The Languedoc-Roussillion region is in the relaxed, sun-drenched south, with excellent beaches and sleepy villages making for a laid back way of life. Also known as Le Midi, the area is celebrated for its romantic past and blend of French culture with that of its Spanish and Catalan neighbours. This mixture is apparent in the red and yellow flags of the region and in the bull-fighting which takes place in the well-preserved amphitheatre of Nîmes. This is one of the largest wine-growing areas in France, with many castles and medieval fortresses such as that of Carcasonne and charming towns like Perpignan and Montpellier. The coast has 200 kilometres of sandy beaches, and is home to some of France’s favourite resorts for sailing, big-game fishing and scuba-diving. To the south the Pyrénées provide ample opportunities for walking, camping and horse-riding. Skiing resorts are close to the Spanish border, including the thermal resort of Ax-les-Thermes.