For birdwatchers, when the time comes to start checking out where they want to spend their vacation time, one of the first areas they investigate is the bird life they might see. France is a large country with diverse habitats and a very large bird population, offering a wide range of places to visit. One of the most popular for its birds and many other features is the region of Languedoc Roussillon, along the Mediterranean Coast.
The warm, Mediterranean climate of the region means there are beautiful sandy beaches to enjoy as well as stunning terrain including mountains and gorges, scrubland and picturesque grape growing land. The area had a rich history that means there are plenty of stunning locations to visit in between a spot of bird watching. These range from cities such as Carcassonne through to the charming villages such as Sainte-Enimie and the stunning castles built by the Cathars such as Queribus.
Languedoc Roussillon is also known for its gastronomy and local products feature heavily in the traditional dishes of the area which are said to be a blend of Spanish and Provence cuisines. However, the area is probably most famous for its wine production including the vin de pays labels. There are some 700,000 acres of vines across the region, meaning it is the largest wine producing region in the world.
Planning your journey
In addition to enjoying the historic towns and cities, the wine and food, there are some top locations to visit to do a spot of bird watching. Top of the list is Cevennes, a range of mountains that is part of the larger Massif Central. It is a great place to see cliff birds with the deep gorges while the wooded areas are home to woodland birds such as the Black Woodpecker. Gorges de la Jontes is well known for the successful reintroduction of both the Black and Griffon Vulture.
Camargue is a salt-water swamp that is best known for its flamingos but also sees a massive number of wildfowl at winter, meaning a visit during migration time can see everything from Sandpipers and Plovers to Marsh Terns and Purple Heron. There is also a population of Spotted Eagle in the area. The town of La Capelliere is a good place to stop off as there are a number of hides and a special exhibition on the local ecology.
The Etangs of Narbonne are a string of lagoons that are ideal to visit in spring and autumn during migration. The village of Cave has the only French population of the Thekla Lark as well as Spotless Starlings while Perpignan has pelicans nearby.
To fully enjoy the region’s birding benefits, travelling from one part to another is the best way. The region has plenty of high quality hotels as well as a wide range of bed & breakfasts at france-voyage.com. Renting a car to travel from one area to another is a popular choice while the largest airport in the region is in Montpelier, capital of Languedoc Roussillon and one of the largest cities in France.
Where else do I hope to explore while there? A spa of course! Check out this great private spa with pool and garden!