Top Outdoor Activities in Montpellier

Montpellier, situated on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France, has earned a reputation for its vibrant and diverse culture. The sunny climes and beautiful landscapes make Montpellier a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous outing or a leisurely stroll, this stunning city has a wealth of activities to make the most of the great outdoors. Here are the top outdoor activities to take part in during your stay in Montpellier.

1. Scenic walks and hikes

Montpellier is surrounded by the beautiful vineyards of the Languedoc and dotted with national parks, making it a paradise for nature lovers. From leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes, there are plenty of routes to choose from. Here are three of the best scenic walks and hikes close to Montpellier:

  • The Lez River Trail: This easy, 4-mile trail forms part of the Cèze River trail network and takes you along the banks of the Lez River, through wetlands and past some beautiful countryside.

  • Pic St-Loup: This moderate 8-mile trail leads you up to the summit of Pic St-Loup, the highest point around Montpellier, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across the vineyards and the Mediterranean Sea.

  • La Mine Rouge: If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, this 8-mile trail takes you up to the summit of La Mine Rouge, the second highest point in the region. Along the way, you’ll pass through stunning forests and take in some incredible views.

2. Cycling

With flat terrain, an excellent network of cycle trails, and ideal weather conditions, Montpellier is a great place to explore by bike. Whether you’re a keen cyclist or just looking for an alternative way to see the sights, there are plenty of routes to choose from. Here are some of the best cycling routes in Montpellier:

  • The Montpellier Circuit: At just 8 miles long, this cycle route is perfect for beginners. It’s a great way to explore the city and discover some of the hidden gems.

  • The Languedoc Circuit: This longer cycle route takes you on a scenic tour of the Languedoc region. At 45 miles long, it’s a great way to spend a day out and take in some of the stunning landscapes.

  • Canal du Midi: This popular cycle route takes you along the banks of the Canal du Midi. There are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the views along the way, as well as a few cafes and restaurants to break up the journey.

3. Rock Climbing

Montpellier’s rocky terrain and stunning limestone cliffs make it a great destination for rock climbing. Climbing enthusiasts can choose from a wide range of routes, from beginner to expert level, and enjoy spectacular views over the city.

Popular rock climbing sites around Montpellier include:

  • Pic de Nore: This table-topped mountain rises to 1290 metres, making it the highest mountain in the region. It’s an ideal spot for experienced climbers looking for a challenge.

  • Vallemorta: This natural limestone quarry is one of the most popular climbing spots around Montpellier and is great for beginners, as the routes are fairly easy.

  • St Guilhem le Désert: Located in the nearby Heraut Gorge, this stunning climbing spot is perfect for intermediate level climbers, and is one of the most picturesque places in the region.

4. Kayaking

What better way to explore the stunning Languedoc coastline than by kayak? Thanks to the flat terrain of the Cèze River and the calm waters of the Mediterranean, kayaking here is an enjoyable and pleasant experience.

Popular kayaking spots include:

  • The Mediterranean Sea: Kayak along the wild and stunning Mediterranean coastline and take in the incredible views.

  • The Cèze River: Meander along the calm river and enjoy the tranquillity of the Languedoc countryside.

  • The Salagou Reservoir: Located just west of Montpellier, the Salagou Reservoir is a popular spot for kayakers, offering plenty of exciting paddling opportunities.

5. Horse riding

For a leisurely and tranquil experience of the Montpellier countryside, opt for a horse riding excursion. The region is home to a range of horse riding schools, offering both beginners and experienced riders a chance to explore this stunning area on horseback.

Popular horse riding spots include:

  • The Camargue: Perfect for experienced riders, the Camargue is a coastal marshland stretching from the border of the Mediterranean Sea to the Pyrenees mountains.

  • La Clape: This stunning natural park is home to an array of wildlife, and is a great spot for riders of all experience levels.

  • The Cevennes: This remote mountain range is perfect for experienced riders, offering spectacular views and lots of terrain to explore.

No matter what your outdoor interests, Montpellier offers a range of activities to suit everyone. Whether you choose to wander the vineyards and national parks, take to the water in a kayak, or take a leisurely ride on horseback, you’re sure to find something to enjoy.