Montpellier’s Very Own Versailles : The Chateau de Flaugergues
Did you know that Montpellier has its very own chateau, tucked away just outside of city limits? Many people are surprised to learn this interesting fact concerning the historical medieval town. But yes, you can visit the Chateau de Flaugergues during your next visit to Montpellier. You can even make a day out of it, if you decide to stay for lunch at the delicious Folia restaurant inside the castle, or stop by the winery for one of the best wine tasting visits in the area. If you’d like to learn more about this little-known chateau, keep on reading.
Montpellier’s castle: the Chateau de Flaugergues
The Chateau de Flaugergues is one of Montpellier’s best-kept tourist secrets. When tourists visit Montpellier, most of the time, they think of the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Comédie, or even the Saint Roch neighborhood. But we’d like to give this deserving day-trip a little love. Versailles gets all the attention when talking about castles in France. But as you’ll soon see, the Chateau de Flaugergues is every bit as worthy as its more famous counterpart.
The History of the Flaugergues Castle
The Chateau de Flaugergues is a mansion located in Montpellier, France, in the former Languedoc Roussillon region (now called Occitanie). In fact, the castle is part of the “folies”, a number of castles located on the outskirts of Montpellier. The extravagant castles were built as country houses by wealthy landowners beginning in the early 18th century. Some of these castles had vineyards installed at the time of construction, as is the case with the Flaugergues Castle. The vineyard still exists, and is available to you for all your wine tasting pleasure (more on that later).
As for the Flaugergues Castle specifically, construction began in 1696. It went on for 45 years before the house achieved its current appearance. Outside the castle, you can see endless, immaculate gardens, much like those of Versailles, and beyond them, a private vineyard. The Flaugergues Castle was passed down from one wealthy family to another through the years. It was classified a historical monument in 1986. Nowadays, you can check out the castle, the grounds, the restaurant, and the vineyard all in one day-long visit. You can even purchase tickets directly online before you go.
Folia Restaurant in the Chateau de Flaugergues
Folia restaurant is located inside the chateau, with open terrasse seating in the back. The menu changes daily and the ingredients come from the local farmer’s market. Chef Damien Fourvel strives to offer delicious meals with an original take on traditional classics, focusing on seasonal ingredients.
Of course, you’ll also enjoy wine from the domain during your meal. Restaurant staff will be more than happy to help you choose which bottle to best accompany your meal. You may purchase it either by the glass or by the bottle. And of course, you may take a bottle or two home with you if you fall in love with one of the vintages. You can find menu details and make a reservation directly on the restaurant’s website.
Restaurant Le Folia opening hours:
Monday through Friday, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
The Chateau de Flaugergues Winery
The Chateau de Flaugergues features a 28-hectare vineyard and winery where guests may schedule their own private wine tasting. All wine produced here is considered part of the AOC Languedoc type of wine. You can taste any of the eight different vintages produced every year, from merlot to grenache blanc.
The winery is dedicated to environmentalism and is certified by three different organizations: ISO 14001, HVE, and Terra Vitis. The three different entities award their certifications only to wineries that observe the highest eco-responsibility standards, including pollution prevention, responsible water management, and a reduction of pesticides used in crop production.
If you’d like to visit the castle for a wine tasting, you can make a reservation directly online ahead of time. You’ll benefit from a tour of the cave and walk through the entire winemaking process in a guided tour of the vineyard. At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to choose three different wines from the vineyard’s collection for your tasting pleasure. Of course, you can always buy a bottle or two from the wine shop or the online boutique if you so desire.
How to Get to Chateau de Flaugergues
If you’d like to start planning your visit to the Chateau de Flaugergues today, here are a few helpful tips to make getting to the castle a breeze.
No matter how you get there, please make sure to plan your visit during the castle’s opening hours: Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
The Chateau de Flaugergues offers a parking lot on the property, so you can easily load the whole family in the car for a day visit to the castle. You’ll find the castle to the East of Montpellier Centre. The address is 1744 Avenue Albert Einstein, 34000 Montpellier.
By Tram and Bus
It is also possible to get to the Chateau de Flaugergues by taking public transportation, most notably a combination of the tram and bus in Montpellier. Please bear in mind that public transportation does not pass directly in front of the castle. You will need to walk approximately 10 minutes to get there once you arrive at the nearest bus stop. You can consult a map, departure times, and ticket prices here.
To get to Chateau de Flaugergues by public transportation from Montpellier Centre, begin by taking the tram line 1 (the blue tram) towards Odysseum. Next, get off the tram at the second-to-last stop, “Place de France”. Here, you will need to take the bus number 9 towards “Odysseum” in the sense B. You’ll ride it two stops (approximately three minutes) and get off at “Evariste Galois”. Finally, you’ll walk approximately 10 minutes to the East before arriving directly in front of the Chateau Flaugergues. Bonne visite!