A listed 20th-century heritage site under France's Patrimoine du XXe Siècle label, La Grande Motte is located on the edge of the Camargue, 25 kilometres from Montpellier. It is said to have been given its name, meaning "The Great Mound", by sailors due to its dunes, which they used to find their bearings in the middle of this wild region. In the 70s, the seaside resort was built on the initiative of the architect Jean Balladur. Its creator's daring spirit is reflected in the futuristic buildings inspired by the Mayan pyramids. The result is a series of immaculate tower blocks adorned with grids, triangles, circles and other geometric patterns forming a backdrop like something out of a Kandinsky painting. The town's emblem is undoubtedly the immense, undulating pyramid facing the harbour, where cream-coloured boats bob up and down. Its shape echoes that of the Pic Saint-Loup, an emblematic mountain for Montpellier residents. A long strip of sand stretches out before these astounding buildings, leading to the turquoise sea. Water sports reign supreme here and fans of outdoor pursuits will be thrilled.
Several themed trails are available to explore the town on foot or by bike. As well as these various itineraries, there are 25 kilometres of cycle paths connecting the green spaces that cover 70% of the resort. So it is very enjoyable to linger there and enjoy the scent of the pine and cypress trees, opposite the Mediterranean Sea and the big, destructured buildings that surround it.