Among the great virtues of Montpellier is that its center is just a few minutes from the sea, which always makes going to the beach a great option, and also its surrounding villages are full of stories, good gastronomy, charming landscapes and much more to discover. So if you like to explore and find new places, here are some ideas.
Saint Guilhem le Désert
This medieval village is one of the jewels of the Occitanie region and is on the list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Only 40 km from Montpellier, it has become one of the favorite getaways of both natives and tourists, not only because of its proximity to the city, but because of the charm of the village, where there are only about 250 inhabitants. Being in Saint Guilhem le Désert is like being in a medieval tale. Its importance on the global level comes from being named Patrimony of Humanity by Unesco and, also for being part of the Way of Santiago de Compostela. When in Saint Guilhem, it is essential to visit its Abbey and the Devil’s Bridge, two of the iconic symbols of the area. The best way to get there is by private car, although it is possible to find a couple of daily routes offered by Herault Transport.
This fishing town is one of the most enchanting in the region; it perfectly blends beautiful architectural buildings with more than 12 km of clear water and golden sand beaches, and is the point of disembarkation of Canal du Midi in the Mediterranean Sea. Yet it is also a highly cultural city, full of museums, galleries and festivals, attracting thousands of visitors throughout the year. It is a great place to sample Mediterranean cuisine; it is worth mentioning Étang de Thau, near Sète, that is one of the most important places for the production of oysters and mussels in the area. If you decide to visit it, you cannot miss the Mont Saint-Clair and the Saint-Louis Lighthouse. Getting to Sète by public transport is possible by train and bus with Herault Transport; in both cases it is quite easy and economical.
People say this is one of the most attractive villages in the Montpellier area; perhaps this is because there are many things to discover both inside and outside its walls. Yes, the walls. This is the major significance of Aigues-Mortes; it is a fortified city. Walking its walls is one of the favorite activities of visitors. There they can observe everything that is hidden in the narrow streets of the historic center, and have a wonderful panoramic view from the Tower of Constance. But outside the medieval fortifications, it is impossible not to fall in love with the salinas, with the pink color that seems surreal, and the pink flamingos that frequent their calm waters. And the beautiful Camarguenses white horses are another popular local attraction. To reach Aigues-Mortes it is possible to find a couple of routes by train and/or bus, but the best option for peaceful enjoyment is to travel by private car.
Trains for only 1 €
Insiders tip: In the Occitanie Region it is possible to find train tickets that connect with various points in the area for just € 1. The key is to buy them in advance because of a limited supply. You can find out more by visiting Trains for only 1 €