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

Two luxury flats near Croisette, 41 or 51sqm, Wireless, pool, A/C, NEW !

Either for LEISURE or BUSINESS purpose, Prestigious residence built in the 90's, situated in Cannes city centre, only 8-10 minutes walking distance from Palais des Festival & beach. A nice outdoor pool is also available in this recent residence ...

Modern Air Conditioned Apartment minutes from the Beach - Pool BBQ WiFi PC

This modern air conditioned first floor apartment is located in the exclusive gated Le Lido in Cagnes Sur Mer between Nice & Antibes in the sunny Riviera. The apartment has use of a large pool perfect whether you are a serious swimmer or a sun wo...

Penthouse Menton centre Superb terrace Views sea/mountain Central,Quiet, I-Ne

Penthouse studio. Views of sea/mountains/old town. Huge terrace and rear (sunset) balcony. Air-conditioned and 'traversant' with windows front and back. Sleeps 2-3. Sixth and top floor, lift of course, with super views of the sea, the old town and...

Beautiful Apartment 20 Metres From Beach, In Heart Of Beautiful Medieval Village

This beautiful spacious 2 bedroom apartment, newly renovated while still retaining its charming character, is on the first floor of a 200 year old fisherman's house. Superb location - 20 steps to famous Boramor Beach; Free WIFI at Cafe Sola & Cafe...

Beautiful sight sea for this calm appartment

Fully renovated apartment in a gated quiet with sea view High-end equipment, induction hob, dishwasher, multi-function. Comfortable 2 bedrooms, bathroom with bath, separate toilet. Utilities :Washing machine, iron and ironing board, TV DVD player,...

Luxury apartment 45m2 Golf de La Grande-Motte + private pool + sea

This luxury apartment for 4 people is located on the golf course. It offers stunning views of the green face with direct access to the 1st hole. it has a private pool and private parking. Beach 1.5 km (5 minutes by bike). Bicycle storage (2) .WIFI...


We offer a unique location above the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio, facing the sea A Villa Duplex (F5-6) spacious air-conditioned 150 m2 with heated and secured swimming pool for 8-10 people, facing south. Large living room of 55 m2 overlooking the poo...

Apartment - Duplex - Monticello - Corsica - Balagne

Seasonal rental of a very beautiful new duplex apartment, decorated with style in a very beautiful apartment building with trees, quiet, not overlooked, with an overlooking view of the Cap Corse, the sea, the mountain, the scrub land, and the vill...

Luxurious villa sleeps 6/7 p with private heated pool, 200 m away from the beach

Luxurious villa in Saint-Pierre-la-Mer, 200 m away from the beach, in a quiet residential area, no urbanization. Completely renovated and air-conditioned, with all mod cons. Internet and safe. 35 m² lounge with bay windows overlooking the terrace ...

Nice apart in villa Cassis, with sea view and heated infinity pool, for 2-6

A few step away from the beach and the calanques, facing the sea and the Cap Canaille ( the highest maritime cliff in Europe) on a fenced and shaded 1200 sq.m landscaped garden with a private heated infinity swimming pool, the apartment of the Vil...

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