Beach fun at Valras Plage

Hello there!

Now, if there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that the beaches in the South of France are to die for. One day this summer, my mum turned to me and said “right guys, I have to go to a meeting at Valras, so if you want to come and spend a couple of hours on the beach, get ready!” so that’s exactly what we did. Mum drove us the short 20minutes to Valras Plage and very rudely chucked us out of the car all in a hurry when she got to a traffic light because she was late for her meeting! So my boyfriend and I started walking the short distance to the beach. Now, neither of us are very big beach people, personally, I’m not a fan of the sand or the water because it just tends to make me stingy, however, Valras Plage is one of the most beautiful and lively beaches in our region, and I would quite happily go there every single day!
The beach and the town is seperated by a small road, this road is lined with delicious restaurants, ice cream shops, clothes shops, beach shops, bars, everything you could possibly ask for! Since moving to France, we have taken hundreds of trips to this wonderful beach, and I can safely say that all of the restaurants serve delicious food and great service. Now, of course the coast is the prettiest place to explore, but there is a road leading up to several other small roads in the town, in which you’ll find even more restaurants and shops and bars. Valras is definitely a place that needs to be explored. Not only is there a beautiful white sandy beach, but there is also a port, a big fish market, a “place” with a stage, and lots of hotels. It would be practically impossible to explain everything to you in one go, so how about I break it up into pieces.

The beach 
White sand, blue water, rocks to climb on, and even a lighthouse. The beach in itself is absolutely beautiful, it can be quite crowded seeing as this is a popular destination for tourists (so popular in fact, it even made its way onto You’ve Been Framed!) but there is enough space on the beach for everyone, as it is a very large and long beach. You can also find a couple of bars and restaurants ON the beach, as well as a fair at the bottom of the beach (a very big slide, coin machines,’s a great place for the kids to enjoy!). There is a long pathway leading over the sea, at the very end is a lighthouse, this is a great walk and is very enjoyable, as you often see fishermen on either side on the rocks.
Now one of the reasons that I’m not that big of a fan of the beach, is the whole toilet situation. I have been to beaches before where I’ve had to go into a restaurant or bar to use their facilities, but have ended up having to buy a bottle of water or something similar every single time. However, Valras has got this sorted, there are brand spanking new toilets to be found along the beach, they’re so fancy in fact that I was told that they literally clean themselves after every use, and I know what you’re thinking, “oh a toilet that cleans itself isn’t very original”, well how about an entire bathroom that cleans itself! That’s right, once the door has been shut and the toilet is aware that it’s not being used, there are jets of water that flush into and around the toilet itself, and then all across the floor, so no more horrible sandy experiences for your feet! How do I know this, you ask? Well, I was silly enough to have the full experience for myself! My boyfriend used the restroom before me, and we stupidly didn’t shut the door in between him coming out and me going in, so the bathroom got confused, thought no one was in there, and set off itss jets. Did I get completely soaked? Yes. Could I get out while this was happening? No. Did I feel silly when I came out and told the story to my boyfriend? Yes. Did I feel amazingly clean and refreshed? Yes.
So there’s a little tip for you all, be sure to close the door between each usage, because otherwise you WILL get soaked and your shoes WILL be soaking wet for the rest of the afternoon (luckily the sun was so hot that they dried within the hour!).

Sand and bar and sea at Valras Plage
The wonderful beach, glorious sand and lovely blue water. You can even spot one of the bars on the beach!

The town and shops
The town is lovely, it’s lined with lots of bars and restaurants, as well as ice cream shops and general shops. It’s a great place to explore because there are so many little roads to go down. You can also find a fish market, it’s not hard to locate seeing as you can smell the fish from quite far off, so just follow your noses and marvel at all of the amazing fish that is on sale there, all fresh from the sea of course!
As for the shops, there is literally one of every kind. You can find food shops, clothes shops, bag shops, shoe shops, beach shops!
Further down the beach at the opposite end to the fair, you’ll find a Casino, as well as another small fair.

The port
The Valras port is a very interesting place to be, not only are there lots of pretty big and small boats to be seen, but you can even go to the main dock and watch the very large fishing boats come in with their catches. This is something we did quite a few years ago, and we had the privilege of watching a fisherman haul out an absolutely massive tuna fish that looked like a shark! I was quite young at the time and therefore believed that there really were sharks in the water, and so I refused to swim in the sea for quite some time. (I have to admit, I’m still extremely scared of this and never ever go too far out!)

Port and boats at Valras Plage
A view of the port, it is absolutely full to the brim with boats!
View of Valras Plage sea in South of France
A view of the wonderful sea you could be swimming in.

We honestly had a great day there, even though we didn’t step foot on the sand, we just found a quiet place to sit, had a spot of lunch and enjoyed the sunshine!

This part of the blog post is a little bit more serious than what you’re used to, I’m writing this to get your attention and to make sure you all be careful.
While we were driving away from the beach, we spotted lots of ambulances, “pompiers” and police cars along with a very big crowd, and a couple of people crying. We didn’t stay because my mum had to get to another one of her meetings, but on the way back I asked if we could stop off there again and have a look. When we arrived, the crowd had grown bigger, the beach had been evacuated, and there was a very large helicopter resting on the beach. We stayed there for quite a while, until we saw the helicopter leave (yes, our curiosity at seeing a helicopter take off was what made us stay). Once the helicopter had taken off and the crowd had lessened, we headed home. The same day, one of my friends texted me telling me what had happened. It was quite windy that day and the orange flag had been put up (at the first aid station, there is always a certain flag. Green means it’s ok to swim, orange means it’s ok but you need to be very cautious due the wind/waves/currents, and red means it’s forbidden to swim) but a young boy had decided to go for a swim anyway, he was caught up in the current and couldn’t get back to shore, so the boys mother noticed and went into the water to save him, in the end he ended up fine but the mother sadly passed away.
The moral of this unfortunate story is, please respect the flags. Even if it’s a boiling hot day and you want to spend it at the beach, if the orange flag is up then please be extremely careful and refrain from swimming. If you do swim, then stay in the shallows and don’t go in alone, and don’t allow your children to go swimming by themselves, no one wants a repeat of what hapenned that day.

Helicopter on Valras plage beach.
The helicopter on the beach.
Sandstorm, helicopter on the beach at Valras Plage
Sandstorm as the helicopter departs.



Gina Evans-Forte
Gina Evans-Forte
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