Could the beaches be more vast, more different and any more awesome in the South of France? I think not.
Once arriving to the amazing, immaculate and insanely quaint Collioure, I was slightly — and only just slightly — disappointed when I began to walk, or rather hop, jump and skip, along its very rocky beaches.
Gray, white and black rocks of different sizes and shapes fill the beach and honestly I was extremely uncomfortable when I tried to sunbathe for an hour.
“Ouch!” “EEEEkkk!” “Yikes!” I was only drawing attention to myself in the itsy-bitsy bikini that I might not dare to wear on the beaches back home in San Francisco, but in the South of France, I had too many damn clothes on. I was being loud, I was being a baby, and really, I just needed some tougher feet.
I asked our host, Florence Delseny Sobra, director of the ALFMED language school where we are studying, which beach my classmates and I should go to the following weekend, stressing, “No rocks, just sand, please.”
“Ahh, OK, I will send you to one of my favorite beaches, Torreilles.”
Now, Florence, in her elegant and seamless way, sold me on this place immediately.
White sand beach.
Bars on the beach.
This place sounded awesome.
Saturday morning I rounded up the girls. “Florence said this place is amazing! She said it was only one bus and not a problem to get to at all,” I said, very excited.
First of all, we darted back and forth across the streets of Perpignan trying to figure out where the heck the right bus stop was.
Then we thought we had missed the bus.
Then we got on the bus and as we drove further and further, the weather got worse and worse.
Then we arrived on a desolate road, in what seemed to be an uninhabited town, and I thought I saw rain clouds forming.
We walked. And walked. And walked. Then I broke out laughing, “OK guys, don’t hate me, I was told this would be amazing. I promise, I swear… wait! There is a person.”
There must be a beach near by.
A beach there was, people there were not. It didn’t have the charm of Collioure but this beach was beautiful in its own way. Lots of wind, white beaches, and a swank beach bar with white couches.
There were a few naked, overweight, old French men, but otherwise the beach was all ours.
The six of us tried to ignore the clouds and luckily, within an hour, I was swimming in the Mediterranean.
By the next day on this weekend of les plages, after seeing uninhabited, the rocky and black, I was ready for a little action. Exhausted, the same six decided to get lost on another voyage for the bus and another expedition to the beach. Canet.
Apparently everyone goes to Canet.
This seemed to be the Venice Beach of the South of France. The carnivalesque feeling was a tad overwhelming. Glace shops on literally every corner, children running with cotton candy, Germans everywhere, this was for sure the beach for tourists.
And there I had it. The desolate. The white. The black. The tourist spot. The perfect slice of beach/vineyard heaven.
I am a lucky girl.