If you’re a reasonable swimmer and enjoy snorkelling, fold up your deckchair, forget the oily sun tan lotion and the discomfort of sand in your sandals and head for the village of Banyuls on France’s Côte Vermeille, in the Languedoc region near the border with Spain. The Côte Vermeille (or ‘vermilion coast’) is home to a 20 km stretch of beaches, small bays, creeks and coves, with some fabulous walks and trails, and one of these trails is so well-hidden that it’s actually underwater, reports BBC Travel.
The ‘sentier soumarin’ is a 500mt underwater trail within a protected marine area just off Plage de Peyrefite. It’s midway between Banyuls and Cerbère and has five underwater information points, offering a unique snorkelling experience which is completely free. If you have your own gear, you can swim the trail at any time during July and August, but it’s also possible to hire fins and masks for just €7, from noon to 5pm. You can also visit the towns of Collioure and Port-Vendres and don’t forget that the region is well known for its wines!
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Ryanair has cheap flights to nearby Perpignan from London Stansted and to Girona, Spain, which is 44 miles from Banyuls, from a number of U.K destinations.