L’organisation de vacances en groupe est souvent difficile et relève parfois du défi. Entre les fans d’activités sportives, les aficionados des visites culturelles et les adeptes des séances bronzage sur la plage avec un bon livre à la main, chacun conçoit le voyage à sa manière. La Grande Motte est la région qui offre le compromis idéal. Découvrez comment dans les parcours suivants.
La Grande Motte est une ville relativement jeune, fondée dans les années 1960, construite à partir de rien ou presque. À l'époque, il n'y avait que des terres agricoles arides, des marécages clairsemés et quelques dunes. Ce n'est pas un hasard si aujourd’hui, la ville ressemble à la vision idéalisée d'un architecte qui aurait laissé libre court à son imagination. Jean Balladur a esquissé La Grande Motte sur sa planche à dessin, en collaboration avec ses étudiants. C’est cette approche qui a permis à la ville méditerranéenne de devenir un véritable chef d'œuvre architectural. D’ailleurs, si vous voulez faire une petite balade culturelle après la plage, n’oubliez pas d’emporter votre brochure touristique pour découvrir La Grande Motte, sous tous ses angles.
Les abords de la Grande Motte sont réputés pour leurs formations uniques, des paysages lagunaires et la diversité de la flore et de la faune locale. Plusieurs étendues d'eau intérieures, appelées “ étangs ”, séparent les promontoires des péninsules du continent et offrent aux espèces environnantes un habitat protégé que vous pouvez explorer grâce aux innombrables pistes cyclables et sentiers de randonnée. Non loin de là, des villes et villages typiques du sud de la France témoignent de la longue histoire de la région, dont certains remontent au Moyen ge et même avant cela.
Au total, plus de dix circuits pédestres vous attendent. Du simple circuit touristique en ville pour une après-midi à l'agréable circuit d'une demi-journée le long des plages sauvages et à travers des villages pittoresques. Tout le monde peut y trouver son bonheur. Sans oublier que Montpellier n’est qu’à 60 kilomètres de la métropole avec 300 jours de soleil par an. Le profil topographique de l'itinéraire est plat sur toute la longueur du parcours, c'est la raison pour laquelle des circuits encore plus longs sont facilement accessibles avec un peu de préparation. À certains endroits, le terrain peut être légèrement accidenté, mais cela ne devrait pas poser problème avec un vélo de route.
Comme tous les circuits ont pour point de départ et d'arrivée la Grande Motte, on vous conseille d'y établir votre camp de base. Plusieurs possibilités d'hébergement s'offrent à vous ! Les températures peuvent grimper rapidement dans le sud de la France. Il est conseillé d’emporter suffisamment d’eau pendant les excursions et de se protéger contre les rayons du soleil. Il est également préférable d'emporter quelques en-cas, au cas où, même si vous aurez la possibilité d’apprécier la cuisine locale dans les villages à proximité. Veuillez consulter les horaires d'ouvertures des restaurants en France. La plupart sont fermés l’après-midi.
Si vous envisagez de vous y rendre à vélo, prenez la voiture, étant donné qu'il n'y a pas de gare. En effet, la seule façon de se rendre à La Grande Motte en transport public est de passer par Montpellier. Il n'y a qu'un seul bus jusqu'à la côte et celui-ci ne permet pas, en général, de transporter son vélo. La plupart des appartements de vacances comprennent une place de parking.
The first two tours are perfect if you want to bring some variety into a too cozy beach afternoon. Just grab your bike and set out to explore the La Grande Motte work of art in more detail.This real mini-tour hardly takes longer than a short bike ride to the next ice cream parlor around the corner, but it is a fist in the sights when it comes to sights. It starts directly at the "Grande Pyramide", the symbol of La Grande Motte. The middle of your building also represents the imaginary dividing line between the "Quartier du Couchant" where the sun goes down and the "Quartier du Levant" where the sun rises.As you have probably already noticed, the design of La Grande Motte is characterized by a lot of symbolism as well as allusions to different cultures: for example the pyramid-like buildings that pay homage to the pyramids of Teotihuacán in Mexico. The basic concept of the city is also largely shaped by a kind of yin-yang character, because while strict building forms dominate the townscape in the east, round forms prevail in the western “Quartier du Couchant”.The tour now takes you through exactly the same assembly of curved building lines for which the “Quarter of the Sunset” in La Grande Motte is known. Passing creatively designed squares and over monumental bridges, you turn your round back to the beach and can even bring an ice cream from the "Place des boutiques du Couchant" for everyone who did not want to get comfortable with their beach towel.
The second, somewhat longer tour within La Grande Motte takes you through the western “Quartier du Levant”. Fittingly, you start at “Point Zéro”, the zero point of La Grande Motte. Everything started here a little more than 50 years ago with the laying of the foundation stone of the city, apart from that the place is exactly at sea level.The path first leads you north through the shady “Promenade des Vents” before turning west into the city center. Again and again you will encounter those strict and straightforward building shapes that are so typical of this district.You leave the city center behind and take a detour to the residential areas north of Avenue Maréchal Leclerc. At the far end of La Grande Motte, turn into the restricted traffic area within the local golf course. A bicycle helmet would also be advisable here, as a flying golf ball could occasionally cross your path.At the end of the tour you make a small round on the southern part of the Presqu'Île du Ponant, where a patch of wonderfully unspoiled nature awaits you, which gives you a little taste of the flora and fauna around the salt lakes the other tours to discover.The way back takes you along the beach to the harbor master's office of La Grande Motte, where you can enjoy an almost dreamlike view of the waterfront and the great pyramid, while in the foreground the masts of the boats sway in the wind.
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This easy to moderate tour takes you to the neighboring town of Le Grau du Roi. It is located a few kilometers southeast of La Grande Motte and offers great attractions, such as the Seaquarium, where you can admire the local underwater world without diving goggles. If you are curious and would like to explore this magical world yourself, you can get in touch with it a little further south on the Plage de l'Espiguette.This bike excursion is particularly suitable for families with children who are already a bit bike-tested and have mastered smaller tours. Since the terrain is completely flat, the almost 30 kilometers fly by. France's streets can be tricky in places - especially for children. Most of the time, the route leads along cycle paths or nature trails, but a little experience in road traffic is still advisable.You start in La Grande Motte at the "Point Zéro" and cross the "Le Vidourle" canal west of the city and thus the border from the Hérault department to the Gard department. At the port of Le Grau du Roi, it is worth taking a short lap around the quays, comfortably watching the boats swinging to the Café au Lait or driving out on one of the moles, from which you have a great view towards La Grande Motte.After visiting the wild beach of Espiguette, the route takes you through an equally wild loop through nature at the "Etang du Ponant" back to your starting point in La Grande Motte. You may even see a few racy Camargue horses grazing along the way.
This moderately difficult day tour takes you to the medieval town of Aigues-Mortes and its surroundings. It is best to plan a whole day for it, because there is a lot to see and something extraordinary to discover.You start in La Grande Motte at "Point Zéro" and first drive to Le Grau du Roi, where you turn between Etang and Salt Lakes on the "Canal du Rhône à Sète" towards Aigues-Mortes. On the way there you will pass the visitor center of the "Grand Site de France de la Camargue Gardoise". Stop and take a short walk along the lovingly laid out paths through the nature reserve.The ancient fortress walls of Aigues-Mortes will catch your eye from a distance. But before you get to see the inside of the medieval city, the tour makes a little dangle south to the salt pans. These are on the other side of the channel. If you want, you can of course visit the city directly, that's up to you.At the end of the tour we head north, where you have a great panoramic view of the "Marais du vieux Vistre" from the "Tour Carbonnière". Then the route takes you via another diverter to Aigues-Mortes (there is the only bridge) on the "Canal du Rhône à Sète" back to your starting point. This time you drive from north to La Grande Motte, covering a short distance on the local feeder road. Here you should pay particular attention to the increased traffic.
On this moderately difficult day tour, you will take a big loop around the “Etang du Méjean” and visit the beach town of Palavas-les-Flots in the south. You start in the west of La Grande Motte at the "Plage du Grand Travers" and drive along the "Canal du Rhône à Sète" to Carnon. Here you turn north and drive on the narrow bank between the two large lakes to Pérols.Past pastureland and fields you reach the nature reserve "Marais du Maupas" a few kilometers later, which you can explore a short time later from "Maison de la nature" as a starting point on various hiking trails. Since cycling on the nature trails is not allowed, you can simply park your bike at the visitor center.The way back to the sea is on the narrow strip of land between the "Etang du Méjean" and the "Etang de l'Arnel". If you are lucky, you can spot a few groups of flamingos in the shallow water on the waterfront. In Palavas-les-Flots you can finally spend a great afternoon on the quays at the end of the lake tour before you drive back to La Grande Motte via the museum "Albert Dubout" and the long, partly wild beaches.
The moderately difficult tour to Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone takes you a little further south-west than the one to Palavas-les-Flots. It also offers a leisurely day tour and can also be combined with the tour to Palavas-les-Flots and the “Étang du Méjean”.You also start here in the west of La Grande Motte at the "Plage du Grand Travers" and drive the entire coastline down to Palavas-les-Flots. As a small variation to the coast, the tour now leads you to the dike that separates the "Étang de l'Arnel" from the "Étang du Prevost". Between the waters you drive past the fishing huts of Arnel and the "Ile de l'Esclavon" and then visit the typical southern French town center of Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone.Please note that cycling is not permitted on the Dammweg in places. Especially when there is a lot going on, you should better get off and push your bike here. In this way, you also have more time to enjoy the magnificent landscape and maybe watch a few flamingos. As an alternative to the dam path, you can of course also drive along the beach.Finally it goes back over the peninsula of Maguelone to the sea. Before you treat yourself to a well-deserved break on the beach, you can visit the winery of the "Compagnons de Maguelone" on the peninsula, where you can also have a great lunch. A subsequent small tour around the cathedral is almost self-evident. After a leisurely afternoon on the beach, the tour finally takes you back to La Grande Motte along the long stretch of shore from Palavas via Carnon.
This somewhat more demanding tour takes you over 50 kilometers to the northern regions of La Grande Motte and across the plains and fields along the department border back to your starting point. It's best to plan a whole day for it. You visit the pretty town of Lunel and go to the archaeological site "Ambrussum" on a journey into a historical era before our era.You start in La Grande Motte at the "Point Zéro" and drive for a short distance on the busy feeder road to the "Canal du Rhône à Sète". At the eastern end of the "Etang de l'Or" you branch off from it to the "Canal de Lunel", which leads you to the center of the southern French town of Lunel. Here you can put together your own cultural day program between the museum, botanical garden and a mysterious old prison tower and strengthen yourself for the onward journey.Now it goes north, where the excavation site "Ambrussum" with well preserved details of a settlement from the late Iron Age is waiting to be explored by you. Afterwards you drive in a big curve along the river "Le Vidourle" back south to La Grande Motte, where you can end the day relaxed at the "Plage du Center Ville".
This challenging day tour takes you to the southwest of La Grande Motte. In addition to Palavas-les-Flots and Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone, you will also visit the small town of Vic-la-Gardiole on the “Étang de Vic” on this tour and thus all five large salt lakes between La Grande Motte and Frontignan. If you want, you can combine this large round with the other smaller tours that lead in the same direction.You start again at the western end of La Grande Motte and turn off at Palavas-les-Flots between the salt lakes towards Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone. The route now leads you to the "Etang de Vic", where you can explore the landscape around the salt pans of Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone. Afterwards you can have a nice lunch break in Vic-la-Gardiole and get new energy for the rest of the day in one of the restaurants in the center.After strengthening yourself, one of the largest nature reserves of the "Côte d'Amethyste" welcomes you in the south of Vic-la-Gardiole. You can explore the flora and fauna on the banks of the "Etang d'Ingril" on various hiking trails here in "Les Aresquiers".Before returning to La Grande Motte, it is worth stopping at the wild beach of Aresquiers, then the route takes you "on water" directly through the salt lakes to Palavas-les-Flots - a great experience. From here it is not far to your starting point in La Grande Motte.Please note that cycling is not permitted on the Dammweg in places. Especially when there is a lot going on, you should better get off and push your bike here. In this way, you also have more time to enjoy the magnificent landscape and maybe watch a few flamingos. As an alternative to the dam path, you can of course also drive along the beach.
A trip to Montpellier is definitely one of the highlights of a stay in the holiday region of La Grande Motte - it becomes something very special by bike. At almost 60 kilometers, the route is not entirely without, and you should plan enough time in Montpellier, because there is a lot to see. If a 60-kilometer stage in itself is a little challenge for you, it is worth renting an e-bike for this tour or alternatively shortening the tour a little. We describe below where and how to do this. So you can be sure that you will find enough time in Montpellier to discover and enjoy the city in all its trains.You start in the west of La Grande Motte and turn after about eight kilometers along the coast at Carnon towards Pérols. Less than eight kilometers later you have already reached the city limits of Montpellier. On the banks of the Lez you drive into the big city. You can expect a small circular tour that will take you past the “must-sees” of the city. Note that the tour also takes you through areas with limited traffic, where cycling may also be prohibited. Then just get off and push your bike. In this way you experience the city in a relaxed manner.The way back is along the banks of the Lez. If you have spent a little more time in Montpellier, you can now decide whether you want to shorten the way back or take the detour to Mauguio. If you prefer the abbreviation, you can simply drive along the way back to Carnon on the Lez - this will save you around 16 kilometers.However, if you don't want to miss Mauguio, the route leads you east from Montpellier. You cross the imposing shopping and leisure area around the Odysseum on the outskirts of the city and graze on smaller, idyllic palace complexes. In Mauguio you visit the Jardin de la Motte, from whose lookout tower you have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire country. Incidentally, the territory of La Grande Motte used to belong to the municipality of Mauguio before the beach town became independent. The way back leads you between fields and pastures back to Pérols, from where you can get back to La Grande Motte via Carnon along the beach.
This demanding tour takes you far into the eastern cliffs behind La Grande Motte. Incidentally, it can be excellently combined with the tour to Aigues-Mortes, since you drive roughly the same route. With its almost 70 kilometers, the tour is challenging, but with enough time in the back it is quite feasible because the terrain is flat throughout. If you are unsure whether the entire distance is too long for you with a normal bike or if you want to combine the tour with that to Aigues-Mortes, consider whether you should not rent an e-bike - so you have the time definitely on your side.You start at "Point Zéro" and drive via Le Grau-du-Roi to Aigues-Mortes. The tour now continues eastwards, through wineries, fields and pastures. You make a small detour to the "Domaine de Sylvéréal", a larger farm that also offers guided tours. You can also taste delicious, regional products here.In the north, the Parc du Scamandre awaits you with its three lakes, the Étang du Charnier, the Étang du Crey and the Étang de Scamandre. Take enough time to explore this unique nature reserve. At the entrance to the park you will also find the visitor center, where you can also stock up on lots of information about the local flora and fauna.The path along the Canal du Rhône à Sète leads you back to La Grande Motte via a small loop in the village of Gallician, where you can fortify yourself for the return trip or pack up a good wine for the evening. When entering the feeder road, pay attention to the increased traffic.