Located in the midst of nature, Portiragnes Plage has everything you’ll need at a beach and is even rewarded a Pavillon Bleu award for its cleanliness and water quality. Beautiful sloped golden sand allows you to sunbathe and work on your tan, before running into the shallow water for a dip. The beach is located near multiple bars, restaurants and ice cream vans for when your stomach starts rumbling; however, if you’re too busy relaxing in the sun and completely forget about lunch, you’ll soon be reminded thanks to the donut man who wanders the beaches yelling “beignet”, be sure to try one as they are delicious. Portiragnes-Plage is popular with tourists and locals alike, thanks to the wonderful dining opportunities. You can choose to enjoy the delicious food while gazing over the seafront, or go to a more local restaurant in the beautiful centre of Portiragnes.
Portiragnes wetlands, with its salt lagoons (étangs) and pink flamingos, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of the Camargue, but in many ways Portiragnes is closer to Spain in ambience. There are several ‘manades’ along the coast where the black bulls used in bullfighting are bred. These can be visited by appointment. At the Arènes in Portiragnes Plage they occasionally have real bullfighting (and beware, this sometimes includes ’la mise à mort’, or to the death), but more acceptable to the average Anglo Saxon is the Taureaux Piscine every Wednesday and Saturday in the high season. These are highly entertaining and nobody gets hurt.
If the beach isn’t for you, you can rent bikes, rollerblades, scooters and quad bikes to roam around the village, this makes for an absolutely wonderful day out, especially if you’re doing this next to the Canal du Midi, looking out onto the beautiful surrounding nature. Other fun things to do in the resort include Azimut Aventures, a big adventure playground with 17 different trails of ladders, ropes, swings, slides and other scary things. The kids will just love it and the dads won’t be able to say, ‘No’ for fear of looking too wimpy!
If the idea of leaping off high structures is too much to contemplate, then a more sedate way to spend an afternoon is to hire an electric boat on the Canal du Midi and pootle around for as long as you want - from half an hour to the entire day. They charge you after you get back depending on how long you’ve been pootling. The adventure park and Bath’O du Canal are both at Roque-Haute, which is itself an interesting example of the geology in the area. Reaching down to Grau d’Agde, the Roque-Haute is part of an ancient chain of volcanoes that starts a couple of hundred miles away up in the Massif Central.
Another great day out for all the family is Aqualand at Cap d'Agde. This is an entire theme park devoted to splashing about in water. Kids love it, teenagers love it, even the parents have a great time tobogganing, rafting, wave-surfing and just generally having fun in the sun. Don’t forget hats and sun cream, though!