge's visitors centre - which explains how it was built. It's also the cheapest route, as the A75 motorway is still mostly free to use.
Route 1, via Lyon, can get quite congested, especially in summer, as hoards of Parisians head south east to the Code d'Azure. It does, however, allow you to stop in beautiful Lyon - with its superb restaurants!
Route 3, via Toulouse, is recommended if you're driving down to the south of Languedoc - to the Carcassonne, Narbonne or Perpignan areas. Toulouse, known as the 'Pink City' because of its red brick buildings, is also a lovely place to stop for lunch or shopping or galleries.
Be warned that the A9 motorway, which runs along Languedoc's coastline, can get quite congested in summer - as it is not only carrying traffic to Languedoc's popular beach resorts, but also traffic to and from Provence and Spain.
|1: Via Lyon
|2: Via Clermont Ferrand
|3: Via Toulouse