A dynamic and vibrant metropolis that joyfully blends old and resolutely contemporary districts… all just a stone’s throw from the sea. Montpellier is undoubtedly the capital of Languedoc! In full growth, the city is transformed, giving rise to new districts with bold architecture.
Your long weekend will also provide an opportunity to explore the surroundings: Saint-Guilhem-du-Désert, Sète and its sunny beaches; and to fill up with oligoelements on the banks of the Thau lagoon.
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Begin your weekend in Montpellier with breakfast in Place de la Comédie. Then walk up Rue de la Loge to enter the heart of the historic centre and lose yourself in the maze of alleys that define Old Montpellier.
Stop for a drink at the elegant Place de la Canourgue before continuing on to the Cathedral and the Faculty of Medicine. Head back to the pleasant Place Sainte-Anne for lunch and take the opportunity to view the exhibition in Carré Sainte-Anne.
In the afternoon, treat yourself to a post-lunch walk on the Place Royale du Peyrou before heading to the Saint-Roch quarter where many designer workshops and boutiques have opened.
Towards the end of the day, enjoy an aperitif and dine in this lively area that has plenty of good restaurants.
Mytriptailor Tip: After dinner, you will find many bars in the area for the evening.
Use the morning of the second day to visit the collections of the Fabre Museum. The most important museum in the Southeast, and one of the richest in France, it contains over 900 works presented chronologically from the Renaissance to the present day.
Cross the Antigone quarter to reach the banks of Lez and the new Port-Marianne district. The new City Hall, 41 meters high and set on a stretch of water on the banks of the Lez, is a huge structure of smoked glass designed by Jean Nouvel and François Fontès and intended to act as “the lighthouse of a port city”.
Bordered by a promenade planted with palm trees, the Bassin Jacques-Coeur is an ideal spot for a picnic!
After a nap, head to the sea to admire the Cathédrale de Maguelone and spend your evening on the coast.
Mytriptailor Tip: Traffic in the centre of town is impossible. A tip is to park as soon as possible (there are large car parks in Antigone, Comédie, Triangle, Le Polygone and Corum) and walk in. The town is not that big.
Leave beautiful Montpellier at the beginning of the third day, heading towards Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, a gem of honey-coloured stone. Through winding alleys, perfectly renovated and embellished, cross the town to reach Place de la Liberté, shaded by a beautiful plane tree, were you can enter the abbey church. You will see beautiful medieval facades with gemel windows and pointed arches. To the west and north of the square, Rue du Bout-du-Monde and Rue Font-du-Portal also have beautiful homes.
Leave Saint-Guilhem after lunch for an excursion along the Hérault valley. You can cool off in the cave of Clamouse that displays a constant temperature of 17°. The projection of a film recounting the geological history of the cave precedes your visit to the old riverbed, which is reoccupied by water during floods. The rock appears gnawed, serrated, forming a somewhat ghostly decor. Children will love it!
At the end of the day, head to Sète for dinner and sleep.
Mytriptailor Advice: you can get a book of discount vouchers from the tourist office in Saint-Guilhem, eligible for many providers.
Leave Sète to spend the morning and lunch on the Bassin de Thau, the home of Mediterranean shellfish farming. We bet you can guess what’s on the menu!
In Balaruc-les-Bains, stroll through the Ancient Mediterranean Garden before going to admire the noble arched doors of Balaruc-le-Vieux. In Bouzigues, the Etang (lagoon) de Thau Museum tells all you need to know about the Bassin and a little further, in Mèze, a visit to the Dinosaur Park Museum is a great reward for your children after so much walking!
Spend late afternoon and your last evening in Sète to enjoy its museums and beaches.
Mytriptailor tip: Allow 4 hours for an entire circuit of the lagoon.
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