By Miriam Candelas, IYNF e-volunteer


Before coming to Montpellier, I thought it wouldn’t be as green but mostly dry because of the Mediterranean weather. However I was kindly surprised because it is a really nice city, with a lot of wild nature even without leaving downtown. Montpellier is located in southern France at 10km from the Mediterranean sea and it’s situated on hilly ground.

For me it only took one hill-walking with Naturefriends to deeply fall in love with Montpellier’s nature. Montpellier is one of the best places in France for hiking. It offers a rich variety of landscapes and different difficulty trails to choose from. Furthermore this huge diversity is no further than 80km from Montpellier. I also like that sometimes in the same walk you can alternate different topographies.

Without leaving Montpellier, you can start discovering its rich environment with a 3km walk bordering the river Lez (beginning in the park Méric). It’s a protected area close to the city center, where you can enjoy the wild nature and clear your head from the urban life.

If there is a ‘must-do’ walk for the people of Montpellier then it is the Peak Saint-Loup (658m), which is visible from several places in Montpellier like the very known park Peyrou.

river montpellier

River Lez in Montpellier


In the Hérault’s region, you will find at least 11 typical routes. Most of each routes starts in small and charming villages, where you will like to have a chocolate or beer after hiking! One of the most beautiful trails is the Cirque de Navacelles, with mostly rocky path and amazing panoramas.

hiking montpellier


1)Lac du Salagou, 2) Saint Guilhem le Désert, 3) Saint Jean de Buèges, 4Gorges de l’Héric, 5) Pic Saint Loup, 6) Cascades de la Vis, 7) Cévennes des Camisards, 8) Olarques l’ancienne, 9) mer de rochers de Sauve, 10) sentier botanique de la Font de St-Amans, 11) ermitage St Bauzille le putois.

We also usually hike in the Cévennes National Park at the west of Montpellier, which is located between Languedoc-Roussillon and Auvergne regions. It comprises a range of hills that are part of the Massif Central, being the Mont Lozère (1702m) and the Mont Aigoual (1567m) the highest point. It is the only national park whose heart is inhabited by permanent residents. The paths here are characterize by the frequent ascents and descents, more than prolonged paths. You will also find some of Europe’s most dramatic limestone gorges and caves. Another trail of reference is the track of 4000 steps, where you can reach the Mont Aigoual from the Vallerauge. Sometimes when you are hiking it suddenly gets windy, however it’s important to keep the pace, because when you get to the point you’ll be amazed by the spectacular views.

You can also take advantage of hiking in autumn to pick up chestnut and of course mushroom if you go with a specialist!

Finally, I strongly recommend you to try any trail more than once. For me, visiting in different seasons brings totally new landscapes and views, as if every trail were made new each time.

I hope to see you soon hiking in Montpllier!


For more information and maps you can visit the web site of Naturefriends in Montpellier:


cevennes national park

Cévennes National Park