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5 places to enjoy sun, sea and sand holidays in France

Turquoise waters lap a golden sandy beach lined with trees on the island of Porquerolles, France

France is a wonderfully diverse and fascinating country that makes a great destination whatever type of holiday you enjoy.

There’s a huge range of accommodation from cosy cottages, gites, country houses, villas or historic chateaux. Whether you’re looking for your perfect holiday home for two or twenty, there’s something for ever taste and every budget…

French Riviera

The colourful town of Menton, southern France clings to a hill and leads right down to the edge of the Med

You can’t contemplate seaside breaks in France without thinking of the French Riviera. The Mediterranean coastline reads like a who’s who of glamorous and glitzy resorts from St Tropez to Cannes. Some towns do have stony beaches, in fact they’re famous for them such as Nice. So head round the coastline to find soft sand or even nip across the sea to the island of Porquerolles which has the most beautiful beaches.

One of our favourite places is Bormes-les-Mimosas in the Var Department. Connecting Toulon and St Tropez, it has beautiful beaches, streets dripping with flowers, and an enchanting medieval hilltop village. Head to the beaches of Pellegrin and L’Estagnol. There’s a huge choice of places to stay in and around Bormes-les-Mimosas from gorgeous gites to exquisite villas.
Tourist Office: www.frenchriviera-tourism.com


Boats bobbing about in the tranquil bay of Ploumanac'h Brittany with its clear blue waters

The Pink Granite Coast of Brittany may have it fair share of rocky beaches but they are so stunning, it just has to be included in my top 5. There are sandy beaches too, but it’s the monumental clumps of granite that pepper the landscape that make this area such a knockout. Take the GR34 coastal footpath and hiking trail to discover the beauty of this area and you’ll come across towns with almost impossible to pronounce names like Ploumanac’h.

This resort is simply special. It was named for an Irish monk who landed here in the 6th century, and on the beach is an ancient stone memorial to him. It is however, missing a nose. That’s because local girls who wanted to get married thought sticking a pin in his nose would help! It’s a lovely, lively place with cafés and bars, you can walk out to the lighthouse and enjoy the sunset. The light here is fabulous.
Brittany Tourist Office


Arromanches coast line in Normandy, France, a historic scene of WWII, now a bucket & spade holiday destination

When it comes to Normandy’s seaside holidays there’s a wealth of choice. Probably the most famous coastal site is Mont-Saint-Michel, a legendary island that lures visitors from around the world. There are also the vast beaches made legendary during the D-Day landings, such as Arromanches. While some visit for the battlefield memorials, there are peaceful scenes of kids playing and swimming, plus plenty to do and see for when you’re not on the beach. These seaside areas are great for family holidays where kids can learn about history and still have beach fun.

The coastline of Calvados offers plenty of seaside adventures, and Villerville on the Cote Fleuri, not far from swanky Deauville and gorgeous Honfleur makes for a fabulous sun, sea and sand holiday.
Tourist Office: en.normandie-tourisme.fr

Pays de la Loire

Bikes parked along the esplanade at La Baule, Pays de la Loire, France, golden sands and blue waters of the Atlantic

The department of the Vendee in Pays de La Loire enjoys a varied coastline which stretches for a stunning 450 km. Along this route you’ll find any number of seaside resorts, secluded bays and long golden sandy beaches. Amongst the most popular, La Baule has a 9km bay, one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Les Sables-d’Olonne is known as the pearl of the Cote de Lumière. It has an endlessly long sandy beach and quaint pretty fishermen’s cottages plus lots of restaurants bars and cafés which makes it ideal for a seaside break.

Or you could go island hopping on Noirmoutier, famous for its sunsets. It’s also the perfect place to taste locally harvested tangy oysters!
Tourist Office Pays de la Loire


Secluded and empty bay on Corsica island of France with crystal clear Mediterranean sea and golden sand

In the far south lies the French island of Corsica, and here you’re surrounded by white sandy beaches. La Plage du Grand Sperone, in Bonifacio in the south of the island, is one of the most beautiful bays in the world and has stunning views over the Lavezzi island and Sardinia. Ajaccio is one of the most well-known towns on the island since Napoleon Bonaparte was born there. A lively town and some lovely sandy beaches mean it’s a popular location for visitors. Corsica is not as well-known as some French holiday destinations but it offers a  fabulous taste of the past, wonderful gastronomy, pure natural beauty and a fabulous array of holiday rentals.
More about Corsica: www.france.fr/en/corsica

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