Every year on our family holiday to France a day on the river and a day at the beach form two of the ‘must do’ activities of the week. Without exception the kids voted for the familiarity of Palavas beach; my yearning to explore somewhere new would have to wait again. It is over an hour’s drive from our cousin’s home in Uzes and much further than a beach trip at home, but it offers a very different experience and one the children look forward to each year.
No sooner had we placed our bags on the sand than the kids were in the sea. After Cornwall the Mediterranean feels so beautifully warm and it is a treat to be in the water without the palaver of a wetsuit. I briefly stalked everyone with my camera before following them into the water.
Acutely aware of the midday sun building, I reminded everyone coming out the water to put sun cream on before they tucked into the picnic bag.
I’m sure my parents always used to make me stay out of the water after eating in case of cramp. Since I had no idea if this was an old wives’ tale or not I let them head over to the road bridge over Palavas beach to see if they were still brave enough to jump in. Of course they were! Clio was especially proud as she lost the confidence to try last summer. Round and round they went, jumping, somersaulting and backwards jumping. Just for once they even encouraged me to film them then rushed round to watch themselves.
Farmer Nick is not a fan of beach sitting and so I knew he would want to go for a stroll round to the harbour. At the thought of some expensive yachts to admire Alistair decided to join us while the rest of the kids stayed on the beach and in the sea.
Just beyond the harbour I could see the cable cars we saw last year. Back then we had been exploring in swimwear with no money on us, this time we were more prepared and splashed out on the 3 euro return tickets to take us across the water.
On the other side we found ourselves in a pretty little tourist resort. I was in my element browsing the street shops. The boys on the other hand found it a very poor second to yacht dreaming!
By the time we caught up with the others we were more than ready to cool off with a swim. I don’t know how the hours slipped by so fast, it was already going to be a late supper again, but somehow on holiday, with no timetable to stick to, it really didn’t matter.
Tips for visiting Palavas Beach
The toll motorway goes right down past Montpellier to within 10 minutes of the beach making it easy to find. Follow signs for Palavas-les-Flots
Parking is free along the road, though parking spaces can be hard to find at peak times. There are beach car parks which you can pay for, these are fairly quiet due to the amount of street parking available.
There are toilets along Palavas beach front at intervals but you will need a euro to use them and may need to walk as we have always found a few out of order.
There are beach showers to rinse off sand and sea water.
The sea is very gently shelving and sandy underfoot.
Access is good for buggies and wheelchairs all along the promenade which runs right next to the beach.
There are a few water sport activity points and pedalos to hire.
Beachside bars and restaurants are within easy reach if you don’t fancy a picnic.
This is primarily a family beach, although there is a nudist section much further along the beach away from the family attractions. With 7km of beach it is easy to find a spot that suits you.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.