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

Ideal Location, One Step From The Beach In Villefranche

The flat lies on the ground level having a terrace and a small garden. It was recently totally renovated, fully equipped with new furniture, modern fitted kitchen and lots of storage. 4 sleeps: 2 bunk-beds in the bedroom and a comfortable bed-sofa...

Nice Apartment with see view In a small residence with swimming pool

Nice stylisch apartment in a residence with a large swimming pool,opened from 15 Mai till end of september. The apartment of 45m² for 4 persons is on the second floor , with double bedroom and 2 sofa beds in the living room, Two balconies with se...

Unique Seaview Penthouse Overlooking Cannes and Antibes

Our penthouse apartment is on the second floor, with large wrap-around terrace to all sides - allowing 360 degree views. Private lift access directly into the apartment From the patio enjoy stunning sea-views from Cannes, across the cap d'Antibes...

Apartment Les Cottages/L'Oustaou in Biscarrosse-Plage, Aquitaine - 4 persons, - bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 2 - 4. Beach/water: Sandy beach approx. 200 - 300 m. Floor space: 20 m². Pet: Pet allowed. Next village/town: Arcachon approx. 30 km. Biscarrosse approx. 10 km. Town center of Biscarrosse-Pla...

Vacation home in St. Georges d'Oléron, Charente- Maritime - 5 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 4 - 5. Beach/water: Sandy beach approx. 1 km. Bedroom/s: 2. Floor space: 60 m². Pet: Pet allowed. Room/s: 3. Object type: detached house. Detail description Equipment: TV (German channels), ...

Vacation home Quartier Les Pêcheurs in Mimizan-Plage, Aquitaine - 6 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 4 - 6. Beach/water: River (without crossing the street) approx. 60 m. Sandy beach approx. 400 m. Sandy beach approx. 60 m. Sea approx. 400 m. Bedroom/s: 2. Floor space: 55 m². Pet: Pet allowe...

Apartment Résidence L'Estacade in Capbreton, Aquitaine - 5 persons, 1 bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 2 - 5. Beach/water: Sandy beach approx. 100 m. Bedroom/s: 1. Floor space: 43 m². Pet: Pet allowed. Next village/town: Biarritz approx. 35 km. Hossegor approx. 2,5 km. Town center of Capbreton...

Vacation home in Ste. Maxime, Côte d'Azur - 8 persons, 4 bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 8. Beach/water: Sandy beach approx. 1,5 km. Bedroom/s: 4. Floor space: 150 m². No pets allowed. Next village/town: Fréjus approx. 20 km. Saint Tropez approx. 17 km. Town center of Sainte Max...

Vacation home in Soulac-sur-Mer, Aquitaine - 8 persons, 3 bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 6 - 8. Beach/water: Sandy beach approx. 2 km. Bedroom/s: 3. Floor space: 100 m². Pet: Little pet allowed. Next village/town: Bordeaux approx. 93 km. Lesparre approx. 30 km. Town center of Sou...

Vacation home in Pleubian, Côtes d'Armor - 6 persons, 3 bedroom(s)

Property details Short description Number of persons: 6. Beach/water: Sandy beach approx. 200 m. Bedroom/s: 3. Floor space: 100 m². No pets allowed. Next village/town: Paimpol approx. 15 km. Town center of Pleubian approx. 4 km. Treguier approx...

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