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La Grande Motte – culture, nature and sunshine

La Grande Motte

La Grande Motte – culture, nature and sunshine

Bike Touring Collection by La Grande Motte

10

Tours

28:27 h

251 mi

2,500 ft

When planning a holiday, it’s almost impossible to choose a place that suits everybody. Perhaps you like to be active and do sports, whilst someone else prefers to visit museums and immerse themself in culture, or work on their tan and relax on the beach with a book. La Grande Motte in southern France provides a solution to this conflict. We’ll show you how in the Tours in this Collection.

La Grande Motte is a young town that was established in the 1960s from almost nothing. The area was once a barren swampland with a few sand dunes and practically no economic activity. The town which you see today was the brainchild of architect Jean Balladur who designed it together with his students. His utopian vision has created a place which is more than just a town, but a work of art. You can read more about the cultural development of the area whilst relaxing on the beach.

La Grande Motte’s surroundings are just as impressive as the town itself. The lagoon-like landscapes are home to diverse flora and fauna and wildlife. You can explore the inland waters, known as "étangs", headlands, and peninsulas via a network of cycling and hiking trails which lead through the wild-life rich protected habitats.

As well as fantastic nature, the region has a far-reaching history that stretches back to the Middle Ages and even earlier. You can learn about this rich past at the typical southern French towns and villages close to La Grande Motte.

In this Collection, you will find 10 circular cycle routes ranging from leisurely afternoon city rides to challenging 37-mile (60-km) adventures to the city of Montpellier, which enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year. We’ve included some half-day Tours to wild beaches and romantic villages, too. The routes are almost entirely flat so the longer Tours are very manageable provided you give yourself enough time. Bear in mind that the surfaces can be a bit bumpy in places, but this shouldn’t be a problem on a standard touring bike.

All of the routes start and end in La Grande Motte, so it’s worth using the town as your basecamp. There’s plenty of accommodation available in the area. For your rides, make sure you bring enough water and sun protection as it can get very hot in the south of France. Although you will find numerous opportunities to familiarise yourself with southern French cuisine in the quaint villages en route, it’s worth taking a few emergency snacks with you. Don’t forget that most restaurants in France are closed during the afternoon from around 2 or 3pm to 6 or 7pm.

We recommend driving to La Grande Motte in your own car as there’s no train station. The only way to travel to the town with public transport is via Montpellier. There are buses to La Grande Motte from Montpellier, but from our experience, they don’t allow you to travel with your bike. Holiday accommodation in La Grande Motte usually includes car parking.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    La Grande Motte: Le Quartier du Couchant

    Easy
    00:25
    3.43 mi
    8.3 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Easy
    00:49
    6.31 mi
    7.7 mph
    75 ft
    100 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    02:03
    18.0 mi
    8.8 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    03:03
    25.0 mi
    8.2 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    03:18
    25.5 mi
    7.7 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    02:51
    26.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    03:23
    31.8 mi
    9.4 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    04:08
    36.0 mi
    8.7 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    03:53
    36.7 mi
    9.5 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Intermediate
    04:34
    42.4 mi
    9.3 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    251 mi
  • Duration
    28:27 h
  • Elevation
    2,500 ft

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