The best beaches in France

The Top 10 Favourite French beaches – recommended by you!

We’ve done blog articles on some of the best loved French beaches before; there are so many to choose from, and each one offers something different! From glamour and golden sands, to wild waves for watersports, or family-friendly beach resorts, there really is a perfect beach for everyone in France. When we ran a Facebook competition in June we asked you to tell us your favourite beaches in France, and after collating hundreds of comments we’ve got a run down of your top ten French beaches:

  1. Nice, Provence

This wonderful resort on the French Riviera has 7km of beaches along the Promenade des Anglais – perfect for relaxing, people watching and soaking up the sunshine. The sea is clear and azure blue and the beach is made of small pebbles rather than sand, which has done nothing to diminish its popularity! Niall said “My favourite beach is below the hill of the Chateau in Nice and under the palm lined Promenade des Anglais painted by great artists like Raoul Dufy. Matisse’s old studio is not far away in the maze of colourful streets of the Old Town. Reward yourself after a trip to the many galleries and cultural events in the town with a swim in one of the most iconic views in France.”

  1. Deauville, Normandy

The glamourous seaside town of Deauville boasts a long sandy beach with beach cabins, sunshades and deckchairs for rent. It’s very family friendly with plenty of cafes and shops and the shoreline is a great place to find pretty shells to decorate your sandcastles! Peter said “Deauville beach is classically old fashioned in a historic town with a glorious past. Proper seaside!”

  1. Les Sables d’Olonne, Vendee

Offering a 3km stretch of sandy beach along the Atlantic Coast, as well as a fishing port and marina, Les Sables d’Olonne has long been a popular tourist destination. It’s famous for hosting the Vendee Globe round the world yacht race and you can try out all kinds of water sports here including surfing, windsurfing and dingy sailing or even land-yachting on the sand! Liz said “I have amazing memories of childhood holidays around Les Sables d’Olonne, I’d love to take my own children there!”

  1. La Rochelle, Charente Maritime

There are lots of beaches to discover in and around La Rochelle; Les Minimes is one of the most convenient – take a water bus from the old harbour to arrive in style! A little further away is Chatelaillon-Plage with a huge sandy beach lined by a promenade of pretty cafes and shops. It’s famous for the Kite and Wind festival and there are good opportunities for kite-surfing and windsurfing when the weather is right. Jo said “When I was little my Mum and Dad took me and my sisters to La Rochelle and we explored the beaches around there. I’d love to take my children.”

  1. Le Touquet, Normandy

Le Touquet is a seaside town in Northern France with a great beach offering all kinds of watersports and activities. From yachting and kite surfing to simply walking on the dunes it’s a wonderful place to get some sea air and the kids will love Aqualud; a waterpark with pool and slides that’s right on the beach. Chris said “The beach at Le Touquet is AMAZING!” Deborah said “Le Touquet…every time!” and Liz said “I love Le Touquet…one of my fave places to go!”

  1. Benodet, Brittany

Benodet lies where the river Odet meets the sea on the Finistere coast and offers a wonderful family-friendly sandy beach as well as smaller, secluded beaches and rocky coves like St Gilles for rock-pooling enthusiasts! Louise said “Benodet is our favourite. Golden sand in a glorious bay. Stunning scenery. Walking, biking and a marina round the corner to enjoy even more.”

  1. La Baule, Brittany

A chic beach resort with a 9km bay lined with beautiful golden sand, La Baule is perfect for family days building sandcastles and paddling in the sea. Known as ‘one of the most beautiful bays in the world’ it’s no wonder this beach was the fourth most popular with our followers! Suzanne said “My favourite beach has to be La Baule – miles of beautiful sand, and never crowded” and Maria said “La Baule is beautiful!”.

  1. St Jean de Monts, Vendee

Your third most popular beach was St Jean de Monts, just a little further up the coast from Les Sables d’Olonne that came in eighth. The fine sandy beaches and exciting Atlantic coast offer perfect conditions for many watersports make this modern resort a favourite with tourists. Kelly said “Love the beach at Saint Jean De Monts as it goes on for miles, even in the height of summer you can find a quiet spot” Cathy said “St Jean de Monts. Perfect for kids and for kite flying…and a lovely big wheel with great views”

  1. Carnac, Brittany

In second place you voted for Carnac in Southern Brittany. Carnac might be more famous for the ancient standing stones but the beach is also a huge draw with golden sand, loads of watersports activities and wonderful Blue Flag conditions for sea swimming. Laura said “The beaches in Carnac are my absolute favourite!”, Emma said “I love Carnac beach. Had the pleasure of visiting there last year. Had a brilliant time shell spotting with the kids. Fantastic family time.” And Lisa said “The beach at Carnac is my favourite as the sand was glittery.  Now who doesn’t love a bit of glitter?”.

  1. St Malo, Brittany

Taking the top spot for your favourite beach is St Malo, and it’s also one of the easiest to reach just a stones throw from the ferry port so you can visit for a short break or weekend! St Malo has it all, sandy beaches, rock pools and even a seawater swimming pool! Sue said “My favourite is the beach at St Malo, wonderful when there are high tides too, the waves have to be seen to be believed!”, Michael said “For me it has to be St Malo for the amazing outdoor pool” and Myra said “St Malo for me. Beautiful beach…wonderful seafood, lovely town to wander around. Perfick!”

Are you surprised? Is your favourite beach on the list? How many of these lovely beaches have you visited so far? Join us on Facebook to enter future competitions and plan your next French holiday by the sea with us to get 20% off your Brittany Ferries crossings.

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