Updated September 2017.
In the summer (or the rest of the year!) in Montpellier you’re going to want to get to Montpellier’s beaches, right? Here’s a little guide of ways to get to the various “plages”.
Tram + Walk
The closest of Montpellier’s beaches is Carnon but the journey does involve about 30 minutes of walking, however it’s pretty much in a straight line. You take a line 3 tram to Pérols Étang de l’Or (end of the line). Be careful, line 3 has two terminus so make sure you read the electronic timetable carefully. You then walk around 30 minutes, maybe less, straight down the main road. You’ll probably see people heading that way as well.
Tram + Bus
If you’re not feeling the walk you can take a line 1 tram (notice it’s not the same tram as above) to Place de France (the stop before last) in the direction of Odysseum. Alight at Place de France and get yourself to the side of the road of the big Gaumont cinema. In the direction that your tram will have been heading, the 106 bus will stop a few steps down the road. A ticket will cost you 1.60€ and you can’t use your Montpellier transport tickets here because you are changing networks. Be sure to have some change. It’s good to know which stop you want. I’d say you can’t go wrong choosing either that fall under CARNON on the timetable. When getting off the beach may be hidden by some buildings, but orient yourself towards the coast and you’ll get there.
106 bus timetable here (in PDF): http://www.herault-transport.fr/fiche_horaire/106.pdf
Summer timetable: http://www.herault-transport.fr/fiche_horaire/106_ete.pdf
Le Grand Travers
Tram + Free Shuttle Bus (shuttle only in summer)
Simply take a line 3 tram towards Pérols-Étang de l’Or and alight at the end of the line. Be careful to get the correct line 3 tram as it terminates in two different locations. Upon exiting the tram there should be (or will be shortly) an orange Hérault Transport bus in front of you. On the side will be written something like Navette des Plages – Grand Travers. Hop on. It should be free, but take some change just in case. The maximum it will be is 1.60€, but I took it recently and it didn’t cost me anything. Get off at the first (and last) stop. This beach reaches up as far as La Grande Motte, an area famous (or infamous) for its pyramid-shaped buildings. Some love them, some don’t.
Navette des Plages timetable (in PDF): http://www.herault-transport.fr/fiche_horaire/132-juin.pdf
Le Petit Travers
Tram + Bus
See the Tram + Bus option for Carnon, and travel 1 or 2 stops further on the 106 bus.
The two preceding beaches have been west of Carnon. Head east from Carnon and you reach Palavas-les-Flots, most often called Palavas (here, despite being in France, you pronounce the s at the end of the name).
Note: I’ve not tried this route, but I have been to this beach a couple of times.
Tram + Bus
Take a line 4 (either 4a or 4b) to Garcia Lorca. From there take the 131 bus to Palavas-les-Flots. According to the timetable there are 2 stops in Palavas, but only a couple of minutes apart. So as long as to orient yourself towards to the coast, you’ll find sand!
Bus 131 timetable (in PDF): http://www.herault-transport.fr/fiche_horaire/131.pdf
Summer timetable (in PDF): http://www.herault-transport.fr/fiche_horaire/131_ete.pdf
- Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone – probably has some of the more attractive coastal scenery as it’s the site of a monastery. It’s not so accessible by public transport but you can cycle there if you are relatively fit.
- Le Grau-du-Roi
- La Plage de l’Espiguette – you’re going to need a car to get to this one. Try Drivy to hire directly from a car owner and save €€€! Not sponsored to say that. I’ve used it many times.
- Hérault Transport bus timetables (in French): http://www.herault-transport.fr/horaires_tarifs_hiver.php