If you’re travelling to Montpellier, you need to know about its airport

The Montpellier Airport (Code: MPL) is an airport French located near the city of Montpellier, in the department of Hérault.

It takes its name from the Mediterranean Sea nearby and was previously named Montpellier Airport-Fréjorgues, the name of a locality of the town of Mauguio where the airport is located, approximately 7 km from the center of Montpellier.

It is the eleventh largest metropolitan airport in France with 1,422,793 million passengers in 2014.

Timeline

  • 1938: landing of the first aircraft to Fréjorgues.
  • 1946: Opening of Terminal civil.
  • 1964: the CCIM gets temporary commercial management of the airport.
  • 1974: commercial operating license is granted for 30 years at the CCIM.
  • 1990: attendance airport reaches one million passengers. Opening of the new terminal of 14,000 metres square. Access to the aircraft is possible with 2 pre-bridges and three footbridges.
  • 1994: Fréjorgues airport becomes the Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport.
  • 1998: The airport passes the 1.5 million passengers.
  • 2000: 9th French airport and 1.75 million passengers, or 18% compared to 1996.
  • 2001: Because of the attacks of September 11, the opening of the line TGV Mediterranean and departure of Air Liberté, attendance is down by traffic. The airport Montpellier Méditerranée recorded 1,545,000 passengers.
  • 2002: lines of openings Low Cost. ISO 9001 certification.
  • 2003: the airport is reporting ‘airport of national interest by decree. This government decision, taken in the context of the evolution of decentralization laws, thus enables the Montpellier platform to access a private status to public capital. To this is added the renewal of the concession allowing the Montpellier CCI to continue to develop the airport until 2008 as a manager with the signing of a new specification.
  • 2004: liquidation of the company Air Littoral (closure of 14 airlines operated by the company).
  • 2008: noise are challenged by affected residents. Therefore, starting from October 2008, airlines, flying clubs, the ESMA and the Directorate General for Civil Aviation agree to respect a “green path” and focus on landings and takeoffs by the sea.
  • 2009: airport Montpellier Méditerranée, management Montpellier CCI, is transformed into a limited company with a Management Board and Supervisory Board with capital of 148,000 euros on 23 June 2009. The SA Montpellier Airport was born. The shareholding is allocated as follows: 60% State, 25% Montpellier CCI, 7% Department of Herault, 6.5%
    Languedoc Roussillon Region 1% Community of communes of the Country of Gold, 0.5% Montpellier Agglomeration.
  • 2011: In December, the magnetic declination in France has meant to correct the orientation of runways 12L / 30R , (13L / 31R before).
  • 2012: Three new airlines serve the airport (Lufthansa,
    Twinjet and Volotea); Opening a new line Montpellier-Marrakech with Air Arabia.
  • 2014: Arrival of the national airline Belgian, Brussels Airlines and opening of the line Montpellier – Brussels, competing with the flight of the low-cost Ryanair to the airport of Charleroi Brussels South, located one hour from the city Brussels.
  • 2015: The airport celebrates its 70th anniversary by opening Saturday, January 16, 2016, by showing his audience has an aerobatic demonstration, places inaccessible to the public generally (Esma, Air Total, Enac, Fire)

Access to Airport

A shuttle bus makes the connection between the airport and the city center of Montpellier at the tram station “Europe Square” (line 1 and line 4). The journey time is approximately 15 minutes. The price of the bus ticket is 1.60 euros (one way) ticket or bus and tram network is 2.60 Euros (one way).

By the motorway, take the exit no. 29 (Montpellier-East).

By train, get off at the station of Montpellier-Saint-Roch, take tram line 1 towards Odysseum, and get off at the “Europe Square” station and take the airport shuttle.

Passenger processing statistics

  • Surface Terminal: 14,000 metres square
  • Number of terminals: 2
  • Parking area: 102,000 metres square

How does Montpellier’s transport services operate?

Montpellier is quickly becoming one of the highest growth areas in France. Below, we take a look at the various transport options for arriving into and moving around this great city.

Rail

Montpellier was one of the first cities in France to have a railway, with the opening of the line on 9 June 1839. The passenger station of Montpellier’s Saint-Roch Train station allows you to make the journey from Montpellier to Paris-Gare de Lyon by TGV in 3 hours and 15 minutes since the last extension of the high-speed (TGV Mediterranean) in 2001.

In 2017, in the La Mogère, near the commercial area of Odysseum, the new station Montpellier-Sud-de-France will be launched as part of the railway bypass (high-speed) Nîmes – Montpellier. Located in the heart of the future district Oz southeast of the city, the TGV station, the host of the passenger building will span 4,000 to 5,000 metres square, and is expected to accommodate up to 3.5 million passengers per year in 2030.

In order to join this new station in the city center, the city provides for the extension of line 1 of the tramway, which should also serve the airport located a little further south, creating a real resource of exchanges in the new district.

For now, the pursuit of a high-speed line to Perpignan remains in draft form because of successive ministerial decisions. It competes with the stretch Narbonne – Toulouse (and Bordeaux), but especially with the Bordeaux section – San Sebastian (Spain).

Previously, the end of the 19th century early and in the second half of the 20th century, Montpellier was the terminus of several lines of the Company paths of local interest iron Hérault department, managed by the General advice, including the famous “Petit Train Palavas”.

Air

Montpellier has over a million passengers per year and its airport serves many European cities and some cities in the Maghreb.

Road

Montpellier is located along the A9 motorway, on which 4 outputs are dedicated to it: Montpellier North, East Montpellier, Montpellier South, Montpellier West. The network is often saturated at peak hours (8am to 9pm, 12am to 2pm and from 5pm to 7pm) because the highway is free between Baillargues east and Saint-Jean-de-Védas to west, and is therefore used by inhabitants as a bypass of the metropolis.

To address this problem, it is expected to split the A9 by a new section of 12km 2 to 3 lanes. Commissioning is scheduled for 2017. The existing portion (which takes the name A709) provides a local service role of the urban agglomeration of Montpellier.

Montpellier is also served by the A75 (Clermont-Ferrand – Béziers) via the A750, a ramp that connects Grabels, town located northeast of the city, with Ceyras Clermont l’Hérault.

Transport around cities

According to a study by a GPS manufacturer in 2015, Montpellier is the 6th most congested city in France. This is explained by the high population growth, its location at the edge of the A9, and the concentration of clusters in some areas of the city (Millennium Agropolis, Garosud) that are poorly served by public transport.

Since summer 2004, almost all of the historic center is for pedestrian use only and not accessible to motorized residents, and deliveries are only possible at set times (mostly at night). So it is best to park at the ends of the city (there are 16 parking spaces in connection with the tram) or come by train and use public transport, which seems the best solution.

The most saturated roads at peak hours are the Gambetta boulevard, the rue Anatole France, the tunnel of Comedy, avenue Pierre Mendes-France, the area around the high school Jean Mermoz and Corum, the Avenue of the justice, the roundabout in Lyra, and all access to the highway.

Bicycle use is becoming more and more common in Montpellier, which has about 160km of cycling tracks.

A quick overview of Montpellier for the tourist in everyone

Montpellier is a French commune located in the department of Hérault and the region Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrenees. Montpellier is located on a main communication route joining Spain in the west to Italy in the east.

Near the Mediterranean sea, this city is close to the neighboring Béziers at 69 km southwest, and Nimes at 52km northeast. Its inhabitants are called Montpelliers and their nickname is Clapassièrs.

Montpellier is the eighth town in France by population and the third French city of the Mediterranean axis (behind Marseille and Nice). It is one of the few cities with over 100,000 inhabitants whose population has increased continuously since 1945. It has almost tripled over the period to reach 272,084 inhabitants at 1st January 2013, which makes the town the most populous of the department of Herault and the second most populous in the region Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrenees after Toulouse.

The urban unit account of Montpellier includes 414,047 inhabitants, while the city is recorded as having 434,101 inhabitants in 2012 and the urban area 579,401 inhabitants respectively in 2013, the equivalent of being 14th largest in France by its population.

Since the 1990s, Montpellier has one of the strongest economic and demographic growth rates of the entire country: its quality of life, cultural life and finally its Mediterranean climate largely explain this craze for “The gifted”; a title of campaign advertising during the tenure of Mayor Georges Freche.

With 70,000 students it is also the city with the most students per capita after Poitiers (21% of the total population). The city also has the largest school in the academy, former grand imperial high school, the current Joffre high school located in the former citadel of Montpellier, a traditional stronghold of the 17th century.

Considering the landscape, how’s the weather in Montpellier?

Travelling to Montpellier and want to know what the weather is going to be like in advance? Below, we explore the climate of this region and assess how its unique terrain contributes to the conditions experienced at different times of the year.

Terrain

Montpellier is near the Mediterranean Sea in the south-eastern region of Herault whose territory is defined as an open amphitheater on the sea, surrounded by the Cevennes northeast and the Haut-Languedoc northwest.

Rising to 57 meters in place of Peyrou, the former Royal Square where the statue of Louis XIV, the city began to develop on two hills, Montpellier and Montpellieret. Some streets are so high slope. The city is nicknamed Lo Clapas: “the pile of stones” in Occitan, because of its basic building material – stone Castries, which is shell limestone, white to cream in origin but which adopts a golden patina as it ages. The territory extends to the hills overlooking the old city: the Lunaret,

The territory extends to the hills overlooking the old city: the Lunaret, Montmaur and Plan des Quatre-lords in the north, the district of Mosson (divided into two districts: La Paillade and Hauts-de-Massane) northwest, peaking at nearly 110 meters above sea level to the water tower of Paillade.

Montpellier can be seen from Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone. In the background, the Pic Saint-Loup. Its landscape is especially marked by the peak Saint-Loup (658m), located 25km north of the city, visible in many places of the city, as the Peyrou promenade and the Corum roof terrace end of Esplanade aisles.

The municipality covers an area of 5688 hectares and is the 724th town in France by its surface area (about 36,682 square meters). Although it is not the largest municipality in the region or municipality, the area is still more important than Lyon (4787ha), Lille (3483ha) or Bordeaux (4936ha). The municipality is urbanized to the ratio of about three-fifths, but this urbanization is growing rapidly.

The rest of the territory is composed of green spaces, protected natural areas (River Lez, zoological reserves, and Lunaret Montmaur wood) and agricultural areas. About 180 ha of land is still predominantly agricultural, mostly planted with vines. Its main locations are east (Montaubérou, Valedeau, Flaugergues), south of the A9 (Méjanelle, Mogère, First lock) to the north (4-Lords Plan area of Valletta), to the extreme south (Little Sandstone) and west (Mas-Nouguier, Castle Well Bionne, Rieucoulon).

Climate

Montpellier’s climate is typically Mediterranean. It follows relatively mild temperatures (15.2 degrees celsius on average), sunshine among the highest in France (7 hours 22 minutes per day on average, much higher than the French average of 4h 46 min 24) and the days of small rainfall (less than 60 mm), but sometimes heavy rain, especially in the fall from September to December in the Mediterranean episodes or Cevennes, frequently causing flooding in low areas of the city (on average, two or three episodes per year).

To date, at the records, we will raise the 320 mm fell in September 8, 1938 in Montpellier city and recently, on 29 September 2014, the 299.5 mm recorded at Montpellier airport (weather station Fréjorgues). Such figures, however, remain rare.

On the contrary, summer is often very dry or arid with few rains in August related to thunderstorms. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24.1 degrees and January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 7.2 degrees. The heat record for Fréjorgues station is 37.5 degrees July 17, 1990 and the cold record of -17.8 degrees on February 5, 1963. More recently, the temperature rose to 37, 2 degrees on June 21, 2003 constituting the heat record for the month of June. However, the proximity of the sea promotes the installation of a sea breeze that moderates the heat excess in summer.

The climate of Montpellier, like most cities located near the sea, is also characterized by a feeling of warmth often higher than the actual temperature, especially in the months from August to October, the Mediterranean Sea is very hot at the time, sea winds bring warm and moist air on the coast.

Thus, the perceived temperature is regularly higher than 4 and 8 degrees. For example, on September 15, 2014 at 7pm, it was within a heat index (humidex) 29 while the temperature was only 22.4 degrees. This difference often creates a feeling of well-being, but can sometimes be felt as great discomfort, as it did during the heatwave of 2003, where a humidex of over 30 was measured on almost all nights of the month of August.

Conversely, the winds from the North and Northwest are also accompanied by a feeling of chill (Windchill). In addition, relatively protected from the Mistral and Tramontana by the advance of the Cevennes reliefs, Montpellier is the least windy city from the Gulf of Lion.

What’s urban life like in Montpellier?

Summary of the township

The historic center of Montpellier is called the Crest. This name is due to its shaped shield, medieval shield, and heraldic symbol. The historical center is very strongly marked today in Montpellier, which was built because it remained the heart of the city since the beginning of 13th century and has not suffered heavy destruction (apart from those churches during the religious wars) unlike the suburbs which have been completely destroyed many of times between the 14th and 17th centuries.

It is limited by a series of boulevards, which follow the route of the ancient walls of the city, as is the case for the majority of European cities. These massive fortifications remain, despite being partly dismantled on order of Richelieu after the siege of 1622.

There are currently only two significant elements left:

  1. The tower, Babotte, has long been an astronomical observatory. It provides access to the Old City, near the formerly middle-class neighborhoods. Originally, the tower was like the tower of Pines and was not even break a door. In its shadow were large ovens Note 1 of the city.
  2. The tower of the Pines, which in turn served as a refuge for Catholics during the wars of religion, and women’s prison in the 19th century and depot municipal archives until 2000. It is also subject to the prophecies of Nostradamus. The astrologer announced that Montpellier would perish in flames the day the pines had its styling removed. This prediction was considered during the last restoration of the building, which involved uprooting pine, something that the City has not failed to install some cedars in pots.

The door located at the mouth of the street of the University (door Salinière) is not medieval; medieval enclosure doors were always topped towers. It was built in the aesthetic of the late 18th century. In the 17th century, on the same line of the ancient fortification, the Triumphal Arch was built for opening the old city on the gardens of Peyrou, who replaces him as the old medieval door.

The number of known monuments of the city is surprisingly low given its rich history, and considering that it was largely ignored and consequently very little developed. All the old castles and palaces that the city have disappeared, mostly voluntarily destroyed by the inhabitants; the main palace was at the location of the courthouse.

The great wealth of Montpellier, therefore, lies mainly in its entire buildings: the vast majority of buildings Crest is of medieval origin, and although very few have not been revised since the Middle Ages, quite simply opens visitor’s eyes to see a typically medieval form of windows and hundreds of vaulted rooms, much of which are medieval. Almost all of the center’s buildings are on solid bases from medieval, not modern era.

Beautiful structures

These architectures are among the most beautiful and heritage elements of Montpellier:

  • Hotel Jacques Heart, the seat of Languedoc Museum, a building of the 15th century which has beautiful painted beams plus a monumental staircase in the 17th century. The museum also has many historical objects of importance.
  • The Saint-Pierre cathedral, still standing despite all the attacks it has suffered, dates back to 14th century. His famous porch is unique. The remaining part of the cloister of the monastery which is still contiguous is sublime.
  • Rue du Bras de Fer, both as a whole and for the famous arms that date back to the 15th century or medieval arch.
  • The Varennes hotel that has many medieval architectural elements clearly identifiable.
  • The mikveh medieval (or ritual bath Hebrew) dating back to the end of the 12th century. With its synagogue and other adjacent areas, the assembly thus formed is unique in Europe. The site is the subject of archaeological excavations.
  • The Aqueduct St. Clement called “The Arches” on his arrival in Montpellier, built by Henri Pitot (1695-1771), restorer of the Pont du Gard and inventor of the tube bearing his name.

Districts

Since 2001, the town of Montpellier is officially divided into seven districts, themselves divided into sub-districts. Each has a neighborhood council and a deputy mayor delegate.

The Montpellier center area includes the historical center (Crest), Comedy, Stations in Faubourg Boutonnet, St. Charles, Faubourg Saint-Jaume, Peyrou, The Arches, Figuerolles Faubourg du Courreau, Gambetta, Clemenceau, Mediterranean, Boulevard de Strasbourg, The Triangle, Polygon, Antigone, New World Park balloons, Dawns, The Fine Arts, Saint-Lazare.

It is the historical and economic heart of the city of Montpellier and concentrates the bulk of the work. There are many commercial and cultural areas: the former Grand Imperial High School (now Joffre school), the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Law, as well as a bustling nightlife.

It hosts a population belonging to the urban socio-professional categories; fairly wealthy families or students looking for a studio near universities and the vibrant the station district is the nerve center of the transport system of the city is served by four lines tram and more than half of the city’s bus lines.

The Cross Silver district includes avenue de Toulouse, Silver Cross, Mas Drevon, Tastavin, Lemasson Garosud, Mas de Bagneres, Mas Nouguier, the Sabines, Lepic, Pas du Loup, Estanove, Val-de-Crozes Bagatelle, Paul Valéry. This area is located southwest of the city of Montpellier and experiencing significant growth with the development of many precincts.

The district Cévennes includes The Cevennes, Alco, Le Petit Bard, Pergola, San Clemente, Clémentville, Las Rebes, The Chamberte, La Martelle, Montpellier Village, The Grisettes, Les Grèzes.

This predominantly residential area, hosts the middle classes of Montpellier, except Petit Bard, which remains a particularly deprived area. The neighborhood Mosson includes: Celleneuve, La Paillade, Hauts-de-Massane Le Grand-Mail, The Tritons.

Hauts-de-Massane, located in the northwest outskirts of the city, has long been the poorest in Montpellier. Today, the exponential development of Hauts-de-Massane welcoming residential area of the middle class and progressive redevelopment of the neighborhood Paillade (creation of green spaces and commissioning of two lines of Tramway) slightly improved living conditions of its inhabitants, but the strong contrast with other areas of the city appears clearly.

The district of Hospitals-Faculties includes Malbosc, Saint-Priest, Euromédecine, Zolad, Plan 4 Lords, Hospitals, IUT, Father Soulas, Universities, Vert-Bois, Hauts de Boutonnet, Aiguelongue, Justice, zoo Lunaret , Agropolis.

This area is mainly residential and also hosts numerous academic and large public spaces infrastructure (zoo, sports hall etc.).

The neighborhood Port-Marianne includes The Pompignane, Richter , Millennium, Jacques Heart, Marianne Park, Rive Gauche, Consuls de Mer, Grammont, Odysseum, Montaubérou, The Méjanelle, The Mogère.

This neighborhood, yet non-existent 50 years ago is expanding. Commercial infrastructure it developed massively and many buildings are under construction there. Three of the four tram lines in the city are run and make attractive commercial spaces that develop there.

The Prés d’Arenes includes Les Prés d’Arenas, Avenue de Palavas, La Rauze, Tournezy, St. Martin, The Aiguerelles, Pont-Trinquat, Mion City

This neighborhood located south of Montpellier is mainly residential. The A9 motorway and the motorway Montpellier Carnon make a “gateway” of Montpellier.

Accommodations

In 2009 the municipality had 146,567 units, of which 5,320 were second homes and occasional homes, and nearly 13,000 vacant houses. In the 1960s, the number of total housing was three times lower (56,274 units in 1968). Nearly 85% of dwellings are apartments.

Each residence contains, on average, 3 rooms. We must admit that housing is particularly expensive in Montpellier and, in addition, local taxes, making it one of the most expensive cities in France, except for the northwestern outskirts.