Beach holidays in France

Because the classics never die

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Russ Sanchez

Russ Sanchez
HomeAway travel expert

French coastThere's something about the best French beaches that inevitably reminds me of the best French cuisine – varied, fresh and sensual; verging on without quite tipping into decadent. Exempli gratia: the long, soft, ice-creamy dunes of the Côte d'Argent, sprawling infinitely into the distance. Not surprisingly, this has made France an international holiday Mecca for – well, a very long time. Such a long time, in fact, that to suggest a beach holiday in France today seems almost old hat.

But you know what? It's not. It's not old hat. Or rather – it is, but it's an old hat with such a classic silhouette that, dusted off and doffed with an appropriately French touch of whimsy, it has the potential to revolutionize your summer holiday. So, ladies and gentlemen, break out those berets – and let us reacquaint ourselves with La France, prima donna of European holiday destinations! And know that, wherever it is you decide to base your vacances, HomeAway has the perfect seaside chalet to suit. 


Top five French beach holidays


Beach holidays in Poitou-Charentes: Côte Sauvage Beach holidays in Poitou-Charentes: Côte Sauvage

We start our tour of France's beaches with Côte Sauvage, in the administrative region of Poitou-Charentes. Translating into English as the 'Savage Coast', this particular stretch of coastline offers a distinctive holiday experience. Which is to say that Côte Sauvage deserves its name: craggy and dramatic, backed by the whispering pines of la Forêt de la Coubre, Côte Sauvage's untouched beaches are a nature lover's wet dream. Hiking, biking – even horseback riding is available to tempt forth your inner romance novel heroine. Just off the coast, a bridge away, is France's second-largest island after Corsica, the marshy L’île d’Oléron. And be sure to taste the mussels of nearby village, La Tremblade, before you leave – baked under pine needles, they're a local speciality.  

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Beach holidays on the Côte d'Azur: Paloma Plage Beach holidays on the Côte d'Azur: Paloma Plage

At the other end of the spectrum from the rugged Savage Coast, is Paloma Plage, east of Nice at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Aside from its lapis-blue waters and emerald hills, Paloma Plage is renowned for its abundance of, well, celebrities! Indeed, if they weren't so wealthy, they'd have been classified an invasive species here long ago. Recent sightings count Brad and Angie, for example, among visiting holidaymakers. Consequently, the villas and hotels in the area are not uniformly fit for the budget-minded – but the public beach is free, the local food is exquisite, and the ambience, both along the shore and in the village, is unrivalled.  

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Beach holidays in Corsica: Bonifacio Beach holidays in Corsica: Bonifacio

No best-of list of French beaches is complete without a nod to sunny Corsica, France's largest island. Located on the island's southernmost tip, Bonifacio itself boasts historical cites dating back as far as prehistory (such as the caves of Araguina-Sennola). But vacationers will undoubtedly want to spend at least some of their time exploring the city's acclaimed, silvery sands. Biking, rafting and diving are all on offer, as is the spectacular 'walk of the beaches', a trail beginning at the Bonifacio marina that threads together three wild, warm-water beaches that offer some of the finest swimming opportunities in Corsica. Set aside 4-6 hours to complete the walk, but be aware – shade along the trail is scarce, and summer temperatures frequently top 27°C.

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Beach holidays in Brittany: La Grande Plage de Goas Lagorn Beach holidays in Brittany: La Grande Plage de Goas Lagorn

Yes, the name is a bit of a mouthful, but La Grande Plage de Goas Lagorn in the Baie de Lannion is not to be missed, especially by holidaymakers with children. Sheltered and quiet, the broad white sands of this uncrowded spot are ideal for sandcastles, Frisbee games, swimming and picnics. Just don't forget the sunscreen! Also important: several kid-friendly eateries standing at the ready nearby, to quell the inevitable stomach rumbles that follow a successful afternoon of the fun in the sun.

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Beach holidays on the Côte d'Argent: Biscarrosse Beach holidays on the Côte d'Argent: Biscarrosse

Smack dab in the middle of the famous Côte d'Argent, a 200km ribbon of glorious and unbroken sandy beach stretching between the rivers Gironde and Adour on the French Atlantic coast, is the French commune of Biscarrosse. 'Bisca', as it's affectionately known by locals, offers two distinct beach possibilities: on one side, embracing the sea, the wide and sunny Biscarrosse-Plage; on the other, inland, the picturesque Biscarrosse Lac. Biscarrosse Lac is actually several small lakes linked by canal; they boast clear, calm waters – perfect for little ones – and a fringe of gentle pine woodland. With hiking, biking, boating, diving – and, my favourite, lazing – all activity levels can be easily catered for in Biscarrosse.  

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La Grande Plage de Goas Lagorn © bpmm.


Beach accommodation in France

Modern new residence luxury apartments with spa and gym

In recent residence and ultra modern high standing with the Guardian, remote monitoring, Sauna, Steam Room, Jacuzzi and Gym; We have 3 air-conditioned type 2 rooms of 45m ² on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor right on the seafront with 17sqm terrace apa...

A 2 rooms in the city center at the cost of a studio!

Nice little 2 bedroom 2nd floor of a new residence in the center of Menton close to the sea and amenities. It consists of an entrance hall, living room (with sofa bed for 2 140cm x 190cm and flat screen TV), kitchen (with microwave), bedroom (140c...

Nice 3 bedroom apartment with sea views in an idyllic setting! !

A nice little 3 rooms of 57m �� in a quiet and surrounded by greenery in a residence with swimming pool. Apartment with beautiful views of the sea and the bay of Garavan compound room (with sofa bed), kitchenette (with oven and ceramic hob), a dou...

A haven near the sea!

In residence with swimming pool and hot tubs: Beautiful 3 bedroom with calm sea and Old Town 300 meters from the beach view. Apartment composed of entrance with kitchen (dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, oven), living room (with flat screen ...

Apartment with garden and parking in residence with pool

Residence with swimming pool and solarium on the roof close, the beaches and the city center, 2 rooms of 40m ² comprises an entrance hall, living room (with sofa bed 140cm x 190cm and flat screen TV), kitchen (with electric hob and microwave, bedr...

Beautiful sea view studio on the top floor

Corner studio on the top floor facing the sea with panoramic views of the harbor and the old town of Menton. Apartment of 20m ² with small entrance with cupboard, living room with flat screen TV and 2 sofa beds 70cm x 190cm (with possibility of pa...

Apartment ideal for seaside holidays with family

Nice and spacious 2-room apartment on 5th floor seafront in a beautiful residence with swimming pool and park keeper. Apartment composed of entrance, laundry room, living room (with sofa bed and flat screen TV), bedroom (with double bed 160cm x 19...

Stunning waterfront apartment with terrace

Comfortable studio, waterfront, fully renovated and air conditioned in the 4th floor of a residence close to beaches and restaurants. This apartment consists of a living room (with sofa bed 140cm x 190cm, single chair bed 70cm x 190cm and a flat s...

Fabulous 3 Bedroom Modern Apartment with Pool !

This modern, spacious apartment is located in the heart of beautiful Cannes. Ideal for family holidays, romantic breaks or for the more discerning corporate client, all who enjoy the ultimate in luxurious accommodation. State of the art audio vis...

Seaside Villa, Rivera, Sweeping Sea View, Pool, Garden, Sandy Beaches

Our winter home is situated STEPS away from sandy beaches, close to commercial areas, restaurants. Recently remodeled, AIR CONDITIONED. The FULLY EQUIPPED kitchen has updated appliances, equipped including OSMOSIS filter, providing near PURE dri...

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