Thursday 18 August 2005, by
Reading yet more less than enthusiastic comments about Cap d’Agde in a recent article on Southern Times, I was at once prompted to fire off a brief rejoinder to put the record straight and I have now been offered the chance to enlarge on the merits of ’Le Cap’.
- Cap d’Agde
- Peaceful morning on the channel between Ile des Pecheurs and Avant Port
It is not only in the Southern Times that misleading articles give a completely wrong impression of this brilliantly conceived resort, only yesterday (August 14th.) an article appeared in the Sunday Times Homes section under the headline ’French Mistress....no kit please we’re British’ referring to the ’holiday village of cap d’Agde’ as a ’grim concrete holiday village’ and hardly bothering to mention the rest of this great resort (believe it or not this was written by a local resident: Helena Frith Powell); similarly for many editions one of the well known holiday guides has referred to Le Cap as ’Agde’s evil cousin’.
I have been a UK based french property agent/consultant specialising in the Languedoc for more than 15 years and I know that there is a lingering impression among UK holiday makers and would-be house buyers that Cap d’Agde is a Naturist resort..this probably stems from a few TV travel programmes in the seventies featuring this aspect of the resort because, as one of the first (and still the largest) places that naturists could buy apartments rather than having to put up with a tent or a mobile home it was indeed newsworthy and of course this sort of misinformed comment continue to be made by writers and journalists seeking a headline.
- Cap d’Agde Views
- Looking from the Conque headland across Centre Port to Mont St. Loup
The fact is that Cap d’Agde is emphatically NOT a naturist resort, the entirely separate naturist ’village’ (access to which requires a special pass) represents probably less than 5% of the resort and it even has it’s own small marina the sea entrance to which separates the main resort beach from the naturist beach.
To move on to the positive aspects of the main resort, although I admit that the apartment blocks are plain and uninspiring in their design (a trait entirely in keeping with the thousands of externally plain and uninspiring terraced houses which go to make up the charming inland villages), the overall lay out of the resort was exceptionally well planned around the harbour which although accommodating many yacht berths, has a central area kept free of moorings, giving the impression of a natural bay.
- Cap d’Agde Harbour
- The harbour entrance with the Island Fort de Brescou in the distance
Added to this is the fact that traffic has been kept well away from the beaches and harbour-side so that many apartments can provide easy access to the beaches without even having to cross a road, a fact well complemented by the vast areas of free (shady) car parking.
- Cap Les Pins
- Apartments in Residence Cap les Pins from the golf course
As well as featuring the beautiful crescent of sand, the Richelieu / Rochelongue beach, the resort features a fine 18 hole golf course and one of the biggest tennis centres in Europe (some 60 courts including 6 covered and of course a host of traditional holiday attractions.
Being so remarkably little known outside France, the vast majority of tourists in the Cap are still french families and this gives it a delightful friendly and safe atmosphere with never a lager lout to be seen !
In a small way I have been promoting Le Cap in the UK for the past 7 or 8 years and I know that the majority of clients I send to the resort are amazed to discover what an excellent holiday destination it is and how inexpensive the apartments are to buy or rent.
Wake up inland residents in your plain and simple villages in the ’Arriere Pays’ of the Languedoc..you have a plain and simple gem of a place right on your doorstep..just like your villages only in a different way.
Wake up, travel and holiday writers, go and see ’Le Cap’ with an open mind for yourselves before regurgitating old false prejudices in your writings! You are as out of date as all the old guide books which assume that the typical tourist still crawls from medieval church to ruined castle looking at battered frescoes, triptychs and weather- beaten gargoyles...they don’t, they go to enjoy the beach in the Languedoc’s splendid climate and may be even the odd glass of the excellent local wines and in my book there’s nothing wrong in that.
Nigel Paige (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Leading consultants for French Property for 15 years