Best French Beaches to Visit on Your Next Vacation
Apr 14, 2024

Best French Beaches to Visit on Your Next Vacation

Best French Beaches to Visit on Your Next Vacation
Julien Mainguy

French and based in Vancouver since 2014, Julien Mainguy is the co-founder of Best of France. Passionate about the cultural difference between Canada and Europe, he is leading numerous projects to create awareness, help people grow, and bring communities together.

France boasts an array of breathtaking beaches, from the Mediterranean and the French Riviera to the Atlantic and the beauty of Brittany. France offers stunning seaside bliss from coast to coast. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the top beaches we think you can’t miss on your next visit to France.

The Mediterranean and the French Riviera

The Mediterranean coastline and the famous French Riviera boast some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. With their crystal-clear turquoise waters, golden sandy shores, and picturesque surroundings, these beaches offer a truly enchanting experience for locals and tourists alike. The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d'Azur, is renowned for its glamorous and luxurious coastal destinations.

Whether you seek relaxation, natural beauty, or a touch of sophistication, the Mediterranean and the French Riviera beaches have something for everyone. From tranquil coves to bustling beach resorts, these coastal destinations provide a perfect blend of sun, sea, and stunning landscapes, making them an ideal choice for a memorable beach holiday.


The beaches of Corsica, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, are known to be some of the most beautiful in Europe. The island is renowned for its stunning beaches that offer a unique blend of natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and crystal-clear waters. With over 1,000 kilometres of coastline, Corsica is a paradise for beach lovers, adventurers, and nature enthusiasts alike.

The beaches of Corsica range from pristine white sandy shores to hidden coves nestled between dramatic cliffs. One of the most famous beaches on the island is Palombaggia Beach. Located near Porto-Vecchio in the southern part of Corsica, Palombaggia is known for its postcard-like beauty. Pine trees frame the beach and offer fine white sand, gently sloping into turquoise waters. With its shallow and calm waters, Palombaggia is an ideal spot for families and sunbathers looking to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun.

For those seeking a more secluded and untouched experience, the beach of Saleccia is a hidden gem. Located in the Agriates Desert in the northwest part of Corsica, this beach is only accessible by boat or a long hike. Its untouched beauty, pristine sands, and crystal-clear waters make it a true paradise for nature lovers. Surrounded by dunes and wild maquis, Saleccia Beach offers a sense of serenity and tranquillity that is hard to find elsewhere.

Corsica is also home to picturesque coastal towns with charming beaches. The town of Calvi, with its citadel overlooking the sea, boasts a beautiful sandy beach that stretches for several kilometres. Calvi Beach offers a vibrant atmosphere with beach bars, water sports activities, and a range of amenities. The clear waters and stunning views of the bay make it a popular destination for locals and tourists.

Whether you prefer sunbathing on golden sands, exploring hidden coves, or immersing yourself in the vibrant coastal towns, Corsica's beaches offer a diverse and unforgettable experience. With their pristine beauty, turquoise waters, and dramatic landscapes, Corsica's beaches are a true reflection of the island's natural wonders and make it a must-visit destination for beach enthusiasts. For more information, visit the Corsica tourism website.

Santa-Giulia Palombaggia in Porto-Vecchio, France
Santa-Giulia Palombaggia in Porto-Vecchio, France

Ile de Porquerolles, Côte d’Azur

Located off the coast of Hyères in the Mediterranean Sea, l’Ile de Porquerolles is a picturesque island known for its pristine beaches and unspoiled natural beauty. As part of the Port-Cros National Park, the island offers a unique and protected environment, making it a haven for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.

The beaches of Ile de Porquerolles are renowned for their crystal-clear turquoise waters and fine white sands. One of the most popular beaches on the island is Plage de Notre-Dame. This idyllic stretch of coastline is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can relax on the soft sands, take refreshing dips in the clear waters, or explore the nearby hiking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints.

Another notable beach on the island is Plage de la Courtade. With its shallow and calm waters, this beach is perfect for families and those who prefer a gentle swimming experience. The sandy shore is ideal for sunbathing and picnicking, while the shade of the pine trees provides a pleasant respite from the sun. From Plage de la Courtade, visitors can also take a short walk to discover other hidden coves and secluded spots along the coast.

One of the unique aspects of Ile de Porquerolles is its commitment to preserving the natural environment. The island has strict regulations to protect its beaches and marine life, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the pristine beauty for generations to come. As a result, the beaches of Ile de Porquerolles offer an authentic and unspoiled experience, away from the crowds and noise of more developed coastal areas.

Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat, a place to swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters, or simply a chance to immerse yourself in nature's tranquillity, the beaches of Ile de Porquerolles provide an enchanting and rejuvenating escape. With their natural beauty, unspoiled surroundings, and serene ambiance, these beaches offer a true paradise for those seeking solace in the Mediterranean’s embrace. For more information, visit the Ile de Porquerolles tourism website.

Pathway to azure waters, Ile de Porquerolles
Pathway to azure waters, Ile de Porquerolles


Nestled on the glamorous French Riviera, St. Tropez is renowned for its idyllic beaches that attract visitors from around the world. This picturesque coastal town offers a blend of sophistication, natural beauty, and vibrant beach culture. One of the most iconic beaches is Pampelonne Beach, stretching for nearly 5 kilometers along the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. With glamorous beach clubs and golden sands perfect for walks and beach games, it caters to those seeking luxury and leisure. For a more tranquil experience, the secluded Plage des Salins surrounded by lush vegetation and dunes provides a serene oasis away from the crowds.

Plage de Tahiti is another popular beach known for its breathtaking beauty and lively ambiance. Here, beachgoers can indulge in sunbathing, beach volleyball, and water sports while enjoying the trendy beach bars and restaurants. Plage de la Bouillabaisse offers a family-friendly atmosphere with a gently sloping shoreline and shallow waters, providing a safe environment for children to play. It's conveniently located near the heart of St. Tropez, allowing easy access to the town's vibrant shops and attractions.

St. Tropez’s beaches’ vibrant beach club culture is a distinctive feature, with stylish establishments offering sun loungers, beachside dining, and entertainment. These beach clubs often host lively parties and events, attracting a fashionable and cosmopolitan crowd. St. Tropez's beaches offer natural beauty and a backdrop for a lively social scene, where visitors can experience the town's vibrant energy and glamorous lifestyle.

Whether you're looking for a luxurious beach club experience or a peaceful escape surrounded by natural beauty, the beaches of St. Tropez offer a captivating blend of sophistication, relaxation, and vibrant beach culture. It's a truly enchanting destination on the French Riviera. For more information, visit the St. Tropez tourism website.

Stunning shoreline of St-Tropez
Stunning shoreline of St-Tropez


Villefranche-sur-Mer, located on the French Riviera, boasts some of the region’s most picturesque and inviting beaches. This charming seaside town offers a delightful combination of natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant beach culture, making it a popular summer destination.

The main beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer is the Plage des Marinières, a crescent-shaped stretch of golden sand that is framed by crystal-clear azure waters. The beach provides a stunning backdrop of colourful Mediterranean buildings and lush green hills, creating a truly idyllic setting. The calm and shallow waters make it a great choice for families and swimmers of all ages. Visitors can lounge on the soft sand, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or simply soak up the sun while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

For those seeking a more secluded and tranquil beach experience, the Plage de la Darse is an excellent choice. Tucked away in a sheltered bay, this tiny pebble beach offers a peaceful atmosphere and a sense of serenity. Surrounded by charming fishing boats and colourful waterfront houses, it provides a unique glimpse into the town's maritime heritage. The clear waters are perfect for snorkelling, allowing visitors to discover the diverse marine life that thrives in the area.

In addition to its natural beauty, Villefranche-sur-Mer offers a range of amenities and activities to enhance your visit. Beachside cafes and restaurants line the promenade, offering delicious local cuisine and refreshing drinks. Water sports enthusiasts can rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore the coastline or venture further out into the Mediterranean. For those seeking a touch of history, visiting the nearby 16th-century Citadel is a must, offering panoramic views of the bay and an intriguing glimpse into the town's past.

Whether you're looking to bask in the sun, take a dip in the inviting waters, or simply relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, the beaches of Villefranche-sur-Mer provide a delightful escape on the French Riviera. With their stunning natural beauty, charming surroundings, and a range of activities to suit all preferences, these beaches are an irresistible destination for beach lovers and travellers seeking a slice of paradise.

Beautiful beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Northern France and the Atlantic Coast

The beaches of Northern France and the Atlantic Coast offer a delightful combination of natural beauty, charming seaside towns, and a rich maritime heritage. With their expansive stretches of sandy shores, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque dunes, these beaches provide a refreshing escape for visitors seeking tranquillity and outdoor adventures.

The beaches of Northern France and the Atlantic coast offer diverse landscapes, from rugged cliffs to long sandy stretches. Whether you seek historical significance, natural beauty, or a relaxed seaside getaway, these coastal regions provide an abundance of choices, making them a captivating destination for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

Saint-Malo, Brittany

Located on the beautiful coast of Brittany in France, Saint-Malo is known for its stunning beaches that attract visitors seeking a combination of history, natural beauty, and seaside relaxation. The beaches in Saint-Malo offer a unique blend of scenic landscapes, historic charm, and a vibrant coastal atmosphere.

One of the most famous beaches in Saint-Malo is Plage du Sillon. Stretching for approximately three kilometers, this expansive sandy beach is ideal for long walks along the shore and taking in the panoramic views of the English Channel. With its fine golden sand and picturesque backdrop of the ancient city walls and fortifications, Plage du Sillon offers a captivating setting for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply enjoying the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. During low tide, the beach reveals vast stretches of sand, providing ample space for beach games and exploration, including visiting the Fort National.

For a more secluded and peaceful experience, visitors can head to Plage de Bon Secours. Nestled between the Saint-Malo city walls and the Grand Bé island, this small sandy cove offers a tranquil retreat away from the busier beaches. Surrounded by rugged cliffs and stunning views, Plage de Bon Secours provides a serene setting for sunbathing, reading a book, or simply enjoying the serenity of the coastal landscape. The beach is accessible via a short walk through the historic streets of Saint-Malo, adding to its charm and allure.

In addition to its natural beauty, the beaches of Saint-Malo offer a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. There is something for everyone, from swimming and sunbathing to water sports such as windsurfing and kiteboarding. The beaches are also dotted with beachfront cafés, restaurants, and ice cream stands, where visitors can indulge in delicious local treats while enjoying the coastal ambiance.

Whether you're seeking a lively beach with a vibrant atmosphere or a secluded spot to unwind and appreciate the coastal scenery, the beaches in Saint-Malo offer a diverse range of experiences. With their unique blend of history, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities, they provide the perfect setting for a memorable beach getaway in Brittany. For more information, visit the Saint-Malo tourism website.

The Fort National in low tide, Saint-Malo
The Fort National in low tide, Saint-Malo

Cabourg, Normandy

Nestled on the picturesque coast of Normandy, Cabourg is a charming seaside town in France known for its beautiful beach and elegant Belle Époque architecture. The beach in Cabourg stretches for approximately four kilometers along the shores of the English Channel, offering visitors a delightful combination of natural beauty and coastal charm.

Plage de Cabourg boasts fine golden sand that invites visitors to relax and soak up the sun. With its gentle slopes and shallow waters, the beach provides a family-friendly environment, making it an ideal destination for a fun day in the sun. Children can build sandcastles, play beach games, and splash in the calm waters, while adults can unwind on sun loungers and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze.

The beach promenade, known as the Promenade Marcel Proust, is a delightful feature of Cabourg Beach. Lined with beautiful villas and gardens, this scenic walkway offers breathtaking views of the coastline. It is named after the renowned French author Marcel Proust, who was inspired by the charm and tranquillity of Cabourg and featured the town in his novel "In Search of Lost Time." Taking a leisurely stroll along the promenade, visitors can admire the stunning architecture and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Cabourg Beach also offers a range of amenities to enhance visitors' beach experience. There are beachfront restaurants and cafés where you can savour delicious seafood dishes and regional specialties while overlooking the sea. The beach has facilities such as showers, restrooms, and lifeguard stations, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for beachgoers.

Whether you're seeking relaxation, leisurely walks, or simply a day of seaside enjoyment, Cabourg Beach offers a delightful escape. With its scenic beauty, family-friendly atmosphere, and a touch of literary history, it is a charming destination along the Normandy coastline that captures the essence of a classic French beach experience.

Sandy shoreline of Cabourg
Sandy shoreline of Cabourg

Etretat, Normandy

Etretat, located on the stunning Alabaster Coast of Normandy, France, is renowned for its breathtaking cliffs and picturesque beaches. The beaches in Etretat offer a unique blend of natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, and a tranquil seaside atmosphere, making it a popular destination for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

One of the most iconic beaches in Etretat is the Plage d'Etretat, situated at the foot of the famous cliffs that have been carved by the relentless waves over centuries. The beach provides a stunning backdrop of towering white cliffs, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring setting. The fine pebble beach stretches out before the crystal-clear waters of the English Channel, inviting visitors to take leisurely walks along the shore or simply relax while enjoying the panoramic views.

For those seeking a more secluded and peaceful beach experience, the neighbouring Plage de la Manneporte is an ideal choice. Nestled in a small cove and accessible via a steep staircase, this hidden gem offers a tranquil and intimate atmosphere. Surrounded by cliffs and its rocky shoreline, the beach provides a sense of seclusion and tranquillity, allowing visitors to escape the crowds and enjoy a moment of serenity by the sea.

Etretat's beaches are known not only for their natural beauty but also for the unique opportunities they offer. The cliffs surrounding the beaches provide excellent vantage points for hiking and exploring the stunning coastal trails. Visitors can venture along the cliff paths, immersing themselves in the rugged beauty of the surroundings and enjoying panoramic views of the coastline.

Whether you choose to lounge on the sandy shores, explore the dramatic cliffs, or embark on a coastal hike, the beaches of Etretat offer a captivating combination of natural wonders and serene tranquillity. The unique landscapes and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a picturesque beach experience on the Alabaster Coast of Normandy.

The Cliffs of Etretat
The Cliffs of Etretat

Biarritz, Basque Country

Biarritz, located on the southwestern coast of France, is renowned for its stunning beaches that attract surfers, sun-seekers, and beach enthusiasts from around the world. Situated on the Bay of Biscay, Biarritz offers a unique combination of natural beauty, vibrant beach culture, and a rich surfing heritage.

One of the most famous beaches in Biarritz is La Grande Plage, a wide sandy expanse that stretches along the town's waterfront. This beach is the heart of Biarritz's beach scene and offers a lively and bustling atmosphere. Here, visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, beach games, or simply strolling along the promenade while taking in the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. La Grande Plage is also a great spot for beginner surfers to catch their first waves, as the beach's gentle slopes and consistent surf make it ideal for learning.

For a more relaxed and tranquil beach experience, visitors can head to the Plage de la Côte des Basques. This beach is famous for its stunning beauty, with its golden sands backed by rugged cliffs and lush greenery. Known as the birthplace of surfing in Europe, it has become a haven for experienced surfers who come to ride the waves that break along its shores. Even if you're not a surfer, the Plage de la Côte des Basques offers a serene environment for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply admiring the picturesque surroundings.

Biarritz is also home to several smaller, more secluded beaches that offer a quieter and more intimate atmosphere. The Plage du Miramar, nestled between rocky cliffs, provides a peaceful retreat away from the crowds, while the Plage du Port Vieux offers a charming cove with calm waters, making it ideal for families and those who prefer a more sheltered swimming experience.

With its diverse range of beaches, from bustling and energetic to serene and secluded, Biarritz offers something for every beach lover. Whether you're a surfer looking to catch the perfect wave, a sun-seeker seeking relaxation on golden sands, or simply someone who enjoys the beauty of a coastal paradise, the beaches of Biarritz are sure to captivate and delight. For more information visit the Biarritz tourist website.

Busy beach in Biarritz
Busy beach in Biarritz

France is a treasure trove of exquisite beaches that beckon travellers from around the globe. From the sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera to the rugged beauty of Corsica and the serene tranquility of Brittany, the country offers a diverse range of coastal experiences. France has everything if you're seeking luxurious beach clubs, pristine natural beauty, or a family-friendly atmosphere.

So, pack your beach essentials, embrace the French joie de vivre, and embark on a memorable beach adventure in this captivating country. Whether basking in the Mediterranean sun, exploring hidden coves, or savoring the coastal cuisine, the best beaches in France promise unforgettable moments and lifelong memories.