You're unlikely to need a cab in the smaller cities, since the streets were made for strolling; in Montpellier there's a shiny tramway linking the station, Place de la Comédie and Eighties-built quartier Antigone. If you do want one, you'll need to ring; if it's a 'late-night return to the sticks' scenario, book through your hotel.
From the UK, Ryanair flies from Bristol and London Stansted to Montpellier (www.ryanair.com); EasyJet flies in from London Gatwick (www.easyjet.com). You can access the west of the region via Carcassonne from Bournemouth, London, Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh and East Midlands with Ryanair. Air France flies from Paris Orly to Montpellier (www.airfrance.com).
The TGV goes from Paris Gare de Lyon to Perpignan via Nîmes, Montpellier, Béziers and Narbonne (www.tgv.com). UK passengers should take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Lille and change (www.eurostar.com).
Country code for France: 33. Languedoc-Roussillon: (0)4.
The poems of Sète-born Paul Valéry, sometime Surrealist and namesake of Montpellier's university of arts and literature; The Incomplete Husband by Ben Faccini.
Do go / Don't Go
High season (July, August and early September) is the busiest tourist time, but it's buzzy rather than crowded. Late September is quiet but not too quiet.
Look out for bourride de Sète, a local seafood speciality. Rich, bean-laden cassoulets feature on most menus. The area is also well known for three foods: a zingy goat's cheese called Pélardon, garlic and olive oil. Expect a combination on most menus, if not most dishes. Wash down with the region's plentiful supply of syrah and cinsault reds and rosemary-tinged whites.
You're unlikely to need a cab in the smaller cities, since the streets were made for strolling; in Montpellier there's a shiny tramway linking the station, Place de la Comédie and the Eighties-built new town, Antigone. If you do want one, it's not possible to flag taxis down; you'll need to call them and, if it's a late-night-returning-to-the-sticks scenario, book in advance through your hotel.
A 15 per cent service charge is included in French restaurant and café bills by law; it is also usual to round up the bill or leave a few euros. Tip taxis 10 per cent.
Cobble-friendly sandals, proper sunglasses; extra bag for all the cool old pastis bottles, glassware and mid-century lamps you'll find in the brocantes.
The Jardins de la Fontaine in Nîmes were once hailed as the grandest in Europe. In Uzès, the gardens of the Parc du Duché are comparably beautiful; or there's a small cave, La Grotte de la Baume, half an hour's walk away, towards Pont Saint-Nicolas.
Purveyors of pocket-money treats Haribo are based in Nîmes. And they have a museum dedicated to sweeties, the Musée du Bonbon, on Pont des Charettes (+33 (0)4 66 22 74 39; www.haribo.com).
Pick up local produce on market days. Uzès has a busy Saturday market selling home-made goodies, from honey to linen quilts; bric-à-brac and antiques can be found around Place aux Herbes. Rue de la Madeleine in Nîmes is great for window-shopping. For labels, head to Rue Saint-Firmin and marble-paved Rue de l'Ancien-Courrier in Montpellier; other upmarket boutiques can be found among the high-street names around Rue de la Loge and Place de la Comédie. Montpellier's Polygone centre houses Zara, Sephora and a few fashion brands, plus a supermarket. Regional edible treats can be found on Rue de l'Argenterie (we like the sweets at Pinto, number 14), and at Les Arceaux market. For second-hand French literature, try the Rue de l'Université.
Gaze on the green Cévennes mountains from the Parc du Duché gardens in Uzès, which lies in the foothills, technically.
In the west of the region, the ramparts and turrets of the fairy-tale mediaeval city at Carcassonne are a tourist magnet for good reason. On the Unesco World Heritage list, the old city is open free to visitors, who swarm to see its three kilometres of battlements, double-walled construction and dozens of towers. Strip away the souvenir shops, packed cafés and crowds, and it lives up to the step-back-in-time cliché.
May In Nîmes, it's all about the bullfighting at the Féria de Pentecôte, which lasts for five days around Whitsun. June Printemps des Comédiens (www.printempsdescomediens.com) brings global theatre and circus performance to Montpellier. International artists and choreographers throng to the south for the Modern Dance Festival in Uzès (www.uzesdanse.fr) and Festival Internationale Montpellier Danse (www.montpellierdanse.com). July Nîmes Festival is a colourful celebration of culture contemporary and classical (www.festivaldenimes.com). Later in the month, there's also a Classical Music Festival (www.nuitsmusicalesuzes.org). October The Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival is an important date on the global-cinema calendar (www.cinemed.tm.fr). November The Festival d'Abrivado - a Camarguais bull race at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer - sees dozens of kamikaze cowboys charging across the beach.