In 2015, ‘The Richest‘, a web site which describes itself as “Everything about The Richest people in the world and their net worth” ranked Leucate Beach the best nudist beach in the world!
Number one out of a list of 10, including beaches in Greece, the French Riviera, Spain and Florida, the website has this to say about the beach on the P-O/Aude border.
“Number one on this list of top nude beaches in the world is the Leucate Plage nude beach in France. This beach makes it to the top for a number of reasons. The beach has the best fine golden sand in France stretching over one kilometer. Also, numerous online reviews define the Leucate Plage as the ultimate classic Mediterranean nude beach in the world. The beach is also located near many world-class resorts in France. The nude beach is also private and spacious making it ideal for first timers. You couldn’t ask for a better nude beach in the world.”
Despite being more of a naturalist than a naturist myself (or is it the other way round?) I would say that It is indeed a very pleasant beach – but I’m not too sure about the nearby world class resorts, or the privacy!
However, if skinny dipping is your thing, this naturist beach is located on the left bank of the port, between the dam and the oyster farms, along with an entire naturist village. The beach is reserved exclusively for naturists, but it all seems pretty relaxed, and nobody seems to mind if the ‘bijoux de famille’ are tucked away or swinging free!
The main Leucate beach, a continuation of the ‘Sandy Coast’ is long and sandy and, on both beach and lagoon, windsurfing is the dominant sport.
The village is charming, with ruined castle and plenty of cafés and restaurants.
The lagoon with its eel fishing, flamingos, oyster catching, long sandy beaches, windsurfing school, riding ranch, naturist encampment, modern pleasure port, cliff walks and wonderful views, all make for a pretty good day out.
A road to the Phare and Semaphore takes you to the cliffs with wonderful windswept walks leading to La Franqui beach, where a wind surfing festival takes place every year
Not only windsurfers but flamingos and a highly productive oyster industry also make good use of the waters of the lagoon that lies south of the town.
Access to the oyster fishing huts that line the narrow waterway between the lagoon and the sea is from the D627 road that runs from Leucate to Bacares.
Turn off at the sign to the Centre Conchylicole. Almost all the huts offer tasting menus of the freshest and plumpest oysters imaginable, ideally accompanied by a chilled glass of crisp local white wine.
They also sell both oysters and conveniently pre-cleaned mussels to take home.
In England oysters enjoy a rather risque reputation: Erotic, exotic, expensive… but here in the P O they are treated rather as they used to be centuries ago in the UK when they were very much the food of the common man.
Whether or not they are an aphrodisiac is up to you to discover!