Palavas-les-Flots is a commune located in the east of the Hérault department, in the Occitania region, southeast of France.

It is an urban and coastal commune that has 5,881 inhabitants (as of 2021), after having experienced a sharp increase in population since 1962. It is in the urban unit of Palavas-les-Flots and is part of the Montpellier attraction area.

Exposed to a Mediterranean climate, it is drained by the Lez and the RhôneSète canal. The town has a remarkable natural heritage: two Natura 2000 sites, three protected areas and six natural areas of ecological, fauna and flora interest.

Created in 1850, following a dismemberment of the territory of its neighboring communes, this small Mediterranean town – located on the coast of the Gulf of Lion and its annex, the Gulf of Aigues-Mortes – has been a modest fishing port positioned at the mouth of the Languedoc River Lez.

Over time, due to its proximity to the Montpellier metropolitan area, this town became a main seaside resort, frequented by Hérault residents from the hinterland. This specificity gave it its epithet, “les-Flots,” in 1928.

In its capacity as a holiday resort, it can accommodate nearly 40,000 people on a non-permanent basis, taking into account secondary residences and hotel accommodation, particularly during the summer period.

It’s a popular part of the Amethyst Coast of the Mediterranean resorts of France.

Tourism and main attractions

The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean, located near the city center and built on the site of the old Ballestras redoubt, the old water tower, 45 m high, built in 1943, presents a concrete chest that has been profoundly transformed to become the Lighthouse of the Mediterranean. For several years, this monument has housed the convention center with a rotating panoramic restaurant at the top, offering guests a 360° view.

On September 17, 2019, as part of the 34th anniversary of the Marianne d’Or, a prize of excellence from municipalities in France, the Mediterranean lighthouse received the “Anniversary Marianne d’Or,” presented to its mayor, Christian Jeanjean.

Thanks to its “Town of Water” label, Palavas has had a casino on the right bank since the end of the 19th century. The building is very close to the city center and the port, facing the beach. The Grand casino Granier allows you to participate in numerous gambling games, such as the famous slot machines, English roulette tables, blackjack and card games. A restaurant is also located in the building. The casino, renowned for its operetta shows, currently belongs to the Partouche group, which owns other casinos in France.

The Saint-Pierre parish Catholic Church of Palavas-les-Flots is located in the town center, not far from the Mediterranean lighthouse, on the left bank of the canal. The church houses the ashes of the martyr Saint Florence.

The Notre-Dame de la Route chapel, located east of Palavas, towards Carnon on Place Paul-Bruniquel, was blessed on May 1,1961 by Cyprien Tourel. Threatened with ruin, it was bought (at the price of one symbolic euro) from the diocese, by the municipality of Palavas-les-flots and restored.


Palavas-les-Flots offers no less than 7 km of family beaches and quality sports facilities. It is an excellent spot for beach volleyball, windsurfing and kite-surfing.


There is one Michelin list restaurant in the city: Le Saint-Georges, 4 boulevard Maréchal-Foch, Modern Cuisine.

How to get to?

From Paris: 7 hr 20 min (759 km) via A71 and A75

From Toulouse: 2 hr 22 min (247 km) via A61 and A9

From Marseille: 2 hr 16 min (157 km) via A55

From Monaco: 3 hr 41 min (356 km) via A8

From Andorra: 4 hr 9 min (374 km) via A61

From Madrid: 8 hr 50 min (952 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 33 hr (3,281 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 16 hr 8 min (1,659 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 26 hr (2,608 km) via E70

From Bern: 5 hr 53 min (613 km) via A1

Main information

Area: 2,38 km2

Population: 5 881

Coordinates: 43°31′49″N 3°55′53″E

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also Andorra travel guide

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