With around 3,000 km of coastline from the North sea, to the wild Atlantic coast and the sun-drenched Mediterranean, it’s no surprise to say France has some spectacular beaches.
Here are some of the best beaches in the country, according to beachgoers themselves who voted for their favourites for travel website TripAdvisor.
10. Plage de l'Espiguette, Montpellier
In at number ten is this Mediterranean beach by the southern city of Montpellier. The comments on Tripadvisor give you a taste of what it’s like: “What a place. If the sun shines, you are in heaven,” said one fan of Espiguette. “It’s the best beach in the south of France,” said another.
9. Rocappina Plage, Corsica
The first of three entries in the top ten from the Mediterranean island of Corsica is Rocappina beach on the south west coast. “Its simply amazing.. white sand, wonderful sea, wild and not too crowded (even in August)… and no bar or restaurant or hotel to disturb the nature,” said one commenter.
Photo: Paul in London/Flickr
8. Plage d’Hendaye, Basque country
This beach is loved by surfers and bathers alike. It offers great views down to the Spanish coast and the Pyrenees. “This is the best beach I ever saw! Splendid sand, very clean and comfortable, not crowded,” said one user.
7. Plage de la Paloma, French Riviera
This is one a few French beaches that has proved to be a favourite among Europe’s rich and famous over the years. The tiny beach is located on the rocky peninsular of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and although it's surrounded by wealthy villas and hotels, anyone can sunbathe on the beach. Superlatives flew among TripAdvisor users, including “Paradise”, “magnificent” and “marvellous”. Time to get out the bathers…
6. Plage Châtelaillon near La Rochelle
This beach on the Atlantic coast is said to be “a place that inspires, thanks to its air of friendliness and its taste for simplicity” according to the site Rendez Vous En France.
5. Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Camargue, Mediterranean coast
“The remarkable fine sand caresses your feet, children renew their beach games at all times, as the parents enjoy the gentleness of the sun on the beaches.” Sure, the town's official website will always be heaping praise on its own beaches, but you can't deny the charms of this stretcg, which is set on the Mediterranean by the Rhône river delta. This place was so nice that Vincent van Gogh felt he had to paint it.
4. Plage de Saleccia, Corsica
Another entry from Corsica, (you can get why it's called The Island of Beauty). The Plage de Saleccia is a “half-mile strand of dazzling white sand shelving gently into turquoise sea and is completely underdeveloped,” according to a travel writer in the Daily Telegraph. If sunbathing in peace is your thing, then head here.
3. Plage de Pamelonne, Saint Tropez
Everyone has heard of the resort of St Tropez and one of the reasons why is this beach. If you pop down for an hour or two in the summer you’re likely to spot a few A-list celebs who have been coming here for years to soak up the sun.
2. Palombaggia Beach, Porto Vecchio, Corsica
Palombaggia lies on the south coast of Corsica, which we now know is not short of incredible beaches. “An idyllic white sand beach with turquoise water,” was how one Tripadvisor commenter described it.
And lastly… 1. Côte des Basques, Biarritz
So the number one beach in France is the famous Côte des Basques, in Biarritz. “Legendary for both surfers and sunbathers” and “a real postcard” were just two of the drooling views given on Tripadvisor about this beach in the south western city of Biarritz. “A magical place where the ocean and the mountains meet,” read another ode to the Côte des Basques.
Another version of this article appeared in 2014.