If you fancy hopping in the car, taking the ferry or train to France and enjoying a brilliant beach holiday without crowds – you’re in luck. We asked the experts at French Connections to tell us five of their favourite beach holiday locations in France that are uncrowded as well as fabulous. Pack the car with your bucket and spade, picnic hamper and beach towels and enjoy a breath of sea air…
Côte d’Azur, Provence
You’re almost right if you’re thinking no way are there quiet beaches on the Cote d’Azur! But, if you know where to look, there are still places where you’ll find beaches that are uncrowded. Estagnol for instance on the coastline that runs from St Tropez to Toulon. And the Ile de Porquerolles (top photo) which you reach by ferry. With its long beaches backed by pine trees and heather, it’s a little island paradise that doesn’t get too crowded.
Pink Granite Coast, Brittany
Head to the Côtes d’Armor department of northern Brittany and discover an area of glorious countryside and the most beautiful coastline which runs from Brehat to Trébeurden. The Pink Granite coast is peppered with pretty little seaside resorts but in between there are miles and miles of uncrowded sandy beaches, coves and rocky inlets. The coast is known for its natural rock formations, huge mounds of pink granite, enormous boulders some of which resemble animals or characters. It’s not hard to find a spot where you can enjoy the place all to yourself.
Opal Coast, Pas-de-Calais
There are some well-known towns and seaside resorts along the Opal Coast of Pas-de-Calais. There are wide open golden sandy beaches, secret bays where you can watch seals frolic in the water and rocky beaches perfect for rock pool fishing. Take a mini road trip round the coastal D940 road from Calais and simply stop where you fancy. Pop into lavish Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. Stop off at elegant, tranquil Hardelot. And enjoy the fabulous beach at bucket and spade favourite, Berck-sur-Mer. Meanwhile authentic Wimereux with its belle epoque villas is lovely for an ice cream break.
Languedoc in the far south
The coastline of Languedoc-Roussillon, Occitanie is popular with the French and growing in popularity with visitors. But it’s still possible to find tranquillity on the beach. The area around Le Grau-du-Roi, not from Montpellier, is less crowded than further round in Agde for instance. Espiguette beach is a jewel. Fine sand, turquoise waters – it’s one of the biggest beaches in the northern Mediterranean Basin. Wild and untamed, there are 10km of dunes, plus lagoons. A great area to find a space to lay your towel, take a dip and soak up the sun, far from the madding crowd.
Brittany again, but this time the south. The Golfe du Morbihan is an inland sea. The line around it is stunning and frequently empty of visitors. Morbihan’s coast line south of the Gulf of Morbihan has plenty of enormous sandy beaches and a few lovely resorts like Port du Crouesty. It’s the perfect place to go for those who really want to get away from it all.