Montpellier, situated in the South of France, has the wonderful advantage of being a few kilometers away from the beach on one side, but it is lucky also for being surrounded by thousands of vineyards and incredible lakes and mountains on its other sides. The city is a perfect blend of the history of its medieval streets, student life full of daily activities and countless outdoor places to disconnect from everyday life and enjoy nature. If you still don’t know where to go for a getaway, here are five ideas that might be among your favorite plans.
1. Cirque de Navacelles
The Cirque de Navacelles is the geological wonder of the region; a breathtaking place! A deep canyon,, formed by the Vis River, among the limestone pieces of the mountains of the Haut Languedoc National Park, now gives rise to a natural amphitheater that is visited by thousands of tourists annually. This magical site is part of the Grand Site de France list and was also named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
2. Lac du Salagou
Lake Salagou is a natural site now protected and classified. It is one of the most appreciated by the inhabitants and visitors of Montpellier. Its palette of blue, green and reddish colors gives the place a unique touch and makes it look like a postcard. The lake and its surroundings are perfect for picnics, barbecues, water sports or horseback riding and hiking.
3. Lac de Cécélès
Lake Cécélès is located about 40 minutes from the city. Surrounded by vine-lined paths, a small lagoon has been naturally created between the mountains of Saint Mathieu de Tréviers, with a turquoise color that impresses at first sight. This lagoon, because of its sandy soil, is called by some people the beach of Cécélès. Many people come here in summer to escape the heat and in winter to enjoy the itineraries and excursions around the lake. Moreover, in its heart is a small restaurant, ideal for a lunch between nature at any time of the year.
4. Cévennes National Park
With more than 90,000 hectares of land, the Cévennes National Park is one of the things to see in France. It is one of the most diverse places in the whole area, with a varied geology, vegetation and fauna that make it impossible to visit in just one day. But it is perfect to come back from time to time and discover new things every time. Moreover, the existence of water currents means that many come there to practice kayaking or rafting.
5. Pic Saint Loup
The Pic Saint-Loup is something like a symbol of the city and to be in Montpellier without knowing it is unforgivable. This mountain of almost 700 meters can be seen from different points of the city and getting to the top is one of the most comforting things you can do while you are here. From there you will not only have a wonderful view of Montpellier and its surroundings, but you will also feel the air and energy change completely. It’s a walk that can take between an hour and a half to two hours, depending on your pace, and it’s not complicated. In fact, it is a very familiar plan and can even be done with pets.