If you wish to discover in 2 weeks one of the most beautiful regions of South of France, namely the coasts of Languedoc Roussillon in Occitania, here is my 2 week itinerary South of France + Google map of my touristic road trip itinerary.
This road trip from Montpellier to Perpignan crosses Béziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne, will make you discover the magnificent Catalan littoral, the beautiful landscapes of the Corbières, the vestiges of the Cathar period as well as the mythical Canal du Midi.
How many days do I need in South of France?
The Occitan region cannot be visited in 1 week even if you limit your road trip to the coast between Montpellier and Perpignan. No, to really enjoy discovering the Languedoc Roussillon coast and its back country, the ideal would be to plan a 2 weeks road trip in Southern France.
Of course, if you have 3 weeks or more to plan, this tour will be all the more interesting, more pleasant and more relaxing. But for 15 days, this tour of Southern France is perfectly adapted.
Where should I go for 2 weeks?
In order to establish a coherent tourist itinerary allowing to discover in 15 days the most beautiful sites of the Mediterranean coast, I had first of all to select only the sites of Occitania which seemed to me unmissable in the littoral:
- The Canal du Midi
- Fontfroide Abbey
- Salses the Castle
2 week road trip South of France – Map of my itinerary
Mediterranean coast tour in France -Montpellier – DAY 1
My road trip starts in Montpellier where you can take a short walk in its city center, move around with its tramway to discover its charming little streets, its 17th and 18th century mansions, the Place de la Comédie, the Opera, the Arc de Triomphe, the Saint Pierre Cathedral…
Recommended hotel in Montpellier: Palais des rois d’Aragon
Mediterranean coast tour in France – Sète – DAY 2
Port of Bouzigues and Etang de Thau
This morning, you will take the car in the direction of Sète which is only 30 km from Montpellier. But before visiting the city of Georges Brassens (famous French singer), I advise you to take a little trip to the Etang de Thau with a stop at the port of Bouzigues.
You can visit the Etang de Thau museum (located on the quay of the fishing port) and learn about the life of the sea farmers, shellfish farming and everything related to the fishing industry. You can also take a boat trip to discover the oyster farms.
For lunch, you can taste the famous Bouzigues oysters and mussels, raw or cooked in many ways, in the restaurants or tasting bars that border the étang.
Visit of Sète
In the afternoon, you can discover in Sète :
- The Georges Brassens Museum
- The marina
- The Saint-Louis Pier
- The Marine Cemetery of Sète
And of course, you can also enjoy the magnificent long beach that stretches for almost 12km from Sète to Marseillan.
Recommended hotel in Sète : Hotel Port marine
Mediterranean coast tour in France – Agde – DAY 3
Agde, the Cap d’Agde, the Grau d’Agde and the Tamarissiere are frequented by many French and foreign tourists who appreciate these very lively seaside resorts and its beautiful beaches which some naturists love.
But Agde is also an ancient Greek city unique in Languedoc whose architecture merits a visit. You will be able to walk from the ramparts to the marina, through pretty small streets and charming little squares.
Recommended hotel in Agde : Hotel Le Langue d’Oc
Road trip in Southern France – Béziers + Canal du Midi – DAY 4
The Canal du Midi at the 9 Ecluses of Fonseranes
Today, departure early in the morning in the direction of the 9 Locks of Fonseranes which is an area dedicated to the Canal du Midi right next to Béziers.
To enjoy the Canal and its 9 successive lock gates and you will be able to choose :
- go for a walk or a bike ride along the canal,
- to inform you about the history of this book,
- watch boats pass through the locks of Fonseranes,
- or go on a cruise along the canal in the shade of the hundred-year-old plane trees…
Several cruise companies will offer you to embark for an hour, a half-day or a full day.
In the afternoon, you can visit Béziers with its Cathedral of Saint Nazaire, its municipal theatre, the church of Saint Jacques and its arenas.
Recommended hotel in Béziers : La Villa rosa
Road trip in Southern France – Narbonne – DAY 5
Today, why not spend the day in Charles Trenet’s hometown?
Here are the main sites to visit in Narbonne :
- Les Halles
- The Archbishop’s Palace
- The archaeological museum
- Saint Just and Saint Pasteur Cathedral
- The Robine Canal
- The horreum
- Charles Trenet’s house
At the end of the afternoon, enjoy one of the many beaches suitable for swimming…
Recommended hotel in Narbonne: Hôtel de France
Road trip in Southern France – Abbey of Fontfroide – DAY 6
In the heart of the Fontfroide massif, this Cistercian Abbey is an unmissable tourist site. With its Romanesque, Gothic and classical architecture, its gardens and its secluded location in the Fontfroide massif, it’s a real movie set! Moreover, many films, documentaries and advertising campaigns are regularly filmed there.
You can visit it freely or with a guide, discover its terraced gardens, the Saint-Fiacre enclosure and the rose garden. And finally, why not a tasting of the AOC Corbières wines produced by the 40 hectares of vines of the abbey.
Your day can continue with a hike in the massif (free Fontfroide Insolite application to download).
Then at the end of the afternoon, you can take the road to Carcassonne where you will arrive in 1 hour.
Recommended hotel in Carcassonne : Hôtel de la Cité
Road trip Southern France – Carcassonne – JOUR 7
Another must-see site in Occitania: The city of Carcassonne!
You can spend the morning visiting the largest fortress in Europe: the Château Comtal, the bastide Saint-Louis, the basilica Saint-Nazaire, the Théâtre de la Cité, the ramparts and the Porte Narbonnaise.
In the afternoon why not discover Minerve which is 1 hour drive from Carcassonne. Because of its location on a rocky spur overlooking the Cesse and Brian gorges, the town of Minerve is magnificent.
This Cathar city which gave its name to the Minervois region is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Then you will return to Carcassonne to spend the night.
Road trip Southern France – Corbières – DAY 8
The Corbières massif extends from the gates of Carcassonne to Leucate and from the foothills of the Pyrenees to the foot of the Black Mountain. It is a region of vineyards, a great diversity of landscapes and Cathar vestiges.
Today, you will take the direction of Limoux, then discover the Cathar fortresses of Peyrepertuse and Puilaurens, picturesque villages with narrow streets such as that of the famous Curé de Cucugnan and the Castle of Quéribus.
On your way back, why not stop at a winery to taste the famous wines of the Corbières.
You will arrive at the end of the day in Perpignan where you will spend the night.
Recommended hotel in Perpignan: Best Western Plus Windsor
French Mediterranean Coast Tour – Perpignan – DAY 9
A day’s visit to the city of Perpignan, which Salvador Dali described as the Centre of the World. Rich of a strong Catalan cultural identity and a heritage labeled City of Art and History, Perpignan is a city that I particularly like.
To visit it, start from the Promenade des Platanes and then head towards the Casa Xanxo, one of the few Gothic houses in Perpignan. You will then visit the Saint-Jean Cathedral and the Museum of Fine Arts, not forgetting the Palace of the Kings of Majorca.
If you have some time left, you can take the car to discover the small village of Tautavel, 30 kilometres from Perpignan.
French Mediterranean Coast Tour – Collioure – DAY 10
Morning departure to discover a small jewel of the Mediterranean coast 26 km from the Spanish border: Collioure.
Adored by painters, its decor is charming and picturesque: royal castle overlooking the sea, small beaches, café terraces, colourful facades, small port nestled in a cove and pretty bell tower with a pink dome!
Recommended hotel in Collioure : Hotel le bon port
2 weeks South of France – Salse le Château – DAY 11
Today, the best thing to do is to enjoy a little more Collioure, have lunch on the terrace of a restaurant and take the road in the early afternoon.
Salses the Castle
It will take you about 1 hour drive to get to Salses le Château. On the way, I advise you to stop at Rivesaltes to buy some of its AOC natural sweet wine.
When you arrive in Salses, you can visit the castle which dates from the 15th and 16th century. The only example of Spanish architecture on French territory, it is very well preserved and is a beautiful military fortress.
Franqui and Coussoules Beaches
Then you will take the road again in the direction of the beaches of Franqui and Coussoules which are according to me the 2 most beautiful of the Languedoc coast (beware there is usually a lot of wind).
Hotel recommended in la Franqui : Hotel of the beach
2 weeks South of France – Sigean – DAY 12
From La Franqui, the African Sigean Reserve is only half an hour’s drive away. The best is to go there for half a day and come back in the afternoon to La Franqui to enjoy the sun and the beach…
This reserve which has more than 3800 animals covers about 300 hectares. It can be visited by car by following a “safari” circuit which allows you to see the animals as if they were in their natural environment.
2 weeks South of France – Gruissan – DAY 13
Gruissan is a seaside resort that Jean-Jacques Beinex’s film 37°2 le matin made known to the great public. The beach of the chalets where the film was played extends over 2 km of fine sand with lines of wooden chalets on stilts.
But Gruissan is also an old village with its Barberousse tower which stands in the middle of the ponds facing the Mediterranean and is worth a visit.
If you don’t want to do the lizards all day long, I recommend a short hike in the massif de la Clape just next to Gruissan (10-15 km).
Protected area, natural and wild, this massif de la Clape is a marvel. Depending on the trails, you can climb up and have a panoramic view of the whole coastline, the ponds and the village of Gruissan.
Hotel recommended in Gruissan: Alcôve Marine
2 weeks South of France – Return trip – DAY 14
To finish this circuit and return to Montpellier, it will take 1h30 drive. But you can continue if you have time with my little road trip in the Camargue region!
Need more road trip ideas in France?
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