Summer has finally decided to show up and its time to think about having fun and swimming in clear blue water, under the sun. Luckily the French sea coast offers numerous sumptuous seaside spots where nature provides wild and exotic landscapes and views.
What’s makes a beach beautiful? The answer will differ for each vacationer. In order to please everybody, we have compiled a guide of the most beautiful beaches in France. Be it a hidden gem or an iconic landmark, located in the Mediterranean coast or Atlantic coast, there is something for everyone!!!
Calanque d’en Vau- Located in Marseille- The region of Provence- Alpes-Côte-D’Azur :
This spot can only be described as a sort of Mediterranean fjord, which offers breath taking beauty. You must however be adventurous enough to access it, due to the long trail (which takes nearly 2 hours on foot). The trek is well worth the effort and the reward, which is visible as soon as you breach the end of the trail, is a small stone-laden beach. The crystal clear, calm blue water is intertwined beween the cliffs, where pines gently hang from their perch. This is also the ideal spot for climbing enthusiasts.
Palombaggia Beach-Located in Porto- Veccio- The island of Corsica
This spot can only be described as a sort of Mediterranean fjord, which offers breath taking beauty. You must however be adventurous enough to access it, due to the long trail (which takes nearly 2 hours on foot). The trek is well worth the effort and the reward, which is visible as soon as you breach the end of the trail, is a small stone-laden beach. The crystal clear, calm blue water is intertwined between the cliffs, where pines gently hang from their perch. This is also the ideal spot for climbing enthusiasts.
Palombaggia Beach-Located in Porto- Veccio- The island of Corsica
The island of beauty’s hidden gem, the Palombaggia beach, draws visitors from around the world with its contrasting colors. The porphyre’s red (magmatic red rocks) reflect off the sand in a blinding white light, whereas the crystal blue water comes right up to the edge of the beaches to tickle the swimmers feet.
This beach is one of the most solicited all over the world and stretches over a mile. The coastal pine trees provide constant shade to those who are not fond of sunbathing and are also considered the beach’s unofficial mascots. The swimming area is ideal for families due to its shallow depth.
Grands-Sables and Tahiti Beach- Located on the Island of Groix- in the region of Brittany:
Located on the island’s east side, Grands Sables beach is stunning. Its Europe’s only convex beach and its colorful sand, which features a range of colors of white to dark red, makes it a real paradise on Earth. Different sections of the beach are available according to the storms and the tide. The beach even experienced a sand slide of 50 meters back in 1998.
Another splendor, Tahiti Beach, a Polynesian beach in Brittany, also features crystal clear water, although it is only accessible via a somewhat challenging descent.
Notre Dame Beach- Located on Porquerolles Island- Region of Provence -Alpes-Côte D’Azur:
Recently voted Europe’s most beautiful beach by the European Best Destinations body, this beach is larger than any other in the PACA region. Dotted with dry pines, its crystal clear water beckons as soon as you get to the beach. You might confuse it with a typical Caribbean beach, be it not for the lack of exotic fauna and flora.
Despite its natural beauty, which is well known throughout the world, the beach attracts few visitors. Reaching this peaceful haven is not for the faint of heart, as it is about a 30 min walk from the village of Porquerolles.
Another advantage of this beach is the complete and utter lack of wind and the absence of motor-boats, which are banished from the shores of the beach during the summer.
For the most daring of explorers, the far side of the beach features an ancient military ship wreck, the vessel “Pierrot le Fou” which inspired and starred in various scenes of the Jean–Luc Godard classic.
Le Touquet Beach- Located in Le Touquet- Paris-Plage- Region of Hauts de France( Normandy)
Tucked in amongst the pine trees and the sea, between the village of Berck town and the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Touquet-Paris beach, also referred to as the North’s Arcachon., beckons visitors from all over the world.
Besides the long walks in the sand, relaxing evenings in the local Casino and the annual flower festival, visitors can also enjoy the local architecture, like Touquet’s city hall (Hotel de Ville) or the Postes hotel. Le Touquet also attracts quite a few visitors that choose to enjoy the 10 mile long beach, where amazing sunsets and soft sand combine for a unique experience.
Saint Clair Beach- Located in Lavandou- Provence – Region of Alpes-Côte D’Azur:
The Lavandou sea resort offers some of the most luxurious beaches in Europe. The most popular, Saint-Clair, is located on the east side of the town and is by far the largest beach. Its nickname « The pearl of Levant » is well deserved.
During the summer this beach is very busy with visitors, who also enjoy the pleasant seaside walk, which is dotted with a combination of palm trees and sand. We also can’t fail to mention the Isle d’Or. From sunrise to sunset, the sun’s reflection in the crystal clear water produces a mystifying, magical effect. This is perfect for activities like scuba diving. You can also rent pedal boats or engage in a friendly game of beach volleyball.
Visitors who are more sensitive to the sun and the heat will tend to regret the fact that the area is lacking in any natural shade, but you can always rent a beach bed, it comes with its very own parasol!
Pilat Beach-Located in Arcachon- in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine:
This probably isn’t the first you’ve heard about the famous sandhill of Pilat, the highest of all of Europe. Each year the landmark changes location, as the sand shifts anywhere from 1 to 5 meters. The sand’s color also changes according to the sun, going from blinding white to a shade of gold that invites visitors to lay down and soak it all in.
It’s 110 meters high, so the climb is not for the faint of heart. If you need to get rid of the layer of sand that will inevitably accumulate, simply head to the Atlantic ocean, where the crystal clear water will take care of it. The beach, referred to as “Corniche Beach”, extends for miles. Come low tide, you can wander over and contemplate the Arguin bank, where small wild islands play host to a number of migratory bird species.
Île Vierge Beach- Located in Crozon-Brittany region:
Crozon Island has one of the most beautiful and wild beaches of the entire region of Brittany. Due to it’s challenging to get to location, it hardly ever sees any visitors, so the beach (also referred to as Porzh Pesk ) has remained untouched. Near the the cap de la Chèvre, the beach will impress visitors with it’s typical Mediterranean characteristics: clear waters, coastal pine trees, wild creeks, and caves that are accessible by both sea and land. Seeing right through the clear water is a constant reminder of the real-life paradise it is. We can guarantee that you won’t regret choosing it over the more common beaches of Corsica. Despite the water’s chilly temperature, normally around 17° and 19° Celsius, nothing can take away from the natural beauty of the landscape, making any visit well worth it. Don’t let the beach stones fool you. Just because there is no sand doesn’t mean you can’t lay your towel down on some smooth stones!
Étretat Beach – Located in Étretat – Region of Normandy
Etrelat beach has inspired numerous artists such as Monet, Boudin and Matisse, despite the fact that it does not present the typical beautiful scenery that one would associate with coastal trees, crystal clear water and white sand. Instead, the beach features stones and the water is rarely turquoise. The coastal trees are replaced by limestone cliffs composed of what looks to be chalk. You have probably seen the cliffs pictured somewhere, as they are world famous. Tourists flock to the area to take in the natural landscape and appreciate the historical significance.
The waves at Étretat beach are far from dangerous and are ideal for children or novice swimmers. You just need to careful with the approach of the high tide, as it’s easy to get trapped between two cliffs.
The shores of Basques Beach – Located in Biarritz – Region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine:
The shores of the Basques beach is a large, dense metropolitan beach that illustrates just how beautiful the Atlantic Ocean is, as it is clearly visible in the horizon, along with the Pyrenees mountains. The beach walk extends around a mile long, ending in a convenient shopping center that offer all the basic amenities.
The beach is only accessible when the tide is low.
Not only does it offer amazing surf spots, but the beach also allows for a breathtaking moment, with the cliffs hovering over the Virgin Holy Mary rock and the ocean backdrop on one side and the mountains of the Spanish coast distinguishable from the other.
This exceptional location, based in the South West of France, has many activities to offer. Visitors can go on long walks, spend quality family time or simply surf the waves. It’s the perfect spot for anyone who loves wild, unbridled and solitary landscapes.
La Grande Plage du Sillon beach – Located in Saint-Malo – Region of Brittany:
The white sand beach starts at the National Fort and extends until the far point of Rochebonne La Grande Plage du Sillon. This beach also features a wonderful walk along the dykes and numerous nautical activities like land sailing and sailboating.
This 3 km beach serves as the link between the city (shielded by medieval walls) and the neighborhood of Paramé (seaside venue where visitors can take in St Malo’s manors, built last century. The city also offers an exceptional panorama views over St. Malo’s defensive walls erected by Vauban.
It is also famous for its breakwaters, which are composed of trees that have been eroded by years of the tide. In previous times, they were used to protect Silon’s sandhill, which was the only way of accessing the city-fortress. Last but not certainly not least, visitors can enjoy the Thermes du Sillon (thermal baths), which are located right on the beach, to experience a hydrotherapy session in a luxurious context.