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8 best beaches near Perpignan, France
Perpignan is situated 8kms inland from the Mediterranean coast. If you are looking for the best beaches to visit in 2023 near Perpignan, France, then there are many to choose from, but they are of varying quality.. To the north of Perpignan, France, the beaches tend to be wide and flat and often prone to a lot of wind. Thus beaches such as Le Franqui and Le Barcares tend to be popular with wind surfers and kite surfers.
8 best beaches to visit near Perpignan, France
Some of the popular beach resorts near Perpignan, such as Argeles sur Mer, St Cyprien Plage and Canet Plage tend to be more popular with families. In my opinion, the best beaches Perpignan has to offer are on the Cote Vermeille, to the south of the City, where the dramatic scenery of the Pyrenees provides an interesting back drop to the beaches. The water here tends to be clearer as well. During the height of the summer, the beaches around Perpignan tend to get very busy, especially in the late afternoon as the Perpignanaise, head to the beach after work.
Best beaches to visit near Perpignan 2023
Here is a selection of the 8 best beaches to visit near Perpignan (in no particular order).
1. Best beaches near Perpignan: La Franqui
La Franqui is the most northern beach close to Perpignan. It is in actual fact located equal distance between Perpignan and Narbonne. La Franqui Plage is very popular with wind surfers, La Franqui's beach is large and wide, with fine sand. There are two beaches at La Franqui. The first one, Coussoules Beach, is just in front of the quaint old village and is a wide expanse of flat sand. The second beach is further up the coast (Le Grazel Plage) 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.
La Franqui is quite well known in France on account of the "Mondial du Vent" - a large windsurfing , sand yachting, kiting and kitesurfing tournament organized every year.
It can get quite windy here (thus the wind and kite surfers) but I find the surroundings very pretty. Unlike most beaches in the Languedoc, which are generally flat and bordered by holiday villages or campsites, the headland of La Franqui (called La Sorcière) which is covered in pine trees, provides an interesting backdrop to the beach. It reminds me of the beaches along the Cote d'Azur coast.
The beaches themselves are relaxed and friendly. It is not like you are fighting for a space. There are also a couple of restaurants in La Franqui itself where you can grab lunch or an early dinner after a day on the beach.
2. Best beaches near Perpignan: Leucate plage
Leucate Plage is a large beach that is ringed with beach houses and trees at the rear. Situated between Port Nouvelle and Le Barcarès, Leucate plage is probably the pick of the beaches North of Perpignan.
Leucate is a large beach resort, but its history stretches back centuries. It was originally settled by the Ancient Greeks and this area of the French Mediterranean coast was later occupied by the Spanish Kings (when they also ruled over Perpignan).
The town itself was completely levelled during the Second World War and was then re-built in the post-war period as a holiday resort. Of the 15,000 or so houses in Leucate, only 15% are occupied all year around - the rest are holiday homes and camping areas.
Leucate Plage has two beaches, a nudist beach situated towards the rocky breakwater and the main beach. Due to the wind that can sometimes blow across this region of Southern France, Leucate Plage is a popular resort for wind surfers, and boards can be hired in the town.
The main beach at Leucate Plage, with its famous pontoon into the sea, is pretty good and the trees surrounding the beach provides some degree of interest. I am not much of a sunbather myself, so it is a good beach to walk along and people watch (although I think that the nudists protest too much!).
3. Best beaches Perpignan: Le Barcarès
Le Barcares beach has a coastal village feel about it and it is a welcome alternative to the resorts of Port Leucate and Port Barcares. The beach - with its famous leaning palm trees - is very wide so you can always find a spot, although the man-made nature of the beach can make it feel a bit gritty. Le Barcares has plenty of bars, restaurants and shops nearby, as well as attractions for the kids. You can hire jet skis at the port nearby, and mini golf isn't far.
Le Barcarès has been a coastal village since the 17th century, becoming an important fishing port and shipyard. During the 1960s, the village became popular with real estate developers, who turned Port Barcarès into a renowned seaside resort, with nightclubs and plenty of restaurants.
The most popular beach in Le Barcares is the Grand Plage, with its large carousel wheel and views out to the old Steam Boat (Lydia) which is moored on the beach front. It is difficult to believe, but during December, Le Grand Plage is home to a huge Christmas market.
In total, Le Barcarès has more than 8 kilometers of sandy beaches and is one of the most sunniest places on the Languedoc coast. What makes Le Barcares attractive, is the pine forest that surrounds the beach. If you are a bit like me and get quickly bored of the beach after 30 minutes, you can go and wander through the different trails through the forest or hire a bike and follow the 10 km bike path.
4. Best Perpignan France beaches: Torreilles beach
Torreilles beach is probably one of the most interesting beaches near Perpignan. I love the wild feel it has with the sand dunes at the back of the beach. It also doesn't get as crowded as Canet Plage and the view of the Pyrenees in the distance breaks up the monotony of the sand.
There are also one or two beach bars at the back of the beach, where you can slope off to and hide from the kids. I always try and make my kids fill up a bucket full of sea shells before they can come up to the bar to get an ice cream. I tell you Torreilles beach doesn't have many shells so this can keep them going for hours!
There are actually 3 beaches at Torreilles. The North beach was used during the Second World War as a naval defensive base and the original concrete blockhouses are now listed as historical monuments. At the far end of the beach the River Agly flows out into the Mediterranean.
Plage Centre is the main beach of Torreilles and at the back of it there is the nature reserve (Camps de la Ribère).
The South Beach is probably the best beach in Torreilles, with sand dunes and great views towards the Pyrenees. Part of the South Beach is reserved for naturists.
5. Canet Plage - beach resorts near Perpignan
Perpignan's local beach is a huge expanse of sand. The beach itself is not particularly interesting, but the sand is fine and the beach is deep and long enough to find your own spot. Canet Plage is the main beach of Canet-en-Roussillon a large beach resort which was first developed around 1850. It grew from a population of only 1200 just after the Second World War to now around 12,000 people.
Canet Plage stretches for over 9km and it has held a European Blue Flag for over 25 years. The waters here are very shallow and is very popular with families. There is everything you can imagine to do on the beach from Jet ski, to sailing, Kite surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing, stand up paddle boards, beach volleyball, beach soccer and even beach rugby.
For me, the resort of Canet has a bit of a down-at-heel feel about it, partly due to the (over-) development of holiday apartments and tacky shops. But the local commune is making efforts to clean up the place. However, you are not spoilt for choice for restaurants restaurants and there are plenty of play areas for children and bars and cafes to grab a drink. The beach at Canet Plage does tend to get very busy in the summer, especially around late afternoon as half of Perpignan descends on the beach.
6. Best beaches near Perpignan: St Cyprien Plage
St Cyprien's beaches near Perpignan - North, Central and South (also known as Plage de la Lagune) are always popular with holidaymakers.
Probably the 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 the St Cyprien beaches also helps to make these beaches stand out.
The sandy North beach is the biggest of the 3 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, France, beaches, it's quite windy on St Cyprien at times, but this also makes it a popular resort with kite surfers.
7. Argeles sur Mer - beach resorts near Perpignan
Argeles sur Mer beach, South of France, is a broad sweeping bay that looks out onto the Pyrenees and the warm Mediterranean. Argeles Plage is one of the best beaches near Perpignan and has a blue flag award to recognise the quality of the water and cleanliness of the beach. Argeles-sur-Mer itself has along with nearby Canet, become a major Mediterranean beach resort, with excellent facilities and a big harbour area. The town also boasts some excellent restaurants and decent shops. See also Best Languedoc beaches for information on the best South France beaches to visit along the Languedoc coast.
Argeles sur Mer beach is situated on the top end of the Cote Vermeille, the only east facing coastline in France. As a result, the wide sandy beaches are wonderfully sun-drenched and are perfectly framed by the backdrop of the Pyrenees. Argeles sur Mer actually has three beaches. Argeles Plage Nord and Argees Plage des Pins are wide, sandy beaches with plenty of space. Le Racou, to the south is a neat little bay with amazingly blue water. This is where we always head because we like the mountain views to the back and it tends to be less crowded.
Argeles-sur-Mer grew rapidly at the end of the 1930's, as its population was swollen with the arrival of thousands of refugees fleeing Franco's dictatorship in Spain. Many died during the first harsh winter in 1939, and others perished fighting for Spain during the Second World War. Today, Argeles sur Mer is like many other resorts along the Languedoc-Roussillon coast - lots of hotels, tourist entertainment, large marinas, bars and restaurants. Each year the resort receives over 300,000 holiday makers.
8. Best beaches near Perpignan: Collioure
Collioure, with its three beaches has to be up the top of the list as the best beach resort near Perpignan. Although the beaches are small and often busy, the views of the tranquil sea and Pyrenees are spectacular.
You also have the wonderful town of Collioure on-hand with its restaurants, boutiques and art trails to keep you amused. This is one of our favourite Languedoc beaches and we especially like to come here in the winter months and grab a meal on the Quayside over-looking the central beach near the church.
Situated on the sunny Côte Vermeille, the small Catalan coastal town of Collioure has been attracting holidaymakers for over a century. Collioure with its little harbour, famous church and castle and the mazy old town, is the perfect place for a day with the family. You can combine sunbathing, swimming, a nice lunch, a little shopping and a bit of sight seeing all in one go.
Collioure is located due south of Perpignan, close to the Spanish border. We always find that the best route to follow is to exit the A9 autoroute at Le Boulou and following the signs to Argeles sur Mer (then head in the direction of Banyuls). Parking is a bit of a nightmare in Collioure during the summer season, so you are best to use the park & ride car park just above the town and get one of the regular shuttle buses to and from Collioure centre.
Alternatively, you can always catch the train to Collioure from Perpignan (which also passes through Argeles-sur-Mer on route to Banyuls and Port Vendres.
Holiday accommodation near Perpignan beaches
If you are looking to come to the Perpignan area this summer to sample the range of beaches near Perpignan, then Go Languedoc has a range of accommodation options close to the beaches in Perpignan. Here is just a sample of the accommodation in Perpignan France available to rent now:
Villa in Languedoc with private pool near Argeles sur Mer (Ref: 1229)
Mas Sangha is a stunning holiday villa in Languedoc with private pool close to the Mediterranean beaches at Argelès-sur-mer. This is the perfect spot for a relaxing family holiday in South France. Argeles-sur-mer is located in the Southern-most part of France and has 7km of beach, a Marina and a host of restaurants and shops.
The villa comes with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and large grounds. The villa can sleep up to 8 people and is surrounded by a fruit farm and vineyards.
This Languedoc villa is located within 7000m2 of grounds which is fully enclosed. The villa is located 10 mins drive from Argeles-sur-Mer, 5 mins bike ride to the nearest village of Saint-André and 15 mins drive to the beaches.
If you are looking for peaceful holiday accommodation for a family holiday in the South of France, then this beautiful villa in the Languedoc is absolutely ideal. The villa benefits from a private pool, large garden and it furnished to a high standard. The villa is very private and comes with total peace and quite with no neighbours nearby! The beaches are close-by and it is easy to explore the sites of the Languedoc region or even a day trip down to Spain.
Villa Vell-Roure, South of France holiday home, sleeps 10 (Ref: 225)
Villa Vell-Roure is a spacious 5 bedroom holiday villa in South of France. The villa is located on the edge of the small village of Villelongue-dels-Monts, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, just 15 km from the Mediterranean coast.
The villa enjoys splendid views over the nearby village and on towards the Mediterranean coastline in the distance.
The villa features 5 double bedrooms, all of which come with their own bathroom and air conditioning. The villa sleeps 10 guests in comfort and comes with a large private pool (with a security fence).
The villa is located up a private lane in a quiet residential area. The villa is situated on a substantial plot and there is ample parking for a number of vehicles.
This South of France holiday villa is the perfect retreat for a large family group or crowd of friends looking for a very special property in a rural location.
Casa Baléares - 5 bed coastal holiday villa private pool South France (Ref: 2029)
Casa Baléares is a lovely 5 bedroom villa with private pool in Southern France that can sleep 12 people. The villa is set in the foothills of the Pyrenees, just 15 minutes drive to the Mediterranean coast and the beaches at Argeles-sur-Mer, Saint Cyprien and Collioure. A short walk takes you into the centre of the sought-after village of Laroque des Alberes, with all the shops and restaurants that you will need. Perpignan is just 20kms to the North and the Spanish border is just 15 mins away.
The villa is located in a quiet residential on a large plot of 2,800m2 plot. This holiday rental villa comes with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, spacious lounge, games room and lovely views.
This large holiday rental villa in Laroque-des-Alberes is the perfect accommodation for a large family or a couple of families holidaying together.
Laroque is a great village to be based in, providing easy access to the Mediterranean beaches and the sites of the Languedoc and Northern Spain. The village comes with a popular bar and a couple of restaurants. A great location for a family holiday in Southern France.
Available for weekly rentals in July and August from €3500.
Where to next . . . ?
I hope that this article has provided you with some good ideas about the best beaches to visit near Perpignan during your holidays in South of France. We live in the South of France all year around and we absolutely love being here. We are always out and about visiting new villa rental properties and researching tourism articles about the South of France. We have a great collection of articles with more ideas about things to do and places to go in the South of France, including:
- Best South France beaches to visit in 2023
- Learn about the best time to visit the South of France in Weather in South France
- See our full selection of Perpignan apartments and villas to rent here Perpignan accommodation France
If you would like some more detailed information or if you have any questions, then just drop us a quick message and we will come straight back to you. I wish you a wonderful stay in the South of France.
Contact Iain by Email.