Thirty-eight-year-old Tony completely relaxes when he fishes along the Lez opposite the Hôtel de Région (Regional Council Hall) in the Antigone district.
" I don’t catch much because I am not very good at it but I like these quiet and peaceful moments. I need them to take a break from work, as I have rather hard days " explains this builder. Tony is not the only one to come here to breathe the fresh air, or simply to relax along the river that runs through the city. Marie, 23 years old, likes running along the river banks and to follow the river all the way to Lattes. «How many cities can boast so many green areas within its centre? » asks this psychology student. It is true that the vegetation here is very lush.
Indeed, the city has many open-air recreational areas. First, the Montcalm park. These former military barracks welcome gymnastic sessions daily and allow family and friends many idyllic and relaxed afternoons. Montcalm, nestled in the town centre also provides tennis courts, a football pitch and a basketball ground which the local youth can use for free.
Then there is the Méric park in the Aiguelongue district, a poetic haven of peace. The famous painter Frédéric Bazille used to come here to paint. Bordering the Lez river, it is the biggest dog park of the whole city.
Early in the morning or late at night dog owners meet up. «Whilst our pets are playing, we exchange advice on products or on training techniques» explains Sylvain, the master of Tiburce, a young 9 month old Belgian Shepherd.
The sporty usually gather in the Montmaur wood near the Lunaret zoo, to run. « Because it is a very large area, the number of running circuits is almost infinite » confirms 32 year old Nicolas whilst stretching. It is in this wood that Patrice Canayer, the emblematic coach of Montpellier handball club likes to gather his players at the beginning of each season to «make them suffer a little".