There’s something like five different places called Montpeyroux in France, all of them small villages, so it can be confusing trying to explain exactly where you want to go. This blog is about Montpeyroux in Hérault, near Montpellier in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. A few of you non-French natives might be thinking ‘Languedoc-Roussillon…that sounds familiar’, which just means you’re a gigantic wine and cheese lush like myself. Languedoc-Roussillon is a world renowned wine region, with three times the combined area of the vineyards in Bordeaux.
So you go to Montpeyroux for wine. There’s something like 21 winery’s surrounding the town, which is entirely encircled by expansive vineyards. It’s paradise and 1300 lucky people get to live there. This concentration of grape means you spend your days wandering through vineyards drinking wine, picnicking at castles, and swimming in nearby lakes. It’s not a bad life and we lived it for six whole days.
It’s a little difficult to reach Montpeyroux by public transport. We actually started out in Marseille so first we had to catch a bus to Montpellier. Our journey with Ouibus cost €9 each and took just over two hours from Saint Charles Station to Gare St-Roch. In Montpellier we caught one of their awesome designer trams to Mosson station (€1.50), where we were supposed to catch a bus to Montpeyroux. Take note here – the rural buses departing from Montpellier can be confusing. The route 303 and 308 both stop in Montpeyroux but if you inexplicably miss both of those buses multiple times due to overcrowding, cancelations or incorrect signage, and spend nearly two hours sitting in the French sun drinking beer at 10am, you can at least catch the 381 to Gignac, which is about a 10 minute drive to Montpeyroux. Buses on that route cost €1.50 per person and the Montpellier to Gignac journey takes about 20 minutes. Thankfully we had a lovely host who collected us from Gignac but if you’re on your own you could easily hitchhike to Montpeyroux from the main road out of town. French people are cool like that.
Buses are the only option to Montpeyroux unless you rent a car and drive, or get a taxi. The price of a rental car from Montpellier will vary depending on the season, but if you book well in advance you should be ok. A taxi from Gignac to Montpeyroux might cost somewhere between €15 and €25.
The closest major airport is Montpellier–Méditerranée Airport, which has pretty good connections to the rest of Europe and the UK.
So just to re-cap. To get to from Montpellier to Montpeyroux you need to catch the 303 or 308 bus from Montpellier Mosson station, or in a pinch you can catch the 381 bus to nearby Gignac and find your way from there. You can rent a car but consider that you might not use it a lot as Montpeyroux is full of delicious wine.
Getting around Montpeyroux is done by walking and nowhere is more than a five minute walk.
Hint – Pay attention in Montpellier and be ready to board the bus as soon as it arrives. The buses are few and far between, and as a result there can be too many people.
Montpeyroux accommodation is a little sparse but we managed to find a great apartment using HomeAway.com. Our quaint little home had a huge sunny terrace and cost us €25 per night, an absolute bargain. Our host also left us two bottles of incredible local wine. Two bottles. Perks.
You wont find any dorm style hostels in Montpeyroux, but if you are on a super low budget you could try some of the campsites in the area (although watch out for the ‘naturist’ sites, unless that’s your thing!). Camping Gignac has sites from €13 per person per night.
Bnb’s are the best option in Montpeyroux, where we stayed is likely the cheapest in town but you can find a good apartment for between €35 and €70 without too much hassle. Check out these listings on HomeAway, Airbnb and Trip Advisor for some good options, and be sure to book well in advance if you plan on staying nearby.
Hotels are most likely bnb’s but if you are looking for somewhere a bit fancy, perhaps at a winery, try Château De Valloubière. It’s on a back-road half way between Montpeyroux and Saint-Jean-de-Fos and it looked nice as we walked by. Double rooms here start from €100 per night.
If you stay in the village itself you can walk everywhere within five minutes, so don’t fret about the exact area too much. Another option is staying in nearby hamlet Le Barry, which is again about a five minute walk from Montpeyroux.
You’re probably only reading this if you’ve decided you need a getaway to an idillic French village to drink lots of wine and wander the countryside; that’s what we craved when we booked it. The good news is that this is exactly everything there is to do in Montpeyroux. There is no bad news. I’ll try to elaborate a little.
The first thing you should know about Montpeyroux is that the village observes a kind of siesta during the day. You can’t buy anything between whenever it is the shops close (something like 12:30 to 13:30 but it doesn’t seem like there’s a rule) and when they open again around 16:30.
Montpeyroux has the following for food supplies; a butcher (maybe open sometimes), a bakery, a tabac shop and a grocery shop that sells most of what you might need. All the food is fresh, local, and of outstanding quality. Because of the quality and relatively secluded location, food can be expensive, but the taste is worth the cost. Over five full days we spent €112.70 between us for all meals, including an abundance of luxury items like cheese, meat, tapenade, honey and chocolate.
There is one restaurant in Montpeyroux and one bar that serves meals. We didn’t eat at either but the restaurant/wine shop La Terrase du Mimosa looks fantastic and serves great wine (which we did sample). La Fille Du Bar Turenne is the local bar; they have a pool table, live sports, live music, food, and a great bunch of locals. A glass of house wine here costs €1.50 and is a very good local drop filled up in flagons from down the road. We had a ‘big night out’ at Turenne and spent a total of €24 including some snacks. Our night was subsidised by the generous locals but it would have been a cheap time regardless.
At the entrance to the town sits CastelBarry Coopérative Artisanale, a fantastic cooperative that produces wine from the share vineyards surrounding the village. An excellent bottle of local wine here might cost you €8 and they are happy for you to try them all. It’s a dream.
Wandering the village streets you can’t help but notice wine cellar (cave à vin) after winery after wine cellar. The cool thing is; you can visit them all and try all their wines. My advice for anyone wanting to try a lot of wine in Montpeyroux would be to do some research on google maps to find the winery’s in the area and call ahead to find out when they are open. Some only open on request. We were able to satisfy our needs at the cooperative, bar, restaurant and grocery store, but if you really want more then it’s there for the drinking!
The seemingly endless vineyards surrounding Montperoux have walking and (dirt) cycling tracks that offer a great experience for people of all levels of fitness. There’s something so special about wandering through French vineyards that the awesome castle commanding the hillside almost gets overlooked. In fact all that remains of the Castellas Montpeyroux is it’s impressive walls and the ruins of an old chapel inside, but it’s still well worth a visit. The castle is a short walk from Le Barry up a track overgrown with fragrant herbs, once you arrive you can enter the grounds and have a look around. Even better, take a picnic and soak up the atmosphere (and view) for a while longer.
Saint-Jean-de-Fos is a village about a 40 minute walk through the vineyards west of Montpeyroux. In Saint-Jean-de-Fos you will find the impressive Le Pont du Diable (the devil’s bridge), an 11th century arched bridge over a spectacular gorge that contains the subdued Hérault river. Underneath the bridge there’s a small lake where you will find all sorts of activities like kayaking, but we contented ourselves with sunbathing on the beach, swimming in the fresh water and jumping off the rocks; which is a local favourite. Plan to spend a couple of hours here as it’s a great day out.
Montpeyroux is all about relaxation and indulgence. We spent five nights and felt we soaked up enough of the
wine ‘atmosphere’, but could have happily spent longer. It really depends on your schedule, but you could see the town and area easily in two days.
Hint – Brush up on your French before heading to Montpeyroux. It’s a small, remote village and very few people speak English so even basic phrases will go a long way.
Montpeyroux for five nights;
If you found this post useful, please consider donating to help keep Roam and Recon going!