The Best Beaches

Espiguette, in the Camargue, is said to be Europe's longest beach and is backed by sand dunes. It is a little difficult to find and a bit of a walk from the car park, but worth it for its beauty and peacefulness. Portiragnes and Serignan are lovely beaches near to Béziers with beach bars/restaurants and you can hire sun loungers and parasols. Valras is great if you have children as there are many ice cream parlors and play facilities, not to mention restaurants and toilets.

The charming seaside town of Leucate has two beaches and some great restaurants. La Franqui beach has the sea on one side and the étang (lagoon) on the other.

Collioure is a charming coastal town full of bars, restaurants and boutiques. Around it there are three beaches with spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the Pyrennees.

If you are looking for a beach that is a little less crowded in the height of the season, then Gruissan Plage with its wide, flat beach will offer plenty of space for you to stretch out. You can also hire wind surfing equipment from the port.

At Port Vendres you will find a lovely beach with dunes and nature all around. There are no crowds here and it is a great place to swim with a lifeguard watching over you (in July and August). There are also lovely little coves between the rocks and places to eat or hire equipment close by.

There is also Cap D'Agde's nudist beach, for which there is an entrance fee, which is extremely popular.

Last but not least, another beach worth mentioning is Argelès-sur-Mer; a 7km sandy beach about 20 minutes from Perpignan which has become one of the major Mediterranean beach resorts, and boasts a large harbour area. The north end is beautiful with views of the Pyrénées and bordered by pine trees, at the other end it is more commercial with plenty of facilities for the kids.