Discover wild treasures around Montpellier
Montpellier is surely one of the most beautiful cities in France. But if you have desires of nature, wide open spaces, swimming or aperitifs facing the sea, the surroundings offer countless astonishing places. Fans of rest on a towel, walks in the heart of the vegetation or sports enthusiasts of all kinds, there will be something for everyone (depending on the time of year and the weather)! Here are 6 must-see natural sites around Montpellier:
Climb to the top of Pic Saint-Loup
A nice hike to do around Montpellier? Direction Pic Saint-Loup just 25 minutes from the city. The trail will allow you to enjoyscrubland vegetation typical of this region of Languedoc-Roussillon. After about 1 hour of walking to reach an altitude of 658 m, the summit will offer you a breathtaking view on the Cévennes but also on the Mediterranean coast. And if you need some comfort after the ride, be sure to stop by a nearby wine cellar to discover the characteristic Pic Saint-Loup PDO.
Spend a day at the beach
About ten kilometers around Montpellier, you can enjoy the Mediterranean coast. In the program ? Relaxing on the hot sand, swimming, sunbathing with your toes in a fan, aperitifs in the setting sun ...and for the sportsmen: kite surfing and stand-up paddle are inseparable from the coast. The closest beach is that of Villeneuve-les-Maguelone. With its 3 hectares of wild nature, between pond and sea, a real change of scenery awaits you at the gates of the city! To reach the beaches from Montpellier, you can easily use public transport (Tram and bus). But if you want to stretch your legs, you can take your bike!
Beach around Montpellier
Explore the Camargue
Discover an exceptional natural environment around Montpellier: the Camargue. Included between the two main arms of the Rhône delta, it is made up of ponds and marshes where flamingos frolic in peace. To start, be sure to stop at Aigues-Mortes, a beautiful medieval village surrounded by fortifications. You can then visit a bull farm before going ride on horseback. A horseback ride is indeed the best way to visit the Camargue and cross the bodies of water inaccessible on foot or by car.Flamingos of Camargue
Do you like seeing wild animals in the wild such as flamingos? Also read this article : 10 places to see animals in the wild (or almost) in France
Bathing in Lake Salagou
Fancy a nature break around Montpellier? Discover Lake Salagou, a 30-minute drive from the city. With its red highlights, it has something to surprise: the rock bordering the lake, called “ruffe” is composed of sandstone containing iron oxides, hence this color so particular to Salagou. In this wild environment beautifully, you can indulge in many activities : walks or bike rides, horseback riding, water sports and swimming. Not far from there you can stop at Lodève, classified as a “city of Art and History” by Unesco.
Dive in the Gorges de l'Hérault
The beautiful days are here and you dream of freshness around Montpellier? The Gorges de l'Hérault will make all your wishes come true. This unspoiled wild site is a real oasis in the middle of the scrubland, a perfect getaway to do in the heart of summer when the thermometer is climbing! The Hérault river sculpted this valley with rocky landscapes bordered by lush vegetation. Many activities can be carried out there: swimming, hiking and climbing in the lead. But the best is to discover the place from the water, for example with the Canoë du Moulin. Right next door, absolutely stop at Saint-guilhem-le-desert. This charming medieval village, on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostela, is an architectural masterpiece.
“Le Parapluie” in the Gorges de l'Hérault
Cool off in the Cévennes
Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Cévennes National Park is a real natural treasure. If you want to stay around Montpellier while being disoriented, this is a perfect outing! Between Mont Lozère or Mont Aigoual, the Cévennes offer large mountainous spaces where perfect calm and mild temperatures reign, even in the height of the summer season. The Cévennes can be visited all year round, and each season offers a whole range of activities suitable for all: summer is suitable for swimming in rivers; autumn lends itself to walks in search of chestnuts to grill by the fire; snowy winters will allow you to ski or snowshoe; while spring is ideal for hikes in a reborn nature.
Ready to discover all these wonders around Montpellier?
Put on your sneakers, pack a picnic and go on an adventure for a day or for a few days around Montpellier! The region is incredibly rich in incredible places and history lovers can always combine a walk with a visit to a monument or a medieval village. If you know of any other nuggets, don't hesitate to share them in the comments!