grand travers montpellier

Montpellier’s most stunning beaches

If we’re talking about Montpellier, we’re talking about the city where I was born and where I live, but also… the city where the sun shines 300 days a year! Not bad, hey? In this article, I’m going to fill you in on my favourite beaches in Montpellier where you can peacefully soak up the sun, sample the region’s tasty cuisine or enjoy an aperitif with your toes in the sand at a paillote, our word for our fabulous beach cafés.

If you’re looking for some tips for your next holiday, just keep reading!
 

Villeneuve-Lès-Maguelone (East Beach, Prévost side), without a doubt, my favourite

villeneuve les maguelone beach

A pebble beach that’s over 9 km long with a lively section with loungers and restaurants and another part that’s completely deserted.
 

How do I get there and where should I park?

 
It’s around 25 minutes away from Montpellier. Follow signs to Palavas-Les-Flots via the Près d’Arènes roundabout. When you get to Palavas, turn right. You’ll find the beach car park at the end of the road. From mid-April to mid-September, it costs €5 to park from 8 am to 6 pm and €2.50 from 6 pm – 8 pm. It’s free the rest of the year. You can get directly onto the beach from the car park. For a bit of peace and quiet, a land train will take you a few stops further along this 9 km beach. If you fancy a bit of exercise, you could get there by bike or on foot!
 

What services are provided there?

 
Two private beaches (see the paragraph below) and a water sports centre offering jet skiing, tubing, etc. near to the car park.
 

Where’s the best place to eat? And, more importantly, to have a drink?

 

La Bonaventure

 
la bonaventure beach bar montpellier

la bonaventure beach bar detail

This private beach just next to the car park has an incredible décor. If you like a bohemian vibe, this is the place for you.
You can eat at the restaurant tables or on a lounger. There’s nothing better than enjoying a drink and tapas with your feet burrowing in the sand as the sun sets.
Meal prices start at around €20 and loungers at around €8.
This pailotte is open throughout the day and evening from April to September, and serves food at lunch and dinner time.
 

Le Carré Mer

 
le carre mer beach bar montpellier

Located just a stone’s throw from La Bonaventure, Le Carré Mer is a Bali- themed joint that is equally full of character. Meals and cocktails are delicious and the menu was put together by the Pourcel brothers, well-known Michelin-starred chefs. Meals start at €25, cocktails at €10 and loungers at €22.

This paillote is open every day from April to September from 10 am to 2 am, and serves food at lunch and dinner time.
 

Espiguette, a spacious beach, unique landscape and pure escapism!

espiguette beach montpellier

An unspoilt beach with fine sand that stretches over 10 km of coastline. There’s a 10 minute walk across the dunes to get to the ocean, it’s so immense! There’s just one place hiring beach mats and the rest of the beach is completely deserted.
 

How do I get there and where should I park?

 
This beach is a little further away than the others. It’s located near the Camargue, around 40 minutes from the centre of Montpellier. Follow signs to La Grande Motte and Le Grau du Roi, towards Espiguette. The free car park is next to Espiguette campsite and there’s also a pay-and-display, Parking des Baronnets, on the World Heritage Site, which charges €6.
 

What services are provided there?

 
Horse riding is available at several ranches on the Route de l’Espiguette. Don’t hesitate to stop there. The paillote next to the free car park has had to close down and there’s nowhere to buy snacks so do bring a good picnic with you.

Next to the pay-and-display car park, there are water sports and a paillote so you won’t go hungry.
 

Where can I eat without lugging around a 5 kg cool box?

 

Oyat Beach

 
This small private beach is gorgeous and decorated in the Camargue style. It’s located next to the Baronnets pay-and-display car park. Salads, tapas, sandwiches etc. from €4.90. 1 lounger + 1 parasol = €12. It’s well worth it! Open from May to September, food served all day in July and August.
 

Grand Travers, the peaceful beach…out of season!

 
grand travers beach

A fine sandy beach that stretches as far as the eye can see where you can sunbathe in peace on your towel or hire a lounger at one of the many paillotes!
 

How do I get there and where should I park?

 
It’s located 25 minutes from the city centre, following Route des Plages towards Grande Motte. The car park is free. This beach is just as large as the others but more popular. If you want to see fewer people, come out of season when it’s perfect!
 

What services are provided there?

 
Next to La Plagette private beach, a lovely man with a little cabin hires out paddleboards for around €10 an hour.
 

Where’s the best place to eat at this beautiful spot?

 
Along the beach towards La Grande Motte, there are lots of private beaches where you can enjoy a good meal or aperitif, party the night away or just hire a lounger and relax.
You can also park free-of-charge in front of each paillote.
Here is a list of my favourites:

 

Palavas-Les-Flots, the easiest beach to get to from Montpellier

palavas beach montpellier

Photo credit: Aaron Burden

This is Montpellier’s best known sandy beach and it has lots to offer for both kids and adults. There are some places where you can hire a lounger but the beach is large enough to put your own towels down and have a picnic.
 

How do I get there? Where should I park?

 
Just follow signs to Palavas, either via Carnon or Les Arènes for around 20 minutes. There are several car parks in the town or by the beach, pay per hour at pay stations.
 

What services are provided there?

 
Along the quayside, you’ll find all the water sports you could wish for as well as boat hire and boat trips, lots of restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours, shops and more.
 

Where’s the best place to eat in Palavas?

 

The Beach Club

 
beach club palavas

As I said earlier, there are lots of restaurants in Palavas so I’m just going to fill you in on my two favourites. The first is The Beach Club where you can eat with your feet on the sand as it is located on the main beach. You can enjoy a great meal from €17. Loungers from €16. The paillote is open from April to September and serves meals all day every day from 10 am to 1 am.
 

La Plage des Lézards

 
plage lezards montpellier

One of the older paillotes, La plage des Lézards offers loungers and classic meals on the edge of the beach. It is located to the west of Palavas, just before the Prévost car park before Villeneuve-Lès-Maguelone. Meals are simple and delicious especially the fish platter! Meal prices from €17. Loungers from €11.

Open from March to October every day, serving meals all day from 10 am to 2 am.

 

There are lots of other beaches around Montpellier, but these are my personal recommendations. If you’re coming to Montpellier and you want to discover some other great locations, have a look at the Blog des Exploratrices, in particular my articles Quoi faire à Montpellier (Things to do in Montpellier) and the bonnes adresses de la ville. (Places to go in the city).

What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and hop on a plane to Montpellier this summer!

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