Every moment in our lives that had us brainstorming about the most romantic places to visit, France has always come up as a unanimous winner. Not only is this country a beautiful denotation of cultural and historical intellect, but nature has inscribed some of the most surreal beauty throughout each and every grain of France.
Now, France holds a spectacular engagement with its coastline of varied geographic definitions and these remarkable French coastal towns are no short of a glorious fable that sweeps right off our feet! In one word, France can be described as an unbelievable tryst between man and nature that has evolved through the ages of time and society. From man-made architectural wonders to what Earth stands for, its beauty lies in every corner of its stretch.
Top 15 French Coastal Towns
France’s coastline consists of 2000 miles of geographic demarcation between the sea and land and makes holidaying even more meaningful. So let us categorize and sail through this journey of sun-kissed sand, laughter, endless hope and much more.
Sete is one of the most commercially active ports along the Mediterranean coastline that guards France along its southern fringes. The town is as quaint as a storybook Utopian town and distributes into a long 13 kilometers coastal boundary just at a stone’s throw. Among the south of France coastal towns, Sete stands out because of its uniqueness in its quiet air. For someone who travels to find solace under a starry blue sky, this is the place to be. Sete is also famous for fresh seafood and also holds the proud legacy of water jousting.
Location: Southern France
What to do: Boat trips, beaches, watersports
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2. Saint Jean De Luz
With Atlantic Sea demarcating land from water and a history that can give Game of Thrones a run for its own money, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a postcard picture definition of civilization. This town has three sea walls as a protégé to the fierce north winds of the sea and has an intriguing history about how the town came about in the map. From organic, fresh food to a reminiscing desire that makes you want to relocate, this town can undoubtedly be named one of the best coastal towns in France. Ample surfing options are also available around Biarritz to make the holiday even more fun.
Location: Southwestern FranceWhat to do: Explore local markets, a gambling establishment
3. Trouville Sur Mer
An underrated town of some astonishing natural diversity, Trouville-sur-Mer with its extensive stretches of beach, undulating hills and hillocks and traditional port made it to this list of French coastal towns. It has a promenade, its most popular area from the 19th century that is dotted with shops and flea markets. Summers are the optimal time to visit as the scorching sand against the frigid sea water enhances life to a great extent!
Location: North FranceWhat to do: Beach, shopping at flea markets
Suggested Read: 10 Day Trips From Marseilles Offering The Best Of France City Tour!
In this journey along the French coast map, Honfleur is a reigning star. Discover France in its day-to-day no-glam avatar in this stunning town. Honfleur is situated at the tip of river Seine before it disperses into the English Channel. The harbor in this town is from the 16th century which is perhaps one of the main attractions of this town. The lateral town resembles a religiously imbued countryside that is trapped in time in its architectural embellishment, its sincere atmosphere, and unadulterated human interactions. The Saint Catherine’s Church from the 15th Century is another chapter from the prosperous history that the town still carries forward. The grand ambiance at the beaches or the unforeseen lushness of the coast Botanical Gardens, Honfleur is a surprise that never fails to astonish the guest. No wonder Monet spent months and years in adoring and bringing to life the heartfelt emotions of Honfleur on canvas. Visit Honfleur not as a tourist, but as a local who is forever captivated by the haunting beauty this town has to offer.
Location: North FranceWhat to do: Visit Satie House and Museum, visit a Calvados shop
Label it cosmopolitan or simply ordinary township, Marseille is another French coastal town alternative that requires a well-deserved applause. Not only is it a magnificent historical site of museums and forts, but it is almost as if nature painted the town with her own hands. Take a stroll along the sweltering familiarity of the beaches or engage in an intense diving session, the experience is something that makes us aspire to become superior individuals. The turquoise water of Les Calanques is another attraction and presents some stunning locales for beach parties and picnics.
Location: Southern FranceWhat to do: Old Port, Visit MuCEM
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If somebody inquires about the finest beaches in French coastal towns, Etretat will certainly be recognized as one of the most breathtaking and tourist-friendly towns in the area. The limestone cliffs, the distinctive characteristic of Etretat, is a surreal representation of nature’s peculiar modifications. The erosion of the cliffs and the beckoning call of the distant sea, this town offers one of the top-notch outdoor beach days in all of France.
Location: Northern FranceWhat to do: Explore the caves, cliffs
Saint-Malo is the ideal fusion of cultural legacy and the awe-inspiring splendor of nature. The town dates back to the Celtic period when it was initially constructed before falling under the control of the Romans. The chronicles then turned, and monks erected a monastery on the same land. In fact, the defensive headland, which was erected in the 12th century to safeguard the town against the Vikings, still stands to this day.
Location: Northern FranceWhat to do: Explore Saint Malo Walls, visit the magnificent Grand Aquarium Saint Malo.
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Another hidden gem among the most exquisite coastal towns in France, Ault is located very close to Dieppe. This quaint town doesn’t boast superficial extravagance in its surroundings; instead, its white cliffs, beaches, and traditionalism make it even more captivating. Take a leisurely bike ride and explore the town with a heart filled with contentment. Life doesn’t get any better than this. The charming streets, lanes, and alleys all have tales to narrate and fill Ault with vibrancy and mirth.
Location: Northern FranceWhat to do: Visit Liberty Park, enjoy the Fall Festival, and indulge in the International Food Fest.
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The chronicle of this beautiful town harkens back to 1854 and is steeped in a rich history of rulers, kings, and queens who found solace in the serene charm of Biarritz. It is situated near the Spanish border, and as a result, the delightful amalgamation of cultural influences from Spain and France is abundantly evident in the town. Every July, there is an annual surfing festival that has gained popularity over the years. Biarritz is a perfect destination for stress-free conversations, laughter-filled evenings with drinks, delectable cuisine, and pampering oneself. It comes highly recommended.
Location: South-Western FranceWhat to do: Explore Port des Pecheurs, Biarritz Lighthouse and Aquarium de Biarritz
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Regarded as one of the finest and most stunning coastal towns of France, Pigna is a village located on the island of Corsica, on the magnificent waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A series of mountains rolling down to the sandy beaches make Pigna truly unique. The simple rural charm and the gentle breeze are precisely what our everyday life needs. It is incredibly beautiful and the best way to enjoy the alluring beauty of this village is by embracing and contemplating perspectives while exploring the expanses of picturesque lands of Pigna.
Location: CorsicaWhat to do: Attend a concert at Centre Culturel Voce and be amazed by the architecture
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If you wish to witness the tributaries and distributaries of a river finally converging into one and its tranquil course in action, visit Martigues. This town boasts meandering canals cutting through its streets, flowing into the Etang de Berre Lake. This lake is connected to the sea, making Martigues an exceptional tourist spot. Fishing is the predominant industry in this town. However, its history dates back to the Roman era when it originated as a Roman barrack and later became an independent county around the 12th century. The chapels and churches in this town each hold a unique tale. One can rent a car and drive to the nearby La Couronne, which features one of the most exquisite beaches in the area. The beaches offer a variety of recreational activities, along with cozy restaurants and cafes, shopping markets, and other attractions. But the ultimate way to soak up the warm Martigues sun is to relax by the shore with a pint of beer, a friendly game of volleyball, and the company of those who make it all worthwhile!
Location: Southern FranceWhat to do: Explore Cote Bleue and pay a visit to Musee Ziem
If you inquire about which is the most stunning French Coastal town then Wimereux is the response. Situated on the Opal Coast, to the south of Calais this exotic coastal town is a must-visit on your next trip to France. Hidden away from the bustling towns and offering extraordinary vistas of the beaches, this coastal town is as near to paradise as it can get.
Location: Northern FranceWhat to do: Try playing Golf at Wimereux Golf Club and visit the WWII Museum
13. Cap Ferret
20,000 acres of forest, that is what awaits you at Cap Ferret. With numerous beaches which comprise both the untamed, the ocean and the mild, the bassini, Cap Ferret has something for everybody. Utilized as a backdrop in the French movie ‘Les Petits Mouchoirs’ the finest thing about Cap Ferret is the picturesque landscapes it provides and the laid-back lifestyle.
Location: Southern FranceWhat to do: Pay a visit to Phare du Cap Ferret, La Cabane du Mirabeau
One of the primary fishing ports in the medieval period, Barfleur is currently the departure point for Norman nobs which go to England. Positioned on the tip of Contenin peninsular, Barfleur is now a small, charming, and tranquil fishing village that you should explore if you are seeking beauty and tranquility in one place. It’s a trendy introduction to Contentin’s east coast.
Location: Northwestern FranceWhat to do: Visit St. Nicolas Church and Gatteville Lighthouse
Recognized as the ‘little town of character in Brittany’ for its impressive historical center and several other popular attractions, Roscoff is a place you absolutely should not miss. The place is all about beauty, adventure, and relaxation. You can spend a pleasant time without a care in the world. Not just that, but you will also find many luxurious bungalows and houses that once belonged to wealthy ship owners.
Location: Northwestern FranceWhat to do: Explore Jardin Exotique and Sante Barbe Chapel
Further Read:Shun The Cliched and Visit These 10 Best Waterfalls In France This Summer!
All these French coastal towns are linearly situated as nature’s marvels that make us sit and admire them in their unadulterated forms. France’s greatness lies in its fashion, in its lifestyle, its cuisine, and modern-day achievements. But take a cue and head towards the coast, and what awaits us is a remarkable saga of history, culture, and the essence of life. So why be a prisoner of fascist-modernism when we can learn and grow from the simple pleasures? Embark on a voyage to Europe and give the wanderer in you the finest gift to witness and feel nature’s colossal means of subtlety. France’s coastal towns stand as representatives of some of the most exquisite creations of Mother Nature. Pack your bags now and embark on a journey of self-discovery through this moderated dazzle consisting of only the most beautiful things on earth.
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Frequently Asked Questions About French Coastal Towns
Does France possess a Mediterranean coast?
Yes, and the length of the Mediterranean coast of France is 600 kilometres.