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 "Festival International du Cinéma Méditerranéen" runs from 25 October to 2 November and spotlights films made in regions around the Med, meaning screenings, debates, and theme nights galore. Full details from the Tourist Office (30 Allée Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, tel: 04 6760 6060).
Montpellier is blessed with around a dozen nearby beaches, many accessible by public transport. Whether you want fashionable beach bars, nightlife, beach-sports, mussel-picking, showers, or nudist sand dunes, there's something for everyone.
A short train ride will whisk you to Beziers, which boasts a venue called Le Zinga Zanga. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will be playing there on 17 January at 8.30pm and tickets are already going fast (Traverse de Colombiers, Montfloures, +4 6736 8282, infoconcert.com/salle/zinga-zanga-21470/concerts.html).