Explore the 5 departments of Languedoc-Roussillon
The diverse terrain and history of Languedoc Roussillon's 5 departments (Lozère, Gard, Hérault, Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales) has forged 5 diverse cultures and economies.
All are relatively poor - when compared to France's other departments, with a history of fierce opposition to the central authorities in Paris.
Read on, and you'll find that the cool, empty highlands of Lozère are a world away from the hot and exotic Catalan region of the Pyrenees-Orientals, with its superb beaches with views of the snow-capped Pyrénées in the distance.
Hérault, Languedoc's most populous department, is also its fastest-growing, with thousands moving to Montpellier (Languedoc's capital) every month.
The Aude, perhaps the region's most gentle department, hosts the magnificent Canal du Midi as well as La Cité at Carcassonne.
The Gard has a more Provençal feel with the Rhône river on its eastern border, the Cévennes mountains to the north, and the marshlands of the Camargue to the south.
On the following pages, we outline the main differences between Languedoc Roussillon's 5 departments, their terrains, climates, cuisines, economies, major attractions and overall 'flavour'. And most importantly, we suggest how those differences might impact on your visit or life there.