The 10 Best Beaches in France

First and foremost, how can you know which French beaches are the best? Not everyone is on the Riviera, so relax. In addition to the famous stretch of coastline, other great French beach destinations include the Normandy coast and the Bay of Biscay. Here are The 10 Best Beaches in France, ranging from those located on historical landmarks and secluded islands to those located in the resort towns frequented by Europe’s affluent.

All the ingredients for a relaxing beach trip are there in France. Join us as we travel throughout France’s coasts, from the balmy shores of the Mediterranean to the more temperate shores of the Atlantic, in search of the country’s finest beaches. From the Côte d’Azur to Corsica, France is a seafarer’s paradise. Here are The 10 Best Beaches in France. France has some of the best beaches in the world, from golden sands on the Mediterranean coast to picturesque seaside towns to rocky coves just off Brittany. Read on for our list of The 10 Best Beaches in France.

1. Located in Normandy in Étretat

At Étretat, on the Alabaster Coast of France, surfers and sailors alike flock to the beach’s distinctive pebbles. The spectacular chalk cliffs and arching rock formations in Upper Normandy are the main draws for tourists. Natural sculptures may be seen at different spots along the 80-mile length of Étretat, inspiring visitors and artists (most famously Claude Monet) for generations.

2. Riviera de Antibes, France

Best Beaches in France

About midway between Cannes and Nice, Antibes is home to a peninsula that juts out into the sea, increasing the amount of accessible, warm, sandy, easy-to-walk-on coastline. If you have the means, treat yourself to a suite at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, a symbol of the most luxurious and exclusive accommodations on the French Riviera.

3. Saint-Jean-Cap-Paloma Ferrat’s Beach

There is a Rothschild house with extensive gardens and a beach honoring Pablo Picasso’s daughter, Paloma, on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula near Nice. Walk a steep stairway down to the rocky coast and be rewarded with vast, sweeping views of the sea.

4. Port of Hyères and Porquerolles Island

The Île de Porquerolles, off the southern French coast, is just five miles distant, yet it seems much farther. Every beach on the island has a laid-back vibe thanks to the absence of cars, making it ideal for picnics and bike rides.

5. Cap Coz, Brittany

Cap Coz is a must-see on any tour to Brittany because of its collection of quiet, undeveloped beaches. It is possible to visit the whole rocky coastline, complete with protected coves ideal for afternoon swims, just by setting out on the hiking trail that stretches along the Breton Riviera around the peninsula.

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6. To Provence’s Les Calanques de Cassis

To Provence's Les Calanques de Cassis

Calanques are long, narrow inlets bordered by natural rocks like limestone; throughout the Mediterranean coast, there are few more stunning examples than those found at Cassis. Please be aware that this beach is more popular for its scenery than its swimming.

7. Biarritz’s Plage de la Côte des Basques

Biarritz, in the Basque area along the Bay of Biscay, is a famous summer resort for royals and celebrities (you may remember it from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises), and it is also enormously popular with surfers because of its calm, safe-for-beginners waves.

8. The Normandy beach of Deauville

By establishing her first fashion boutique in Deauville in 1913, none other than Coco Chanel solidified the town’s already stellar image. Her casual-chic, beach-inspired ensembles placed both her—and the town’s wonderful promenade packed with quaint stores and ice cream vendors—on the map forever.

9. The beaches of Prado in Marseille

If you like your beach trip to also include a city break, travel to Marseille (the second-largest city in France) and spend a day at the Prado Beaches, a set of three beaches that are readily accessible from the city center and perfect for families with kids. Keep an eye out for the copy of Michelangelo’s David, a famous selfie site.

10. Brittany’s Côte de Granit Rose

If you find yourself in northwest Brittany, you must see the Côte de Granit Rose (or the Pink Granite Shoreline), a stretch of coast filled with beautiful granite rock formations. Massive stones of a rose gold color and worn pink sand provide a striking visual against the sea’s gray waves.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that France is the ideal vacation spot for history buffs, art lovers, and foodies. Hundreds of beaches dot the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean as if all that wasn’t enough. You’ve probably heard of the French Riviera, which is famous for its beauty and glamor all over the world.

The 10 best beaches in France, as chosen by the editors of National Geographic Traveler. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, though, you may discover quite beaches, hidden coves, and calm fishing towns. From the untamed lands of the north to the majestic vistas of the west and the laid-back Mediterranean atmosphere of the south, France has some of the world’s top beaches.

The 3,427 kilometers of French coastline make it difficult to narrow down the top beaches to just a few. We aimed to include a variety of beaches, from those that are remote and natural to those that are more accessible and developed, so that the list we compiled would have something for everyone. It’s safe to say that France is one of the luckiest countries in the world. The restaurants are some of the greatest in the world, the art in the museums is world-class, and the nightlife in the major cities is electric.

All that, plus some of the finest beaches in Europe to boot? That’s right, and you should just go to France immediately. Everything from the chic coves of the French Riviera to the Atlantic coast dunes and the offbeat allure of Corsica is represented among France’s finest shores. There are literally hundreds of beaches to pick from here, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites, from secluded bays to popular tourist spots. Put on some SPF and grab some rays; you can’t go wrong with any of these options.

It’s no secret that France has some of Europe’s finest shores. There are many beaches and regions to discover in France, from the gloomy coasts of the north to the marvels of Corsica and the glittering idylls of the French Riviera. To get you in the mood for a beach getaway, we’ve compiled a list of The 10 Best Beaches in France.

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