Best 25+ France Beaches

By | Last Updated:

What makes France such a popular beach holiday destination is that there is such a diverse selection of beaches from stretches of golden sands to rocky bays back by dramatic cliffs. Whether looking for safe waters for the family, soft white sands for sunbathing, rocky coves to explore or shallow waters for snorkelling, there is something for everyone.

Boasting around 1,200 miles of beaches along three stretches of coastline, beaches make up 35% off France's coastline running from the dramatic cliffs in Brittany and Normandy to the long stretches of golden sands and warm waters of the Mediterranean in the South of France.

The Best French Beaches...

  • 1. Plage de Tahiti // Cote d'Azur

    Plage de Tahiti
    Fred Bigio
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Set just far enough out of the town of Saint Tropez yet within a stone's throw is one of the areas best known beaches - the Plage de Tahiti. Adjoining Pampelonne beach this broad stretch of sand has everything one would expect from one of the French Riviera's top spots.

    On quieter days, outside the summer holidays, the beach could almost be described as secluded, with its backdrop of… read more »

  • 2. Calanque d'En-vau // Cote d'Azur

    Calanque d'En-vau
    © Michmuch06 / CC BY

    Set on the 10 mile stretch of coastline between Marseille and Cassis in southeast France are various stunning beaches, inlets and hidden coves. The calanques are fjord-like inlets carved into the white limestone by ancient rivers that have long since disappeared underground. Of all these deep inlets none is more beautiful than Calanque d'En-vau.

    Set at the end of a deep canyon is a small stretch of pristine white pebbles… read more »

  • 3. Baie de Trépassés // Finistère

    Baie de Trépassés
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    The beautiful unspoilt beach of Baie de Trépassés is tucked away behind the rugged Pointe du Raz, France's most westerly point. These jagged 70 metre cliffs not only provide a stunning backdrop but help protect the beach from the south-westerly winds. However, there is no getting away from the fact this is an exposed beach which often faces the full wrath of the Atlantic Ocean. The wide sandy beach is flanked by… read more »

  • 4. Plage de L'ile Vierge // Finistère

    Plage de L'ile Vierge
    © Frédérique Voisin-Demery / CC BY

    Quite possibly the most stunning beach in Brittany, if not France, Plage de L'ile Vierge was once voted the "7th Most Beautiful beach in Europe". Set on the sheltered eastern side of Brittany's Crozon Peninsula the beach here is mostly pebbles backed by high white cliffs to which pine trees cling. The water here is a crystal clear turquoise - unfortunately it's about as cold as it looks! This… read more »

  • 5. St Malo Grande Plage // Ille-et-Vilaine

    St Malo Grande Plage
    © Pline / CC BY

    Stretching from the Intra Muros (walled town) to Pointe de Rochebonne the aptly named "Big beach" consists of over 2 kilometres of gently sloping golden sand. This north facing beach can be divided up into several sections, the longest, and most popular of which is the Plage du Sillon which backs onto St Malo itself. Further along, at Parame is the Plage la Hoguette followed by Plage de Rochebonne at the… read more »

  • 6. Plage de Morgat // Finistère

    Plage de Morgat

    Set on a sheltered section of the picturesque Crozon peninsula, the wide golden sand Plage de Morgat is one of the finest in Finistère. The beach is backed by the popular little holiday town of the same name. Once a sardine port, the village of Morgat grew into an elegant seaside resort over the 19th century and many fine beachfront buildings still exist from this period.

    The beach itself is over… read more »

  • 7. Notre Dame Beach, Porquerolles // Hyères Islands

    Notre Dame Beach, Porquerolles
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Set on the sheltered north coast of the island of Porquerolles is the stunning Plage Notre Dame (beach of Our Lady). Fringed with eucalyptus and pine forest the beach here is reminiscent of a Caribbean bay with the yachts bobbing in the clear turquoise waters of the French Riviera.

    The Île de Porquerolles is just over a mile from the French mainland and is a mix of woodland and vineyards.… read more »

  • 8. Dune du Pilat // Aquitaine

    Dune du Pilat
    Arseni Mourzenko

    Creating an impressive contrast to the surrounding Atlantic pine forests, Dune de Pilat is named after the largest sand dune in Europe. Located immediately behind the beach, around 40 miles south of Bordeaux, it forms an integral part of Arcachon Bay at La Teste-de-Buch. It is of such importance that the dune has been declared one of France's natural monuments.

    Measuring more than 1.5 miles (2.7 km) in length, the dune… read more »

  • 9. Lostmarc'h // Finistère

    © Louboutinj / CC BY

    This sandy, Atlantic facing beach sits on the Crozon Peninsula barely a kilometer away from the Plage de L'ile Vierge on the opposite coast, yet the beaches could hardly be more different. You won't find any shelter from the ocean swells here and there are no trees to the back of the beach, just windswept dunes and heather strewn cliffs.

    Lostmarc'h is well known as a surf spot, picking up… read more »

  • 10. Plage Baluden // Morbihan

    Plage Baluden
    © Frédérique Voisin-Demery / CC BY

    The Plage Baluden is located on the south coast of Belle-Île-en-Mer in the same bay as the bigger Plage d'Herlin. The beach here is somewhat smaller than its neighbour but arguably even prettier. Fine golden sand and clear blue water with gently sloping gassy dunes to the rear.

    Sheltered by rocky outcrops to either side this little cove is sheltered from much of the wind and waves. However, the currents on… read more »

  • 11. La Plage Saint Guirec // Côtes-d'Armor

    La Plage Saint Guirec
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Saint Guirec Beach in Ploumanac'h, one of France's most attractive villages, has a length of around 200 metres (700 feet) and a depth that makes it more than just a ribbon of fine golden sand. Dotted with large boulders which typify the region's coastline, it has a good balance between tranquil seclusion and access to facilities that make it a family favourite.

    While popular with bird watchers and hikers, it's also… read more »

  • 12. Montalivet Naturist Beach // Aquitaine

    Montalivet Naturist Beach
    © ecowez
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Montalivet sits midway along France's Atlantic coast. The region is characterised by seemingly endless stretches of sand backed by dunes and forest beyond. The nude beach at Montalivet (Plage Naturiste de Montalivet) makes up a comparatively modest 2 kilometres of this sandy expanse.

    A stone's throw from Bordeaux the beach backs onto what is said to be the world's first naturist resort. Dating back to 1950 the CHM Montalivet (Monta) sprawls… read more »

  • 13. La Jenny // Aquitaine

    La Jenny
    © sylv1rob1
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    This remote and wild stretch of sand can be found between Le Porge and Cap Ferret on France's Atlantic coast. There are mile upon mile of beach in both directions with a uniform backing of high dunes. What differentiates the sand to the north and south is the latter is officially clothing optional whilst the former is for "textiles".

    Unless you are staying at the La Jenny naturist holiday park it… read more »

  • 14. Port-Leucate Naturist Beach // Occitanie

    Port-Leucate Naturist Beach
    © nito500
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    The naturist beach at Port-Leucate feels somewhat like a private island. To the south is the main harbour entrance and to the north, oyster farms, leaving around a kilometre of sand between them. With a large lagoon a little way behind the beach you don't see too many passers-by.

    Clothes are not optional on this beach, so everybody has to get naked! What better way to enjoy the fine golden sand… read more »

  • 15. Bagheera Naturist Beach // Corsica

    Bagheera Naturist Beach
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Set between the Mediterranean and the mountains, Corsica's east coast consists of mile upon mile of beach, often only backed by pine and cypress forest. The area around Linguizzetta is no exception with a long string of beaches only separated by name.

    The sand here is quite coarse, but also near-white which contrasts with the clear blue of the Med. By local standards Bagheera beach is quite developed, well it has… read more »