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.
Go swimming at the Antigone, a fab pool with whirlpools, a swirly river, and a giant slide (swimming caps obligatory). Then relax in the terrace solarium with a drink from the cafe (Piscine Olympique d'Antigone, 195 Avenue Jacques Cartier, +4 6715 6300).
The Radio France Festival, on 13-26 July, includes more than 200 events, almost all of them free. Originally a classical music festival it now encompasses opera, symphony, jazz, electronic and world music, as well as conferences, magazines and master-classes. festivalradiofrancemontpellier.com
The Festival des Architectures Vives (Festival of Living Architecture) runs from 11-15 June and provides a rare chance to see inside dozens of fabulous privately owned mansions. festivaldesarchitecturesvives.com
Forget beaches at Carnon and Palavas (overcrowded and tacky). At Maguelone the sand is clean and there is free parking if you are prepared to walk. The beach bar is pricey but worth it. Popular with nude bathers and gay men.