Languedoc in the south of France is a popular holiday resort. Sunshine, great food, great and some great beaches. But not all beaches are ideal. Designed to help holidaymakers sort the wheat from the chaff, the Languedoc Beach Report tells it like it is. Just because a beach is on the Med doesn’t mean it’s a nice place to spend the day, and the report aims to ensure that no one wastes valuable holiday time hunting for the perfect beach.
Asked for advice on where to go – and what to avoid – the report’s author and Creme de Languedoc co-founder Greg Taylor suggests the following:
Languedoc has some beautiful beaches on offer, but you have to know where to go. Espiguette, for example, is often not marked on maps, yet it is one of the longest beaches in France, stretching from the marina at the Grau du Roi all the way into neighboring Provence. Completely wild, with a sandy landscape of dunes and cacti bordered by beautiful clear waters, it’s a little difficult to find and the walk from the car park to the beach can be a long one, but its size guarantees everyone their own space, and its remoteness makes for an utterly peaceful, relaxing experience.
Near the city of Narbonne, Leucate Plage is also a great tip. Fir-covered hills rise along this stretch of the coast, dotted with attractive villas. The village has the feel of a Californian beach town, complete with surf shops and good restaurants serving up ultra-fresh seafood. The vibe is relaxed and the beach is enormous, attractive, and clean, with fine sand and plenty of toilets and showers. Clamber around the rocks at the beach end and you come to a much narrower area enclosed by steep rocks which offers a more intimate and secluded atmosphere.
Cap d’Agde’s top beaches: Good to Excellent
There are six beaches in this area, ranging from small coves (Plage de la Conque and La Plagette) through to long stretches of sand 14 km (Plage de Richelieu and Plage de Rochelongue). Plage de Roquille is covered with seashells while Plage du Mole is very safe for small children, having a wide flat area of shallow water. 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.
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.