France is the ultimate European destination that offers everything necessary for the perfect holidays. Set in the Mediterranean but also on the North Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, France is a magnificent blend of cultures and traditions. No wonder it is among the top-visited countries in the whole world! France is a top choice all year round, but if looking for an ideal summer vacation, look no further. South of France and its sunny French Riviera or Northern France with spectacular resorts, the choice is up to you. However, we present you with our choice of the 10 best beaches in France.
Palombaggia Beach, Corsica
Beaches in Corsica provide the perfect Mediterranean experience with its turquoise waters, pine shadows and long stretches of sand. Palombaggia Beach in Porto Vecchio is often voted as one of the best beaches in France. This famous beach is made of fine white sand that stretches more than a kilometre separated in several areas. The entire beach is well equipped with various facilities and offers a good number of water sports and activities. The part of the beach Cala di Lume is also disabled-friendly. Pets are allowed at the beach and parts of it are non-smoking areas.
The beach is located about 20 minutes from Porto Vecchio and about 40 minutes from Bonifacio, easy to reach by car. During the summer, buses are operating in the area.
Pampelonne Beach, Saint Tropez
The iconic Saint Tropez of the Cote d’Azur is one of the most famous destinations in France and Pampelonne Beach is often associated with it. This popular beach is known as a vibrant party spot with clubs and beach bars. It is also known for its numerous celebrities and luxurious yachts. The beach is about 5 km long and is made of perfect white sand. It is equipped with all kind of facilities including public toilets, showers, guards, fine dining restaurants and kiosks offering all sorts of water sports. However, if visiting Pampelonne Beach during the summer months, expect some serious crowds.
The beach can be reached by public bus from Saint Tropez (and Ramatuelle) in about 15 minutes. You can also travel by car since the beach has a parking lot.
Etretat Beach, Normandy
Etretat is one of the most popular coastal places in Northwestern France, known for its white cliffs and famous arches. Beneath the cliffs lies a sandy beach that is also a big attraction among surfers. But this picturesque beach attracts artists such as Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet for centuries. Moreover, it was featured in the novel The Hollow Needle by Arsene Lupin. The part with the most famous scenery doesn’t offer any facilities, but the main beach has everything you need.
The best way to explore the Etretat cliffs and access the beach is by careful hiking or by boat. However, it is recommended you follow the signs and warnings as exploring the cliffs might be a dangerous activity as there are no barriers.
Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Paloma Plage in France is one of the most precious gems of the French Riviera. The beach is nestled in a beautiful cove with lush pine forest. However, part of it is a private beach attached to the famous Paloma Beach restaurant known for the exquisite Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant is open seasonally, from Easter to late September. The beach is family-friendly and offers a lot of facilities such as showers, deckchairs, umbrellas, changing rooms etc. There are also various water sports on offer.
The beach restaurant provides a shuttle service to the town, but if visiting the public part of the beach only, you can take a bus line 81. There is also a parking lot in case you arrive in a car.
Notre Dame Beach, Ille de Porquerolles
The island of Porquerolles is another top summer destination in France. Among different amazing beaches, Notre Dame Beach is often referred to when speaking of beaches in Porquerolles. It is made of golden sand and framed with a lush pine forest that provides lots of shade. The beach is suitable for families with small children, but it doesn’t offer many facilities right at the beach. However, it is spacious and remote which makes it ideal for sunbathing, swimming and picnics away from the crowds.
The beach is located about 3 km from Porquerolles centre and the best way to reach it is on foot or by bicycle.
La Grande Plage, Biarritz
The main beach of Biarritz appears to be the most photographed spot in Basque Region. However, it also appears to be one of the best beaches in Europe, according to travellers. Moreover, the beach and the entire coast in Biarritz is well-known for surfing. Waves here rise to 3 meters and visitors can try to master the waves with help from professionals in surfing school. Besides the water activities, there are many other facilities around such as bars and restaurants.
The beach is located close to Biarritz city centre and it is easily accessible by public buses.
Calanque de Port Pin, Marseille
Calanque de Port Pin is a deep and well-protected cove, symmetrical to the Calanque d’En-Vau on the other side. It is a park of Calanques National Park and one of the most visited places in this part of France. The area is a combination of sand, pebble and rocks, surrounded by a lush green pine forest that provides plenty of shade. The sea here is crystal clear with no waves, altogether appropriate for both children and adults. Note that there are no facilities nearby the swimming spot.
However, access to the beach is somewhat difficult. You need to be careful as the descent to the beach is made of slippery pebbles. The other option is to access the beach by boat.
L’Espiguette Beach, Montpellier
Montpellier beaches are often a top choice of visitors who seek the perfect Mediterranean destination. Plage de l’Espiguette is a long, spacious sandy beach that stretches for an incredible 18 km. The beach is mainly wild but there are rental options as well as a few restaurants along. The part of the beach is dedicated to nudists. All in all, if looking for a big spot just for yourself, you will find it here.
The beach is located about a few kilometres from Montpellier, but it is possible to stay in Port Camargue. Getting to and from Montpellier is easy by public transport.
Le Touquet Beach, Pas de Calais
The seaside town of Le Touquet is a place in the English Channel overlooking the UK. The whole region gravitates to Calais, the major ferry port in Northern France. The beach of Le Touquet is wide and spacious but also a popular luxurious resort. The beach is relatively close to Paris, so many Parisians come here to relax with their families. The beach is well equipped and has plenty of facilities nearby. It is pleasant in all seasons, for long walks if not for swimming.
It is possible to reach Le Touquet-Paris-Plage from different directions. The train from London to Paris makes a stop here, but you can also travel by car as the beach has a parking lot.
Calais Beach, Pas de Calais
Along with Le Touquet Beach, the main beach in Calais is one of the famous locations overlooking the English Channel and the UK. The beach is located close to the port and is made of sand, moreover, high dunes. Besides having a lifeguard and being disabled-friendly, the beach is equipped with all sorts of facilities such as children playgrounds, sports courts, bars and restaurants.
The beach is located very close to the city centre of Calais which makes it easily accessible. You can also arrive in a car since there is parking lot at the beach.