Discover Montpellier & Sète
The coast between Sète and Montpellier is dotted with small seaside villages, nearly all of which are dedicated to the dual arts of wine-making and fishing. The biggest village is possibly Frontignan which is famous for its sweet Muscat wines. Another feature of this coastline are the impressive lagoons with their famous birdlife, particularly the pink flamingos which are such an iconic feature of this part of the south of France.
The vibrant metropolis of Montpellier is a lively student city. At its heart lies the famous Place de la Comédie from where it is easy to get lost in the web of 'ruelles' and little cobble-stoned streets. Architecture, popular shops and typical French bars fight for your attention.
From the city centre many Mediterranean resorts are within easy reach, each with its own special flavour. These resorts were established in the 60s and early 70s, after President de Gaulle decided that France needed to have a tourist industry to match that of Spain. Consequently, some of them can look a little faded but the best one to visit is Palavas-les-Flots, which is bounded by lagoon and sea. La Grande Motte is also interesting to visit, if only for its famous pyramid-style architecture.
Things to Do In and Around Montpellier and Sète
Beaches and Lakes
The best beach in this area is undoubetdly the Plage de l’Espiguette. Unlike many of the main beaches in this area, Plage de l’Espiguette is 20km of golden sand, crystal clear shallow water, and sand dunes.
Cities and Villages
The hub of the Haut Languedoc is Montpellier, the eighth largest in France. Outside of the city, with it's pedestrianised squares and busy shopping areas, you'll find quieter villages and towns with interesting histories of their own.
- Bouzigues is a small town famous for its seafood, notably the oyster beds situated on the Etang de Thau.
- Marseillan is known for it's wine and it's food and is the home to the famous Noilly Prat factory. It is really a town in two parts, with the old village centre and a newer resort area, with a beach that was built in the 1960s. You'll find many quaint restaurants and bars here along with regular flea and food markets.
- Sète is a picturesque Mediterranean port town known for it's fine food and wine. The network of canals that run through the town earn it the name of "The Venice of the Languedoc". The best way to explore is by foot on one of the many guided tours that are on offer.
Events and Festivals
The main event in this area is Les Estivales, which is actually a series of food and music festivals in the main towns of Montpellier, Pézenas, Narbonne and Sommières. At these events, usually accompanied by a night market, you are invited to sample the flavours of the region, paying a small fee in exchange for sampling some of the best local wines.
Outdoors & Activities for Families
- Gaumont Cinema Montpellier is a beautiful old-style building in the popular main square of Montpellier, the Place de la Comédie. It shows the newest releases as well as many films in English.
- Go Karting is popular in this area and great fun for all ages - but the Montpellier track, tucked away behind the Odysseum shopping centre, is not easy to find unless you know that it's there! All your equipment is provided so just turn up and off you go.
- Laser Game Evolution is also found close to the Odysseum shopping centre and offers more family fun away from the tourist centres.
- Mare Nostrum Aquarium is easily accessed by car or by taking the tram to/from the centre of Montpellier. There are interactive displays as well as the main attraction: an aquarium that is home to house stingrays and SHARKS!
- The Végapolis ice skating rink in Montpellier is a great place to watch the pros practise their routines as well as improve your own skills. There are two rinks side by side (one for the public and another used by the pros) and both rinks are in close proximity to the other activities to be found around the Odysseum shopping centre.
Museums and Markets
The Fabre Museum is a wonderful art museum located right in the centre of Montpellier. Gifted to the city in 1828, the Museum now houses a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures by Gustave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix and Alexandre Cabanel alongside many lesser known artists from the region. It is just 2 minutes' walk away from the Place de la Comèdie, the huge pedestrianised square that forms the heart of Montpellier and a must visit for art lovers.
For shopping, we recommend the Polygone Shopping Mall, which is easily accessible by car or tram.
If you're looking for something more traditional shopping, Sète, with it's indoor food market in the Halles de Sete and the outdoor textile market, is the place to be.
Restaurants and Bars
There are so many wonderful restaurants in this area, but our personal recommendations are:
L'Escale on the port at Marseillan for a no-frills and thoroughly delicious lunch. A typical lunch menu might be beautifully-made onion quiche with a multi-leaf salad, and fresh goat's cheese served with toasted bread and a bacon salad. A jug of iced water and fresh bread accompany the meal within the 9.50€ Formule - great value. Good food, friendly staff, lovely seating area, super location, reasonable prices and spotless toilets!
Find a Villa in Montpellier or Sète
Choose one of the destinations below to view our range of holiday villas, chateaux, and apartment rentals. If you're not sure which area would suit your best or you have specific needs, you can always contact us and one of our team will be able to help you with your search.
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Featured Holiday Homes in the Languedoc
- 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6
Shangri-La is the perfect holiday home for a relaxing and hassle-free family holiday with all amenities on your doorstep and only a 10-minute drive from the Mediterranean beaches. Private heated pool, air conditioning, fibre speed wifi and a fusion of French-Asian decor. Child-friendly.
- 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6
Beautiful villa with 3 bedrooms, large heated swimming pool with pool alarm, summer kitchen and views over the countryside, vineyards and village. UK satellite TV, internet and air con in bedrooms. Walk to shops, restaurants and bars. 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms.
- 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6
Wild Boar Retreat is an absolutely stunning mountain retreat, located in the midst of 2 hectares of land in the countryside of Bédarieux. There are 4 separate properties in this retreat, each one as beautiful and original as the next. With a private infinity heated salt water swimming pool complete with a cave and waterfall.
- 6 bedrooms, sleeps 12
Villerouge la Crémade is a 19th Century Mediterranean villa, nestled amidst beautiful vineyards, located in Fabrézan in the Languedoc. With a private heated swimming pool, a children's play area and more - this property is the perfect place if you're looking to mix old with new, in a comfortable and luxurious environment.
- 6 bedrooms, sleeps 14
Ideal for families or large groups that are looking for a holiday together, yet with their own privacy. This property is one large house that is separated into 2 living spaces with separate entrances. With a private swimming pool, beautiful grounds and a wonderful interior, this is a fantastic place to spend some quality-time with loved ones.
- 7 bedrooms, sleeps 14
The perfect mix of luxury and history, surrounded by vineyards. Domaine Saint Hilarion is a stunning 18th century manor that sits on 20 000m2 of private park. This property is the perfect place for wine-loving families and groups due to the surrounding working vineyards. Ideal for weddings!
- 6 bedrooms, sleeps 12
Immaculately presented stone house with large, heated swimming pool, big well laid-out pool area and 6 bedrooms, located on the edge of Pézenas in the countryside. The villa was renovated in 2015, lovely Mediterranean garden with mature plants and trees. Suitable for weddings. Pets welcome. Walking distance into Pezenas.
- 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10
This property is on the edge of the historic village of Puissalicon, with its chateau, local shops and bar. Huge living spaces with lots of light, vast open-plan living room, dining room and kitchen all in one. Swimming pool and large terrace. 5 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms. Downstairs double bedroom with en suite bathroom suitable for elderly and wheelchair-friendly.
- 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8
This is a recently built 4 bedroom/3 bathroom villa in a wonderfully quiet village setting with fantastic views. Large private pool. Air-conditioning throughout and a solar cover on the swimming pool. Fast internet. Air conditioning in all bedrooms. The villa is not suitable for children under 5 years of age. Small dogs allowed. Suitable for people with reduced mobility.
- 9 bedrooms, sleeps 22
Mas-des-Hirondelles in an absolutely stunning 17th century property, beautifully decorated inside and out, and offers lots of amenities including a private swimming pool, and a private tennis court, internet access, air conditioning and satellite TV. The grounds are very large and full of beautiful views and plants.
- 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10
Exquisite luxury Mas in Saint Andre near Argeles-sur-Mer with private heated pool and large Mediterranean grounds. The main house has 4 bedrooms and there is a further bedroom in the pool house. Aircon in all bedrooms. Short 10-minute drive to beaches of Argeles-sur-mer and 15 minutes walk into the village of Saint Andre.
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