10 Best Beaches of France

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When I think of France I don’t immediately think of beautiful beaches, I think of Paris. But I stand corrected because southern France has some of the most beautiful beaches on the world. There are actually a variety of beaches to please every kind of taste. France is surrounded by water, the English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The French Riviera is located on the eastern Mediterranean coast from Cannes to Menton. This is the France holiday you want to take if you are looking for upscale adult vacationing. The Côte d’Azur is the coast to the south and is the ideal spot for “alone time” although it can get a little crowded in some spots. It is also a great spot for surfing. Brittany on the north Atlantic coast and the surrounding area has beaches with family attractions.


While the world famous film festival may keep tourists busy, there is no denying the beach here is fun. This is a lighthearted beach town, steeped in the arts and film. Check out the sand castles while you are on the beach. If you hunt for bargains, this can be a reasonable beach vacation.

Beach at Nice

This beach is enormously popular on the French Riviera. The actual beach is comprised of pebbles instead of sand. It is very crowded in the summer.

Menton Beach

Menton is a quaint little beach town and of all the beaches on the French Riviera, Menton’s beaches are the most family friendly. The atmosphere is much more relaxed and it isn’t the wild partying beach town that its neighbors are.


The beaches in Monaco are upscale and are adjacent to opulent high-rise hotels and casinos. This is an adult environment and there is plenty of fun to be had sun bathing during the day and gambling at night.

Arcachon Beaches

The small town of Arcachon sits next to the Atlantic Ocean. This beach area is free of crowds except at peak time of summer vacation. If you visit this beach you must walk along the Dune du Pyla, which lies between the ocean and the largest forest in France, Les Landes. This is huge dune elevated and overlooks the Atlantic.

Biarritz Beaches

While the Biarritz beachfront was once wildly popular, in the last forty or fifty years tourists have migrated to the French Riviera to empty their wallets. While these may not the most ideal beaches, they are less crowded, have less traffic, and have less expensive accommodations. Beaches are free to visit.

Garoupe Beach – Cap d’Antibes

This is a very exclusive beach that is split off into sections some of which are free to the public. This beach faces the east so when you are on the beach the sun is not in your face. It is also sheltered from the wind and this makes it pleasant.

St. Jean de Luz St.

Jean de Luz beach is located just south of Biarritz in the town of St. Jean de Luz. This is a clean well-kept beach with a nice sea wall separating the beach from the town. The architecture of the town has been carefully preserved and the old 17th and 18th century structures are just gorgeous. This is a quiet and peaceful beach experience.

Cap d’Agde

Located next to Montpellier, Cap d’Agde is famous for their nude beaches. But apparently the tendency to divest one’s clothes may extend to the entire city. Maybe we should leave the kiddies at home.

La Rochelle

This is a quaint port town located on the Atlantic coast. The beach has shallow waters and is great for families with young children.

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