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Languedoc's sea beaches
Languedoc's beaches
Home > Explore The Region > Beaches > Sea Beaches

Languedoc Beaches - the good, the bad and the ugly

 

Most who head to the Languedoc-Roussillon region

 

1: Languedoc's (sea) beaches:

 

The sea beaches of Languedoc Roussillon, south France tend to be larger and sandier than Provence's pebbly equivalents, and some stretch for miles along a coastline that is predominantly flat and straight. (Espiguette, in the Camargue, is said to be one of Europe's longest.)

 

Many of Languedoc's 'town' beaches, such as Carnon, St Pierre and Canet are truly awful - ruined by legions of cheap concrete beach apartments in garish pink. But get off the beaten track, and some of Languedoc's beaches are amongst the most beautiful in the south of France.

 

Espiguette beach is unique - in that it is so long and wild, backed by endless sand dunes. Cap D'Agde's nudist beach is excellent - but don't forget it forms part of Europe's largest nudist colony - and you'll pay €5 per person just to get in. Portiragnes and Serignan are Beziers' best beaches, also quite secluded and free from ugly buildings.

 

Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France Information on the best beaches in Languedoc, south of France "" "" "" "" "" "" #12c "" ""

 

La Franqui and Leucate are the next of Languedoc's beaches that we've marked as 'excellent'.

 

Part of La Franqui's beach is double-sided - with the sea on one side and the etang (inland lake) on the other. Leucate has two beaches - one larger one that feels like a southern Californian or Australian beach town, and a more remote, thin strip of beach bordered by rocks.

 

The last beach we've scored as 'Excellent' is Argèles - Languedoc's most famous beach - which at its northern end is truly beautiful, with its stunning views of the Pyrenees and lush park of grass and pine trees just behind the beach itself.

Languedoc's beaches tend to be straight and long until just south of Perpignan. Here, where the Pyrénées meet the sea, Languedoc's beaches along the 'Cote de Vermeille' coastline suddenly break into craggy inlets - with smaller, more secluded beaches. You're guaranteed to find beaches here, even in summer, with very few people on them - if you're prepared to climb a little.

 

About our review of Languedoc's beaches

 

It took many a hot day with clipboard and camera, but we finally got there - a comprehensive (and as far as we know, the world's only) review of all of Languedoc's beaches.

 

We've scored them from Bad to Excellent - but please take these scores with a good pinch of salt. Beach-beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we tend to prefer our beaches wild and remote. If you have kids or just like to be near civilisation, you may well prefer the more built-up beaches - so just ignore our scores and focus instead on the information provided.

 

Remember also that we've scored beaches purely on how well each performs as a beach. So for example, Collioure's town is exquisite, but its beach rates rather poorly as it is pebbly and small. Simply click on any beach shown on the map, and you'll be taken down to that beach's review below. Should you find a Languedoc beach that we've missed, we'd love to hear about it.

 

Click here to read an article on how our Languedoc Beach Report was compiled. Click here to read about the Best Beach Bars.

 

""
Montpellier's Beaches
Espiguette: Excellent
The King of Languedoc's beaches, Espiguette stretches for kilometre after kilometre of fine sandy dunes. This beach is big enough to find your own space, no matter how many people are there. The walk from the car park can be as long as you want - but the further you go, the more nude and then more gay it becomes. There are no buildings near by, but in summer the odd drinks seller will pass by. Finish your day here with a drink at nearby Aigues Mortes.
Espiguette
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2-15 mins
Naturist?
La Grande Motte: OK
La Grande Motte is a huge and very famous seaside resort that, in summer, is absolutely crammed with hundreds of thousands of eager holiday makers. It's not a particularly up-market sort of place, with rather ugly concrete high-rise apartment blocks looming wherever you go. The beach here is not very big either, and so gets absolutely packed in summer - but it's well served with restaurants and amenities and activities for children.
La Grand Motte
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1 min
Naturist?
Le Grand Travers: OK
Between the big urban beaches at La Grande Motte and Carnon (Montpellier) is a long, very flat strip of beach named 'La Grand Travers'. It's quite close to the road, and you'll be spoilt to a charming view of 1960's high-rises and cranes building yet more concrete apartments in the distance. It does, however, offer on-beach restaurants and night clubs between May and September. The end closest to Carnon is called Le Petit Travers, and is the closest beach to Montpellier - it's quite a popular beach in winter for joggers and people with kids and dogs.
Le Grand Travers
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: (summer) Bar: (summer)
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 0 min
Naturist?
Carnon: Bad
There's just something cheap and nasty about Montpellier's two big beaches, Carnon and Palavas. Carnon is lined with truly hideous concrete holiday apartments that seem to have lost out in popularity over the years to La Grande Motte. The beach itself is made up of smaller beaches created by large wave barriers. Strangely, there isn't much in the way of restaurants or bars along the beach, for that you'll have to venture into the delights of Carnon town.
Carnon
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Palavas: Bad
Similar to Carnon, Palavas is lined with concrete apartment blocks, only these are higher and even more ugly. The town itself is relatively lively, with attractions for children and plenty of cheap restaurants and bars.
Palavas
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Maguelone: Good
Further down the coast and away from the built-up mass beaches of Palavas and Carnon we find Maguelone. The beach is relatively slim but quite long, and is very popular with nude bathers and gay men. It's quieter than the big Montpellier beaches. Parking is free if you're prepared to walk - whereas paid parking is quite close to the beach itself. A beach bar/restaurant offers sun loungers and umbrellas for a price.
Maguelone
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Des Aresquiers : OK
This must be Languedoc's thinnest beach - being only perhaps 10m wide in places. It's quite pebbly and a little claustrophobic, but is away from any of the coast's ugly buildings and feels quite wild and remote. It's quite popular with anglers, who line up their rods along the shore.
Des Aresquiers
Sand: Pebbly Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 0 min
Naturist?
Frontignan: OK
Another urban beach, but this time with slightly less ugly buildings. The sand is gritty and pebbly, however, and suddenly falls down in a steep bank just before hitting the water's edge. It's quite a long beach, but not very wide - so you're never far from those buildings.
Frontignan
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
La Corniche (North) : OK
Just below the smelly hubbub of Sète is La Corniche, a large, deep beach with nice views of the promontory on which Sète sits. There's a huge, free parking lot and in summer there are at least 3 large restaurant/night clubs on the beach itself. Though it lacks the atmosphere of La Corniche South's beach, it is better set up for food and drink, and its size guarantees you can get away from the noise of the road.
La Corniche North
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 0 min
Naturist?
La Corniche (South): OK
The wide beach at La Corniche North thins out, running along the road between Sète and Cap D'Agde for many kilometres. It's a thin beach, so the road and its noise are never far away. But the sand is fine, and being further away from Sète, the beach has a slightly wilder atmosphere, with no buildings within sight.
Espiguette beach, LanguLa Corniche Southedoc
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 0 min
Naturist?
Beziers' Beaches
Marseillan Plage: OK
The beach at Marseillan Plage looks and feels very much like Cap D'Agde's - except that its bathers aren't nude. It's long and wide, with beautifully fine sand. Behind the beach is probably the tackiest of Languedoc's beach towns - with cheap snack bars and ugly shops. (N.B. Marseillan Plage and Marseillan are two separate towns, 10 mins apart).
Marseillan
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1 min
Naturist?
Cap D'Agde's 9 beaches: -OK to Excellent

There are nine beaches in the Cap d'Agde area (see map at top of page), ranging from small coves (Plage de la Conque and La Plagette) through to long stretches of sand 14 kms (the nudist beach, Plage de Richelieu and Plage de Rochelongue). Each of the beaches has a parking area nearby but the beaches are only backed by footpaths, so are not plagued by traffic noise. Unusually for this area, there is a rocky headland with magnificent views to Sete in one direction and the Pyrenees in the other.  - Jackie Wakeley

 

The nudist beach: ""EXCELLENT

The beach forms part of Europe's largest nudist colony, and is actually one of the nicest beaches in Languedoc. Long and wide, it offers fine sand and, if you walk far enough down it, freedom from buildings. Behind most of the beach are sand dunes. Official entrance to the complex and beach is €5 per person, but you can get to the beach by going to Marseillan beach and walking 10mins to the south. The beach really is 100% nude, and the further reaches (and dunes) have been known to offer evening sex shows - replete with gawking spectators.

 

La Roquille Beach: ""OK

Plage de La Roquille is covered with sea shells and is a pretty bog-standard 'town beach' - with lots of rather tacky snack shops and touristy concessions. An area of yellow umbrellas (shown in pic) offers rented beds. Plenty of showers and toilets. Parking nearby.

 

Le Mole beach: ""OK

Plage du Mole is very safe for small children, having a wide flat area of shallow water. There are showers and loos, and parking just behind the beach. Again, quite a built-up area so don't expect much ambiance!

 

La Grande Conque beach: Good

A small cove carved by the sea out of volvanic rock. The sand here is dark and igneous - but it has a certain atmosphere.

 

La Plagette beach: Good

Review to come...

 

Richelieu beach: ""OK

A wide expanse of sand with a number of beach restaurants quite near the water - each offering rented sun beds and bars. The 'Jungle Beach' club is the best (click here to read about it). Not that pretty a setting - with cheap holiday apartments in view, but if you confine yourself to the Jungle Beach club, you'll do fine. Showers, toilets and parking all nearby.

 

Rochelongue beach: ""Good

As you walk south from Richelieu beach, the apartment blocks peter out and are replaced by some rather expensive-looking beach houses. The beach here is nicer, and divided into small bays by wave breaks. Not as many amenities, however, so probably less good for the kids.

 

St Vincent beach: Good

A small beach, even quieter and more remote. Full review to come...

 

La Tamarissière beach: ""Excellent

A long beach bordered by a 200-year-old pine forest. Full review to come...

Cap d'Agde nudist
The Nudist Beach, Cap d'Agde
Richelieu beach, Cap d'Agde
La Roquille beach, Cap d'Agde
Richelieu beach, Cap d'Agde
La Grande Conque beach, Cap d'Agde
Richelieu beach, Cap d'Agde
Richelieu beach, Cap d'Agde
Richelieu beach, Cap d'Agde
Rochelongue beach, Cap d'Agde
Vias: Good
Like Serignan, Vias has a line of tall, grassy sand banks running along behind it that give it a more secluded feel. The beach is quite long but not very wide, with tidal barriers creating lots of mini-beaches. A few snack bars sit behind the sand bank, but from the beach itself you can't see any buildings at all.
Vias
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
Portiragnes: Excellent
Remote and relatively wild, Portiragnes is a lovely beach, with fine sand and practically no views of ugly commerce. It's smaller than the huge Narbonne beaches - and so feels more intimate. DOG FRIENDLY - The only beach in summer with a dog-friendly area.
Portiragnes
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
Serignan: Excellent
Like Portiragnes and Vendres, Serignan feels more remote and wild, with a grassy sand bank hiding the few buildings that sit behind the beach. You can just see Cap D'Agde in the distance and the etang (inland lake) borders the north end of the beach. The restaurant behind the sand bank offers simple meals. You can also rent miniature ponies for kids to ride on. Serignan is quite popular in summer - so gets crowded. To get to the nude beach, turn right at the Ranch St Jean just before you get to Serignan - and follow the signs.
Serignan
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1 min
Naturist?
Valras: OK
Valras beach is one of Languedoc's big 'town beaches' like Narbonne, Canet and Palavas. It's certainly bustling, with plenty of tacky postcard shops and ice cream stalls. The beach itself is nice, with large wave-breakers having been built to stop erosion. This has created a number of 'beachlets' - smaller beaches separated by thin rock promontories. A good choice if you have kids, as ice cream and kiddie areas are never far, but not particularly beautiful or atmospheric.
Valras
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Vendres: Good
Vendres is one of the more hidden beaches, despite being just below busy Valras. It has quite a wild feel, and is very straight and long. Unfortunately, you can see the concrete of Valras in the distance and the sand is a little gritty, but its large and remote enough for you to feel you've escaped. There's a quite good beach club with restaurant on this beach.
Vendres
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Narbonne's Beaches
St Pierre: Bad
We think St Pierre is one of the the ugliest beaches in Languedoc, with all the concrete of Narbonne plage without as many restaurants and things for kids to play on. Whereas on Narbonne, you see only the buildings directly behind you, on St Pierre, the hills behind treat you to a view of row upon row of bright pink holiday flats rising above you. Nasty.
St Pierre
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 min
Naturist?
Narbonne (North): OK
Like Languedoc's other big 'town beaches', Narbonne plage comes with a tacky mess of cheap restaurants and tourist shops. But Narbonne's beach is larger and more spacious than Beziers' Valras, and somehow seems more lively than Montpellier's Carnon. There's also quite a lot for kids - with trampolines and swings and merry-go-rounds.
Narbonne City Beach
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Narbonne (South): OK
Walk down Narbonne beach, and the buildings die out giving way to nothing but a flat, enormous stretch of sand. It's not particularly charming - but it has a certain atmosphere, and especially in winter, is a great place to walk with dogs. In summer, it's large enough that you can escape the crowds and have your own space.
Narbonne South
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 min
Naturist?
Mateille: OK
Very long, very wide, very flat - Mateille would probably be perfect for sand sailing. But as a beach to sit on, it just feels a little too big and flat and open, without much atmosphere and any interesting views. That said, it's large enough to promise a certain degree of privacy.
Mateille
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
Gruissan: Good
Gruissan is a popular seaside resort village with a ruin on top of a hill above the village itself. Its beach is really a continuation of the massive, wide stretches of sand that start at St Pierre. Like Narbonne and Mateille, it is extremely flat and wide, and feels very open. It does benefit from being further from the ugly buildings of Narbonne Plage, and is right next to a popular sailing port, where you can rent wind surfers.
Gruissan
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 5 min
Naturist?
La Franqui: Excellent
Very popular with wind surfers, La Franqui's beach is large and wide, with fine sand. There are two beaches, one just in front of a sweet village, and one further up the coast that is bordered by the sea on one side, and the etang (inland lake) on the other. The result is a long strip of 2-sided beach. It's windy here (thus the wind surfers) with pretty surroundings and relaxed, friendly restaurants.
La Franqui
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 min
Naturist?
Leucate: Excellent

Sandwiched between the ugly ports of Nouvelle and Barcarès, Leucate plage comes as a very pleasant surprise. It feels more like an Australian beach town just outside Sydney - with relatively attractive houses climbing up pretty fir-covered hills. There are two beaches here, a main, large beach just in front of the town, and, further along (accessible only by climbing round the rocks), a much slimmer beach bordered by rocks that is popular with nude bathers and, at the very end, gay men. Leucate is also popular with wind surfers, and boards can be hired in the town.

Leucate
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1-15 mins
Naturist?

Leucate Naturist Beach & Village

 

You get to it by heading North up the D627 past Port Leucate. On the left is the etang where many sail-boarders go and before the bridge there is a right turning signed to Naturist Villages and the Centre Conchicole. After taking the turning there is a roundabout, turning right and next left after some newly built apartments brings one to a narrow bridge There is more parking to be found without crossing the bridge unless one is lucky, however it is only a short paved walk (See Google Earth at 42.52.37.20 N x3.02.49.14 E) to the beach between two of the naturist 'villages'. ' Aphrodite' on the left has a restaurant on the beach and 'Oasis' has a pizza/cafe next to its swimming pool. Fresh water showers are available, and the beach is public and without wandering voyeurs. By the way us naturists prefer not to be called 'nudists' Turning left at the aforementioned roundabout brings the happy motorist to the third village called Ulysses, or to fishermens' cafes for the consumption of fresh shellfish!

Port Leucate: Good
Port Leucate is basically an enormous holiday development, with not-too-unattractive orange and beige holiday blocks laid out amongst neatly manicured gardens. The beach is long and very deep, separated from the developments behind by a well-tended boardwalk, popular with roller skaters. The sand is gritty (like most of the Perpignan beaches) and suddenly slopes just before the water's edge. There's plenty of parking, and lots of restaurants, bars and a few shops. Even mini-golf is not far away.
Port Leucate
Sand: Gritty Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1-5 mins
Naturist?
Port Barcarès : OK
Port Barcares is much like Port Leucate, only uglier and more built-up. Again, there's a long boardwalk lined with flowers separating buildings and beach, but the buildings here are just taller and more imposing and the beach less deep. so you can feel their presence far more. There are lots of restaurants and bars - and if you continue walking down the southern end of the beach, the buildings dry up and the beach becomes wilder, backed only by camping grounds.
Port Barcares
Sand: Gritty Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1-5 mins
Naturist?
Le Barcarès : Good
Whereas Port Leucate and Port Barcares feel very much like modern holiday developments, Le Barcares feels a little more like a village, giving it a nicer atmosphere somehow. The beach is deep (again gritty) and a little steep just before the water's edge. There are lots of bars, restaurants and shops nearby, as well as bouncy castles and slides for the kids, and a fun pirate ship for them to play in. You can hire jet skis at the port nearby, and mini golf isn't far.
Le Barcares
Sand: Gritty Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1-15 mins
Naturist?
Perpignan's Beaches
Torreilles: Excellent
Finally, the build-up ends and the beach becomes more natural and wild. Torreilles beach is long and deep, with parking nearby. It has two beach bar/restaurants (from June 1) which are a fun place to retreat to after a few hours of sweltering on your towel (try the L'Ovalie Beach 06 03 78 80 22) . Just sit here with your Pastis and olives watching the sail boats dart about, with the Pyrenees towering in the distance.
Torreilles
Sand: Gritty Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
St Marie: Good
The buildings return at St Marie, with its holiday apartments and boardwalk. It's a good beach for families, with a bouncy castle, slides and some shops, restaurants and bars behind the beach. The beach is quite long but not that deep, and you'll have to put up with the sight of holiday homes behind it. It's also quite steep just before the water's edge.
St Marie
Sand: Gritty Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
Canet: OK
Perpignan's 'big town beach' is much like Montpellier's, Beziers' and Narbonne's. A huge expanse of sand fenced off by a concrete wall of cheap holiday flats and nasty restaurants. Of course, food and drink and children's play areas are all nearby - but it's quite a price to pay for the lousy atmosphere and, in summer, groaning masses of sunbathers. That said, the sand is fine here (unlike the beaches either side) and the beach is deep and long enough to find your own spot if you're prepared to walk south. Walk far enough, and the beach really gets quite remote and quiet, and would continue on into St Cyprien North (read below) were it not for a large break-water.
Canet
Sand: Fine Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
St Cyprien : Good

St Cyprien is really 3 beaches - North, Central and South (also known as Plage de la Lagune). We've given it a 'Good' rating because the North and South portions of the beach are lovely - thin stretches of sand that go on for miles. The North beach is the best - bigger and with better sand than the Southerly stretch. The Central part of the beach is the commercial heart - with lots of shops and restaurants and the resulting fall in atmosphere and beauty. Like all of Perpignan's beaches, it's quite windy here (thanks to the Tramontane wind) so very popular with kite surfers. And of course, the views of the Pyrenees give the beach a certain atmosphere.

St Cyprien
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
Argelès North : Excellent
Argeles is frequently said to be one of the best beaches in all of France - and this half of the beach certainly deserves that accolade. The beach is enormous, like many of Languedoc's beaches, but it has the edge in two important respects. Firstly, the views of the Pyrenees from here are stunning, and make a unique backdrop for any sub-bathing session. And secondly, the beach is separated from the holiday homes and camping areas behind it by a lush park of grass, flowers and pine trees. So you feel you're away from it all, even though civilisation is only a few meters away.
Argeles North
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 1-15 mins
Naturist?
Argeles: OK
The fame of Argeles has ensured that it has become one of France's most popular beaches - with millions of holiday makers descending on the place in summer. As a result, the central section of the beach suddenly gets much more commercial - with lots of bouncy castles and tacky games arcades. There are also lots of shops, bars and restaurants catering to the throng, and in August the place gets incredibly crowded.
Argeles
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
Racou: Good

Racou feels like the end of Languedoc - as the coast finally (after hundreds of kilometres of running flat and straight) curves just before Collioure. Suddenly, hills and trees appear, giving Racou a cozier fee (it's like Leucate in this respect). As you sit on the beach, you're overlooked by ancient watch-towers, and behind you the buildings feel less commercial and more natural somehow. Racou has the feel of an Australian or Californian beach town, with lots of little shops and greenery. That said, the beach is not that long and can get very crowded. The beach shelves steeply, so when the sea is a bit rough, it can be a struggle to get out of the water. There's a small cabin which sells drinks, and around 8 cafes/restaurants at the back of the beach. An excellent place for the family.

- Tricia Louvel

Racou
Sand: Fine Setting: Rural Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 2 mins
Naturist?
Collioure: OK
Collioure is gorgeous, with its ancient ramparts spilling in to the sea, and its Italian Riviera-esque shorefront restaurants and bars. The beach, however, is just OK, a nice place to sit perhaps after a lunch on the promenade. Ultimately, however, Collioure just isn't about beaches - it's about sipping a good rose while the sun sets and soaking up the sophisticated atmosphere.
Collioure
Sand: Gritty Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 0 min
Naturist?
Banyuls-sur-Mer: OK
Banyuls is a nice enough place. It's smaller than Collioure and lacks its caché - but the various restaurants and bars lining the beach promenade are perfectly pleasant. The beach, like Collioure's, is small and pebbly, and really not the sort of place you'd want to sunbathe and swim. Far better to drive back up the coast to Racou or Argeles.
Banyuls
Sand: Pebbly Setting: Urban Restaurant: Bar:
Toilets: Showers: Parking distance: 0 min
Naturist?

 

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