France is known for its stunning Eiffel Tower and delicious food It offers countless family holiday destinations that include a good mix of culture, beautiful cities, picturesque towns, charming villages, all-around stunning scenery, and delicious food.
This post will take you through some of the very best beaches in France for families so you can plan the ultimate trip, whether you’re planning a road trip in France, a relaxing family beach holiday.
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Why Choose France for Your Next Beach Holiday
There are many fantastic family-friendly beaches in France just waiting to be explored. You’ll find sparkling seas, calm waters and soft white sand and some fantastic beaches for families. If you prefer to leave your tourist trail, you can find hidden bays, a tranquil fishing village or private sandy patches.
Where in France has Beaches?
All around the French coastline, you’ll find picturesque family-friendly beaches. Discover the North, South and West coasts of France on your next family trip.
Does France Have Nice Beaches?
France has some of the world’s best beaches. Here you can not just take delight in the French sunshine, but also swim, snorkel, do water sports like jet-skiing and kite-surfing. The French coast is also an irresistible magnet to the world’s travellers of all kinds, from blase jet-setters to backpackers thirsting for an adventure of their lifetime.
Nevertheless, not all French beaches are known to the public, making it possible for a traveller to find unspoilt savage locales, and indulge in true communion with nature.
Our list of Best Beaches in France includes both world-known gems and little known jewels that beg to be found.
Best Beaches in France Map
Best South of France Beaches
The south coast of France has some of the best beaches in France! This section will take you through the very best beaches in the South of France.
Nice France Beaches
The beach of Nice stretches along the whole Baie Des Anges (Angle’s Bay) with a length of almost 10 km. It is divided into several sections, each with its own name. Some of the beaches charge an entrance fee and provide extra amenities such as showers, sunbeds or a playground for kids, while others are public and accessible for everyone.
Nice certainly gives you an extensive choice of what you would like your beach experience to be. If you are willing to pay an entrance fee.
Nice and its beaches are a great destination all year round. The temperatures are hot in summer and relatively mild in winter. The best time to visit Nice is during the shoulder season between March and May or between September and October. During this time, you can enjoy the beautiful weather and swim in the Sea whilst avoiding the crowds and the high prices of peak season.
Nice has a lot more to offer besides its beautiful beaches. Take a walk along the Promenade des Anglais and climb up the hill to Colline du Chateau, a viewpoint that provides a panoramic view over Nice, the beach and the Sea. The picturesque old town of Nice with its impressive architecture is also worth exploring. Nice is considered one of the prettiest towns on the French Riviera, making it a great place to stay and explore surrounding areas and beaches from there.
1. Blue Beach, Nice
Blue Beach is an excellent option for families with kids. The private beach includes a swimming pool, a trampoline, and options for watersports activities.
2. Le Voilier Beach, Nice
Le Voilier offers a public beach area and a private section with a kid’s playground.
Submitted by Maria, A World of Destinations
3. Ruhl Plage, Nice
Spending a day at the beach is one of the top things to do in Nice, and Ruhl Plage is one of the best options. Among the most iconic beaches along the French Riviera, Ruhl Plage is easily recognized by its striped parasols and exclusive service. Hugging the cerulean-blue coastline along the Promenade des Anglais, this beloved seaside spot includes a private beach restaurant, top-notch beachside service, and a salt-water swimming pool for the little ones. Conveniently equipped with a lifeguard on duty, the on-site pool is ideal for families with young children. In addition, swimming instructors are available for kids who are looking to literally get their feet wet with some lessons.
Families will also have access to comfortable sun loungers as well as convenient lockers and showers located on-site. While the full-day fee for access to these wonderful amenities is a consideration, families will find the convenience, comfort, and peace of mind well worth it.
After a fun day at the beach, groups can easily make their way to one of the many restaurants located along the Promenade des Anglais. Children will also love the fact that this famous seafront boulevard includes a designated bike lane for additional fun on two wheels.
While Ruhl Plage is arguably frequented by travellers year-round, it’s busiest in the peak summer season. To avoid crowds, families should take advantage of visiting in the shoulder season (April – May and September – October) when crowds are more manageable. For a comfortable stay with a seafront view, families should consider Hôtel la Pérouse.
Recommended by Elena, The Carry-On Chronicles
Marseille is a great place to go on holiday. One of Europe’s largest port cities, it offers a host of cultural and architectural treasures and a family-friendly vibe.
Marseille has a number of great beaches such as those located in the Parc National des Calanques, and popular beaches like Prophet Beach or the Catalans’ beach.
5. Plage De La Palud
Plage de la Palud is on the island of Port Cros, a 30- to 60-minute ferry transfer from the continent in the Mediterranean Sea. The whole island is a national park with no cars and no bikes. So you’ll have to walk for 30 to 45 minutes to reach the Plage de la Palud. It’s an excellent way to leave the crowd behind in the busy Mediterranean region. Some parts are on uneven terrain and go up and down, so it is recommended to wear good shoes, and it may not be suitable for families with very young kids. There’s a shop at the main port, but the rest of the island is wild, so make sure you bring all the things you’ll need for you and the kids for the day!
There are many other beautiful beaches in the region, but Plage de la Palud is quite special. Although the small beach is lovely with the Rascas Rocks in the bay, the best surprises lay underwater. A snorkelling trail with underwater signs allows visitors to learn more about the biodiversity of Europe’s oldest marine park.
It’s better to visit Port Cros outside the school holidays. It gets really busy in July and August. Early September is a lovely season with warm water and fewer visitors compared to the middle of summer. You should also have lovely weather in May, June and October, but the water may be colder.
If you book in advance, you can get accommodation on the island. For hiking enthusiasts, it’s worth staying overnight in Port Cros. If there’s no accommodation on the island, you can stay on the continent near the Hyeres or Le Lavandou, where you can board a shuttle boat for a day trip to Port Cros island.
Recommended by, My Favourite Escapes
6. Plage des Estagnets
Estagnets beach is located between Hyères et de Giens Peninsula and is definitely one of our favourite beaches in France. For one it is located in a wonderful place with stunning views on the Pyrenees. The beach is a long stretch that continues on Almanarre beach for 5km, which is rare in the South East of France. It’s a fantastic place for kids, the water is shallow, which means it is safe for young kids and they can have a blast during the summertime. The kids also really enjoyed searching for little crabs near the rocks, you may spot one if you are lucky.
It is a place easily accessible by walking from the Giens peninsula if you are staying in a hotel or a campground. The beach is also well equipped with a lifeguard station operational during the season, a bar/restaurant, toilets, showers and lockers.
On the Presqu’île de Giens (the peninsula), you can find restaurants, campings and other types of accommodations. You can mountain bike on a trail around the small island which has spectacular viewpoints. For dining options, we suggest heading towards Niel harbour for a few nice choices.
On the other side of the beach there is the Almanar beach which is famous for windsurfing, and now also kitesurfing. What makes this place really unique is that there are many beaches so you are spoiled for choice.
Recommended by Asha Bhatia, Home Travel Guide
7. Plage d’Hendaye
The Basque Country in Southern France offers some of the nicest beaches in the country, especially for surfers. There are many beaches to choose from, but the Grande Plage in Hendaye is worth a stop. But let’s be clear: if you are looking for big waves and an epic surfing experience, the Grande Plage might not be for you.
But if you are looking for a wide beach, with beautiful sand, small waves and shadow water, then it’s your beach. The Grande Plage is indeed the perfect beach for families travelling with young children. Kids will be able to build sandcastles and play in the shadow water for hours. It’s located in the Bay of Txingudi near the Spanish border.
The beach is about 3kmlong filled with fine sand. You’ll also see the famous “twin rocks”, those 2 rock formations sitting at the end of the beach. Summer is definitely the best time to go and enjoy the Atlantic ocean. But it can be hot.
Plus, there is not much shade on the beach, so make sure to bring your own beach umbrella. By the boardwalk, there are some benches and trees to get away from the sun.
While in Hendaye, make sure to visit the Château d’Abbadia. It’s located just outside the city centre.
Recommended by Emilie, Love Life Abroad
8. Beaulieu-sur-Mer, French Riviera
Located between the world-famous principality of Monaco and Nice, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is one of the grandest seaside resorts in the French Riviera. The beach is a secret gate-away for beach lovers from Monaco, known for its scenic townscape. Plage de Fourmis is one of France’s best and offers excellent sunshine and warm waters.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer is even featured in popular English literature, described by S. Fitzgerald:
““They dined at the new Beach Casino at Monte Carlo… much later they swam in Beaulieu in a roofless cavern of white moonlight formed by a circlet of pale boulders about a cup of phosphorescent water, facing Monaco and the blur of Menton.”
Keep in mind that Beaulieu-sur-Mer offers great premium accommodation like La Residence de la Reserve and Hotel Select for a weekend with your loved ones near the sea.
9. Plage de l’Escalet
One of the most secret locales in France is L’Escalet. Situated close to Ramatuelle, with its popular plage de la Pampelonne, L’Escalet is a small beach in an area known for the world’s most chic private villas.
Head here to meet the world’s rich and famous and splash in its turquoise water.
The beach is covered in white sand, which makes it one of Southern France’s cleanest and most alluring beaches.
For you to find lodging near Ramatuelle either rent a villa in Ramatuelle or find a hotel around St. Tropez. Keep in mind that motels and campings will offer much better prices than accommodation inside St. Tropez, where prices for a night are exorbitant.
North France Beaches
Northern France features some of the most beautiful beaches in France – perfect for a family adventure. This section will take you through some of the very best beaches in Northern France.
10. Hardelot, Pas-de-Calais
Situated in Pas-de-Calais, Hardelot Plage, part of Hardelot-Neufchâtel Commune, is a seaside town known for a wide stretch of sand and tranquil charm of a Northern France seaside resort. Here you can do watersports, and go on a serene beach stroll.
Keep in mind that Hardelot is great for couples, making it one of the best places in France to bring your significant other to.
Here you can find great accommodation like La Reine des Plages, Les Jardins de Hardelot, or Le Vieux Logis or Greenfield Chambres d’Hotes, two small lodging houses imparting the best value to a stay near Hardelot.
Keep in mind that since the locale is not yet popular with tourists, and is predominantly frequented by the French, prices for accommodation are much cheaper than on the Cote d’Azur, prized by the well-healed jet-setting community.
11. Le Touquet
Le Touquet is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in France for families due to its never-ending sandy beach, safe waters and numerous family activities. For many years my family made the trip over to France in the summertime so the children could have a real bucket-and-spade holiday. Endless hours were spent building sandcastles, eating ice-creams and swimming in the Sea while we enjoyed relaxing on a traditional beach holiday.
If the children want a change from the beach, there are numerous things to do in Le Touquet that will suit all ages and interests. Aqualud is a vast water park on the beach with slides, a lazy river, indoor and outdoor pools and jacuzzies. Further along, the beach is the magical carousel that is a landmark in Le Touquet or hop aboard Le Petit Train for a 30-minute whizz around one of the most beautiful towns in Northern France. If cycling is an activity the family enjoys, then rental bikes are available along the beach. Take the nature trail through Parc Naturel de la Baie de la Canche to the estuary but don’t forget to stop at the dunes and have some fun rolling down them!
At the end of the day, head back to one of the many family-friendly accommodations in Le Touquet. My recommendation is Le Belvedere, a B and B owned by an English family.
By Angela, Where Angie Wanders
If you are looking for the most beautiful beaches in France, you might intuitively think about the sandy beaches in the Mediterranean Sea. But while the South of France is a great place to be, you should turn your attention also direction North, to the Alabaster coastline.
The white chalk cliffs of the Alabaster Coast are reaching high above the shores and the fascinating rock formations are belonging on everyone’s bucket list.
The best village to marvel at this natural spectacle is the beach of Étretat, a fishing village in a bay tucked in between the cliffs. It is a perfect day trip from Paris as it’s just a 2h drive from the capital and therefore a very popular destination for Parisians of all ages. While you might not find a sandy beach, pebbles over pebbles, the beach of Étretat is in particular a wonderful destination for families.
During low tides, the ancient oyster garden located right by the cliffs emerges from the sea, leaving thousands of little puddles filled with sea life. Shells, stones, plants, little crabs and sometimes even tiny fishes – a paradise to explore for children and adults alike.
The beach of Étretat is also a great place for some family-friendly hikes. The short hiking trail that leads up to the top of the cliffs is doable even for smaller children, and the stunning views over the precipice are one of the highlights of Étretat. Families with more hiking practice can also set off to explore the longer hiking trails of 3-4 km.
If you are getting hungry after your exploration, you are at a good spot. The region of Normandy is famous for crêpes, both sweet and savoury but also for mussels, fries and bubbly cider.
Recommended by Lena, Salut from Paris
14. Plage de Boutrouilles, Brittany
The most popular beach of Kerlouan, one of Brittany’s most beautiful communes, is Plage de Boutrouilles. Little known outside France, it is great for doing watersports, playing volleyball and walking on its white sands.
Keep in mind that Brittany, located on the French northern coast, can feel chilly even in summer. Go here in June-August, to profit from its wealth of pristine sand, but don’t forget to take a sweatshirt with you.
If travelling to Plage de Boutrouilles, also bear in mind that it has toilets, and all infrastructure, including a lifeguard station and volleyball nets.
What is more, it has great lodging houses like Outdoty, one of the best bed & breakfast to stay on Brittany’s ocean board, standing just over 1km away from the beach.
15. Perros-Guirec, Brittany
Lying on the North coast of France, in Brittany, Perros-Guirec is a picturesque seaside resort. Here you can find great accommodation, food & drink establishments, and great beaches. Thanks to its beautiful sunsets and sunrises, three of its beaches are thought to be the best places for couples in France.
Plage de Trestraou, Plage de Trestrignel, Plage Saint-Guirec seem to have been made for love-stricken couples. Walk on its sand to feel the romance and the cool breeze blowing with all the tenderness from the Atlantic.
Keep in mind that Agapa Hotel & Spa is one of the best places in France for amorous couples, allowing not only to take delight in nature but also profit from one-of-its-kind spa service, and great dining.
16. Île de Ré, Nouvelle Aquitaine
The sand-covered beaches located on Ile de Re are considered by right the crown jewels of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Here you can find not only some of the best waves in the North of France for watersports but also great sand for walking, and picnicking on the scenic shoreline of the Atlantic.
The most beautiful of them is arguably Conche des Baleines, while Rivedoux Plage is the one of the best for promenade, kitesurfing and other watersports.
Other great beaches on Ile de Re include the following: Rivedoux-Plage; côté Sablanceaux; La plage des Grenettes; La plage de Gros-Jonc; La plage des Gollandières;La plage de la Patache; La plage de Trousse-Chemise and La plage du Grouin.
Ile-de-Re is not just about watersports, walking and swimming. Whereas it is best to visit its beach marvels during the summer months, you can visit its architectural marvels such as castles and religious sites throughout the year.
West France Beaches
The western coast of France has some stunning beaches just waiting to be explored. This section will take you through the very best beaches on the west coast of France.
17. Grande Plage, Biarritz, Basque Coast
Grand Plage promenade is one of the world’s most famous esplanades. It is also a postcard view of Biarritz, a seaside resort known for its signature casinos, beautiful townscape, and pretty parks & gardens.
But arguably, the most famous attraction of the seaside resort is Grande Plage itself with tents and beach clubs for children and another vast stretch of sand, Plage de Miramar.
On the two beaches, you can amble at leisure, lie around on the warm sand or take a plunge in the tumultuous waters of the Atlantic, known for its huge surf.
After a few hours on the beaches head to the Plage de Biarritz Lighthouse, one of the most romantic spots in the Atlantic Coast of France, and then head to the town’s bars and restaurants, or even gamble in its casinos.
Keep in mind that Biartiz offers not only ritzy hotels like Hotel du Palais but also great youth hostels like Youth Biarritz Hostel.
Also bear in mind that the best time to visit Biarritz just like the rest of North-West France resorts is June-September.
18. Les Sables d’Olonne, Vendée
A cosy seaside town, in the department of Vendee, it is known for its vast stretch of sand, making it one of the best places in France to chill on the lukewarm sand and breath in the brine of the Atlantic. What makes it especially pleasant to visit is its great sunshine that you can take pleasure in during the summer months.
Les Sables d’Olonne and its environs also offer a wealth of cultural sites such as George Clemenceau House and Ars-en-Re, dubbed France’s most beautiful village, and a great zoological park located just 2km away.
Its gastronomical treasures are just as delightful, while its accommodation options cater to both jet-setters and backpackers, with Ibis Les Sables d’Olonne arguably offering the best value.
Best Beaches in Corsica
Corsica is a French island that lies off the West Coast of Italy, North of the island of Sardinia. The island has some of the very best beaches in France for families!
One of Corsica’s longest and most stunning beaches, Palombaggia is a one-of-its-kind destination for sun-lovers, swimmers and snorkelling aficionados alike.
It boasts not just a great stretch of sand and pellucid waters, but also a gob-smacking panorama of the Cerbicale, a small archipelago consisting of five islands, beloved by birds.
You can benefit from the beach to the utmost if you visit in May-September. In May you can still profit from the freshness of the Corsican spring, while September offers a great chance to combine mild heat with warm water and nonchalant walks around the beach area.
If you wish to hike in the scenic surrounding mountains, you can put up in one-of-its-kind accommodation close to the beach such as Les Bergeries de Palombaggia, a five-star hotel, one of the best near Palombaggia and Porto Vecchio, a magic seaside town known for its citadels, old-town, yacht-filled marina, convivial locals and authentic Corsican atmosphere.
20. Porto Pollo, Corsica
Located in Serra-di-Ferro commune in Southern Corsica, Porto Pello is a long stretch of sand, which offers a great chance to find a sun-lit spot far away from throngs of tourists.
A great location, limpid jade-green waters corruscating in the distance, and fragrant maquis surrounding the beach, make it one of the best places in the Mediterranean to swim, laze around on warm sand, or go around the Corsican shrub and to imagine yourself a Corsican maquisard.
You can not only find great accommodation at places like L”Escale Hotel with nights setting you back 110$ per night, but also splendid camping grounds like U Cassedu.
Head here in May-September to profit from the most pleasant months to visit Corsica.
Where are the Nicest Beaches in France?
North France, Southern France, Western France and Corsica all offer something unique. Depending on what you are looking for you can either head to the North-West Coast, with Biarritz among the most famous beach resorts there; Southern France with its French Riviera, exemplified by the likes of Cannes, Nice and super-luxurious St. Tropez & Ramatuelle, or take a boat trip or a flight to Corsica, a veritable treasure that has a lot of pristine wild beach locales, and is by far more green than its direct competitor the neighbouring Italian island of Sardinia.
Are there white sand beaches in France?
There are a great many white sand beaches in France. Some of the most well known are the following: Corsica’s Palombaggia, French North Coast’s Ile-de-Re beach, and the great sand beaches on the Cote D’Azur, also known as the French Riviera, like la plage de Pampellone, plage de Portissol, the top-secret plage de L”Escalet and la plage de la Garoupe, among others.
Are there any sandy beaches on the French Riviera?
Even though some French Riviera beaches are pebbled, there are a number of splendid sand beaches on the French Riviera.
Some large seaside resorts in the South of France offer great sand beaches. You can travel to Antibes to bask in the sun on the warm sand of its Juan Les Pins beach, or delight in the sunshine on Cannes’ municipal beach, with its great sand.
But some of the best sand beaches to lie on the sand on the French Riviera are further away from large towns: the top five are La plage de la Baumette; La plage de Portissol (Sanary-sur-Mer); La plage de Pampelonne (Ramatuelle); La plage de la Garoupe (Cap d’Antibes); La plage Mala (Cap d’Ail).
Travel to these beaches for a swim and sunbathe but keep in mind that accommodation around them is hard to come by, with most of the lodging options in close proximity being haute-de-gamme private villas, with white-sand plage de L”Escalet being among the most exclusive.
Where do French people go to the beach?
France offers a number of camping options and French people love to camp.
The most popular destination for most of the Frenchmen is the scenic beaches of its Southern Riviera, Corsica, and the beaches of the North-West where summer heat is rendered less stifling during the summer months when most of the French go on vacation.
Keep in mind that there are not just camping grounds but also motels, and a number of great hotels and properties listed on Airbnb, Agoda or even Booking.com.
Does Marseille have good beaches?
Even though Marseille is known as one of Europe’s largest ports it is also a great place to visit some of Southern France’s least known beaches. Known for their unique turquoise waters Marseille beaches are great not just due to their natural beauty but also as a result of cheap accommodation available in Marseille, just a short car ride away.
Top ten beaches near Marseille are the following: Les plages des Corbières; La plage Saint-Estève au Frioul; La plage de la Pointe Rouge.; La plage de la calanque du Sormiou; La plage du prophète; La plage des catalans; Plage du Prado; La plage calanque Port-Pin; La plage calanque d’En-Vau; La plage calanque de Marseilleveyre.