With three days in Montpellier, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city and the surrounding area, from the wine-producing Languedoc region to the historic city of Arles, full of ancient Roman architecture. Check out this itinerary for how to best plan your time.
Day 1: A Day in Montpellier
Devote your first day in Montpellier to exploring the cuisine, culture, and history of the city and its surrounding areas. Start with a visit to the Ecusson district, highlights of which include the Fabre Museum, which features a large collection of Fauvist art from the 15th-19th centuries,
Nearby, the Museum of Old Montpellier traces local history, while the Esplanade de Charles de Gaulle is a green space with lots of room to wander. To see other spots such as Montpellier Cathedral and Place de la Comédie, consider booking a historical walking or Segway tour. While in town, don’t miss the chance to sample local cuisine; a foodie tour allows you to sample some of the best oysters and cassoulet in the city.
Day 2: Languedoc Food and Wine
On your second day, explore the region surrounding Montpellier. If you’re looking for a half-day option, try a short tour with round-trip transportation to the nearby port city of Sète, a half-hour drive away, where you’ll find Mediterranean panoramas, seafood restaurants, and a handful of museums.
If you’re a fan of wine, book a tour to explore the Languedoc area, which produces some of France's most celebrated fine wines. There are plenty of wineries to visit in Languedoc, the most popular of which are situated in the Pic Saint-Loup area. You’ll also find some great hiking opportunities along with a smattering of local attractions, from olive oil producers to historic old villages. Round off your second day with a guided trip to Marseillan, the birthplace of vermouth, where you can visit a vermouth distillery and even learn to make the beverage yourself.
Day 3: Day Trip to Arles and Around
Consider a visit to Arles to explore a city full of ancient Roman architecture; its also where Vincent Van Gogh spent a fair amount of time. Start with a visit to the Roman Amphitheater, the city's most famous attraction, which dates back to 90 AD. Interestingly, entire neighborhoods were built at the amphitheater, where people lived until 1826, when it was restored into a national historic monument. Other top spots include the nearby Roman Theater, still occasionally used for concerts, and the Thermes de Constantin, excavated roman bath houses.
While you could easily spend a whole day exploring the historic sites of Arles, day trips from Montpellier offer additional stops, such as Saint Remy de Provence, where Van Gogh painted The Starry Night, and the charming commune of Les Baux de Provence, a hilltop village set around ancient fortifications.