Visitors to France will be spoiled for choice of excellent beaches and beautiful beach towns, here is a short list of some of the best.
Best Beach Towns in France
1. St. Tropez
If you want to see and be seen this is the place – the town boasts celebrities and beautiful people as well as everything that kind of person could want. Situated along the Cote d’Azur the beach town was made famous by Brigitte Bardot.
Don’t be surprised if you see a film star stepping off one of the huge yachts in the impressive harbor or dining in one of the exclusive restaurants – apart from the quality stores, hotels and restaurants the beach itself is a wide expanse of soft sand looking onto crystal clear water.
Taking a break from the more obvious Cote d’Azur this quaint historic town is up against the border with Spain in the Basque country, and even the street signs are in both French and Basque.
Visit the fish market, take a half-day fishing excursion and then sample some of the day’s catch in one of the local restaurants. Visit the church where Louis XIV married Maria-Therese of Spain in 1660 and see the historic architecture in the town including Louis XIV’s former home which has been furnished with period furnisher. Don’t forget the wide sandy beach which is perfect for families.
3. Calvi, Corsica
The French Island boasts some of the nation’s finest beaches and beach towns whether you’re looking for secluded coves or expansive sandy beaches.
Calvi has Corsica’s largest beach spanning 8km and is over shadowed by the hill top fortress which rises above it and has mountains as a backdrop. The town is also known for its quality cuisine made with fresh produce from the nearby mountain villages.
Calvi is thought to have been Columbus’ birthplace and apart from the history the town has luxurious modern amenities and attracts the rich and famous. For a day trip travel off shore to the UNESCO site of Scandola where you can see frolicking dolphins.
Along the French Riviera, between the Bay of Cannes and the Baie des Anges the town has both an old historic part as well as modern beach town amenities for the mainly French tourists.
The ancient port of Antibes and the Fort Carre have a rich history, the town has been home to many world famous artists (visit the Picasso museum) and writers and the beach offers all the sun, sea and fun that tourists could ask for.
You can meander through the old town, visit the Marche Provencal (covered markets) where you can find fresh produce as well as freshly caught fish. There are also plenty of boutique stores and elegant restaurants and hotels.
5. La Baule-Escoublac
Located in Brittany this beach resort has been a popular travel destination for decades, it has the charm of an exclusive seaside town from the early 1900s.
It has the longest beach in Europe at 12km and affluent visitors and residents have established a number of sophisticated restaurants, attractions and hotels. There is a casino, night clubs and one of the most beautiful bays in Europe.
(photo credit: 1)