Thanks to its three long stretches of coastline, France can boast about its abundance of great beaches. They range in accessibility, amount of historical importance, ability to sunbathe “au natural” and much more. Therefore, it goes to say that there will be a French beach out there with what you are looking for. If you like to wander the beach solo, or build sandcastles all day with your family, France has many amazing beaches to choose from. Here are six of the best beaches for every kind of beachgoer:
If you prefer to spend your time at the beach below the waves, then head to L'Ile de Riou off the coast of France. The tiny, wild and uninhabited island may only be accessibly by boat, but once you are there, you’ll be metres away from an incredible undersea forest that is ideal for snorkelers, swimmers and even qualified scuba divers. In 2012, this island became a part of the Parc National des Calanques and acts as the starting point for many scuba excursions around the archipelago.
Euronat is a naturist resort on the Atlantic coast of France where the establishments embrace naturist’s ways of life. If you prefer sunbathing sans bathers, then this is the beach in France for you. Backed by a pine forest with a full 335 hectares of coastline, there is always direct access to the beach full of golden sand. Laid-back villages where people can go to unwind—and leave with the perfect suntan. At Euronat you will find supervised swimming, cafes along the beach and wide open expanses of beach to explore and stroll along.
If your water sport of choice relies on the wind like kite surfing or windsurfing, then head to Plage d’Almanarre in the Cote d’Azur. Although this beach is smaller than the others by comparison—a mere 4km long—there is still plenty of space to get in the water and in the air. One end of the beach boasts a consistently strong wind that is reserved for the water sports enthusiasts, while the other site is more protected from the winds and offers a great spot for kayakers and paddle boarders to discover.
More concealed and prestigious than the others, Plage de la Paloma isn’t a secret among the wealthy and well-off. The high-class villas and hotels are a small reminder of how long this spot has been a favourite with the jet set. Even with this reputation, anyone is allowed to sunbathe on the tiny Paloma beach, but keep in mind that the extravagance of the area will likely carry into your beach experience as well. For example, it will cost you close to 20 euros to get a matelas, or sunbed, outside the Paloma Beach restaurant. The views may be worth it as you recline and relax looking over yachts and sailboats along with the cliffs at Eze and Cap d’Ail.
For a gloriously unspoilt stretch of sand, head to Cote Sauvage, a wild and highly un-swimmable part of the Atlantic coastline. You’ll find turbulent and stormy waves that splatter foam over the rocks its waves crash on. It sort of looks like snowy-mountain tops at the edge of the ocean. If the action of the waves crashing is too much for you, head to the sheltered eastern side of the beach. Here there are safe and calm sandy beaches, and plenty of campsites where you can enjoy the scenery and unique landscape of this beach.
This beach is ideal for families because in just 9km, this beach manages to have everything. To the north, it's as wide as a desert and remains overwhelmingly untouched. If you head further south, towards the village centre, the activity level gets much higher. There's plenty of fun to be had for the children, a fine prom for strolling or cycling, parkland and plenty of kid-friendly restaurants that sell as much pizza as you could possibly need. It's the bounciest, and most crowded of French beach atmospheres.
Pack your bathers, towels and sunnies to prep for your French beach holiday. Choose the stretch of sand and water that matches you perfectly and be sure to pair your travel plans with travel insurance cover from Cover-More Australia. With travel insurance you can travel with peace of mind, knowing your holiday is protected against the unexpected.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Fooko dB.