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Discover France's eight new blue flag beaches

The Local France
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Discover France's eight new blue flag beaches
One of France's many "Blue Flag" beaches.(Photo by PATRICK BERNARD / AFP)

Home to hundreds of Blue Flag beaches - a designation certifying the beach has met environmental and clean water standards - France added eight new locations to its list in 2023. Here are some to explore this summer.

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The 2023 ranking for Blue Flag (Pavillon Bleu in French) beaches has been released, and this year there are 405 beaches that qualified across France.

In order to qualify for a Blue Flag, stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. The flag guarantees clean beaches and marinas, excellent quality bathing water, and demonstrable efforts towards sustainable tourism and environmental awareness actions.

READ MORE: 9 of the best things about summer in France

With over 95 percent of last year's beaches maintaining their place on the list, the majority are found in Occitanie (108) and Provence-Alpes-Côte-Azur (86).

 

This year, France added eight new beaches to the list - three in Brittany, one in Gironde, one in the Lot département, two in the Vendée and one in Corsica. 

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You can find the full list (in French) of all Blue Flag beaches in France HERE.

Here are the new additions;

Plage de Trez Goarem in Audierne, Brittany 

Located in an environmentally protected area, home to dunes and wildlife, west of Quimper, the beach itself is about 800m long, with mostly sand and some pebbles.

According to the tourism office for Brittany, it is only supervised during the summers. As such, swimmers are advised to pay attention to the flag flying, as currents and waves can sometimes be strong.

Plage du Trez in Bénodet, Brittany

Located near the five-star beach resort of Bénodet, this beach is known to be "ideal for families" according to Brittany's tourist office's website. It has its own "Club Mickey" - a kids' club where children can enjoy sports, activities and other beach-related entertainment. 

There are free showers, and the beach is supervised during the summers (from 12pm until 7pm, daily). People can also rent equipment for windsurfing and other activities. 

According to the Bénodet town website, there are also services available for those with reduced mobility. 

Plage de Porsman in Plouarzel, Brittany

The third Breton beach to be added to the list in 2023, the Plage de Porsman, is located in Finistère. It is a small sandy beach just off the Porspaul harbour, known for particularly beautiful sunsets.

It is also the spot where a local sailing camp sets off from during the summers. 

Plage de la Chambrette (Estuaire) in Gironde

The Gironde département, home to the city of Bordeaux, is also home to the Plage de la Chambrette, which offers a lovely view of the port of Le Verdon. 

This beach is reportedly also popular with families, as it offers a "Mickey Club", and as it is located along the estuary, the waves tend to be smaller. There are plenty of water sporting activities to take part in or rent nearby. 

Pets are not allowed.

Lac Vert in Catus Plage of the Lot département

This newly recognised beach is not on the ocean at all - it is along the Lac Vert in the Lot département, in south-western France. 

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The swimming area is home to plenty of recreational activities, like canoeing, beach volleyball, and barbecue spaces with picnics. In the summer, sometimes local authorities set up inflatables on the lake for children and adults to enjoy. 

There are public restrooms on site, and the beach is supervised during the summer.

Plan d’eau in Presqu’île in the Vendée

The plan d'eau swimming area brings the total number of Blue Flag beaches in L’Aiguillon-la Presqu’île in the Vendée département in western France up to three. This peninsula near La Rochelle has plenty to offer in terms of restaurants, swimming and general beach holiday fun. 

The plan d'eau beach is not far from the town centre, and it is supervised from 12:45pm to 6:45pm during the months of July and August. 

Entry is free, and there is a nearby playground for children to enjoy.

Flandre Dunkerque in La Tranche-sur-Mer, Vendée

Also found in the Vendée département, the sandy Flandre Dunkerque beach is in walking distance from La Tranche-sur-Mer town. 

It is supervised during July and August, and dog-lovers can rejoice - animals are allowed (on leashes), though be sure to check signage. 

You can see it in the Info France 2 video below.

Porto Pollo in Corsica

And finally, if you are looking to take a trip to Corsica this summer, you can choose from five different Blue Flag beaches, including the new addition: Porto Pollo.

The large sandy beach is close to a nearby marina, with clear, turquoise waters.

It is also not far from Les Cathédrales, one of the most popular diving sites in Corsica.

There is typically a lifeguard on duty during the summer.

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