France is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, with millions of visitors flocking to its shores every year. The country has a wide variety of attractions, from its vibrant cities to its stunning countryside. But one of the most popular destinations in France is its beaches. From the windswept coastlines of Normandy to the glamorous beaches of the Côte d’Azur, France has something to offer every beachgoer. In this article, we will explore the best French beach holidays and provide some essential travel tips for vacationing in this beautiful country.
1. The French Riviera
The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is one of the most famous and glamorous beach destinations in the world. Stretching from Saint-Tropez to the Italian border, this stunning coastline is dotted with luxurious resorts, designer shops, and expensive yachts. But the beaches themselves are the real star attraction. From the golden sands of Cannes to the rocky coves of Cap Ferrat, the beaches of the French Riviera offer something for everyone.
Normandy is known for its rich history and charming towns, but it also has some beautiful beaches. The coastline here is quite different from the glitz and glamour of the Riviera, with windswept cliffs and rugged shorelines. But the beaches have a wild, untamed feel that is perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and experience nature at its best.
Biarritz is a seaside town in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France. This chic and sophisticated destination has been a favored spot for European royalty and aristocracy since the 19th century. The town boasts numerous beaches, each with its own character, from the wide sandy expanse of Grande Plage to the rocky coves of Petite Plage. Biarritz is also known for its excellent surf, making it a popular surfing destination.
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean known for its rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and unspoiled natural beauty. The island has nearly 1,000 kilometers of coastline, with a variety of beaches to suit every taste. Some of the best beaches on the island include Palombaggia, Saleccia, and Santa Giulia. Corsica also has some excellent hiking trails, making it a great destination for nature lovers.
5. Île de Ré
The Île de Ré is a small island off the west coast of France, near La Rochelle. This charming and picturesque island is known for its unspoiled beaches, quaint villages, and delicious seafood. The island has over 100 kilometers of beaches, including the wide sandy expanse of Plage des Gollandières and the sheltered cove of Plage de la Couarde. The Île de Ré is also a popular spot for cycling and hiking, with miles of scenic trails.
1. When to go
The best time to visit France for a beach holiday depends on where you want to go. The French Riviera is at its busiest in July and August, while the weather in Normandy is best from May to September. Biarritz is a popular destination year-round, but the surf is at its best in the winter months. Corsica and the Île de Ré are best visited in the summer, when the weather is warm and sunny.
2. What to pack
When packing for a beach holiday in France, it’s important to bring plenty of sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong. Sunglasses and a hat are also essential. If you plan on swimming, bring a bathing suit and a beach towel. For those planning more active holidays, bring comfortable clothes and shoes suitable for outdoor activities like hiking or cycling.
3. Getting around
France has an excellent transportation system, with trains and buses connecting most major destinations. For beach holidays, a car rental may be the best option, as it allows for more flexibility in exploring different beaches and coastal towns. Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are also available in many cities.
Q: Do I need a visa to visit France for a beach holiday?
A: Citizens of many countries, including the United States, do not need a visa to visit France for up to 90 days. Check with the French embassy or consulate in your country to confirm if you need a visa.
Q: Are French beaches patrolled by lifeguards?
A: Lifeguards are present on most French beaches during the summer months, but it’s important to always obey warnings and be cautious when swimming.
Q: What is the legal drinking age in France?
A: The legal drinking age in France is 18.
Q: What is the easiest way to get to the French Riviera?
A: The easiest way to get to the French Riviera is by plane. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the closest airport to many of the area’s top destinations and is served by major airlines.
Q: How much does it cost to visit the French Riviera?
A: The cost of a beach holiday in the French Riviera can vary greatly depending on the type of accommodations, dining options, and attractions. Expect to pay more for luxury hotels and high-end restaurants, but there are plenty of affordable options as well. A budget of around €100-150 per day should be sufficient for most travelers.
France is an excellent destination for a beach holiday, with a variety of beaches to suit every taste. From the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera to the untamed beauty of Normandy, France has something to offer every beachgoer. By following these travel tips and answering frequently asked questions, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday in this beautiful country.