Do you want to go on a beach getaway in France but not sure where to go? Here are the best beaches in the South of France that will give you the utmost relaxation!
Whether you want to enjoy some peaceful solitude, go on a romantic getaway, appreciate the breathtaking beauty of nature, or party hard, France has a beach for each of these purposes.
With a coastline extending across 4,600 km, France offers ample scope for beaches in a wide variety of locations.
Surrounded by the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the English Channel, this country is gifted with unique settings for miles and miles of sandy beaches, pebbled strands, and numerous hidden coves.
In fact, many of these beaches, especially the beaches of South France, rank among the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe.
The coastline of Southern France is adorned with spectacular beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, all of which have something to offer to everyone.
Many South France beaches feature exclusive beach clubs that provide cabana services and fancy restaurants overlooking the waves that serve sophisticated gourmet meals.
However, the South of France also includes many excellent public beaches that offer breathtaking natural scenery, expansive sandy shorelines, sublime landscapes, the most upscale and fashionable seaside resorts, and much more.
So if you are not sure which beach to choose for your holiday, you can check out our list of the best beaches in the south of France.
These beaches not only give this area its enduring allure but also make it the perfect beach destination for an awesome holiday in France.
This succinct list of the beaches in the south of France will help you find more places to relax by the sea so that you can go beyond the crowded people-watching spots and discover the reason why this area is the best place to spend your holidays.
Best Beaches in The South of France
1. Plage de la Paloma (Paloma Beach), St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Plage de la Paloma is considered one of the best beaches in South France and the entire French Riviera.
Located on Scaletta cove in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the 150m long Paloma Plage has a beach composed of gravel, sand, and small pebbles.
The small and discreet waves and the pine-covered hills that shelter the beach from the wind make this classy cove the best place for complete relaxation.
Part of the beach is private, but the rest is open to the public. It has a stylish seaside restaurant, public showers, and toilets. A lifeguard is also stationed here in season for the safety of the visitors.
While at the beach, you can enjoy various water sports like jet skiing and water skiing. Keen snorkelers can find seagrass meadows, sea breams, and starfish here. All these and the beauty of Paloma Beach make it one of the best south of France beaches.
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2. Valras Plage, Hérault
Valras Plage is the first beach you will come across while travelling from Béziers. Once a traditional fishing village, it has now been transformed into a seaside resort.
It has a charming town, picturesque villas, an amusement park, a casino, various bars, restaurants, ice cream parlours, and a water sports centre that hire out jet skis.
The beach features a ribbon of golden sand that extends for several kilometers. The waters here are placid due to the two breakwaters and that is why it’s considered one of the best beaches in the south of France for the kids to play safely.
You can also keep yourself entertained for days here with activities like fishing, swimming, and other various sea sports.
3. Grande Plage, Hendaye
While going south from Arcachon, Grande Plage is the first sheltered bay you will cross after a couple of hours drive up the coast.
Located centrally, this beach sports many excellent restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops, volleyball courts, playgrounds, etc.
There is also an old 19th-century embankment that is capped with a scenic boardwalk in the rear. The resort is also famous for being a great spa destination since the 1800s.
Unlike the other Atlantic south of France beaches, Grande Plage has a natural curve and three dams that make it safe for swimming in the calm blue waters and that’s why it is also known as the most family-oriented beach in France.
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4. Plage de la Mala, Cap d’Ail
If you want to spend your holiday in a remote beach cove along the Cap d’Ail and experience the thrill of trekking down a steep rock through a forest of gorgeous pine and palm trees, then this southern France beach is the perfect spot for you.
The crescent, pebble-covered bay of Plage De La Mala offers a stunning view of nature at its best, and you get the opportunity to relax and unwind in this secluded piece of paradise.
This beach is not particularly crowded, mainly because parking can be a problem during peak summertime.
There are also 2 Provençal restaurants along the shore which offer good food, sunbeds, amazing views of the Caps, and small water sports hire center.
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5. Port Grimaud Beach, Grimaud
If you are looking for something more than just a beach to spend your holidays on, then Port Grimaud Beach is the right place for you.
While the beach is magnificent in itself with picturesque blue waters, the town is also very alluring.
Built out of the marshes of Saint Tropez with small canals just like Venice and surrounded with structures resembling the New Orleans landscape, this charming seaside town is both pedestrian and boat friendly.
You can keep yourself happily engaged here in activities like kayaking and windsurfing. You can also go out and explore this unique, quaint town by yourself. Truly speaking, this is one of the best beaches in south of France.
6. Plage de Portissol (Portissol Beach), Sanary-Sur-Mer
This beautiful sandy beach that stretches in an arc is located in the bay of Portissol, and the Portissol hill shelters the beach from the east wind.
It is a short walk from the city center along the Avenue de Portissol and has a free parking facility.
The seashore here is covered in fine sand, and on the left side of the beach, there is a first aid station.
You can also find several bars, restaurants, and showers on the beach. People with reduced mobility can also access this beach.
The sea here is perfect for surfing in the Mistral weather. There is also an area with a diving board and some steps leading to the water for visitors to practice diving.
However, the water is rather shallow here for several meters, which is very convenient for the non-swimmers, and has a pebbly underfoot that makes it the ideal place for snorkeling.
You can also enjoy scuba diving and watch some beautiful specimens of fish in the shallow waters. So if you love all kinds of water sports, Plage de Portissol is one of the beaches in south of France for you.
7. Narbonne Plage, Aude
Another gorgeous beach in south of France located in the Languedoc region of France is the Narbonne Plage.
You can reach this place by traversing a 15 km road across the Massif de la Clape. This lively beach has mild, sunny weather that delights its visitors, and the 5 km long strand is covered with fine golden sand.
The coastline is supervised by lifeguards during summer. You can play beach volleyball, enjoy kite surfing, or go paddleboarding on this beach.
It also has a two-kilometer promenade, which is ideal for cycling, taking strolls, or roller-skating.
And if you visit in spring, you can enjoy the Natur’ailes giant kite display on the beach, which is a remarkable sight.
8. Plage de la Marinière, Villefranche-sur-Mer
If you are looking for a calmer south of France beach where crowds of people won’t ruin your relaxing beach vibes, then head over to the Plage de la Marinières to bask in the sunrays.
A sandy beach in the magnificent Bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer near Nice, the Plage de la Marinières is a French Riviera resort with a surprisingly low profile.
This beach is located at the innermost point of a natural harbor nestled between Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Nice’s Mont Boron.
It is within walking distance of the quaint and beautiful seaside village, and hence, offers a lovely view of the surrounding hillside.
Though this family beach is small and narrow with a long shoreline of sand and pebbles, the water here is calm and serene.
It has decent facilities, including several snack bars and ice-cream stands. Swimming here can be exciting as you can see right at the bottom even when you swim out a long way.
9. Calanque d’En Vau, Cassis
Arguably the most fascinating of all the southern France beaches, the Calanque d’En Vau is like a pleasure to your senses.
This gorgeous and breathtaking beach has a pebbly strand enclosed by massive, rugged limestone cliffs covered with pine trees. The seawater here has an astonishing turquoise color because of the limestone cliffs.
You have a few options to get here, all of which are equally thrilling and adventurous. You can either hike through the rough terrain of the Calanques National Park or hire boats/kayaks/e-bikes from Cassis or go on a boat tour.
The beach also offers a myriad of engaging activities like swimming, boating, beach hopping, etc. The picture-perfect fjord is a hidden treasure that you will love to explore – no wonder it’s regarded as one of south of France best beaches.
10. Plage de l’Almanarre, Hyéres
Located to the west side of the Giens Peninsula, the Plage de l’Almanarre stretches for approximately five kilometers.
Characterized by perfect white sand and crystal blue waters with a stunning view of the mountains, this beach is unequivocally one of the best south of France beaches you can visit for your holidays.
The most distinguishing feature of this bay is that it can transform depending on the wind. The sea becomes ideal for the windsurfers and kite-boarders when the Mistral wind blows strong, as the swirling gusts make the waters a little rough for the bathers.
But when the wind stops, the sea becomes almost sheet-like which is the perfect time for swimmers and paddle boarders to take over.
Also, make sure that you do not miss the mesmerizing sunset here at any cost because the view of the sun descending behind the stony peaks of the Cap-Sicié Massif is a riveting sight to behold.
11. Plage d’Hendaye, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
If you fancy a beach that is more grand and upscale, then Plage d’Hendaye is one of the best beaches in south France to match your needs.
Located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of the New Aquitaine region, the longest beach on the Basque coast presents to its visitors approximately three kilometers of fine white sand.
The oceanfront is dotted with gabled-roof big Basque houses and stately 19th-century mansions, which make this place a fancier spot to visit while exploring the best beaches in the south of France.
The gorgeous far-reaching views of the rocky cliffs of Pointe-Sainte-Anne and the northern edge of the bay from the adjacent promenade are also pretty awesome.
Surfers find the consistent waves at this spot perfect for surfing, whereas the promenade is ideal for runners or people who are out on a casual stroll.
However, when the tide is out, the water recedes far away into the distance, and it becomes a marathon just getting to the water.
12. Plage Notre-dame, Porquerolles
Plage Notre Dame, located on the island of Porquerolles, is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in south of France.
Here you can wander through the fragrant pine forests covered with eucalyptus and wild herbs, explore the coves, and go for a swim in the glittering rock pools.
The boat ride to this island to see one of the last undeveloped places on the French Riviera is definitely worth the trip.
This place has no trading, no cars, and no buildings other than the cosy 19th-century harbour on the north coast, and biking is the best way to explore this island.
Porquerolles is also a snorkeling paradise as it is rich in sea life, which is protected by several preservation orders.
13. Plage de l’Espiguette, Aiges-Mortes
L’Espiguette is located to the south of Aiges-Mortes and Le Grau-du-Roi, and the shoreline of this beach is adorned with pristine white sands, salty marshes, lagoons, and plenty of dunes.
On the west, there is a beach bar and campsite. However, you can find no other facilities around as the Plage de l’Espiguette is one of the most unspoiled beaches of south France.
This place has also been awarded the Blue Flag for safety and cleanliness. As a protected natural reserve, it has no snack bars or beachside restaurants but you can enjoy horseback riding or kite surfing here.
14. Plade d’Argelès, Argelès-sur-Mer
The sandy beach of Argelès-Sur-Mer is situated in a long sweeping bay with the wooded Pyrenees foothills as a backdrop.
The seven km long sandy beach of Argelès-Sur-Mer is bordered by a beautiful pine forest.
You can enjoy jet skiing, windsurfing, and sea kayaking or even grab a bite at the many cafés, restaurants, snack bars, and shops. The Argeles Plage is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Southern France as it has earned the European Blue Flag label for its quality of water and cleanliness of the beach.
The calm waters of the Mediterranean Sea make this beach a perfect spot for swimming as well as water sports. Lifeguards are also posted at the beach during summertime.
15. Plage De l’Aiguille (Aiguille Beach), Théoule-Sur-Mer
The Plage de l’Aiguille is a wide sandy beach located on the Pointe de l’Aiguille. It has a very intriguing rock formation at the end.
Part of the beach is pebbly and covered in large boulders, and you will have to walk a long rocky path to get there.
However, once there, you will find the most stunning natural coves in all of France. The beach offers breathtaking views of Cannes, and the wooded hill behind provides some welcoming shade in summer.
In the high season, you can get to watch the fireworks of Cannes from the beach. Here you can enjoy beach activities like making sandcastles, climbing rocks, or snorkeling in the underwater trail.
You can find a restaurant, a snack bar, toilets, and public showers available for visitors on the beach. You can also find a lifeguard posted on the beach for the safety of the people.
Final Thoughts on The Best Beaches in The South of France
So folks here is the list of the 15 best beaches in the south of France. All of them make this part of the country the best holiday destination for those who covet some time to relax by the sea.
These amazing south France beaches combined with incredible architecture, illustrious history, and famous cuisines are bound to mesmerize you and turn your holiday into the dream holiday you have been craving for.
So, do let me know which of these southern France beaches you are going to visit next. And if you have any questions, still let me know in the comments below.
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