The OTHER French Riviera: Who needs the Med when you can head west to the unspoiled Atlantic coast? 


From Brittany in the north to the Spanish border in the south, there are miles of charming places to discover on the Atlantic coastline in France. 

The sea may be rough, but there are a lot of sheltered coves and bays to stay away from the swells. 

We’ve trawled from top to bottom to come across 10 of the very best holiday spots, with economical destinations to keep and views that only the super-prosperous working experience in other places.

Tranquil Brittany

Vive la variation: A seashore in the Brittany vacation resort of Morgat, on the Crozon peninsula’s rugged coastline  

The Crozon peninsula, on western Brittany’s rugged shoreline, wraps protectively around the vacation resort of Morgat, preserving the Atlantic swell from its mile of smooth-sand Blue Flag beach.

At first a sardine port, the village has developed into a lively seaside haven with great swimming and watersports, all attained by a limited coastal route. Be part of a single of the little boat cruises and investigate the sea caves dotted underneath the cliffs, or employ the service of a kayak and paddle there by yourself.

Superior to know: The GR34 coastal path passes by Morgat, so it is straightforward to wander a manageable segment. Try out the 6-mile route to Cap de la Chevre through Fort Kador.

Where to continue to be: Resort de la Baie is appropriate on the beach front. Enhance for a sea perspective, or book a person of the apartments. Doubles cost from £59 (

Vendee Experience

Veillon beach, pictured, is in the Vendee region and is a favourite with both families and watersports fans

Veillon seaside, pictured, is in the Vendee area and is a favourite with both equally family members and watersports fans 

In the Vendee area just north of La Rochelle, the swirling Payre estuary is stopped in its tracks by a prolonged, curving sand dune backed by pine woods.

Pick between the lagoon and the open up sea at Veillon beach. Households with tiny youngsters can stick to the inlet and rock swimming pools, whilst watersports admirers will delight in the extended, rolling waves, browsing, bodyboarding and kayaking.

Very good to know: It’s a 20-minute travel to Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, famed for its medieval castle, Chateau de Talmont, a former household of Richard the Lionheart.

In which to remain: Adhere to the path by way of the pines to uncover Les Jardins de l’Atlantique, a modern day a few-star resort with indoor and outside pools and a spa. B&B doubles value from £74 (

Outdated-fashioned allure

Benodet, pictured, is on Brittany's southern coast and has a classic seaside charm

Benodet, pictured, is on Brittany’s southern coastline and has a basic seaside charm 

There is a enjoyable excitement about Benodet, on Brittany’s southern coastline, which has a classic seaside attraction as properly as remaining one particular of the region’s much more energetic resorts.

At the issue the place the River Odet reaches the sea, you’ll obtain a large, sandy seaside backed by a pine-shaded promenade, cafe terraces and even a on line casino. When you are not having boat visits alongside the river, venture out to the small Glenan islands, just ten miles off the coastline.

Good to know: Just throughout the Odet at Sainte-Marine, Michelin-starred Villa Tri Adult males serves seafood dishes from an enviable site on the clifftop.

The place to keep: Opposite the beach, Relais Thalasso has a spa with a seawater pool, incredibly hot tub and saunas. Doubles from £104 (

Intimate Biscay

One of the beaches on Ile de Noirmoutier in the Bay of Biscay. It has around 25 miles of sandy stretches squeezed into its quirky shape

A single of the beaches on Ile de Noirmoutier in the Bay of Biscay. It has all-around 25 miles of sandy stretches squeezed into its quirky form

Joined to the mainland by a bridge, Ile de Noirmoutier, in the Bay of Biscay, has all around 25 miles of beach locations squeezed into its quirky condition. 

Just one of the most delightful is Plage des Dames, on its north-eastern facet. It is bookended by rocks, with a row of white beach huts and a boardwalk that juts out into the sea.

Superior to know: Get a working day journey aboard a 1916 galleon to close by Pilier Island (from £51,

Exactly where to remain: A five-moment wander from the beach front is Hotel Cafe Les Prateaux, a cottage set in substantial gardens. Doubles from £84 (

Stylish Ile de Re

The island of Ile de Re is accessible via a toll bridge from La Rochelle. Pictured is a shop in Le Bois-Plage-en-Re on the island

The island of Ile de Re is obtainable by way of a toll bridge from La Rochelle. Pictured is a shop in Le Bois-Plage-en-Re on the island

Couple of French islands do scruffy-stylish as easily as Ile de Re, accessible by way of a toll bridge from La Rochelle.

When you’re not exploring its community of cycle paths or halting at smaller oyster shacks for snacks, you are stretching out on the southern coastline seashores. A firm favorite is Le Bois-Plage. Collect picnic provides at the covered market in advance of observing the windsurfers in action.

Excellent to know: Not far from the seaside is a wine co-operative that offers free tours and tastings all yr round (

Wherever to keep: On the edge of the island’s cash, St Martin, is dreamy Le Clos Saint-Martin, with two out of doors pools and a Clarins spa. Doubles from £179 (

Actually regal vacation resort

Biarritz, pictured, is an easygoing, elegant town, which has been a favourite with European royalty since the 19th century

Biarritz, pictured, is an easygoing, stylish town, which has been a favorite with European royalty considering that the 19th century  

Biarritz’s major surfing local community adds an easygoing environment to this tasteful town, a favourite with European royalty because the 19th century.

If you want a adjust of scene from the busy Grande Plage, uncover a spot on its extra tranquil neighbour, Plage du Miramar, which follows the sandy shore toward the lighthouse.

Excellent to know: It was Napoleon’s nephew, Napoleon III, who produced the vacation resort trendy, holidaying there each and every summer time for a lot more than a decade and even creating a villa.

Exactly where to continue to be: Formed like an ocean liner, 5-star Resort Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar has its very own personal entrance to Miramar seashore. Doubles expense from £135 (

Europe’s tallest dune

Grande Dune du Pilat, pictured, is Europe's tallest sand dune, rising about 350ft above sea level. It can be found an hour west of Bordeaux in Arcachon Bay

Grande Dune du Pilat, pictured, is Europe’s tallest sand dune, soaring about 350ft earlier mentioned sea amount. It can be located an hour west of Bordeaux in Arcachon Bay 

Grande Dune du Pilat, an hour west of Bordeaux in Arcachon Bay, is one of the Atlantic coast’s best sights — Europe’s tallest sand dune, mounting about 350 ft earlier mentioned sea level and surrounded by pine forests and the ocean. The views from the top are superb.

From the automobile park at the northern close of the dune, climb the white wooden stairs to the top right before scrambling again to the beach.

Very good to know: If you would like a bird’s-eye perspective, get a 15-moment tandem paraglide around the dunes with Sud-Ouest Parapente (from £51,

In which to remain: French designer Philippe Starck’s chichi La Co(o)rniche resort is in an enviable place dealing with the dune, even though the pool overlooks the ocean. Doubles expense from £330 (

Cote d’Argent Sands

Mimizan Plage, pictured, is within the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park. It is popular with jetskiers and kitesurfers

Mimizan Plage, pictured, is within the Landes de Gascogne Regional Pure Park. It is well-liked with jetskiers and kitesurfers

Mimizan Plage, in the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park, kicks off the Cote d’Argent, a seemingly countless extend of sandy beach locations that are never ever crowded.

Surfers, jetskiers and kitesurfers are in their component below. Observe the cycle paths inland to tranquil Lake Aureilhan, in which you can test paddleboarding or have some exciting in a Hawaiian-model canoe.

Superior to know: A poet identified as Maurice Martin named the location ‘the Pearl of the Silver Coast’ after identifying it in 1905.

In which to keep: L’Emeraude des Bois is a family members-operate, two-star hotel future to the minimal Mimizan river. It features bike seek the services of and a treehouse that you can lease. Doubles price tag from £50 (

Breton buzz

The Quiberon peninsula, which dangles from the Breton coast, has a wild western coastline

The Quiberon peninsula, which dangles from the Breton coastline, has a wild western shoreline

Dangling from the Breton coast, the peninsula Quiberon has a large, crescent-shaped beach front, a buzzing promenade and a golfing training course — plus you can just take day visits to the island of Belle-Ile.

For a stress-free swim, stick to the major seaside, Grande Plage, but for a little something a minimal a lot more bracing, take a look at the wilder western coastline. Referred to as the Cote Sauvage, it has deserted beach locations, smaller coves and picturesque walks.

Very good to know: Monet captured the natural beauty of Belle-Ile through a 10-week continue to be in the 19th century.

The place to stay: Resort La Petite Sirene has two beach locations within a couple minutes’ walk. Doubles expense from £42, with sea-view rooms from £67 (

Basque Natural beauty

The fishing village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, pictured, is in the Basque country, just before the Spanish border

The fishing village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, pictured, is in the Basque state, just prior to the Spanish border 

Just before the Spanish border is the fishing village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the Basque state, with a broad sandy seaside that sits snugly concerning the harbour arms.

It’s one particular of the prettiest spots on the coastline, with typically Basque pink-and-white, 50 %-timbered houses lining the seafront and the Pyrenees looming near.

Superior to know: Louis the Good married his initial cousin, Maria Theresa, in the church of St John the Baptist in the 17th century.

Where by to stay: Lodge de la Plage has balcony rooms with attractive sea sights. Doubles cost from £84 (

A map showing ten of the best holiday spots that can be found on the Atlantic coast of France

A map exhibiting ten of the finest getaway places that can be located on the Atlantic coast of France


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Ginger Gates
Fashionista and copywriter on Dalant Studios blog.
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