With the arrival of summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a beach getaway. The French coastline is sprinkled with fabulous beaches: some in iconic locations like along the Côte d’Azur and others in more unexpected places like Normandy and Brittany. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of the most beautiful beaches in France.
The Most Beautiful Beaches in France
Plage du Plat Gousset
Known as the “Monaco of the North,” most visits to the Normandy town of Granville start with the beach. The Plage du Plat Gousset is a long beach with crystal clear turquoise waters on a clear day. You might actually mistake it for the South of France! At the end of the beach, climb the staircase that leads to the gardens of the villa Les Rhumbs. The Belle Epoque clifftop villa overlooks the sea and was Christian Dior’s childhood home. It is now a museum that bears his name.
The Côte d’Émeraude (Emerald Coast) falls into two departments of Brittany: Ille-et-Vilaine and Côtes-d’Armor. It takes its name from the emerald color of the sea under certain conditions. Here you’ll find some of the most dramatic and strikingly beautiful coastlines in all of France dotted with charming villages and wonderful small beaches. While there are too many beaches to mention individually, you are guaranteed to discover something delightful.
Archipel des Glénan
The Archipel des Glénan is accessible by boat just off the southern coast of Finistère. With gorgeous white sand and transparent water, it might be hard to believe that these magnificent islands are in Brittany rather than the Maldives! The archipelago is classified as a Picturesque Natural Site. Feel free to spend your day swimming, snorkeling, relaxing, and simply taking in the surrounding beauty!
Beach Hotels in Brittany
Grand Hôtel des Thermes
A beautiful combination of stone and metal, the hotel’s majestic architecture overlooks the open sea and is surrounded by vast expanses of sand. A stunning view can be admired from the superb terrace, lounges, rooms and suites.
The 174 rooms compete for comfort, charm and personality. Guests have free access to the indoor swimming pool, sea-mist room, sauna, hammam, and cardio-training area. You also get preferential rates for the Aquatonic Pool: a warm seawater labyrinth heated between 31 and 34°C where you walk or swim through different pool areas with a succession of 194 underwater jets, currents, showers and bubble baths.
A gastronomic sea-view restaurant and a more traditional inside restaurant are available for lunch and dinner. When the weather allows, light meals are also served in the large terrace. Enjoy the magnificent view of the beach and the Saint-Malo bay at any time during the day.
Côte de Granite Rose
The Côte de Granite Rose in Brittany is famous for its romantically-colored pink rocks. This sculpted shoreline and colorful landscape is a paradise for birds and walkers alike. All along the coast you’ll find small coves filled with white sand and turquoise water sheltered by pines, wild natural landscapes, and the famous GR 34 trail.
Despite its small size, Biarritz has some of the most beautiful beaches in France. For surfers and water sports enthusiasts, it really is a paradise. There are six beaches in Biarritz. A few of our favorites include the Grand Plage, Plage du Vieux, and the Plage de la Côte des Basques. Thanks to its strong waves, the Grand Plage is considered to be one of the best surfing beaches in the world. The Plage du Vieux is a small, sheltered beach on the Old Port of Biarritz. With its calm waters, it is a popular seaside resort for locals and is also perfect for families with children. The Plage de la Côte des Basques is very popular with locals for swimming, with surfers, and celebrities alike.
Plage Notre-Dame on Porquerolles
Porquerolles off the coast of Hyères is a true paradise. Azure blue sky and water, picturesque creeks and bays, and fine sandy beaches are surrounded by charming Provençal scrubland. Plage Notre Dame is the most popular beach on the island. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun, scenery, and breathtaking surrounding nature.
Beach Hotels in Saint-Tropez
La Réserve Ramatuelle
This luxurious 5-Star hotel is nestled in the renowned town of Saint-Tropez. Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, you will feel as if you are floating in-between heaven and earth. The birds chirping and the songs of the cicadas accompany you at the start and end of your day. The hotel has a stunning view of the Mediterranean sea.
The hotel has comfortable rooms, charming suites, and luxurious villas with fully equipped kitchens for family retreats. The impressive Mediterranean view is ever-present from the terrace. The private and public pools are perfect for relaxation. The spa offers health, fitness, and beauty treatments for your overall rejuvenation.
The two Michelin-starred restaurant is a place to indulge in delicious gourmet cuisine. The versatile Italian and Japanese dishes are a treat to the palette.
One of the most beautiful beaches in all of France, Saint-Tropez offers a wide range of nautical activities such as jet-skiing, sea diving, and fishing. Take a mountain bike ride on the trails of the surrounding hills or on horseback in the nearby woods and vineyards. Enjoy the romance of the full moon in the evenings or the Sunset trip in a Polynesian canoe.
Plage de Pampelonne
The iconic Pampelonne Beach is perhaps the crown jewel of beaches in Saint-Tropez. Approximately three miles of fine, white sand borders the Mediterranean Sea in Ramatuelle. Pampelonne Beach is also home to some of the most famous beach clubs in France. During the summer, undoubtedly one of the most glamorous places to be in France is at a beach club for lunch on Pampelonne Beach.
The picturesque harbor and setting of Villefranche-sur-Mer are a highlight of exploring this part of the Côte d’Azur. The town, built on terraces up a steep hill, overlooks Cap Ferrat and the azure blue sea of the Mediterranean below. The port is predominantly now a pleasure port, but a small fishing fleet does still operate. The harbor is a popular and bustling part of the town with many bars and restaurants along the waterfront and in the small square. The main beach is to the east of the town center and a wonderful place to spend the day. The best view across Villefranche-sur-Mer and the harbor is from the corniche road above the far end of the beach, ideally seen in the morning when the sun is on the front of the buildings.
During the summer, Saint-Florent springs to life as a bustling, rather upscale holiday destination. Described as a Corsican Saint-Tropez, it attracts visitors with a string of restaurants, a marina full of pleasure boats, and beaches. The nearest beach is Plage de la Roya, a fine sandy beach with a lovely view of Saint-Florent and the Cap Corse. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle, take a boat to discover the more remote beaches: Plage de Saleccia with its fine sand and crystal-clear water, or the Plage Loto.
Palombaggia in Porto-Vecchio
The old fishing town of Porto Vecchio (old port) is located on the southern part of Corsica. Hidden behind a mountain and therefore not visible from the sea, Porto Vecchio has never shown the typical signs of a Genoese settlement. Take a stroll along the old port, and immerse yourself in the Corsican ambiance on one of the many café or restaurant terraces. Nature lovers may want to hike through the nearby woodland of Ospedale. If you want to relax on one of the many spectacular beaches including Palombaggia, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
We hope this list of our the most beautiful beaches in France helps inspire future travel. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!