Best Beaches In France For The Ultimate Sun N’ Sand Vacation

By Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar on Mar 02, 2020
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Planning a trip to France? Look beyond the touristy Paris and the French beaches will steal your heart with their amalgamation of leisure, fun, and beauty. Be it the incredible French Riviera beaches like Plage de Pampelonne and La Garoupe Beach or the spectacularly charming Étretat and Porquerolles, each beach carries its own charm. So, it may get overwhelming to decide which ones to explore first. We are here with the list of some of the best beaches in France where you can spend days lazing around or enjoying watersports. Read on and get ready to catch a tan!

1. Étretat, Normandy

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Étretat is a place that is as magical as it can get. As the extraordinary cliffs frame the beach and deep blue water splashes along the shore, it creates a dramatic picture. 

The long stretch of Étretat Beach is pebbly and has become one of the best beaches in France near Paris. As it is only a couple of hours away from the country’s capital, the beach and the surrounding areas are bustling with travelers from around the world. Do not miss a chance to explore the beauty of Étretat for it is set to win your heart at the 1st glance.

2. Palombaggia Beach, Porto-Vecchio

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Squeezed between France and Italy, Palombaggia Beach is a place that feels only partially Mediterranean. The shore is shallow, sand is pinkish, and the water is calm.

All these things, rolled into one, make it one of the best family beaches in France. You will find several boulders dotting this 2-kilometer long stretch. But these will act as a perfect backdrop for your beach photos. Consider stopping by the Chiappa lighthouse when visiting Palombaggia Beach as it is located nearby and holds a historical significance. 

3. Plage de Saleccia, Santo-Pietro-di-Tenda

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Plage de Saleccia is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of white sand located in Corsica in the Agriates Desert. And as all the beautiful things are hard to get, this beach is no exception.

You will have to take an hour-long, a bit overpriced ferry from the village of Casta to reach Saleccia beach. But, traveling so far only for a beach is worth all the efforts as this little slice of paradise will ensure you have a great time here. Spend an entire day lazing around on one of the most beautiful French beaches and if you want, spend the night at one of the nearby campsites.

4. Plage de la Côte des Basques, Biarritz

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A stone’s throw away from all the urbanization and yet, soaked in its ruggedness, Plage de la Côte des Basques is a place for everyone. 

Its caramel sand is perfect for those who want to sunbathe whereas the waves are ideal for amateur as well as seasoned surfing enthusiasts. In fact, Plage de la Côte des Basques has long been one of the top surfing destinations in France. You may also spot a celebrity or two around the shore as it attracts many famous personalities as well.

5. Porquerolles, Hyères 

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Porquerolles is an island located less than half an hour away from Hyères. Its wonderful Mediterranean climate has made it one of the popular beach destinations in France over the decades.

The town located in the heart of the island is car-free, smoking is banned on the beach, and has been declared a national park recently. The unkempt nature of the island lined with pristine beaches and complemented by faint blue water holds the true charm. Hire a cycle and spend an entire day exploring what Porquerolles has to offer to make the best of your time.

6. Parc national des Calanques, Bouches-du-Rhône

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Plan a trip to Parc national des Calanques and you will find yourself surrounded by all the unspoiled beauty that defines this rugged coastal national park. 

Limestone cliffs carrying the lush greenery and hiding away tiny beaches define Calanques National Park perfectly. It is home to some of the secret beaches in France. You can head off to Calanque d'En-Vau where activities like boating and swimming can be enjoyed. Or you can go to Calanque de Sormiou where climbing-spots are plenty.

7. Côte de Granit Rose, Brittany

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The surreal landscapes of Côte de Granit Rose are hard to put into words and instead, deserve a well-planned visit.

Famously known as Pink Granite Coast, this coastal stretch is all about creating a contrast of striking pink boulders and refreshing turquoise water. Even though the entire coast spans for more than 30 kilometers, the shore from Perros-Guirec via Ploumanac'h to Tregastel Plage attracts many. Explore sandy coves, hike simple trails, and soak in the exquisite views Côte de Granit Rose has to offer.

8. Donnant Beach, Belle-Île-en-Mer

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When you visit Donnant Beach, you will be at one of the few France beaches whose rustic charm is preserved amidst all the modern amenities. 

As it is listed amongst lesser-known beaches in France, it will take you away from all the hustle and bustle. This tranquil area backed with cliffs and sand dunes has several rocky coves that you can explore. If you are interested in watersports, then surfing and kite flying is a popular activity here. When you are looking forward to a peaceful getaway, Donnant Beach is the place to be! 

9. Antibes Beaches, Antibes

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Antibes Beaches take you away from pebbly beaches and introduce you to white sandy stretches that are full of oceanfront restaurants, beach bars, and activities. 

Located between Cannes and Nice, these are some of the best beaches in the French Riviera. You have many options to choose from depending on your interests. Beaches like Biot, Juan-les-Pins Beach, Plage du Fort Carré, and Plage Ponteil combine leisure and fun, welcoming all types of tourists. No matter which of these Côte d'Azur beaches you choose, Antibes ensures you have a memorable vacation. 

10.Plage de Tahiti, Frioul Islands

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The landscape of Plage de Tahiti is a fascinating attraction in itself where the beach ensures you can spend some peaceful time while here. 

Even though it boasts easy accessibility from Marseille, it is surprisingly less crowded than other beaches. With limestone cliffs in the back and azure ocean in the front, you will be at one of the best French beaches. Plan a day trip to Plage de Tahiti and you can sunbathe and catch a tan to your heart’s content. If activities are on your mind, then explore the coves around or head off to the historic fort nearby to make the most of your time.

And if you are looking for more beaches in France, then Paloma Beach, Cap Coz, Deauville Beach, Plage de Trouville, Conche des Baleines, and Plage de Morgat are for you!

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