When most of us think of a French Beach we think of the beaches of the French Riviera. Indeed French Riviera beaches are chic, warm and beautiful but did you know your beach holiday in France can be far from the Riviera, even far from the South of France and be just as fabulous?
You can find a wonderful French beach on the Atlantic, the English Channel, or the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean beaches are generally warmer, the Atlantic a bit cooler and the Channel cooler still yet stunning and quieter.
Take a look at this French Riviera Map for more perspective.
On the Mediterranean, the French Riviera is France’s top attraction for beaches and chic resorts like Nice, pictured to the right.
There is lots to see and do when you’re not enjoying a dip in the sea or a lie on the beach.
Continuing westward are the smaller resorts of St-Tropez and Cassis. This French beach, French Riviera beach area lies on beautiful coves and bays. Included here are St. Raphael , Hyeres, Toulon (where my cousin recently got married. He’s in the French Navy and this is his home port), and La Ciotat.
At the mouth of the Rhône is the Camargue Reserve, one of the largest wetlands reserves in Europe. It is a great place for bird watching and learning about the flora and fauna of the area. This is a French beach for watching wildlife not becoming one of them. (ie swimming and watersports)
Back to a beach for us, west of the reserve is Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer with the white sandy beaches of the dunes of the Camargue. Besides sunning and swimming activity there is Horse back riding. The area is famous for its horses! 4 mi east is a naturist beach if you like to beach au natural.
West of the Rhône are the sandy beaches of Languedoc-Roussillon with modern resorts like la Grande Mote and tourist inspired replicas of fishing villages. Lots of opportunity for all sorts of sporting activities like golf and tennis.
South Near Spain
Biarritz – 3 good France beaches, and the best surfing in Europe.
Saint–Jean-de Luz - south of Biarritz and the last major town before you get to Spain – the safest place to swim on this stretch of coast because its natural harbor protects the shoreline.
North - Beaches in Brittany
Le Baule – a sandy France beach, 8 miles long, the longest in Europe
On the Gulf du Moriban – Carnac plage.
Beaches in Brittany:
The Pink Granite Coast beaches –beautiful pink rocky coast
The Emerald Coast beaches – water is a beautiful emerald green, hence the name.
Beaches in Normandy:
D day beaches – history, sightseeing and swimming vacation beaches.
What? There's a beach in Paris? Yes, they truck in tons of sand every summer. All sort of fun events and beach activities to enjoy.
Nearby Places to Visit in France and Things to Do in France:
French wine regions go all the way to the coast. Just a short drive into the countryside.
Where to Stay? Try camping in France on or near the beach. 5 star French campgrounds are like resorts or camp rough under the stars.
Want to rent a cottage or villa? Here is a self catering France guide to get you started.
What to Eat? France food is the best. Here is a great guide to make ordering easier.
Driving in France gives you the opportunity to see and do many things. A guide for your driving experience.
Flying to France? Airports in France that serve the Mediterranean.