We get asked about Montpellier in the summer - how easy is it to get to the beach, and which are the best beaches near the city?
So to make it easy for you all, we’ve put together a short Blog to give you a feel for the coastal options in the area:
Firstly, there are loads of beaches on offer within easy reach of the city. The closest (not necessarily the best) are Carnon and Palavas both about 60 mins by bike along the cycle route from the city centre. There’s also La Grande Motte, which is a bit further, but better. We also want to mention the Camargue which is an entirely different experience, but one any French language student ought to have, course duration permitting, when in Montpellier.
For a full (and delightfully biased) opinion on the beaches of the region, try this critique of the local options by > Creme de Languedoc
Carnon-Plage & Palavas -les-Flots
Think of them as city beaches and you won’t be disappointed. If you want ready access to the beach with minimal travelling this is where to head. Line 131 (20 mins) takes you to Palavas & Line 106 to Carnon (15 mins).
> Bus timetable link
If you want the picturesque and quaint you’ll be disappointed, sorry but there it is. Enjoy the long sandy beaches, the shallow shelving waters and a chilled out afternoon, ignore the high rise buildings and the close proximity of what seems like most of Montpellier’s population in the summer.
La Grande Motte
White sands, blue skies and open sea and all available on Line 106 / 25 mins travel from Montpellier.
> Bus timetable link
So perfect for a jaunt out of the city to celebrate the end of another battle with French grammar lessons with some serious beach life with the beautiful people (and a fair number of kids and an endless supply of ice cream shops). If you are in to “doing things” when by the sea – there’s plenty to choose from; water sports, hiking, a water park and tennis etc. This purpose built resort has some wacky looking buildings but some amazing (Blue Flag) beaches that are well worth the travelling time. For a little summer sunshine fun, this is a great city escape.
Heading past La Grande Motte, and stretching east to Arles and down to the coast, you have the natural wonders of the Carmargue.
If you feel the urge to flee Montpellier’s city streets, post your French language lessons of course, the Camargue is an excellent antidote to your studies.
This huge river delta has an endless landscape of salt pans, lagoons and lakes and is a wildlife nirvana. The must sees include the flamingoes and the famous Camargue white horses and black bulls.
You can read more about the Camargue here
> Lost in France
Any thoughts on these or other local beaches – let us know.
Happy to add any good tips, that benefit everyone!