France's best beaches in the Mediterranean

Planning a trip to the south of France? The Mediterranean boasts many treasures, including its endless beaches lined with turquoise waters. Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful beaches where you can soak up the sun on your vacation.

The secret beaches and coves of the Calanques

Offering an idyllic setting between land and sea, the Calanques de Marseille abound with exceptional places to sunbathe and swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Often overrun by tourists during the summer months, the beaches and coves of the calanques are recommended outside high season for absolute peace and quiet.

Between the calanques of Sormiou, Morgiou, Sugiton, Port-Miou, Callelongue and Marseilleveyre, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to discovering a little corner of paradise on the shores of the Mediterranean. Several itineraries are accessible on foot, whatever your hiking level. Just make sure you bring good walking shoes and plenty of water.

The Calanque d’En Vau, nicknamed The Pearl of the Calanques, is certainly the one to focus on during your stay. It boasts a small pebble beach topped by two high cliffs. It can be reached on foot from the Col de la Gardiole or the Presqu’île de Cassis.
If you’re visiting the southern region for a weekend or more, you can also head east of the Calanque National Park, near Cassis. Here, you can enjoy the scenery in relatively quiet coves. Definitely a bucolic setting!

The wild beaches of the Camargue

Less than 2 hours by car from Marseille, the beaches of the Camargue are true havens of peace for travelers in search of tranquility.

Spreading over 6 kilometers, the Piémanson beach endowed with fine sand seems infinite and lost in the middle of the Camargue landscape. Sea kayakers love to practice their activity on the water of this beach. With its dunes bristling with rare plants, Piémanson offers the advantage of reconnecting with nature for a relaxing break. If you want to avoid crowded beaches, this is the place to be!

The Beauduc beach – 7 kilometers long – lies in the southeast of the Camargue between Arles and Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. It is one of the last totally unspoilt beaches in France. Its vast expanse of fine sand is bordered by ponds. Water sports fans? Beauduc is one of France’s most famous kitesurfing spots, thanks to its strong winds. Access is somewhat difficult, but well worth it if you’re looking for a beach away from the usual crowds.

The Napoléon beach, endless with its 10 kilometers of fine sand, also offers wide open spaces for lovers of tranquillity. Not far from Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône and easily accessible via a beautiful tarmac road, it seduces with its wild character.

The Côte d’Azur’s luminous beaches

With their translucent waters, the beaches of the Côte d’Azur are probably among the region’s most beautiful. All travelers to the Côte d’Azur find themselves dazzled by these sublime, unspoilt spots.

Among all the beaches, we can mention the Les sablettes beach in Menton, next to the Italian border. With its 350 meters of fine gravel, it offers an exceptional panorama of the Italian mountains and the magnificent colorful houses of Menton. You can choose between private and public beaches.

One of the most emblematic beaches in Nice, the La Réserve Beach – located just a stone’s throw from the Port – is the perfect place to enjoy the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean while diving from the coves or rocks lining the seafront.

Another paradise beach on the Côte d’Azur: La Garoupe Beach, in Antibes. Named after the lighthouse overlooking Cap d’Antibes, this sandy beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters. It’s an idyllic spot for lunch or dinner overlooking the sea.