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

Beautiful apartment of type 3 with terrace of 40 sqm

Beautiful air-conditioned apartment type 3 with terrace of 40 m² for 6 persons in the heart of the village center of Sanary. This stunning apartment is fully equipped for a comfortable holiday, flat screen TV, air conditioning, wifi, washing machi...

Panoramic sea view for this beautiful apartment type 4 Conditioning

Very nice apartment type 4 air-conditioned for 8 people located on the Bay of Portissol in Bandol in a small gated terrace with panoramic sea view residence. This fully renovated apartment with modern tastes, enjoys a 1st order allowing you to do...

Studio with large terrace of 17 sqm 2 steps from the port and beaches of Sanary

Beautiful studio apartment with a large terrace, located on the top floor in the heart of the village of Sanary. This apartment, located close to the port, is equipped for 4 people and equipped to help you enjoy your stay. On the terrace, a dinin...

Beautiful air-conditioned villa of 220 sqm with swimming pool

Beautiful air-conditioned villa of 220 sqm with swimming pool located less than 150 meters from the beach in the residential area of ??Beaucours, renowned for its peace and tranquility in Sanary. The villa can accommodate up to 8 people, has a be...

Panoramic sea views over the bay of Portissol

Panoramic sea views over the Bay of Portissol Sanary-sur-Mer for a lovely apartment type 3 with terrace and garage can accommodate 6 people. You will reach the beach Portissol in less than three minutes and reached within 15 feet munites to Port ...

Conditioned apartment close to the Port with terrace and parking

Beautiful apartment type 3 air can ideally accommodate 4 people located in the heart of Sanary sur Mer in a small gated. This fully renovated apartment with modern tastes, enjoys a 1st order allowing you to do everything on foot: access to the po...

4 bedroom apartment conditioned on the Port of Sanary with terrace and panoramic sea view

Very nice apartment of 78 m² for 6 people overlooking the Port of Sanary-Sur-Mer with a terrace of 15 m² with a superb sea view Beautiful apartment duplex type 4 with an area of ​​104 m², situated on the Port of Sanary overlooking the harbor and t...

Portissol VILLA with pool

Beautiful villa with swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi ideally located in the district of Portissol. Ideal for any walk. Near the center, the beach and the port of Portissol Sanary villa with charm consists of: on the ground floor of a very well e...

Apartment of two rooms air-conditioned by more than 50 m ² terrace and sea view

Large apartment of type 2 air conditioned with a terrace of 20 m² with a beautiful panoramic sea view, located on the corniche des Baux de Sanary 5 minutes walk from the port. This apartment can accommodate 5 persons is located in a quiet secured...

3 Storey Apartment On The Beach With Private Terrace

Superb, 3 storey apartment with direct access to beautiful beach. Situated on the Mediterranean sea-front in the classy resort of Palavas-les-Flots, this is a high quality apartment with living accommodation over three floors of more than 100m². ...

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