Occitanie is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether they are wild or have lots of facilities, hidden away or in the middle of town, famous or unknown, beaches are an important part of your holidays. Occitanie is blessed with beaches of all sorts so you can enjoy stunning views, fun with family and friends, walking, cycling or riding all along the coast. Or you could just relax.

    Whether it's Saint-Cyprien, Grau-du-Roi, Agde, Sète or Valras, the Occitanie coast is unforgettable. Find out about Occitanie's 10 most beautiful beaches to plan your trip.

    1

    Espiguette Beach at Grau-du-Roi

    Dunes for as far as the eye can see

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    Espiguette beach (Plage de l'Espiguette) owes its uniqueness to its dunes, some of the biggest and longest in the Mediterranean basin. More than 10 kilometres of beautiful sand stretches as far as you can see. Only 10 minutes from the centre of town, the unusual plant and wildlife, as well as the beach itself, are protected by the Coastline Conservation Body (le conservatoire du littoral).

    Swimmers of all ages can enjoy the clean water, knowing they are watched over by life guards in the high season. You can also ride through this wonderful scenery on horseback and perhaps try to identify one of the many places used in films over the years.

    Location: 30240 Le Grau-du-Roi, France

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    2

    Aresquiers Beach at Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone

    A quiet and natural part of the coast

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    Aresquiers beach (Plage des Aresquiers), between Vic-La-Gardiole and Frontignan, is a beautiful shell and pebble strewn patch making a beautiful contrast with the clear blue Mediterranean. Still fairly untouched, you can lie in the sun and admire its peaceful beauty from one of its little sandbanks. It only takes 10 minutes to get to this peaceful spot, and because it has no facilities at all, it is one of the most beautiful and quiet on the Hérault coast.

    The perfect place if you're looking for natural calm, far away from the big seaside towns. You can also admire the wild countryside around Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone on the east of the beach and the pretty fishing cottages of Frontignan.

    Location: 34100 Frontignan, France

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    photo by A. Garcia (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    Corniche Beach in Sète

    All the advantages of being at the seaside

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    Corniche beach (Plage de la Corniche) stretches from the Corniche Promenade over 2 bays, protected by a dam. Sheltered from the wind, it's a great place for families to enjoy the seaside. It has a free car park and a children's playground. And there are lots of restaurants around too.

    On the right of the beach there's also a windsurfing and kitesurfing zone. As well as showers and toilet you can also hire sunbeds and pedaloes, so this pretty beach near to the town centre has pretty much everything you could want.

    Location: 34200 Sète, France

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    photo by Fagairolles 34 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    The Petit and Grand Travers Beaches at La Grande-Motte

    For those who love nature but also like to party

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    Petit Travers beach (Plage du Petit Travers) is 10 kilometres long and stretches from Carnon to La Grande-Motte. It's easy to get to by car, making it popular with families. Still fairly untouched and well looked after, the dunes make it feel quite wild but there are life guards from June to August.

    More trendy, the 3-kilometre, sandy Grand Travers beach (Plage du Grand Travers) is the biggest in La Grande-Motte. It's separated from the Gold Pond (l'étang d'Or) by a strip of dunes, meaning that the surrounding countryside is also truly beautiful. What's more, it's very close to the area's numerous restaurants, clubs and discos.

    Location: Grand Travers: 2 rue du Levant, 34280 La Grande-Motte, France Petit Travers Beach: Avenue Grassion Cibrand, 34130 Maugio, France

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    5

    Orpellières Beach at Sérignan

    Untamed sand for nature lovers

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    Orpellières beach (Plage des Orpellières) lies on the far side of immense sand dunes on the edge of the Opellières nature reserve (la réserve naturelle Orpellières). If you're looking for quiet relaxation this is the place. Although untamed and unspoiled this beach has lifeguards in the summer and several small car parks.

    Little paths lead you over the sand dunes, some of which are 8 metres high. Once you've enjoyed your time on the beach you can climb to the top of one and look out over the salt meadows of the reserve behind the 2.5-kilometre dunes. And if you feel like going for a stroll there are paths marked to help protect the ecosystem.

    Location: 34410 Sérignan, France

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    6

    Grande Conque Beach at Agde

    Grey volcanic sand and beautiful sea beds

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    Grande Conque beach (Plage de la Grande Conque) is the only one at Cap d’Agde with grey sand but it also has beautiful clear green water filled with unusual plants and marine life. This crescent shaped beach by the Mediterranean is protected from the wind by the cliffs behind it, and access to the beach is down a staircase carved through the cliffs.

    It is still fairly wild with no amenities (except for a small car park nearby) and there are no lifeguards. But the grey volcanic sand and crystal clear waters are a real pleasure if you like nature, photography or just a bit of peace.

    Location: Allée de la Conque, 34300 Agde, France

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    photo by Christian Ferrer (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Couchant Beach at La Grande-Motte

    A great place for families or shopping addicts

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    Couchant beach (Plage du Couchant) is to the west of the town centre and the marina and is a great place to relax after an afternoon's shopping. This is because this fine sandy beach is very close to the boutiques of a pedestrianised shopping area. It has a first-aid post as well as areas for beach volleyball and football. Families will also like the nearby carousel.

    There is plenty of nearby parking, making the beach easy to access and there are also access points for disabled people. And if you're feeling in need of exercise you can walk or cycle along the Promenade des Dames to get to the beach from the coast from as far away as the Grand Travers Beach.

    Location: 12 esplanade Jean Baumel, 34280 La Grande-Motte, France

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    photo by Dinkley (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Mouettes Beach at Valras

    A long stretch of beautiful fine sand

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    Mouettes beach (Plage des Mouettes) at Valras, with several hundred metres of find sand, is a great place to enjoy the seaside with children. This family beach has a life guard for safer swimming as well as sun beds and a beach volleyball court.

    Although it's the town's least-developed beach, it still has a small car park, toilets and plenty of restaurants. And it's very easy to get to from the centre of town.

    Location: 34350 Valras-Plage, France

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    9

    Saint-Cyprien Plage

    A pretty seaside town with beaches for everyone

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    Saint-Cyprien has it all: a beautiful promenade along the sea front, the quays on the port, a lagoon and beautiful beaches. Sandy beaches run for almost 6 kilometres.

    The North beach (Plage Nord) is one of the most popular spots in Languedoc-Roussillon for windsurfing, while the facilities of Art beach (Plage de l'Art) attract families and beach volleyball lovers and have disabled access. In the centre, Maillol beach (Plage Maillol) is easy to access from the shops and its very gentle slope into the crystal clear sea makes it safe for small children.

    Location: 66750 Saint-Cyprien, France

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    10

    Môle Beach at Cap d'Agde

    Somewhere to relax close to the centre of town

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    Môle beach (Plage du Môle) is very close to the centre of Cap d’Agde, so a great place to relax after a little shopping or a good meal. There are many shops, restaurants and ice-cream shops nearby.

    There's also a little park and the sea-front promenade if you fancy a stroll. As well as a huge car park, other facilities include a volleyball court, a place to play boules, a water sports area, first-aid post, toilets and showers.

    Location: 34300 Agde, France

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