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Beaches recommended by our owners

There are hundreds of miles of fabulous beaches in France. Many of the best of these are already well known and attract thousands of tourists each year. If, however, you are looking for something a little quieter, our owners have recommended some of their favourite beaches for you.

Atlantic Coast

Escoublac Beach at La Baule

La Baule

More commonly referred to as La Baule, La Baule-Escoublac is a seaside resort in Brittany which has a 12km long sandy beach. The town itself has fantastic facilities including shops, an assortment of cafes and restaurants and even a casino. Water sports are popular in the area, as the wind blowing in from the Atlantic creates great conditions for wind-surfing and sailing.

La Mine Beach

La Mine

Situated a short distance from Jard-sur-Mer, the beautiful beach at La Mines provides a quiet alternative to the more popular Atlantic coast beaches. Lifeguards are on duty in the summer months, which is particularly useful as there are some strong currents just offshore. Consequently, care should be taken on days when lifeguards are not in attendance. A beautiful beach, with a nature reserve to the north, La Mines is the perfect place to spend a fine summer day.

La Roche Percee

La Roche Percee

With pretty rocky outcrops, intermixed with fine soft sand, the beach La Roche Percee is a fabulous place for families to visit. Named after the beautiful rock archway at the entrance to the beach, the area is also popular with sailors and offers fantastic scenery and great rock-pooling.

La Tranche-sur-Mer Beach

La Tranche-sur-Mer

Facing south towards the Ile de Re, La Tranche-sur-Mer is popular with both families and water sports enthusiasts.  The summer months see large numbers of visitors and the streets are filled with entertainers and holiday makers. There are a good variety of cafes and restaurants, an amusement park for the children and 8km of fabulous sandy beaches.

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

With wilder beaches than La Baule, the pretty fishing port of Le Croisic offers a superb alternative to the popular tourist destination. As this area is the heart of the French cockle industry, it is possible to tour producers, visit cockle beds and sample the produce in the local restaurants. The town also has an aquarium with an underwater tunnel and penguins which children will adore. The town has five sandy beaches of which the Plage de Port-Lin has the best facilities.

Les Sables d'Olonne Beach

Les Sables d'Olonne

The pretty town of Les Sables d’Olonne was a popular Victorian seaside retreat. Many of the Victorian buildings still stand today and give the town a feeling of old world charm. The long promenade, which runs the length of the sandy beach, has plenty of cafes and restaurants, which cater for all appetites, and the beach itself attracts windsurfers and sailors from across France. If you tire of the beach, there are art galleries, historic buildings and a zoo.

The beach at St. Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

St.Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

St. Gilles-Croix-de-Vie has four beaches. The best of these, the Grand Plage. is a long sandy beach with great facilities. There is a promenade full of cafes, bars and small, but interesting, shops running alongside the beach. There are also plenty of facilities such as showers and beach huts which bring added convenience.

Saint-Girons Beach

Saint-Girons Plage

Located on the South Atlantic coast, 70 km north of Biarritz, the beach at St Girons Plage has one of the largest expanses of sand in the country. The promenade has an assortment of typical seaside shops and there are plenty of places to eat and drink, even a supermarket for your convenience. The beach is well cared for and has lifeguards in attendance during the season.

Saint-Palais-sur-Mer

Saint-Palais-sur-Mer

Saint Palais-sur-Mer has five sandy beaches. The Plage du Bureau in the town centre is small but does have the benefit of a children’s club, merry go round and an evening puppet theatre. The Plage du Platin, which is further along the coast, is much quieter, but facilities are few and, for cafes and restaurants, you will need to return to the town. In the evening, select a restaurant with a sea view and watch the sunset, a spectacular way to end the day.

North Coast

Berck-sur-Mer

Berck-sur-Mer

Berck-sur-Mer is a fabulous child-friendly resort overlooking the English Channel.  Its clean safe beach is perfect for families. Berck-sur-Mer has all the familiar trappings of an English seaside town - a roundabout, mini-golf, ice-cream and plenty of cafes. The ‘Mickey Mouse’ club on the beach is a hit with children of all ages and the 12 kilometres of sand provides ample space to keep them entertained.  Sand yachters and kite flyers can be found on the beach in abundance and the town itself has plenty of facilities to keep the adults entertained, including a cinema, a casino, and plenty of nightclubs.

Wissant Beach

Wissant

Wissant, when translated from the Dutch 'wit zand', literally means white sand, and that is what you will find here - white sand in abundance. The beautiful beach, surrounded by coastal dunes, never seems to be overcrowded and, from the nearby cliffs in Cap Blanc Nez, you can see the British coast on a clear day. Wissant is a quaint fishing port, still active today, and there are a number of restaurants serving fine food should you wish to dine while you are there.

The beach at Barneville Carteret

Barneville Carteret

Take a trip to Barneville Carteret and you will find a fabulous beach with shell-fish filled rock pools, sheltered by dunes. Carteret is a pretty harbour with links to the Channel Islands from Easter to October, while Barneville is well worth the visit on a Saturday morning as the weekly produce market brings the village to life.

Mediterranean Coast

Banyuls-sur-Mer

Banyuls-sur-Mer

Banyuls-sur-Mer is a pebbly curve at the southernmost point of Roussillon. There are several beaches surrounding the port. The main beach, nearest to the town centre, is attended by lifeguards during the season and, in summer, a raft with a slide moored just out to sea provides hours of fun for the children. Travel to the south and you will find a plethora of diving schools which make the most of the Marine Reserve located here.

The Alps from Sainte Marguerite

Sainte Marguerite

The Ile-Sainte Marguerite lies half a mile from Cannes in the Mediterranean Sea. The heavily wooded island has large umbrella pines and eucalyptus trees which create a superb fragrance as you explore the island. During the summer months, Sainte Marguerite is a popular haunt of tourists and is accessible by a 15 minute ferry journey from Cannes. The Plateau du Milieu, between the island and the Ile Saint-Honorat, is a popular area for parascending and other such watersports. The beautiful clean beaches are a fabulous place to relax and, while on the island, you can visit the Fort Royal, which once housed the Man in the Iron Mask.

How about looking at the Alps while you lie on the beaches of Sainte Marguerite as in picture? Beautiful.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Set on the French Riviera, the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer has sandy beaches and clear blue seas which attract thousands of holidaymakers each year. This area is popular amongst celebrities and several have homes  here. There is a mix of pretty medieval streets and modern day mansions but the beach, which is open to all, is its crowning glory. From the beach you can safely swim, surf, sunbathe and water-ski to your heart’s content, all whilst basking in the glorious Mediterranean sunshine.

A panorama of Villefranche-sur-Mer is at the bottom of the page.

French Beaches

Whether you are looking to explore the historic beaches of the north, the water sports coast of the Atlantic or the sun-soaked beaches of the Mediterranean, France has the perfect beach for you.  There are family-friendly beaches, nature reserves, quaint fishing ports and surfing paradises spread along the extensive coastline. Whatever you are looking for, you are certain to find a coastal area which meets your needs.

Villefranche-sur-Mer Panorama

Villefranche-sur-Mer Panorama by Berthold Werner

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