Best beaches in France

Summer is an invitation to relax, calm and swimming. Travelling or on a road trip to France? Here’s what we think are the ten most beautiful beaches in France! Discover our selection of heavenly spots, from North to South.

1. Étretat beach (Seine-Maritime)

Etretat Beach

Ideally located between the cliffs Upstream and Downstream, the long pebble beach of Etretat is one of the most beautiful in Normandy.

It stretches over nearly a kilometre and will offer the possibility to the bravest to swim in the English Channel. Other activities such as surfing, diving, sailing or fishing will also delight holidaymakers.

2. Deauville beach (Calvados)

Deaville Beach France

The emblematic Deauville beach has an international reputation!

Claude Lelouch chose it as the setting for his film “Un Homme et Une Femme” in 1966. Its art deco style parasols and cabins are a dream setting for romantics from France and elsewhere. After a few hours of idleness, a stroll to the iconic boardwalk is a must.

3. The island Saint-Nicolas des Glénan (Finistère)

Saint Nicolas Les Glénan Beach

Île Saint-Nicolas is 3 km2 in area and is the main island of the Glénan archipelago, located in Finistère, south of Fouesnant.

Renown for it’s sailing school around the world, the crystal clear waters of Les Glénans could make you think you’re in Caribbeans. Its white sandy beach and turquoise water have everything to please.

Locals and holidaymakers alike are unanimous: it is a real paradise on earth!

4. Ile Vierge beach (Finistère)

crozon island beach

Finistère is full of natural treasures! The Ile Vierge beach hides on the Crozon peninsula in Brittany. This idyllic spot has been classified as the 7th most beautiful beach in Europe by the European Best Destination site.

Breathtaking panorama, wild scenery, crystal-clear water and pebbles will be on your programme.

Good to Know: Crozon is part of a protected Natura 2000 site, and access can sometimes be restricted to protect the fauna & flora.

5. Trévignon beach (Finistère)

beach in britanny

Trévignon beach, also known as Whale beach, makes a lasting impression with its imposing granite block which gushes out of the ocean at high tide. This one does indeed make one think of a whale!

This atypical spot borders the tip of Trévignon and seduces with its fine sand and turquoise waters.

On windy days, water sports and kite flying enthusiasts will be delighted!

6. La Corniche beach (Gironde)

la corniche beach

Running alongside the Dune du Pilat (the highest Dune in Europe with a height of 106.4 metres in 2019) and facing the Banc d’Arguin national nature reserve, the Corniche Beach is stunning.

The view is impressive, between the Bay of Arcachon and the Atlantic Ocean. You can access the beach via a staircase, a stone’s throw from the superb Hôtel de la Co(o)rniche designed by the French Philippe Starck.

7. Beach of the calanque d’En-Vau (Bouches-du-Rhône)

beach in marseille

Let’s head to the south of France, between Marseille and Cassis, where the beach of the Calanque d’En-Vau reigns.

Surrounded by immense cliffs, this jewel promises unique views that will amaze young and old alike! Kayak aficionados will have a blast while others will indulge with rest and sunbathing.

Good to know: a few wild boars can join the party and take a sea bath!

8. Notre Dame Beach, in Porquerolles (Var)

Porquerolles island france

The island of Porquerolles, in the Var, is famous for its postcard-like appearance.

The Notre Dame beach stretches over nearly 800 metres: fine sand and clear water delight bathers.

Surrounded by the pine forest, its more than exotic setting has been voted one of the most beautiful in Europe!

9. Beach of Saleccia (Haute-Corse)

saleccia beach corsica

Let’s head towards Corsica with the sublime beach of Saleccia, one of the most beautiful and wildest of the Isle of Beauty nestled in the Agriates desert.

Dunes and Aleppo pines bring a special note to this spot which was is also renown as the setting for the American war film “The Longest Day” in 1962.

10. Beach of Palombaggia (South Corsica)

best beach in corsica

Tourists and nature lovers have fallen under the spell of this magnificent Corsican white sandy beach, located at the foot of the dunes where umbrella pines dominate.

All shades of blue colour the Mediterranean Sea, and it is a perfect playground for those who love swimming and sunbathing.

Before you go: remember to make your beach stay rhyme with sustainable travel and take a look at our essential tips to adopt on a beach holiday.

Holiable is an eco-friendly travel planner helping you find sustainable hotels, green restaurants and ethical tourism activities around the world. Holiable was developed to share experiences, advice and reviews on sustainable travel, making it easier to prepare your next eco-friendly holiday.
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