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The 15 Best Beaches in France
6 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

France is known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and beautiful sandy beaches. With thousands of kilometers of coastline along the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas, France boasts a diverse array of shorelines, each offering unique attractions and activities.

From the bustling beaches of Saint-Tropez to the peaceful coves of Corsica, France has something for everyone. This article will highlight the 15 best beaches in France, showcasing their beauty and unique features.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, these beaches will surely provide an unforgettable experience for anyone visiting them. So continue reading and discover why France is a top destination for beach-goers worldwide.

Plage de Palombaggia, Corsica

Palombaggia beach is a stunning stretch of sand located on the French island of Corsica in the Mediterranean. The crystal clear waters and fine white sand make this one of the most beautiful beaches in France.

The beach is also surrounded by lush green forests and cliffs, which provide a unique and breathtaking backdrop. It is an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, and there are several restaurants and bars nearby to relax after a day of fun in the sun.

Plage de Pampelonne, Saint-Tropez

Pampelonne beach is a famous beach in Saint-Tropez stretching over 5 kilometers along the Mediterranean coast and surrounded by lush green forests and vineyards.

The beach offers a lively atmosphere and is a popular destination for the rich and famous, with various luxury beach clubs and restaurants located along the beachfront. Enjoy the stunning scenery, lounge in the sun, or party the day away!

Étretat, Normandy

The pebble beach of Étretat is a popular sailing and surfing spot along France's Alabaster Coast. However, this stretch of coast in Upper Normandy is mostly known for its chalk cliffs and arched rock formations.

The natural sculptures found along Étretat's 80-mile stretch have inspired travelers and artists (most notably Claude Monet) for generations.

Plage de Saleccia, Corsica

Plage de Saleccia, which offers a view of the two coasts of Corsica, is another beautiful sandy beach on the Mediterranean island. The remote location, crystal clear waters, and white sand make this secluded beach a tranquil retreat. You can only get to the beach by 4×4, jeep, or boat.

A unique aspect of the beach are the brown cows that regularly walk around on the beach. No matter what season it is, they might come and sit or sleep next to you while you sunbathe.

Plage de la Côte des Basques, Biarritz

Plage de la Côte des Basques is a famous beach located in Biarritz, a town on the French Basque west coast. It is known as the birthplace of French surfing.

You will enjoy surfing at this spot whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer. Despite its small size, this beach is family-friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the view over the Bay of Biscaye is spectacular.

Les Calanques de Cassis, Provence

A few of the most beautiful examples of calanques, or coves, are those near Cassis, along the Mediterranean coast, with their long, thin inlets surrounded by limestone. The beach is best known for its sightseeing rather than swimming, but is worth the visit!

Plage de la Conque, Sainte-Maxime

Plage de la Conque is a beautiful beach in Sainte-Maxime, a small town on the French Riviera. Volcanic eruptions and sea erosion forged the conch beach directly into the rock.

A crescent-shaped cove, sheltered from the wind and bathed in sunlight, is one of the most popular coves in Cap d'Agde. Unlike any other beach in France, it has black sand, composed of basalt (volcanic rock)!

Plage de la Crique, Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Plage de la Crique is a stunning beach in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a small town on the French Basque coast. Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a charming fishing port and a famous resort known for its architecture, sandy bay, boutiques, and cuisine.

The beach is right in the center of town, located south of Biarritz, and also offers surf lessons all year round.

Plage de la Cochons des Baleines, Île de Ré

Plage de la Cochons des Baleines is a wild beach on Île de Ré, a small island off the coast of France. It is the longest beach on the island and extends for a few kilometers from the ancient lighthouse and the whale tower.

There is also a massive dune that offers magnificent grounds for hours of exploring and relaxing.

Plage de l'Espiguette, Le Grau-du-Roi

Plage de l'Espiguette is a stunning beach in Le Grau-du-Roi, a small town on the French Mediterranean coast. The beach has an extensive dune system that is protected as part of the nature reserve that surrounds it and is renowned for its natural, wild beauty.

Experience a bit of history by visiting the lighthouse and fortress ramparts. Then go boating, surfing, or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants.

Plage de la Paloma, Antibes

Paloma beach is located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in Antibes, France, on the French Riviera. Plage de la Paloma is known for its calm and serene atmosphere and is a popular destination for those looking for a relaxing Mediterranean Sea experience.

Long considered one of the Riviera's most beautiful beaches, it is the place to go for complete tranquility. Even the waves are calm at this elegant bay where a pine-covered hill shelters the beach from the wind.

Plage de la Croisette, Cannes

Cannes' most famous pebble beach is the Plage de la Croisette, where all the celebrities and socialites hang out. The beach extends for two kilometers along the Promenade de la Croisette, Cannes' famous seaside boulevard.

The area is also famous for its annual film festival, making it a popular destination for those interested in cultural events.

Plage de la Gravière, Hossegor

Plage de la Gravière is one of the most famous surf spots in Europe. It is a stunning beach in Hossegor, a small town on the French Atlantic coast.

The ultimate destination for surfers, the hollow beach break boasts fast tubes and broken boards. Even the WCT Quicksilver Pro France competition is often hosted at La Graviere.

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

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The Promenade des Anglais is a famous sea-front promenade in Nice, France. Stretching over 7 kilometers along the Mediterranean coast, it is a popular destination for locals and tourists.

The promenade is named after the English aristocrats who first introduced the idea of a seaside walkway in the 19th century. The Promenade des Anglais is lined with palm trees and offers stunning views of the sea and the Baie des Anges.

The Pink Granite Coast

A special mention is the Pink Granite Coast, a stunning coastal region in Brittany, France. It is named for the distinctive pink granite rocks that line the shore, providing a unique and breathtaking landscape.

The rocks were formed from ancient magma that cooled slowly, resulting in the characteristic pink coloration, and it is well worth a visit if you have some extra time.

The Pink Granite Coast stretches for approximately 40 kilometers along the Brittany coast and is home to several small coves, bays, and beaches, including:

  • Plage de Saint-Guirec

  • Plage des Grands Sables

  • Plage de Trestraou

  • Plage de Perharidy

  • Plage de Trez Rouz

Do you need a visa to travel to France?

Are you ready to enjoy France’s endless supply of beautiful beaches, each offering its unique attractions and amenities but concerned about the visa requirements to visit France?

Read our guide to the France Schengen Visa for the most up-to-date information and requirements for obtaining this visa for your upcoming trip.

The requirements for the French Schengen Visa depend on several factors, including your country of origin, the purpose of your trip, and how long you want to stay.

Visitors from certain countries may be eligible for visa-free travel. If you’re not sure if you need a visa to travel to France, use our handy Visa Checker Tool and apply instantly!

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