These are the 12 most gorgeous beaches in France
After 18 months cooped up, you might want to enjoy your summer. So why not pay a visit to our next-door neighbour this summer, and get some sun.
The beach of Nonza, in Haute-Corse
The pebbles on the beach at Nonza owe their characteristic grey colour to the waste from an old asbestos quarry 15 kilometres away. Don't panic: according to the health authorities, the presence of asbestos would not be dangerous, the particles not being fine enough to pollute lungs.
To reach the beach, a staircase - of more than 500 steps... - goes down from the perched village of Nonza.
The 'calanque' of En Vau, in Marseille
Several of Marseille's creeks have got to be among the most beautiful beaches in France. If we had to select only one, it would be En Vau, at the south-eastern end of the city of Marseille. It is accessible by sea, by boat or kayak, or thanks to a path from the Marseille massif.
The beach of Grande Anse, in Guadeloupe
Bordered by Le Breton Point to the north and Gros Morne Point to the south, Grande Anse beach is the longest (over a kilometre) in Guadeloupe. Its luxuriant vegetation lapped by the golden sand makes it one of the most beautiful of the archipelago.
The beach, two kilometres north of the town of Deshaies, is easily accessible by road and close to all amenities (hotels, restaurants, spa, nautical base...).
The beach of Saint-Guirec, in Ploumanac'h, in the Côtes-d'Armor area
The beach of Saint-Guirec, in Ploumanac'h, is undoubtedly the most beautiful of the Pink Granite Coast - a portion of the northern Breton coastline which owes its name to the astonishing colour of the rock, due to its iron oxide. On one of them, the oratory of Saint-Guirec was built between the 11th and the early 12th century and is classed as a historical monument.
Bars, restaurants and shops are within easy reach from the beach of Saint-Guirec, located on the edge of the village of Ploumanac'h. You will also find a free car park nearby.
Santa Giulia beach, south of Porto-Vecchio, Corsica
The bay of Santa Giulia is home to one of the most famous beaches in southern Corsica. Its translucent waters are very lightly inclined, offering a large area of shallows: ideal for families.
If gently roasting on a towel is not enough for you, the nautical base at the bay proposes many activities: water skiing, towed buoys, paddle, diving...
Bars and restaurants are also established not too far from the sea, and it is possible to rent sunbeds and parasols on the beach.
Notre Dame, on the island of Porquerolles, in the Var region
Owned by the French State since 1972, this wild island has escaped the real estate madness that has plagued France's Mediterranean coast. It is home to several magnificent beaches, including Notre Dame, named 'Europe's most beautiful beach' in 2015 by European Best Destinations.
You can reach Porquerolles by boat from many of the towns in the Var. However, the quickest way is to take a ferry from the Giens peninsula. Schedules and prices here.
The Saint-Vincent beach in Collioure, in the Pyrénées-Orientales
Just behind the church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, the small beach of Saint-Vincent is probably the most beautiful in the resort. The shops of Collioure are close by, but parking in the town can be difficult in the summer.
The Erevine cove, in Ensuès-la-Redonne, on the Blue Coast
Opposite the Erevine islet, the eponymous cove is recognised by the locals as one of the most beautiful on the Blue Coast. Whether you start from Niolon or Méjean, it takes an hour's walk to get there.
The creek of Ile Vierge, in Crozon-Morgat, Finistère
The Vierge island cove (which is not an island, but a peninsula), or 'Enez Verc'h' in Breton, is one of the most westerly beaches in France. At the foot of the cliffs, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Finistère. Beware however: the access to the beach, which is rough to say the least, was closed in 2020.
The Diamond beach, in Martinique
Three kilometres of fine sand in front of the Diamant rock, planted in the Caribbean Sea, in the south of the Diamant peninsula. You will find a large car park 500 meters from the town of Diamant.
The strength of the current can be dangerous. It is therefore not advisable for poor swimmers to venture out where they have no foothold.
The Corniche beach, at the foot of the Dune du Pilat
The Corniche beach faces the Arguin bank, at the entrance of the Arcachon basin. There are two ways to get there: drive down to the bottom of the Dune du Pilat, or take the stairs at Pyla-sur-Mer, north of the beach.
The Figuerolles cove, in La Ciotat
Five minutes from the old port of La Ciotat, the Figuerolles cove is easily accessible compared to its peers. A car park overlooks the pebbled cove, from which an 87-step staircase descends.