French Beach Holidays: Sandy Escapes for Every Kind of Explorer

France boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, perfect for anyone seeking a little sun, sand, and sea. From the wild and windswept Atlantic Coast to the sun-kissed Mediterranean, each region has its own unique charm and atmosphere. Whether seeking a place to relax and unwind, catch some waves, or explore stunning landscapes, there’s a French beach holiday for every kind of traveler.

Normandy and Brittany: Rugged Coastlines and Seafood Delights

Located in the northwest of France, Normandy and Brittany offer dramatic seascapes with rocky cliffs, secluded coves, and picturesque fishing villages. The beaches here are a far cry from the tropical paradises found in the south of the country, but they have a wild beauty all their own. Travelers who are drawn to nature and local culture will love exploring Normandy and Brittany’s beaches.

One of the most famous sights in the region is the stunning Mont Saint Michel, a rocky island just off the coast of Normandy. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a medieval abbey and a village, which can be reached via a causeway during low tide.

In Brittany, the seaside town of Dinard is popular with visitors looking to enjoy the sea breeze and relax on the beach. The town is packed with Belle Époque villas and chic cafes, and its sandy beach is perfect for strolling, swimming and sunbathing. Meanwhile, the historic city of Saint-Malo boasts a 4km long rampart that promises stunning views of the sea.

For those who love seafood, a visit to the fish markets of Trouville-sur-Mer or Saint-Quay-Portrieux is a must. From shellfish to lobster, visitors here can savor the flavors of the sea.

Côte d’Azur: Glamour and Glitz on the Mediterranean

The beautiful Côte d’Azur, located on the French Riviera, is known for its warm waters and sun-drenched beaches. It’s the perfect place for an indulgent beach holiday, with its luxurious resorts, designer boutiques, and glamorous nightlife.

Nice is a fantastic base for exploring the region, with its beautiful promenade and lively atmosphere. Nice’s beaches are not the typical sandy ones, rather smooth pebbles and the more secluded ones are rocky. But they are still popular because of the clear blue waters and coastal views.

Just a short drive from Nice is the charming village of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, popular for its beautiful beaches and walking trails with unobstructed views of the stunning coastline.

Saint-Tropez is perhaps best known as a playground for the rich and famous, with its trendy beach clubs, high-end restaurants, and exclusive boutiques. For something a little more low-key, the neighboring town of Ramatuelle has a more laid-back vibe, with a string of beautiful beaches that are great for water sports.

Corsica: Secret Beaches and Rugged Landscapes

Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean, is a true paradise on earth. Here, visitors can explore spectacular sandy beaches and rugged landscapes, with crystal-clear waters, and towering cliffs. Squeezed between France and Italy, it has a unique culture, with Mediterranean roots and a fiercely independent spirit.

L’Île-Rousse is a coastal town famous for its red granite cliffs, which are best seen from the beach. Explore the winding streets, local markets or just laze on the sandy beaches, this one is a must visit. For adventure seekers the most beautiful beach is Plage de Saleccia – known for its palm trees and secluded temperate water, it’s perfect for a day’s picnic and exploring.

Ajaccio, the Island’s capital, boasts a citadel right on the waterfront, and is perfect for those who also want to visit some museums, restaurants and shops.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is it easy to get around each region?
A: Yes, each region is easy to get around by car, train, or bus. However, Corsica and some parts of Brittany, could be better enjoyed by car.

Q: When is the best time to visit France for a beach holiday?
A: The summer months of June, July, and August are the most popular, but September and October are suitable months as well.

Q: Are the beaches in France private?
A: Some beaches in France are private, especially on the Côte d’Azur, but most of the beaches are open to the public.

Q: Is there much wildlife or areas suitable for bird watching in the Normandy region?
A: Yes! Normandy region boasts Mont Saint Michel Bay which has a large biodiversity with over 300 species of birds that can be observed throughout the year.

Q: Are water sports available in France?
A: Yes, water sports such as kayaking, paddle-boarding, surfing, and kite-surfing can be enjoyed on the beaches of France.


France has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, offering something for every traveler’s taste. From rugged and wild landscapes to glamorous Mediterranean resorts, there’s something for everyone in France. Whether seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, visitors will find something to suit their interests in this beautiful country.

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