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South of France - small town with swimming options

London, United...
8 posts
South of France - small town with swimming options


I'm hoping to spend 4 weeks in the South of France over August. I'm looking for an inland town that has swimming options ( river/lakes) that I could stay at for a week or two. Somewhere not too big with the option of good walking trails/bike rides.

Any advice would be great,

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5 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Grasse
Level Contributor
9,523 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: South of France - small town with swimming options

Have a look at the Lac de Ste-Croix, which has any number of water sports available. Lots of other options for outdoor fun, too.

Angers, France
Level Contributor
1,813 posts
2. Re: South of France - small town with swimming options


What do you mean by "south of France" ? There are 95 departements in France, at least 30 are in south of France, and in each departement, there is a big choice of rivers or lakes where it's possible to bath.

So, where do you want to go in "south of France" ? In which climate, for exemple ? Méditerranean, atlantic, mountain ?

Just an exemple : in Ardèche, along the river Eyrieux, there is a cycling path along an old raiway track, it's not very slopy, and there are many possibilities of bathing in the river.


London, United...
8 posts
3. Re: South of France - small town with swimming options

I'm thinking Provence, Languedoc, Toulouse.

But open for other suggestions as well!

Angers, France
Level Contributor
1,813 posts
4. Re: South of France - small town with swimming options

Two other questions came to me : do you want to stay just near the river, and on what sort of roads to you want to ride bicycle ? Cycling pathes ? Slopy or not ?

A river as Ardèche, is good for bathing, but has not many villages just near the river.

Not far from the river, but very busy : Vallon Pont d'Arc. A little quieter, the village of la Baume, on an affluent of Ardèche.

The river Tarn, in "les gorges du Tarn" has some villages near the river and bathing places, (la Malène, les Rosiers), but for cycling, it's not ideal.

Les gorges d'Héric is a wonderful place, but it's not possible to stay just near the river.


Dordogne has bathing places and some cycling pathes.

In Aveyron the lake near Pont de Salars and the lake named "pareloup have good bathing places.

Some other ideas : in Provence, the river Argens. In Languedoc, the "gorges d'Héric".



In fact it's a matter of criteria. There are tons of possibilities, but if you choose just near the river+ cycling pathes+ equiped beach, the choice is more limited. It's easier to give a specific answer to a specific question.

Destination Expert
for France
Level Contributor
3,338 posts
56 reviews
5. Re: South of France - small town with swimming options

In Ardèche along the river you also Ruoms, Balazuc, Voguë just to name a few and beside Labeaume, if you get a little further you also have Vinezac, Saint-Montan, etc

Lac Sainte-Croix with Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is also a nice option if you want to be near the water. But like Bernard asked, it would also depends on what you wish to see and do beside swimming. Also will you have a car while there ?

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