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France’s top destination for thermal spas
Our region’s thermal waters are rich in minerals and known for their restorative properties. They have multiple rheumatological, respiratory and cardio-arterial benefits, and can also help treat certain neurological and dermatological afflictions. The effects of the these thermal waters are also known to pacify certain psychosomatic complaints.
People come to the spas to get well, but also to enjoy the 19th-century architectural settings. Whether you’re after the fresh mountain breeze at Luz-Saint-Sauveur in the Pyrenees, or a breath of briny sea air in Balaruc-les-Bains with your feet in the Etang de Thau, there’s no shortage of reasons to choose a thermal spa getaway in Occitanie.
River tourism: boating along the Canal du Midi
Listed as a world heritage site, the Midi canal has served as a 240-km link between the ancient regions of Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon since the 17th century - and is now a powerful draw for tourism.
While the canal is no longer used to transport goods, 1.5 million visitors travel along the waters every year on foot, bicycle and by boat. This heritage masterpiece is also an economic asset, generating annual revenues estimated at €122 million.
Some 350 companies and 2,000 jobs are directly linked to the canal. Attracting more users than the Seine, the canal is Europe’s golden highway for boating holidays. Boat traffic is busiest between Argens-Minervois (Aude) and Les Neuf écluses de Fonseranes in Béziers, with 10,000 passengers per year coming from all over the world.
From Toulouse to Sète, passing by Carcassonne and Béziers, the Canal du Midi winds through the landscapes of Haute-Garonne, Aude and Hérault. Through golden rapeseed fields and forests of cypress trees and stone pines, pleasure boaters enjoy wonderful settings and a unique way to explore the countryside.
Visit our region: 20 must-see locations in Occitanie
Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée is home to a number of world-renowned locations that bring fame to their local areas. These sites and areas are valuable economic drivers for the region, attracting thousands of visitors each year from France and abroad.
Here you’ll find a (non-exhaustive) list of the top sites to see in Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée: