Occitania

Occitanië

Since 2016, Occitanie has been a French region encompassing the Languedoc-Rousillon and Midi-Pyrénées regions. The capital is Toulouse. Characteristic in this region is the great diversity, both in terms of landscape and climate. The Pyrenees with the typical mountain climate invite you to enjoy nice motorbike tours and the towns and villages in the plains under a mild maritime climate are particularly attractive due to the medieval appearance. Carcassonne is the biggest draw when it comes to beautiful places, but there are also smaller, lesser known places to visit.

Cahors

Bridge of the devil

The town of Cahors, once founded by the Romans, is beautifully situated in a meander of the Lot. The town has a long history of looting and disputes and has been destroyed several times. Yet it is still clear from the architecture that Cahors also had a rich past.

Castelnou

Charming village

In the Pyrénées-Orientales, we happened to pass one of our motorcycle rides past the charming village of Castelnou. Those who enjoy strolling in old streets with handicraft businesses are in the right place.

Château de Montségur

Château de Montségur

Castle of the Cathars

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Cathars, on the run from the Pope, took refuge in the Pyrenees. Many of the escape routes, the Cathar paths, can still be found. At the end of one of those trails is the refuge of Château de Montségur, which is now a ruin.

Mourèze

Special rock formations

In the Hérault is the medieval village of Mourèze, which has gained fame through a special natural phenomenon. Beautiful hiking trails run through the 300-hectare rock formations that are erratic in shape. Walking shoes are recommended!

Laguiole

Knife town

In the Aveyron we visited a place that uses its name as a brand name for knives: Laguiole. In the shopping streets you will also find one shop after another that sells knives.

Saint-Clar

Garlic feast

Saint-Clar is the epicenter of garlic in France. A lot of garlic can be found on the market every Thursday, but in August there is even a true garlic festival.

Gorges-de-la-Fou

Narrowest gap

France has numerous gorges. One is said to be the narrowest in the world: the Gorges-de-la-Fou. You can admire it on foot, wearing a helmet.

Montferrer en Corsavy

Montferrer en Corsavy

Sleepy villages

And if you are still close to the Gorges-de-la-Fou, visit the villages of Montferrer and Corsavy. There you can witness rural life: quiet villages bathed in sun with sounds that actually only come from the homes of the residents.

Montpellier

Merchants city

Montpellier is a city very popular with the French. This old merchant city still has many historic buildings. Bordered between the Esplanada and the Promenade de Peyrou is the old part of the city where nice terraces can be found and where the students in particular seek their entertainment.

Mirepoix

Fortified town

In the Ariège, between Carcassonne and Foix, there is a beautiful fortified town with the name of a spice mixture: Mirepoix.
The town has one of the most beautiful medieval squares in the south of France.

Orgues-Ille-sur-Tet

Orgues-Ille-sur-Tet

Special rock formations

West of Perpignan is a special natural phenomenon that is worth a visit: the Orgues de Ille-sur-Tet.

Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste

Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste

Old fortified city

The Catalan town of Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste was once a fortress. Above the city is the La Garde fortress, which is connected to the church by an underground corridor.

Wijnfabriek in Condom

Wijnfabriek in Condom

Wine factory

During one of the trips we met in the Gers the two Dutch women Hilde and Patricia who, in addition to the campsite they were running, worked in a wine factory in Condom during the harvest months. They gave us a tour of the factory.

Carcassonne

Back in time

Along with Mont Saint-Michel, Carcassonne is the most visited place in France. La Cité is the ancient part that towers above the area and has been the property of many peoples over the centuries. The strategic location made it necessary to make this city a fortress.

Rock Church

With a view of the Ariège Pyrenees, there is a special rock church in the village of Vals. You can enter it through a crack in the rocks. Due to the danger of collapse, part of the church is unfortunately closed.

Pearl above the Lot

The town of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie has been competing with Salers for the first place on the "Plus beau villages de France" list for years. The village is beautifully situated above the Lot, but was almost doomed. Until the mayor attracted artists to renovate the houses.

Square with pillory

The fortified town of Castelnau-de-Montmiral was founded in the 13th century. The hilltop town with a medieval center, complete with a pillory, is a feast for the eyes.

Fortified town with 'portils'

Foix used to be a fortified town with a beautifully situated castle on top of a hill. This came to an end during the Wars of Religion. The "portils" are an attraction.

William of Orange

The beautiful town of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is located at the point where the Verdus flows through a wild and only accessible rock gorge into the gorge of the Hérault. Here Willem van Orange (not the Dutch prince) founded a monastery in 804 around which the village named after him arose.

French ice cream with a Dutch touch

At the foot of the Pyrenees lies the at first sight deserted town of Saint-Martory. Its location on the Garonne once guaranteed prosperity. What remains is a beautiful castle and a Pipowagen in which the Dutch Kim sells delicious homemade ice cream!

Three rivers

Florac-Trois-Rivières is located where three rivers meet. The name comes partly from the Latin flora which means water flower and thus refers to its location near water. The wars of religion have left their mark here.

Cycling routes

Gorge with devil's bridge

We cycle through the Gorges-de’Hérault to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert and pass the Pont du Diable on the way. This old Romanesque bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beautiful routes

Gorges du Tarn 1

Camper route through the Tarn
- part 1 -

In the Cévennes (in the old region of Midi-Pyrénées) lies a 52 km long road through one of the most beautiful gorges in France. The gorge connects the places Le Rozier in the southwest with Ispagnac in the northeast. With the camper, this Gorges du Tarn is a true experience.

In some places it can be a bit tight for large campers!

Gorges du Tarn 2

Camper route through the Tarn
- part 2 -

Although this part of the route no longer goes through a real gorge, the Tarn is indeed largely next to this road. Again, there are regular narrow passages for large motorhomes where driving skills are required.

In some places it can be a bit tight for large campers!

Cévennen

Camper route through the Cevennes

We planned our return trip from the department of Lozère on departmental roads that partly run through the national park of the Cevennes. They are quiet roads along quiet towns and villages.
And there is a lot to enjoy along the way.

The route is accessible to all campers.

Deel 1 Ille-sur-Têt

Deel 1 Ille-sur-Têt

Motorcycle route
- part 1 -

In Ille-sur-Têt, a small circle can be driven around the church. We then drive over Roq d´en Pérot, past Castelnou and the D48 and D2.

The tour in Ille-sur-Têt is for campers
bad idea!

Deel 2 Ravin de l’Oratoire

Deel 2 Ravin de l’Oratoire

Motorcycle route
- part 2 -

We drive the motorcycle around the Ravin de l'Oratoire, a route with a surprising view.

This route is also suitable for campers.

Deel 3 Pyrénées-Orientales

Deel 3 Pyrénées-Orientales

Motorcycle route
- part 3 -

We take the D13 to Baillestavy by motorbike and then drive through Valmanya. Then we take the D618 behind Saint-Marsal.

This route is also suitable for campers.

Col du Tourmalet omhoog

Col du Tourmalet omhoog

Motorcycle ride over col

The Col du Tourmalet is the most climbed mountain in the Tour de France. We worked our way up on the motorbike and ended up in the clouds at an altitude of 2115 meters.

This route is also suitable for campers.

Col du Tourmalet omlaag

Col du Tourmalet omlaag

Motorcycle ride over col

From the top of the Col du Tourmalet we descend to Barèges. Fortunately, this side is not wrapped in clouds. Touring in the Pyrenees is constantly on the lookout for stray cattle. And we came
enough against.

This route is also suitable for campers.

Hérault roodgekleurd

Hérault roodgekleurd

Motorcycle ride through red colored Hérault

We drive a route from Octon, at the Lac du Saragou, over Salasc, Valarédes and Le Puech to Lodève. The landscape we cross is red because of the iron oxide present. But the arid landscape is interspersed with green vegetation. And there appear to be enough bends here for a nice motorcycle ride.

The route is also suitable for campers. But in Salasc there is a narrow street (2.2 m) where we drove by motorbike, but the route does not go through!

Hérault vulkanisch

Hérault vulkanisch

Motorcycle ride through volcanic Hérault

When we continue our route from Lodève to the north, we end up in a different landscape. This part of the Hérault is called Escandorgue, a small volcanic massif that runs south from the Aveyron border.

The route is also accessible to campers.

Route des Cols

Motorhome route Route-des-Cols

We move with the camper through the Pyrenees-Orientales. Part of the route runs over the Route-des-Cols. This route cuts through the Pyrenees from west to east. We drive the section between Bouleternère and La Trinité.

This route is less suitable for large campers!

Col d'Aspin

Nice view

In the Pyrenees is a col known from the Tour de France. When driving the road there are therefore many encouragement texts on the road surface. At 1,489 meters, the Col d'Aspin is not very high, but at the top it still offers a beautiful view of the surroundings.

A part of this route is not suitable for campers!

Route des Cols

Quercy

We drive with the camper through the Quercy from Maurs to Limogne-en-Quercy. The route follows the N122 and then the D19 in the Lot department. The Michelin map colors a large part of the route green, so that must be a nice route.

This route is suitable for all types of campers.

Aveyron

Along the Aveyron

We drive with the camper on the D19 (Tarn-et-Garonne) and D115 (Tarn) between Caylus and Bruniquel. From St Antonin-Noble-Val we drive through the Gorges-de-l'Aveyron. The Michelin Guide marks this route as a scenic route.

This route is suitable for all types of campers.

Route des Cols

Tarn

We move through the Tarn and take the D964 between Bruniquel and Gaillac. On the way we pass the beautifully situated town of Castelnau-de-Montmiral. We will of course also visit this beautiful town.

This route is suitable for all types of campers.

Wine route without wine

We drive on the D119 from Mirepoix to Carcassonne. Part of the route is called Route-des-Vins-de-la Malepère. Unfortunately, we don't see many vineyards.

This route is suitable for all types of campers.

Lot en Célé

Motorcycle route through the Lot

The Lot and the Célé flow through the chalky area of the department of Lot and have cut wide valleys there over the centuries. We drive the motorcycle through beautiful scenery and enjoy the views.

Campers note:
the bridge over the Lot near Bouziès is only 2.3 meters wide!

Vallée-de-la-Salindrenque

Vallee-de-la-Salindrenque

Gard

With the camper we drive on the D39 from St Hippolyte-du-Fort to Lasalle through the Vallée-de-la-Salindrenque. Hippolyte is also called the Gateway to the Cevennes.

This route is suitable for all types of campers.

Cevennen

Rough mountains

From Saint-Jean-du-Gard we drive north on the D983 and D984. The route takes you through the rugged Cevennes, an area that has been included on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape.

The route is accessible to all campers,
but in this area you always have to be careful
with oncoming traffic!

Tips for campers and motorcyclists