Cheap flights to Montpellier
Understated, classy and rich in regional cuisine and winemaking, Montpellier is the holiday destination for those who like the good things in life.
With a university that dates back to the 12th century, wide tree-lined boulevards, a cute little old town and plenty of bustling squares full of coffee-drinking students, Montpellier is definitely one of the prettiest cities on France’s southern coast. Lacking the pretence of the Côte d’Azure, this city attracts holidaymakers looking for substance over style, for chic boutiques, trendy wine bars and nearby seaside resorts where it’s the beauty of the beaches and not the people that counts.
And, as the capital of the Languedoc Roussillon region of southwest France, you can expect plenty of top quality plonk and a regional cuisine that is one of the best in Europe. Anyone for a creamy duck cassoulet washed down with a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon? This really is France at its most traditional.
All the rage, why not try this real life escape game? You can play in English or in French and have one hour for a team of 3 to 6 people to escape from the room. If you get stuck, the games expert will give you clues by video link. For more information visit xcape-room.com.
Learn about wine properly. Montpellier Wine Tours offers tasting workshops (€39), during which you learn about Languedoc's wines and how best to enjoy them. Or go on a vineyard tour and find out how the wine is made. Fascinating and educational! montpellierwinetours.com/en
The Lunaret Zoo opens for the summer season on 1 April. Visit the brown bears, big cats, giraffes, rhinos, wolves, monkeys, ostriches and reptiles. zoo.montpellier.fr
The beautiful Pavillon Populaire in Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle (just around the corner from the tourist office) holds free photography exhibitions featuring an eclectic selection of photographers, from talented students to Linda McCartney.
The International dance festival, Montpellier Danse, in in town from 24 June to 9 July, featuring performances by 20 choreographers from 13 countries. There will also be open dance classes. montpellierdanse.com
Half an hour towards Beziers, visit Musee Villa-Loupian (in Loupian village). If you speak reasonable French, book a guided tour and find out about the wonderful mosaics that were found in the remains of this Roman villa. For information visit http://www.ccnbt.fr/ccnbt-richesse-patrimoine-vestiges-archeologiques-musee-villa-loupian.
Pic Saint Loup (Pixie Lou) is a great excursion. Follow the well marked path to the top of the mountain for fabulous views and an 'on top of the world' feeling of satisfaction. For more information visit pic-saint-loup.com.
Espiguette beach features miles of soft sand dunes. The further you go from the car park, the more acceptable skinny dipping becomes. Take a picnic because there are no bars. ot-montpellier.fr/en