Montpellier, France

Mireval and Villeneuve Reserves and Saltlands


Just south of Montpellier is a unique waterfront setting. There are beaches, marinas, wildlife preserves, and extensive marsh and saltlands. If you want long, flat runs with water and marsh views, this is your spot! Among the extensive options, here are some recommendations:

Réserve l’Estagnol. Wikimedia

Réserve l’Estagnol: A natural reserve with a nature trail around the marsh/water. 3.5 km loop. ROUTE MAP

Salines de Villeneuve: Large marsh/saltland area with several trail options, ranging from 1.5 km, 4 km, and 7 km loops. Note that sections of the longer, 7 km Sentier du Saunier is closed April 1 – August 15. Trail map

Canal Run: A long, flat, and scenic run along the Canal du Rhône à Sète. Popular for cycling and running. Starts at the Pitou Parking lot, also interesting to see the Cathédrale de Maguelone. The path is up to 9 km one-way, including the scenic road over the water (1 km). So do a there and back of nearly 20 km! Another option is a big loop of 22+ km, using the relatively quiet and scenic D114 and D116 roads. You could even abbreviate the loop by hopping on the train at Vic-Mireval, which comes at the 14 km mark, thus saving 8 km!  ROUTE MAP


  • Numerous running options of various distances
  • Generally flat
  • Depends on route chosen
  • The area is 15 km south of Montpellier. Drive, or quick train (10 mins to Gare de Villeneuve or Gare de Vic - Mireval)