6 - Pays d'OC
Nîmes, Montpellier (4 days)
In Nîmes, Roman and contemporary buildings stand side by side, representing a 2000-year history; in Montpellier, capital of Languedoc Roussillon, enjoy some great walks, architecture and heritage.
Ancient Rome meets modern life, the Camargue coast meets the Cévennes mountains, the traditional cultures of Languedoc and of Provence live on, side by side - Nîmes is a city of contrasts! Over its 2000 year history it has been shaped by the sun and wind of southern France. Wander through the quaint streets in the center of the town and you will find yourself steeped in Roman history, the splendor of the 17th century, or come upon buildings designed by the greatest contemporary architects. Don’t wait a moment longer, come and enjoy the extraordinary wealth of things to do and see in Nîmes.
•The Férias de Pentecôte (Whitsun bullfights, May-June) and the wine harvest (September).
•The "Jeudis de Nîmes" in July and August (Thursday evening craft markets).
•The Arènes, the best-conserved Roman amphitheater in the world, featuring a new audio-guided and illustrated tour; La Maison Carrée (Roman temple) featuring a brand-new 3-D film; Les Jardins de la Fontaine, one of the first and finest public gardens in Europe.
•In the nearby countryside is the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct. This UNESCO World Heritage site includes new facilities including a museum; a 2,500m² (27,000 square-foot) multimedia exhibition; a film (subtitled in several languages); and the "Ludo" area, an educational, interactive space for young visitors. Also on site: a shop selling regional products, two restaurants and an independent botanical walk with accompanying printed guide.
-By train: 2 hours 51 minutes from Paris by TGV.
-By car: 40 minutes from Montpellier, via the A9 motorway.
Contact: Tel. +33 (0)4 66 58 38 00 http://www.ot-nime
Montpellier and the South of France: an unbeatable destination
Only 11 km (7 miles) from the Mediterranean, Montpellier is the ideal holiday destination, combining a vibrant city with some of the world's most prestigious historic sites.
Constructed by the world's greatest architects, and with the wealth of a thousand-year history (mansions, narrow medieval streets, Europe’s oldest medical school, and more), Montpellier is also home to one of Europe’s most important fine art collections (the Musée Fabre), internationally famous festivals, and uniquely wonderful fine food coupled with great wines. It is also a top destination for learning the French language, a city famous for world-class stringed instrument makers, and a center of business tourism.
•The Musée Fabre, whose fine arts collection includes Courbet, Delacroix, and a wing devoted to contemporary art and the painter Pierre Soulages.
•The places that symbolize the city, like the Place de la Comédie, the old town with its historic mansions, the medical school, St. Pierre cathedral and the neoclassical Antigone district.
•Odysseum is a new leisure center, built on a futurist concept that takes visitors on a trip worthy of Ulysses’ Odyssey. There are go-karts, the "Mare Nostrum" aquarium, the "Galilée" planetarium, bowling lanes, etc., as well as the shops and many themed restaurants. It is a must for groups in search of leisure activities.
•The Amazonian glasshouse at Montpellier zoo.
•The new craft studios in the city center, reserved for artist craftsmen and “made in Montpellier” products.
-By Train: 3 hours 15 minutes from Paris by TGV. 10 mins from the International Airport
-By Air: Montpellier Méditerranée International Airport
Contact: Tel. +33 (0)4 67 60 60 60 www.ot-montpellier.fr