The magnificent coastline of France varies in appearance from coast to coast. The coastline incorporates the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. France may not be the first destination that springs to mind when you think of taking a beach holiday, but in truth there are countless beaches just waiting to be discovered. French Connections have a whole host of villas, cottages and gites in great beach settings.
Côte de Granit Rose – Brittany
The Côte de Granit Rose (pink granite coast) is located in the Côtes d'Armor department of Brittany. It stretches for more than thirty kilometres from Plestin-les-Grèves to Louannec and is one of the most outstanding coastlines in Europe. This special pink rock is very rare and can only be found in two other places in the world, Corsica and China.
The Pink Granite
Pink granite rocks formed more than 200 million years ago, have been shaped over time by the wind, salt, ice and rain. The rock formations stretch for more than 15 kilometres between Trébeurden and Perros-Guirec. With its beautiful blue sea and safe sandy beaches, this area of Brittany is a paradise for couples and families.
La Côte d'Emeraude – Brittany
La Côte d'Emeraude (Emerald coast) takes its name from the colour of the sea in the region. This particular section of coast covers two departments of Brittany: Ille-et-Vilaine and Côtes d'Armor.
The Green Sea of the Emerald Coast
Probably the best place to appreciate the Emerald Coast in all its glory is at Cap Fréhel. Its dramatic cliffs and rocky headland juts out to sea to a backdrop of beautiful heather and gorse. There are many interesting towns along this stretch of coast, many of which have developed into popular holiday resorts. Several towns have still retained their charm and are worth exploring. These include Lancieux, Cancale, Saint-Briac, Saint Lunaire, Paramé, Saint-Jacut de la Mer, Sables-d'Or-les-Pins and Saint-Cast-le-Guildo. The larger towns of St Malo and Dinard can also be found along the Emerald Coast.
Sandy beaches are plentiful, with the most popular being Erquy and Val-André. However, there are many more just waiting to be discovered.
Côte Fleurie – Normandy
The Côte Fleurie consists of the Eastern coast of Calvados in Lower Normandy. The stretch of coastline, which runs along the Seine Bay, is named the 'Côte Fleurie' thanks to its beaches being bordered by lush green and flowered countryside.
There are plenty of seaside resorts around this area, full of historical interest, picture postcard scenery and eye capturing views. Pretty resorts that are worth a visit include Villerville, Trouville-sur-Mer and Deauville.
In addition to the pretty countryside, narrow cobbled streets, yachting marinas, towering cliffs and wide sandy beaches are familiar sightings along the Côte Fleurie. 'Must See's' along this stretch are also the D-Day landing beaches and Mont-St-Michel.
Côte d’Amour/Vendée Coast – Pays de la Loire
What better place to say "I love you" than along the pretty coast of the Côte d’Amour (coast of love). This stretch of picturesque coastline will have you reaching for your camera with its fine sandy beaches, rock formations and endless caves waiting to be explored.
La Baule Bay
The Côte d’Amour is located on the western shores of France in the Loire-Atlantique department. This stretch of coast runs west of Nantes and just south of Guerande that runs north of the Loire estuary from St Nazaire to le Croisic.
Also to be enjoyed in the area is the shady marshes of the regions nature park, and the bay of La Baule, considered to be the most beautiful bay in Europe. La Baule boasts a fabulously long and clean sandy beach and where some of the more expensive hotels in the area can be found. The principle towns along this coastline are Pornichet, le Pouliguen, and le Croisic, the latter of which is an active fishing port and probably the most interesting to visit.
From the Côte d’Amour, you join the Vendée coast. Bursting with lovely sandy beaches, picturesque fishing harbours and coastal villages from time stood still. The smartest resort of the area has to be Les Sables-d'Olonne, where you can still find plenty to do, even out of season. About an hour's boat ride off the Vendée coast will bring you to the quaint little island of Ile d'Yeu. About 23 km in size, it is possible to hire bikes from the island enabling you to explore this gem fully.
Pas de Calais
There are a number of pretty little towns and larger seaside resorts along the 'Opal Coast'.
Wimereux is a small seaside town and is situated halfway between Calais and Boulogne. The river wimereux flows through the town to the sea and a nice sandy beach can be found between the sea breakwaters.
Touquet Paris-Plage is a popular destination, particularly with Parisian's and has earned the reputation of the most elegant holiday resort of northern France. In addition to the beautiful beaches and sand dunes, there is plenty of entertainment in the form of a casino and a horse racing course.