Canet Plage

There are several Canets in France so just to be clear, we are talking about 'Canet-en-Roussillon' close to Perpignan. Canet is a lovely seaside resort set along the golden sands of the French Mediterranean. And because it is a small town that has a year-round population, it does not suffer from 'out-of-season blues' when everything, including the supermarket, is closed for the winter. Canet is alive and kicking 12 months of the year but the town comes into its own during the summer months when it celebrates its glorious location by the sea but is also flanked by a large lagoon.

Canet Plage beach and boulevard

Canet was originally a tiny fishing village, relying as much on what it could catch from the lagoon to the south of the town as what it found in the sea. The lagoon ('etang'), the most southerly in France, is now recognized as an important ecosystem with nearly 250 different species of birds recorded here. An interesting spot to visit is the reconstructed 'Village de Pecheurs', where 10 cabins have been built in the traditional style from driftwood and reeds; these are no longer used for habitation but offer local fishermen a place to store their nets and other fishing paraphernalia. You might be lucky enough to see them in the communal hut cooking the traditional dish of eel soup, for which Canet is famous.

Also worth visiting is the arboretum where, amongst many other beautiful and semi-tropical plants, you can see the rare Victoria Regia waterlily. This extraordinary plant with leaves up to 1.80m across can only be grown in a very few areas in France, of which Canet is one.

In common with nearly every village in the wonderful Languedoc-Roussillon region, Canet is surrounded by vineyards producing red, rosé and white wines of quality. Pick a Domaine or Chateau offering 'Dégustation de Vin' and ask to try some of their wines. The proprietors will normally be happy to talk you through their home-produced wines and will assist you in selecting the best ones for your evening meal, for an afternoon by the pool, or to take home with you.

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