Not only is France blessed with some of the most beautiful mountains and countryside, but it also lays claims to a handful of the world’s most breathtaking beaches. If you’re not sure where to lay your towel, here are a few that shouldn’t be missed.
Cote des Basques, Biarritz, France
Biarritz has long been a beacon for surfers and wealthy aristocrats, as well as everyday locals and famous celebrities. It’s a wonderful mix of French and Spanish citizens mingling together in front of unkempt cliffs and bustling waves. Strap on your wetsuit and take a dip.
Palombaggia Beach, Porto-Vecchio, France
Palombaggia is one of the most popular beaches in Europe and one glimpse of these sandy shores will show you why. Perfect cerulean waters washing up against golden layers of sand surrounded by mountains and pines creates a stunningly gorgeous atmosphere that’s hard to resist. If you don’t believe us, just try getting a spot on the sand here around midday.
Plage d’Hendaye, Hendaye, France
D’Hendaye is an enormous beach that hosts some of the areas most enjoyable festivities. Beach bands run amok during the summer while revelers from Spain and France converge on the sands. You’ll also have no trouble finding games of volleyball and soccer along these shores.
Plage de Pampelonne, Saint-Tropez, France
This swanky stretch of sand on Saint-Tropez might not boast the most gorgeous views, but it more than makes up for it with the wealth of shopping and dining available. The luxury villas might be out of your price range, but you can probably find a few nice pieces of clothing to take home from Pampelonne.
Plage du Petit Sperone, Bonifacio, France
Corsica is home to some pretty spectacular beaches, easily the best in France, and Sperone Little Beach is no exception. This tiny little treasure nestled inside a cove has some of the finest sand around, though not much of it to be sure. It’s still a gorgeous spot to kick back and relax and enjoy the waves.
Plage d’Arone, Piana, France
Plage d’Arone is home to some of the clearest waters outside of the Caribbean. It’s a bit of a drive to reach it, but you’re rewarded with perfectly white sands, few shops and, best of all, no crowds! Even in the middle of summer this gem somehow remains virtually untouched.
Plage de l’Espiguette, Montpellier, France
“Untamed” might be putting it mildly when it comes to describing l’Espiguette, a 6-mile long stretch of sand and lagoons along the Languedoc coast. Here you’ll find plenty of wild creatures, but hardly any sophisticated forms of civilization. It’s a beach for the adventurous spirit, not those looking for luxury. You might even spot a flamingo.
Roccapina Plage, Corsica, France
Standing atop the overlook of Roccapina Beach might remind you of paradise, but getting down there is no easy feat. Make sure you have a vehicle that can withstand a bumpy ride to the bottom. The waters here are crystal clear, but occasionally packed with jellyfish, so you might have to settle for the view depending on the day.
Plage de la Paloma, French Riviera, France
Paloma Beach might be located in the ritzy peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, but the shores here are open to everyone, even if you can’t afford a night in one of the many hotels. The French come here to relax alongside celebrities, shop in the quaint village or engage in some jet skiing in the waters.
Lac de Serre-Ponçon, French Alps
The Southern portion of the French Alps might not border the ocean, but the man-made lake Serre-Ponçon has plenty of sandy shores to frolic along. The area has become increasingly popular among windsurfers and sailors in recent years and the views are hard to beat.