Our nearest body of water is Lac Montbel a kilometre away. Our nearest seaside resort is Narbonne Plage. Our nearest water+artistic links+swooningly pretty houses is Collioure, a town not far north of the Spanish border.
Usually we drive across country to get there, a stunning couple of hours that begins with rolling meadows that gradually turn to forested hillsides before you begin a long dramatically winding drive down into the town of Quillan, toy-sized from the top of the hill.
Next you're into gothic country, passing through limestone chasms and beneath immense overhanging rocks. Then the land opens up and becomes vineyards clear to the sea.