12 Coastal Escapes in France
Collected by Alison Cornford-Matheson, AFAR Local Expert
Summertime means it's time to hit the seaside and France is a beach-lovers paradise. From the northern coasts of Brittany and Normandy to the southern Mediterranean and Corsica, France has endless coasts to discover.
50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
We arrived at Mont Saint Michel in the evening after driving half the day with two small kids in the car. I was tired, hungry and yet, when I saw Mont Saint Michel in the gorgeous blue hour light I was in love forever. This is the very first...
La Rochelle, France
La Rochelle is a bustling seaside town in Northwest France. It's well worth spending a relaxed day wandering the streets of this French coastal city, on the Bay of Biscay. Walk along the Vieux Port, the heart of the city, and stop for an ice cream...
We spent the day driving around Ile de Ré, a small island off the mid-Atlantic coast of France, just over the toll bridge from La Rochelle. We made our way to the island's capital, St Martin, to dine at one of the town's many bistros only to...
Boulevard Sainte-Beuve, 62203 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
With more than 1000 different species of marine life, NAUSICAA is an aquarium like no other. It is Northern France’s most popular cultural attraction and one of the top tourist sites in the country. NAUSICAA is more than just a place to admire sea...
Cap Ferrat, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
The billionaire's lair of St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a peninsula only about a 20-minute drive east of Nice. There's more to do than just gazing wistfully at the gated compounds secreted amid the pines and lazing around on trendy Paloma Plage! The...
06320 Cap-d'Ail, France
I took a bus from my hostel in Nice to this little town called Cap D'ail. Across from the bus station I saw a sign for what seemed like a trail. I crossed the road and down the stairs, through a tunnel and voila, discovered a path that hugs the...
For our first visit to Corsica, friends encouraged us to start in the south- the Michelin-starred stronghold of the island and beachy birthplace of Napoleon. But crisp turquoise water and a mountainous landscape awaited to the north. We began in...
Prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France
On a warm winter morning, the soft light of the French Riviera is streaming into the Cours Saleya Flower Market in the old section of Nice. Just a block back from the Mediterranean Sea, long rows of vendors are selling African daisies, violet...
4 Rue Beauvau, 13001 Marseille, France
Despite a recent overhaul, this 19th century hotel and former artist hangout in Marseille has retained not only its classic charms – antique furnishings and Provençal fabrics in each of the beautifully-appointed 73 rooms – but its inimitable views...
453 Avenue Henry Clews, 06210 Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France
Chateau de la Napoule is a beautiful old castle located right on the Mediterranean in the south of France. You can go into the gardens and the inside of the castle or you can lay on the beaches outside. There are many places nearby for small hikes...
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