I must admit that my perception of the south of France was slightly different to what I was met with when I decided to move to Toulouse. I think the first things that pop into most people’s minds when they think of southern France are the long, blue water beaches and outdoor swimming pools of the French Riviera, so when I realised that Toulouse didn’t really have this, I was somewhat disheartened. However, I had read about the city and every other aspect made me want to choose to move there, so I put it first choice (and I’m still so happy that I did).
However, when I first moved here, the 30 degree weather that continued all throughout September made this lack of beaches or places to swim achingly noticeable. After a few failed attempts to go swimming, one of which we were simply met with a huge empty pool due to it being ‘out of season’, I had started to think that there was nowhere I could go to get my tan / splash on. Until after a bit of research I came across this little gem.
Lac Ramée is a huge lake surrounded by grass and a little beach that is towards the edge of Toulouse. At first, I must admit I had a bit of a nightmare figuring out the best way to actually get to this lake, but thankfully, with my metro card giving me unlimited journeys on all forms of transport, at least it wasn’t a costly affair. With transport apps all saying a different route, it took me a few times to find the quickest combination of buses but I eventually cracked it:
Take the metro all the way to the end stop at ‘Basso Cambo’ – then wait for the number 48 bus and take it to ‘Lac de Ramée Sud’ – then a 5-10 minute walk from there. Simples.
What you are met with is lovely blue water and a cute little sandy beach at the water’s edge. I was actually quite surprised at how clear the water here was because usually lake water is somewhat stagnant and uninviting. This place however, is the perfect way to spend a hot day here in Toulouse!
Since discovering it, this lake has become my favourite spot for a summers day and I have loved going there with my friends to get our tan on! After you figure out how to get here, it’s one of those places that you never want to leave because it’s so relaxing. Plus, for those sand-haters out there, there is also grass near the water so you don’t have to worry about getting grains in all the nooks and crannies of your body.
We usually like to make a picnic of all of our favourite things and take it with us to eat in the sun. This usually includes lots of alcohol, cheese, bread and fruit. I mean, what more could you want?!
Another great thing about this park is that it’s a particular favourite for dog walkers. So essentially, you’re never more than a few metres away from a super cute dog…and that’s enough to make anyone love this place!
There are often water sport activities going on at the lake such as sailing or paddle boarding as well, so if you’re into that kind of thing it’s definitely something you could do here!
If you’re not into sunbathing or swimming, then this place is still great to simply walk or cycle around. It’s such a big area so it makes for a really nice walk, and a nice change of scenery from the city centre. Plus, there are basketball courts just outside the lake and an area that’s perfect for having a barbecue!
I am definitely going to be sad to leave this lake behind in Toulouse. I’m just sad that it wasn’t hot enough for me to visit it all year round! I love being in the city, but this is one of my favourite spots in Toulouse because it’s so relaxing, it really makes you feel like you’re on holiday when you’re laying on the little beach with a drink in hand!
One piece of advice I would give those getting here by public transport, is to double check what busses you can take on a Sunday. Because I found out the hard way that the number 48 bus back doesn’t run on a Sunday…
As long as you aren’t stupid like me and you check the timetables, you should be okay.
So that was a short but sweet lowdown of one of my favourite places in Toulouse. If you’re a water baby like me then I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. Happy swimming!