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

COMFORTABLE AND FUNCTIONAL HOUSE

NICE AND BRIGHT HOUSE WITH PRIVATE POOL LOCATED IN THE VILLAGE NEAR THE SEA; QUIET AND PEACE.

The Creek Golden Belle Vue Mer

Apartment type 2 on the 1st floor of a beautiful with caretaker, close to the sea, cove capelin, its beach and the coastal path residence. Located on Avenue George V T2 of about 46 m2 facing south with terrace of 7 m2 (sea and garden view) and a t...

Charme- High standing apartments, tastefully decorated, 100M Ria Etel.

3 Very nice accommodations. In southern Brittany, near Quiberon, Carnac ... Charming rental in an old salt barn, stone walls and wood floors for a friendly, old doors to keep the authenticity. Exotic and simply decorated with Unique objects foun...

VILLA LA CROIX VALMER

Exeptionnel location for this large luxury villa, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 bathrooms, beautiful garden with direct access to the beach. Very nice sea view Exeptionnel location for this large luxury villa, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 bathrooms, ...

VILLA POOL AND SEA VIEW

Very quiet residential area, nestled in the hills with magnificent views of the sea and the Iles d'Or, Nice renovated villa. Three bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, very nice amenities. Pool. Linen and cleaning included.

VILLA WITH POOL

Campaign Croix Valmer (1.5 km away) Country house nestled in a forest of 3000 m². Space pool (5x11m) with pool house. Ideal for a quiet holiday with family, nice amenities, splendid and dominant over the hills and surrounding villages view.

Idyllic Loft, 130m2 Vieux-Port

Loft in the heart of Marseille in Provence, European capital of Culture, located 700 feet away from the « old Harbour » and 10 minutes walking distance from the beach and all major exhibition places (MUCEM, CEREM, Opera, Criée theatre, Notre Dame...

180° Panoramic View over Town Sea & Hils- 2 rooms Terrace 30 M2 - Garage Wifi

Located on the 4th floor of a 5 residence with lift , Terrace 30 m2 with a panoramic view of 180 degrees on the city and its surrounding hills (Mont Agel, Mont Boron, Nice Castle Hill - Wed - Absolute quiet for lunch the morning at sunrise - No...

SPECIAL OFFER !! Exceptional: The tableau of spacious loft on port

Located on the 3rd floor of a building of the 18th Century in the former Arsenal Galley is accessed by a beautiful staircase. After the lobby with a desk already offering the prospect of a huge lounge adjacent to the dining room and a very large k...

Biarritz Ocean view, all center on foot. 4 instance 82 m²

BIARRITZ VIEWS WITH DOMINANT BIG BEACH AND TOWN SQUARE SIDE IXELLE. 5 ° TO FLOOR WITH LIFT + EMG 1 CAR IN RESIDENCE NEAR, LARGE 4 BEDROOM OF 82 M. ALL FOOT. CLASS 3 STAR Between. painted kitchen refrigerator compart congélaeur new dishwasher, wash...

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