Even though living in Malaysia I enjoy the beautiful beaches of South East Asia all year long, I miss, especially in August, the cool atmosphere of the French scenic coastline, from the dramatic cliffs of the Normandy beaches to the sandy beaches packed with beach bums along the Mediterranean coast.
To celebrate summer holidays, here is my top 10 best beaches in France (recommended in the warmer months, if like me, you’re not a fan of walking in the sand in snow boots):
1. Palombaggia, Corsica
The palette of colours you can see in Palombaggia is rare : reddish rocks, white sand, very brilliant “parasol” pins. And all in front of a clear sea, from which emerge small uninhabited islands.
2. Cupabia, Corsica
Fine white sand dunes. The water was amazingly clear and still. Love Corsica, always… Probably one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
3. Banc d’Arguin, Arcachon
The Banc d’Arguin is a sand bank located right at the entrance of the Bassin d’Arcachon. It’s a nature reserve and a nesting and hiberanation place for many birds. The place where I’ve spent my childhood holidays.
4. Baie de Pampelonne, Saint Tropez
Most of the beach action on the peninsula takes place on the five kilometres of Baie de Pampelonne, which is 5-10 kms south of Saint Tropez .
Pampelonne consists of one long, wide beach split into beach sites suited to different users: families, naturist beach, clubbing. Most beaches have their own beach huts, cafés, bars, clubs, beach babes…
5. Etretat, Normandy
Here the alabaster cliffs are at their most spectacular – their arches, tunnels and the solitary “needle” attracted artists including Courbet and Monet. The seafront consists of a sweeping unbroken curve of concrete above a shingle beach.
6. Deauville, Normandy
Located less than 125 miles from Paris, Deauville has long attracted Parisians and other tourists looking for a way to escape the city. Upscale boutiques and resort hotels mark the city which hugs the beautiful coast of the English Channel. Deauville is a relatively small town, but the sandy shoreline stretches a long way north and south.
7. Beach of Soux, Island of Yeu
The island of Yeu, which became a permanent island concentrates in just 23 km2 a diversity of landscapes : long sandy beaches, a wild coast with its proud cliffs, “bocage” countryside.
8. Island of Re
The Île de Ré is a low, narrow island some 30km long, fringed by sandy beaches to the southwest and salt marshes and oyster beds to the northeast, with the interior a motley mix of small-scale vine and wheat cultivation. All the buildings on Ré are restricted to two storeys and are required to incorporate the typical local features of whitewashed walls, curly orange tiles and green-painted shutters, which give the island villages a southern holiday atmosphere.
9. Audierne, Brittany
Brittany is blessed with some beautiful beaches, but the weather, in my opinion is often terrible. Even in the middle of summer, you may have to wear a thick jumper and heavy raincoat. Recommended for the Brits who fall homesick.
10. Benodet Beach, Brittany
The large Plage du Trez in the centre of the bay is the one to hunt out. Plenty of water activities are available. Nearby is the Plage du Letty and the Plage Saint Gilles, ideal for rock pools.
Happy holidays beach bums!