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About Montpellier

French Riviera, France

Montpellier lies very much towards the southern end of the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur and is set approximately 10 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea, yet is protected from it by a massive 40km causeway which runs from Sète to La Grande-Motte. Montpelier is the eighth largest city in France with a population in excess of a quarter of a million residents and lies in the Languedoc-Roussilon region of France as opposed to the majority of the Riviera which lies within the Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur region. Montpellier is also well known as the home to a substantial Algerian population after the city’s numbers were swelled in the 1960’s after Algeria claimed independence from France.

A short history of Montpellier

Interestingly, Montpellier is one of the few major cities in France which has no Roman or Greek ancestry, the origins of the city dating back to the 10th century when a safer inland settlement was needed as protection against pirates who were causing problems in nearby Maguelone. The 12th and 13th centuries saw the city flourish as a trading centre, the city finally coming under French rule in 1349 when it was sold to Philip VI. In later centuries the city became overshadowed by the prominence and success of Marseilles, though after the French Revolution it became the capital of the Hérault region of France. Only more recently has Montpelier grown in popularity and as a consequence, over the last twenty-five years, has been France’s fastest growing city.

tourist attractions in Montpellier

Part of the main charm of Montpellier is the retention of so many medieval buildings ion the centre of the city. As a result, many of the sights are of architectural interest, including the buildings surrounding Place de la Comédie, Saint Pierre Cathedral and the Montpellier Arc de Triomphe – the Porte de Peyrou. Certainly Montpellier is steeped in both history and culture, which perhaps explains why there are so many different guided tours available, which include the main historical city centre, the faculty of medicine and conservatory of anatomy, the ‘history of water and the most beautiful fountains’, plus music and comic opera tours.

festivals and events in Montpellier

With its continued expansion, Montpellier has plenty going on throughout the year where events and festivals are concerned. Every Friday night in the summer between the end of June and beginning of September is time for the Estivales de Montpellier, which is an evening event where you can get a true flavour of the surrounding area with a night time market, food and wine tasting events plus artisanal stalls and art displays. Montpelier is also on the route for the Tour de France cycle race in July, shortly after the Montpellier Dance Festival at the end of June. Les Nuitsd’O are held in August and are based around both cinema and music, while Montpellier is also renowned for its gay pride marches.

GASTRONOMY in Montpellier

With the Estivales de Montpellier it is an ideal way to get a good feel for local gastronomy and the city has superb fresh produce markets which are open 6 days a week. With a city of this size, there are restaurants to cater for every taste and budget, two of the finest being Le Jardin des Sens and La Réserve Rimbaud, both Michelin starred. However, there is a wonderful alternative, and that is to take part in one of many cookery classes run in Montpellier which are one of the finest ways to be introduced to local produce - L’Atelier de Valérie and L’École de cuisine Armand are two of the most popular.

recommended restaurants in Montpellier
Les Bains de Montpellier 6 Rue Richelieu - 34000 Montpellier
Phone: +33 4 67 60 70 87
Café Leon 12 Rue du Plan d'Agde - 34000 Montpellier 
Phone: +33 4 67 60 56 83
Tamarillos 25 2 pl. Marché aux Fleurs - 34000 Montpellier
Phone: +33 4 67 60 06 00
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villa rentals in the Montpellier area
The Frogs House

Looking for an unforgettable experience in a typical French village, 15km from Nice and the French Riviera ? Come to enjoy our 7 cosy bedrooms with views to the sea and over the surrounding hills.

  • Villa Belmonte "Villa Belmont" is a brand new luxury villa in the beautiful old village of Biot in the South of France.
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