Three must attend summer events in Montpellier

CC Image courtesy of elfique41 on Flickr

With the arrival of consistently high temperatures and clear blue skies in May come several annual summer events in Montpellier which bring the city to life.

Extreme sports

In May half of Montpellier and many top skateboarders, BMX riders, and other extreme sports enthusiasts descend on a section of the river near the new town hall for Le Fise. For a long weekend the area is transformed into an extreme sports playground with wakeboarding and paintballing competing with rollerbladers and merchandise stands for the attention of the passing hoards. Bring a picnic, find a space on the embankment, and enjoy an afternoon of extreme sports. If you’re after a comfier seat away from the crowds there are bars, cafes, and restaurants just a few minutes walk from the hubbub on both sides of the river.

One night party town

On June 21 every village, town, and city in France is taken over by music. The event, called Fête de la Musique, sees Montpellier’s many bars put on gigs to cater for every taste and locals party long into the night, particularly on occasions when the event falls on a Friday or Saturday. While holing up in a favourite bar is a great way to spend the evening, it’s also fun to wander the streets, going where the feeling takes you. If you do plan to amble about and fancy a drink to accompany your meanderings, be aware that off-licenses stop selling alcohol early on the day and are patrolled by police at night.

Les Estivales

Every Friday night over the summer months – roughly from June to September – the esplanade is taken over by tents selling wine and seafood. One marquee  sells tokens, another exchanges these for wine, by the glass or the bottle. Buy some paella or seafood, find a spot by the lake, and you’re all set for a cheapish evening in the warm night air. Complementary Les Estivales glasses are provided. You’ll find these glasses in many houses, although their brittle build means the haul accumulated over the summer is often gone by spring.


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