We’ve sunk our toes in the sand, felt the warm waters of the Mediterranean and sampled the seafood and cool drinks of their waterfront bars to present our favourite beaches in Languedoc & Roussillon. Picture idyllic views from miles of sandy beaches, rugged coastlines with wild waves for windsurfing, fun and relaxation. Now picture yourself right here…
A lovely pale sand beach backed by a huge nature reserve – perfect for leisurely walks along winding tracks, by creeks and through pine forest. The beach is good for surfing (there’s usually a good wind here), and free parking all along the beach. If you’re into birdwatching, there are two stations where you can sit and watch the marine birds which stop off here on their migration routes totally undisturbed.
Nearest parc: Les Peupliers
Offering sand as wide as a desert to the north and pines, scrublands and parks in the background, Argelès-Plage is the place to visit for a family beach day. With every water-related activity you can think of, the kids will never get bored! Join in and try your hand at sea-kayaking, sailing, diving, fishing, windsurfing, jet-skiing or paragliding.
If all this activity gives you an appetite and a thirst, don’t worry, as you’re still in the right place – located in the middle of the northern stretch of beach, the popular Côte Nord bar provides snacks and refreshments. If the place gets a little too crowded, move further south where the beach is lined with a plethora of cafés and restaurants.
Explore further south still and discover the coast’s hills, cliffs and coves that lead you to the rugged and intimate edges of Argelès-Plage… and into the shadows of the Pyrénées!
Nearest parc: Hippocampe Campsite
Portiragnes and nearby Sérignan
Portiragnes and nearby Sérignan, a little further west, are beautiful natural beaches with fine sand, grassy banks and a remote, wild feel to them. Portiragnes is probably the quieter of the two, which is good news if you like your peace; though you may want to head to Sérignan if your younger children are looking for something extra to do – they will love the rides on the cute miniature ponies.
Nearest parc: Les Sablons Campsite
The beach at Vias, between the Cap d’Agde and Portiragnes Plage, is a small, rural bay with some of the warmest water in the south of France. A long cove that has been sculpted by the Mediterranean, its fine, safe sands shelve gently towards the sea, framed in the background by marshland and natural lagoons. From Cap d’Agde to La Tamarissiere there are 11 beaches offering all manner of sun and sand fun (some nudist, so be aware!) Try Rochelongue, as it is directly accessible via the “ramblas” of the Mail de Rochelongue, and is a long beach bordered by green spaces and the Municipal Sports Service organises free sporting activities there in July and August. Richelieu is very long too – this wide beach, bordered by green spaces, is softened by sand banks which make it a delight for children
Nearest parc: Club Farret
There are over four kilometres of sandy beach adjacent to the city centre, with first aid stations, showers and lifeguards on duty. At Valras, the beach is located close to the heart of the city, which has the advantage of making a sunbathing session and a leisurely lunch easy to combine. For nature lovers Valras offers, on the left bank of Orb River, some of the highest dunes of the French Mediterranean in a protected site known as ‘The Orpellières’. There’s a great beach club for kids, too.
Nearest parc: Domaine de la Yole
Enjoy seven kilometres of straight, sandy beach, on the Côte Vermeille. Easy to reach from Collioure, on the coastal path. Leisure activities during the day and evening markets at the port. Also markets for crafts and local products in the town during the week.
Nearest parc: Le Front de Mer
Rochelonge plage is in the centre of Cap d’Agde – a headland with more than its fair share of terrific sandy spots. It’s our preferred choice out of the local beaches on the Cap. There is a nice beachside restaurant and bar and you get lovely sweeping views of the whole bay down to Narbonne plage.
Nearest parc: Le Beach Garden
St Cyprien Plage
North and South sections of the beach are the best as they tend to be quieter and the sand stretches on for miles. The views of the Pyrenees to the southern side of St Cyprien also helps to make these beaches stand out. The sandy north beach is the biggest of the three beaches and the central part of the beach is the commercial heart of St Cyprien Plage – with lots of shops and restaurants. Like all of Perpignan beaches, it’s quite windy on St Cyprien at times, but this also makes it a popular resort with kite surfers (main pic, above).
Nearest parc: Le Soleil de La Méditerranée