• Languedoc, France


While sharing many of the same attributes as Provence (climate, wind, grapes, and sea), this sunny, southwesternmost 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.