• Languedoc, France


While sharing many of the same attributes as Provence (climate, wind, grapes, and sea), this sunny, intoxicating, southwestern-most region of France is allocated little time by most travelers. Lacking Provence's cachet and sophistication, Languedoc-Roussillon feels more real. Pay homage to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi; spend a night in Europe's greatest fortress city, Carcassonne; scamper up to a remote Cathar castle; and sift through sand in Collioure.