20 Beaches In France

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When you think of visiting France, the first places that come to mind might be Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Although Paris is delightful to explore, there are some fantastic beaches in France to discover. France has a range of options when it comes to its selection of beaches. Whether you’re looking for crystal-clear water, rocky shores, a perfect surf break or rigid cliffs with spectacular views, there’s a French beach you will love.

France’s best beach region is Cote D’Azur in the South of France, but it doesn’t stop there. Heading to France’s westernmost region, you will find rocky shores, beautiful cliffs and fantastic water. The stunning French island of Corsica in the southeast has some of the bluest Mediterranean water and breathtaking beach options. Interested? Here are the top 20 beaches in France to visit.

20 Best Beaches In France

Best Beaches In South Of France (Côte d’Azur) 

cannes france beaches beach full of people
Some of the most popular beaches in France are Cannes and Croisette in Cote D Azur in the south of France.

1- Paloma Beach – Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

beaches in france paloma
Paloma Beach is one of the fantastic beaches in France for sun, sand and lounging around.

Located in Cote-D’azur, Alpes-Maritimes department lies the beautiful commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

In this commune, you will find the magical hidden gem, Paloma Beach.

Paloma Beach is surrounded by stone walls, giving it an exquisite feeling.

Its many palm trees make the beach feel very tropical and lush.

It is well known for paddle boarding because of its flat, clear blue water and mountainous views across the way.

The beach is full of tiny rocks, small enough to be comfortable for a day of sunbathing, a beach picnic, or watching the sunset.

Just a ten-minute walk from Paloma beach, the main square of Saint-jean-Cap-Ferrat offers a unique, quaint town with little boulangeries and local wine shops to get the whole local experience.

2- Plage de Tahiti, Frioul Islands

france beaches Beautiful young woman enjoying her vacation by ocean or sea, sitting near water edge at sunset.
There are some amazing beaches in France to enjoy a vacation by the sea.

A set of islands off of Marseille known as the Frioul Islands will not leave you disappointed, they are truly a beach lover’s dream.

These islands are just off Marseille and are not very well known.

Many Marseille visitors take day trips to the Frioul Islands to enjoy the ridges and cliffs along the tremendous blue Mediterranean waters.

Plage de Tahiti is on the Frioul Archipelago, and what makes the beach so desirable is its beautiful coves, separated by lovely rock paths and areas to cliff jump.

Plage de Tahiti is perfect for hikers who want to explore more than one inlet and hop from one blue cove to the next.

Many trails veer off the beach, where people can explore the nature and views of this breathtaking island.

3- Plage de Pampelonne, Saint Tropez

France beaches Plage de Pampelonne, Saint Tropez
If you’re looking for a fabulous French beach, try Plage de Pampelonne in Saint Tropez.

One of France’s most sought-after destinations, Saint Tropez, is home to a serene little beach called Plage de Pampelonne.

This long pearly white sand beach stretches for miles and has excellent beach clubs, including the famous “Le Club 55.”

The water is very shallow, and there are beautiful shades of different dark and light blue contrasts.

Visit Plage de Pampelonne if you want the perfect relaxing day filled with clear water, soft pearly sand, food and drinks.

4- Villefranche-sur-mer, Nice

nude beaches in france
Nice has some of the most romantic beaches in France.

Nice is one of the most beach destinations in the South of France as it has many beaches along the coast, but its main beach, Villefranche-Sur-Mer ​​near the city centre, is the most visited.

The pretty pebble beach and bright blue water are hard to resist.

The beach is just next to the main strip of popular hotels and the Nice city centre, making it conveniently accessible for guests.

There is an excellent view from the beach of the cliffs in the distance.

The beach is very long, perfect for a sunset walk.

Because of its crowds, the best time to visit this beach is in the spring, when the beautiful outdoor produce markets are in season right across from the west end of the beach.

5- Plage Notre Dame, Iles d’Hyeres

beaches in paris france Deserted beaches and pine trees in this landscape of the French Riviera
Discover the island of Porquerolles for some of the best beaches in the French Riviera.

Most people have heard of Corsica, but a French Island called Porquerolles Island is an unknown gem.

This small island sits off the coast of Toulon, near Marseille and is accessible by ferry.

Plage Notre Dame has been rated the most beautiful beach on Îles d’Hyères.

The beach is covered in tall, thin trees with fluffy light greenery and is secluded, with water the perfect shade of turquoise.

Plage Notre Dame is a highly romantic destination, perfect for a couple.

However, the beach also attracts families, kids, and travellers alike, as its serene calm feeling is hard to resist for anyone.

Due to its clear water, many scuba dive and snorkel off of this location.

6- Plage Centrale de Lacanau, Bordeaux

One of France’s most popular cities, Bordeaux, is not only famous for its wine but is also home to incredible beaches that are hard to miss.

Bordeaux ​​is on the Garonne River in southwestern France.

Plage du Centrale de Lacanau is a large stretch of perfect waves for beginner and intermediate surfers.

Its shrub and fence give it the charm of a perfect seaside surf destination.

The village is right across from the beach, easily accessible and convenient by walking.

7- Plage de la Mala, Cap d’Ail

best beaches france French bulldog dog resting and relaxing on a hammock or beach chair at the beach ocean shore, on summer vacation holidays
Looking for the best beaches in France? Here are our top 20.

Plage de la Mala is in a small town, Cap d’Ail, between Nice and Monaco.

The beach is in a hidden cove and is private and quiet, with crystal clear water.

You can enjoy a wonderful ocean view from the lovely little Mediterranean restaurant at the beach club, which also offers sunbed rentals.

Best Beaches In France (Corsica)

8- Plage de Saleccia, Corsica

Have you ever heard of France’s marvellous island of Corsica? If you have not, let this convince you to add it to the bucket list.

The island is just 3,368 mi², surrounded by amazing beaches and nature.

Plage de Saleccia rests in the northern region of Corsica.

It is best described as a stretch of pearly white sand, soft as cotton, and crystal blue water.

As you soak up the golden sun, this French beach gives off a Caribbean feeling.

Surrounding the beach are soft white dunes and beautiful little patches of green, creating a lush environment.

The cute little snack bar on the beach is perfect for grabbing a quick bite or drink.

Saleccia’s water is so clear that it is almost impossible to stay out of.

9- Plage de Roccapina, Corsica

Plage de Roccapina, Corsica beaches france

Many claim Plage de Roccapina to be the most beautiful bay in Corsica.

This beach is located off the beaten path on the west coast of Corsica and is inaccessible by car.

The bay and its white-sand inlet are a top destination for sailing boats to moor while the occupants jump off the boat, swim, dive or snorkel.

The beach has a tropical feel and there is an excellent hike not far from the beach, accessible by a small stone path starting at the beach.

The walk presents spectacular views, leading to an old tower called Genoese Tower.

Plage de Roccapina is well-known for how white its sand is and how perfect its crystal turquoise water is.

10- Plage du Petit Sperone, Corsica

Another incredible location in Corsica is Plage du Petit Sperone on the island’s south side and a 15-minute drive from Bonifacio, an unbelievable must-see cliffside town.

Although this French beach is a bit hard to access, it’s worthwhile as it won’t be swarming with beachgoers.

All along the beach, you will find luscious green hills contrasting with the bright blue water and white sand.

The absence of crowds makes is a perfect place for a calm beach day, but there aren’t many accessible stores or amenities nearby, so bring everything you need.

11- Plage de Palombaggia, Corsica

Beaches France Plage de Palombaggia, Corsica
Photographers will love Corsica’s Plage de Palombaggia as this French beach is full of character.

When deciding what to do in Corsica, you will always find Plage de Palombaggia high on the list.

This beach is truly magical.

Its white sand, luscious greenery and clear water make this beach a stunning one that lives up to the hype.

Light-coloured rocks peek out of the sea, and there is a beach club at the left end of Palombaggia where you can rent an umbrella and buy a drink or food.

Aside from the main beach club, there are a few more bar options, great for an afternoon aperitivo.

For more beaches around the world read:

Best Beaches In France (Biarritz)

12- La Grande Plage, Biarritz

nude beaches france
La Grande Plage in Biarritz is one of the famous beaches in France.

If you’re looking for a top beach in France for a promenade, La Grand Plage in Biarritz falls under this category.

Biarritz is near the border of Spain in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, close to Hendaye, and offers a fantastic family-friendly environment.

It’s perfect for swimming, surfing or grabbing lunch just a few minutes from the beach, along the strip of stores and restaurants.

Along the coast, there are many walks well kept with bushes of flowers, giving the area a very summery feeling.

To the far left of La Grande Plage is a famous footbridge leading to a stunning rock formation called “Rocher Du Basta.”

This small rock formation filled with greenery is a perfect lookout to view all of La Grande Plage.

13- Plage de la Cote des Basques, Biarritz

Plage de la Cote des Basques, in Biarritz, is a big coastal beach just minutes outside the main city centre.

This beach is well known for its year-round surf break and fun swimming conditions.

Beautiful walkways, stairs, and paths line the beach leading to restaurants and rental shops.

Plage de la Cote des Basques is the perfect beach for a long walk, as there is a big seaport you can take a lovely stroll around.

If you love to surf, do not discount Plage de la Cote des Basques, as the waves will not disappoint.

14- Plage D’hendaye, Saint jean de Luz

best beaches in south of france colourful surfboards lying chaotically on a shingle beach in France.
One of the shingle beaches in France that is popular with surfers.

Are you a fan of surfing? Or maybe you would love to give it a try. Plage D’endaye offers the perfect beginner surf break.

This long beach stretch is home to great waves and spectacular views.

The beach is a bit off the beaten path but perfect for a local experience, as it’s never overrun with tourists.

Located on the border of Spain in Hendaye, a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France, the coast has a strip of restaurants and shops.

The area is family-friendly and safe for children to swim or surf.

It is also extremely well kept and clean.

Plage D’endaye is very long, perfect for a long beach walk or run.

Best Beaches In France (Cassis)

15- Calanque d’en vau, Cassis

beaches in france Calanque d’en vau, Cassis
Calanque d’en vau in Cassis is another of the beaches in France with stunning scenery.

An incredible hidden gem of crystal blue water and sand lies between the cliffs of Cassis, a charming fishing village.

The town looks similar to Cinque Terra in Italy but without the crowds of holidaymakers.

The Calanques are the most renowned aspect of Cassis, and it is no surprise why, as the tiny narrow coves formed by tall lime still cliffs are picture-perfect.

You can peer up at these fantastic bright white cliffs as you swim in the Calanques to admire the striking contrast of blue water against the white cliffs and greenery.

The clear water makes this an ideal snorkelling destination.

16- Plage de l’Arène, Cassis

Plage de l’Arene is the perfect family beach, situated just outside the little own of Cassis, a picturesque fishing port in Southern France.

The best feature of this lovely location is its incredible views.

Looking west from the beach, you will see big unbelievable mountains soaring into the sky, covered in lush greenery.

Conditions are superb for snorkelling and diving, and many boats anchor in the cove to allow the occupants to spend the day having fun in the sun.

Beaches In France (Brittany Region and Northern France)

best beaches southern france pink sunset
One of the loveliest beaches in France to enjoy a tranquil sunset is in Saint-Malo, Brittany.

17- Plage de l’île Vierge, Brittany

best beaches in france Plage de l'île Vierge, Brittany
Plage de l’île Vierge in Brittany is one of the best beaches in France to escape to.

Peer down into the incredible cliffs of Plage de l’île Vierge, and you will find sparkling blue Mediterranean water, perfect for a summer dip.

Plage de l’île Vierge, also known as Virgin Island Beach, is a breathtaking location in the Brittany region of France.

This beach in France is an hour from Quimper and a perfect day trip.

The beach is shaped by a small half dome inlet surrounded by towering cliffs.

Beautiful pine trees peek out of the cliffs below this beach.

Rock formations around all the beaches create natural caves that can be explored and swam around.

The area around the beach is perfect for hiking, as you will find many natural paths full of nothing but trees, flowers, and amazing coastal views.

18- Plage de l’Eventail, St Malo

best beaches south of france low tide
Some of the best beaches in France are in Brittany. Pictured here is Fort National at Eventail Beach in Saint-Malo.

In Saint-Malo, a port city in the Brittany region, you’ll find the beautiful Plage de l’Eventail.

St Malo is in the northwest of France and is known for its charming old town, surrounded by stone walls.

The beach is a 10-minute walk from the ancient city, basically connected to it, and the entire area feels like a step back in time.

There are excellent local cheese shops across from the beach as well as bars and restaurants.

The most famous landmark on the coast is Fort National, a castle fort directly across from the beach.

19- Plage de Donnant, Belle-Il-en-Mer

Plage de Donnant is similar to the beaches in Portugal with a long stretch, yellow sand beach and an excellent surf break.

You will find Plage de Donnant, on an island in Britanny called Belle Île.

The island is full of rocky coastal beaches and sea villages.

Dunes and long grass surround Plage de Donnant.

Although this beach is famous for surfing, it attracts many bodyboarders and is known for its excellent bodyboarding conditions.

The beach is perfectly nestled between two cliffs, helpful in blocking any strong winds that could arise.

Although the beach is a well-known spot for bodyboarders, people not familiar with the sport are advised to stay out due to its strong and occasionally very dangerous rip tides.

20- Etretat, Normandy

beaches in france
Etretat is a stunning beach in France to visit in Normandy.

Heading North to France’s region of Normandy, the commune, Etretat, in the Seine-Maritime department, presents some of Europe’s most amazing cliffs, bellowing above stunning beaches.

These famous cliffs of Etretat are almost impossible to not fall in love with.

The white rocky cliffs stretch for miles above numerous accessible beaches and small seaside towns.

Two famous points near Etretat beach, bringing in flocks of visitors, are Porte d’Aval Arch and L’Aiguille, natural artistic rock formations worth all the travel time to see.

So many well-known artists have painted these arches from around the world.

The view of these arches can be seen right from the beach, making these spots so memorable and mesmerizing.

A significant aspect of Etretat is that it is not a location for only one season.

It’s lovely at any time of year: winter, spring, and summer each provide Etretat’s beaches and cliffs with a unique ambience.