It has been a very busy time for me recently between house projects and being away for Summer. I usually head for Monaco or Cannes for a Summer break, but this time I wanted to see a different region. I chose to stay at La Grande Motte, I like beach holidays and LGM is a short journey from Montpellier airport. I was torn between staying closer to the centre of Montpellier or staying on the beach which is a journey away from the centre. I chose the beach region, one down side to this area is the hotel choices are more geared to simple family holidays not deluxe (what I call "American standard 5* hotels/resorts"), however there are a couple of hotels which make for a pleasant stay - and the sandy beach is right on the doorstep. The weather was fantastic, ranging from 33-35c daily. There is a very pleasant marina within walking distance with some nice places to eat and drink.
Nearby there are lots of things for small children, it is a very family orientated area which was nice for my little boy. My boy rode this carousel several times a day in fact! Locally the area is beautifully kept with lots of well tended colourful plants, parks and gardens.
The most disappointing part of the trip was Montpellier itself. I visited on a Monday and thought it would be the first of several trips. Montpellier was nothing like I had imagined. It is a sprawling, hectic , overcrowded, student venue. I thought it would be fairly quiet, charming & classy. It was the opposite of everything I expected. It was quite scruffy (the people and the place) even the Hermes shop appeared to have had one of its signs vandalised. The main square where the fountain (photo above) is situated is indeed the most pleasant, I took lunch/coffee breaks at two of the nicest cafe's here and both times the service was rude & rushed.
It is very difficult to go into the centre by car, it is very congested, there is a major tram network in place to cope with the large amount of people going to and from. The network is very modern but crowded.
You can't walk a street here without people bumping into you - it really is that busy! I was glad to leave and go back to the beach area glad in the end that I had chosen to stay there and not in town.
Hermes with only one sign intact! I did not stop to look inside....
Thankfully the beaches here provide a welcome respite from the bustling centre, there are several private beaches along the Grande Motte area, my favourite being Effet Mer situated further along the coast;
Route des plages
Le Grand Travers
34280 La Grande Motte
+ 33 4 67 56 02 14
Walking through the entrance which is roadside if you look straight through the terrace you can get a glimpse of the sea..
Situated on the sandiest of beaches Effet Mer is a private beach club providing comfy sunbeds, lunch, drinks, music whilst you relax alongside the sea - which happens to be very shallow for quite a long way out.
Inside the entrance is dark - making for difficult photo taking!, it is muted with reindeer furs, dark wood and gilded mirrors
Arriving at 11am it was quiet and I had my choice of sun beds..
Truly comfortable beds..
The sea slide - I watched as a mother pushed this out to sea for her son to slide and jump off - great fun!
Slowly people arrived..
I find it a shame this coast has the dated 70's apartment blocks that you can see in this photo, at least this area has less of them than further down the coast where I was staying.
The club offers lunch on the terrace or served to your bedside table. There is an extensive menu and a fantastic wine/cocktail list to choose from. Children are well catered for here too and the service is super friendly.
What a beautiful day.... I swam and sunbathed mostly (the iced rose wine cooled me a little!)
An Hermes bag ... actually there wasn't much Hermes around, I saw none in Montpellier which was a surprise to me.
What were the chances of bumping into another Hermes fan at the beach? Blogger Maitai was enjoying the beach club also - not a scarf in sight on either of us - far too hot!
Lovely clear waters perfect for children to splash in, this part of the coast is the sandiest and smoothest I found underfoot.
All in all a great trip, I am back to regular blogging now, Have a wonderful week love Elle xx