Home » 2019 Spain

Narbonne Plage, France

Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 2:45pm by Lolo
312 miles and 6 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


Strolling along the Narbonne PlageStrolling along the Narbonne PlageBefore leaving San Sebastian, I called Camping Bungelows San Anton, a campground in the Spanish Pyrenees, to see if they had room for us the next two nights. It was the nearest campground I could find to the start of the Cola de Caballo (Horsetail Waterfall), another of Spain’s classic hikes that we hoped to do.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework well enough. It wasn’t the season for hiking in the Pyrenees yet -- too cold and too much snow. The campground wasn’t even open yet. Oops.

When we removed the Pyrenees stop from Google Maps, it routed us through southern France to get to the Costa Brava coast of Spain, our next destination. We hadn’t planned to enter France at all and didn’t even have a guidebook. How exciting!

Lolo taking a break on our Narbonne Plage strollLolo taking a break on our Narbonne Plage strollThe drive across southern France on A64 to Toulouse and then A61 to the Mediterranean coast was scenic and very expensive in terms of tolls. I think it was at least 50 €. However, they did have many free aires (places to camp overnight) in rest areas every 20 miles or so. We didn’t want to stay in a parking lot though - we had pretty much done that in San Sebastian last night. Instead we wanted to find something on the Mediterranean coast.

It wasn’t as easy as we thought. apparently, campgrounds in France don't necessarily mean that they have a place for camper vans. Rather you had to rent one of their fancy-smancy RVs or stay in a bungalow. Finally, we had the idea of using our ACSI camping app, which is for people traveling in camper vans, and found Camping Campeole La Cote des Roses on the Narbonne Plage.

Highway to the MediterraneanHighway to the MediterraneanIt was perfect. We got a pitch near a pretty lagoon along the access gate to the beach. We grabbed a bottle of wine, some cheese, and a blanket and walked the 400 meters to a beautiful wide beach, where we set up shop alongside a jetty. I even took a swim in the Mediterranean - my first in France.

During the night the winds picked up in a big way, and were still doing so the next morning, precluding our plans of relaxing on the beach. So, we set off on a walk instead, hoping conditions would improve in the afternoon.

As we got out onto the beach, the sand was literally pelting us in the face -- a perfect day for the kiteboarders that were zipping up and down the shoreline. Too bad, because it was a really nice beach.

Lunch at L'ArlequinLunch at L'ArlequinWe forged on to the pedestrian promenade, which was a little better because we were off the sand. The Narbonne Plage is a very popular resort area and the promenade had plenty of restaurants and bars to accommodate the large summer crowd.

We stopped at a place called L’Arlequin which had great pizza and sangria. The Harlequin theme seemed to be pretty big in France- not exactly sure why, but I do know that lots of painters through the ages, such as Picasso and Cezanne have used Harlequins as their subjects.

On our walk back to the campground, the wind was still blowing really hard. In fact, the only activity besides kitesurfing going on were people racing up and down the beach on go-carts powered by sails. I guess we would just forget about spending time on the beach today.

Still I do get to add France to my list of countries visited, although I have a feeling a more thorough visit is in our future.


Jetty along the Narbonne PlageJetty along the Narbonne PlageThe Narbonne Plage is a resort area on France’s southern (Mediterranean) coast that lies at the foot of the limestone massif Montagne de la Clape. It is a “blue flag” resort, meaning that it has been recognized for its environmentally conscious economic and tourist development.

Its sandy beach is 5 kilometers long and 150 meters wide and is bordered by a 2.5 km long pedestrian promenade with many restaurants, bars, and shops.

Narbonne Plage location map in "high definition"

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