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10 of the best beaches in France

Beaulieu sur Mer
Beaulieu sur Mer

France is, quite simply, the ideal holiday location for families.

The warm, balmy climate, classic cuisine and beautiful scenery make it a firm favourite for travellers, and with over 2000 miles of coastline; it is a great choice of destination for families looking to enjoy a coastal holiday, in true French style.

If you’re looking to book your next family break in France, you’re probably somewhat overwhelmed with the sheer number of coastal resorts and unsure exactly where to begin your search. If this describes you to a tee, don’t panic! Armed with the right information, it’s possible to locate the ideal beach-side spot for your holiday, with minimal effort.

Northern France’s Best Beaches

St Cast

Situated on the romantically named ‘Emerald Coast’, the wind-swept dunes of Brittany’s St Cast beach is a perfect spot to relax and take in the scenery. The kids will enjoy the wide stretches of sand and rolling waves, or alternatively, the whole family can explore the numerous coastal trails and neighbouring fishing villages. Looking for somewhere to stay? The Chateau de Galinee (yes, it is as impressive as it sounds!) provides wonderfully family-friendly facilities, in addition to proximity to the beach.

Quiberon Peninsula

In Southern Brittany, the Quiberon Peninsula, with its dramatic scenery and seemingly endless sands, is a great location to while away a lazy, laid back week or two in the sun. Kids will enjoy the connection with Harry Potter too, as, according to the books; the Quiberon Quafflepunchers are the French Quidditch team!

Baie d’Audierne

Baie d’Audierne is the perfect spot for getting away from it all. Far from the more touristy coastal areas, the rolling dunes and calm, often empty beaches provide a wonderful backdrop for some serious natural living. Binoculars for wildlife spotting are optional, a good camera to capture the beauty of the region is compulsory.

The West Coast

Les Sables d’Olonne

As with the majority of France’s beaches that face the waters of the Atlantic, the beaches of Les Sables D’Olonne are gloriously sandy affairs. Here, you can expect plenty of activities to keep you busy, from water sports and beach clubs for the kids, to shopping and fine dining in the towns nearby. Base yourself at Camping la Garangeoire and enjoy a peaceful, woodland setting, whilst remaining conveniently close to the golden shores.


The Aquitaine beaches are the stuff of legend. Lengthy stretches of silky, sandy beaches tend to prove to be quite irresistible for travellers of all ages, and most are idyllically framed by dark pine forests, making the destination a popular option for those who love immersing themselves in nature. La Rive Parc is close to the beaches and scenic Lake Bicarosse, which is ideal for keen swimmers.


The famous sands of stylish Biarritz are not just the preserve of the wealthy and famous. The golden beaches are also excellent for family breaks, and watching the excellent surfers taking to the waves promises to be an experience in itself.

Southern Belles: Beautiful French Beaches on the Mediterranean

Beaulieu Sur Mer

Located between up-market Nice and opulent Monaco, Beaulieu Sur Mer provides a real taste of chic French coastal style, whilst remaining a great option for those with children. The waters tend to be warmer in the area, and kids will love being able to swim out and clamber aboard the floating trampoline!

Canet Plage

The lively beach resort of Canet Plage offers plenty to do, with balmy, sun-kissed beaches, sparkling sea and a wide variety of excellent restaurants and holiday activities to enjoy. Stroll around the scenic port at Canet, or head inland and take in the atmosphere of old Canet. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Mar Estang Campsite offers water-slides and pool for the kids, and easy access to the beaches.

La Plage Richelieu

Although the area around the Cap d’Agde may be better known for its naturist beaches, don’t be fooled, there are many other coastal resorts in the area where swimsuits remain firmly in place! La Plage Richelieu is a magnificent, sandy spot upon which to lay a towel, relax and watch the gently lapping waves of the Mediterranean Sea, whilst children will enjoy the warm waters and water sports on offer.


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