Thanks to our travelers and honeymooners Corbin Geary and Cortney Mild who celebrated their recent marriage by traveling the Languedoc, Mediterranean and Camargue tour* in the south of France. Read below for their report of the trip.
*This South of France tour has been updated slightly since this post to include Carcassonne, Languedoc, and Narbonne.
Paris may be the city of love, but we decided to go a little further south. A bike tour in the south of France seemed a natural choice for our lune de miel (“honeymoon” in French), as cycling is a shared passion of ours. We first met on a pub crawl by bike and even cycled from our wedding ceremony to our reception with our guests.
Touring the medieval villages and countryside of the Languedoc-Roussillon and Camargue regions of France was perfect for this once-in-a-lifetime vacation to celebrate our marriage. By day we rode through vineyards, and at night we drank the refreshing wines of the region. Every evening we enjoyed delicacies from the sea, and toward the end of the tour we took a quick dip in the cool Mediterranean waters ourselves.
Riding about 25 miles a day allowed plenty of time for exploring along the way and seeing the sights at each destination. On the first day after departing Montpellier, we briefly went off route and discovered a quarry from which stone had been mined in the 12th century to build an aqueduct. In Sommières we stayed in a converted train station with a rail-to-trail bike path just outside the front door.
The trail took us most of the way to Nîmes, where we climbed a tower built in 15 BC, which provided a spectacular view of the city. In Aigues-Mortes, we stayed inside the walls of one of the best preserved Medieval fortresses in Europe. Walking atop the ramparts offered a unique perspective of the narrow cobblestone streets inside the walled city and the salt marshes outside where the naturally pink Fleur de Sel (salt) is produced. On our way back to Montpellier, we rode along canals, on seaside promenades, through sand dunes, and around marinas with impressive catamarans setting sail.
Thankfully, all of the biking and walking gave us the appetite to enjoy everything on our culinary checklist – wine, cheese, café au lait, crêpes, baguettes, eclairs, croissants, beurre blanc, fresh fish, foie gras – and some things that were not on our list but have since been added to our favorites – rosemary duck, os à moelle (bone marrow), and profiterole.
Traveling by bike is an ideal way to cover 200 kilometers in a week, with a nearly 360° view and the ease of pulling over to admire a butterfly or a field of poppies. Though it was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, it is but our first bike tour as a married couple.