10 Best Beaches in the South of France

Updated On October 4, 2023

The South of France continues to gain popularity as a destination for those seeking rest and relaxation abroad, among other things.

This area is also referred to as the Mediterranean French Riviera aka Côte d’Azur.

Sunny weather from the Mediterranean climate makes this a fashionable place to take a trip at any time of the year.

Because of the endless summer, many wealthy people make a point to drop by annually.

So, as has been the pattern for several decades now, there are plenty of luxury resorts and high-end shops spread across the area.

To avoid getting overwhelmed with choices, we’ve got the top picks of beaches in the South of France.

10 Best Beaches in the South of France

Porquerolles Island, Var
Porquerolles Island, Var

1. Porquerolles Island, Var

Just off the coast, all by itself is Porquerolles Island.

It takes 10 minutes to get from the mainland to this croissant-shaped island by boat.

Don’t bother trying to find a ferry to transport your car.

There are no automobiles allowed on the island.

The entire place is easily toured by bicycle at two miles wide and four miles long.

Despite the small size, there are a handful of beaches with great swimming conditions.

However, you might see more yachts than diehard swimmers.

Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

2. Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

The water at Paloma Beach is so enticing due to its insanely clear nature.

Having a mountain range in the distance also adds to the allure.

If you were looking at the beach from a plane, you’d see a sea of umbrellas.

Many come here to absorb these views and the wonderful weather while dining on the freshest seafood.

When it’s time to head home, there are showers for your sandy convenience.

Pampelonne, St Tropez
Pampelonne, St Tropez

3. Pampelonne, St Tropez

You might as well refer to St. Tropez’s Pampelonne as the destination of the stars.

Many of Pampelonne’s beaches are private and some even come with a waiting list to get into.

In total, Pampelonne Beach is an exclusive three miles long.

There is a place by the beach called Club 55 and it’s famous for housing the famous while they are visiting everyone’s favorite French coast.

Can you get in?

Perhaps not.

However, that shouldn’t stop you from frolicking on the free parts of the beach!

Plage Rayol Canadel
Plage Rayol Canadel

4. Plage Rayol-Canadel

Rayol-Canadel Beach is basically made of two sections.

One half is for the common beachgoer who is out to play in the sand and swim in the sea.

The other half is where the boaters are geared toward.

When it comes to watersports, this is one of the top stops for aqua-athletes.

In addition to having the most fun on the water, there’s plenty of room to stretch out on the white beaches.

Bring a picnic.

There are tables big enough for the whole family.

Calvi Beach, Calvi, Corsica
Calvi Beach, Calvi, Corsica

5. Calvi Beach, Calvi, Corsica

If your group members are learning to swim or swim challenged, this might be a good beach fit.

The reason is how far out the water continues to stay shallow.

Not only does that add extra space for more beachgoers, but it also means the waves are less likely to take you out.

Prefer some shade?

There’s a slice of pine forest on the other side of the sand.

Let the easy-going times begin.

Pointe de l'Aiguille, Théoule-sur-Mer
Pointe de l’Aiguille, Théoule-sur-Mer

6. Pointe de l’Aiguille, Théoule-sur-Mer

About half an hour south of the famed Cannes Film Festival is a place you can see nature’s entertainment.

Get up close and personal with tropical fish, coral, or anything else in these waters through snorkeling.

Maybe you’re more for adventure.

Point de l’Aiguille is known for cliff-jumping right into the water.

In Roman times, this was a prominent port.

Today, it’s free to access and spend your day being wild.

Marinieres Beach
Marinieres Beach

7. Plage des Marinieres, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Marinieres Beach doesn’t have the clearest water, but that hasn’t kept tourists from wanting to get wet.

That might be because, at this beach, you can order food, take a shower, be watched by a lifeguard, and wade out pretty far into shallow water.

Don’t swim too far out, though, and don’t swallow too much water.

Years of heavy boat traffic have somewhat polluted the water lapping up on the beach.

Officials are working to clean up, but it’s a tough job.

Plage de Sylvabelle, La Croix Valmer
Plage de Sylvabelle, La Croix Valmer

8. Plage de Sylvabelle, La Croix Valmer

If you can get down the stairs, this is a pretty cool beach.

There are no lifeguards but there are shops and restaurants within walking distance.

Once you’re finished with the water after a day of swimming, a little jot will dry you off.

Antibes, French Riviera
Antibes, French Riviera

9. Antibes, French Riviera

Antibes is technically a resort town with a few beaches as part of the landscape.

These beaches are more to add to the list of options for not-so-strong swimmers.

All the shallow water leaves more room for little kids to play without fear of being taken down by the sea.

Another perk of Antibes is the water temperature.

It’s so warm it’s relaxing all throughout the year.

Plage du Camp Long, Agay Bay, Agay
Plage du Camp Long, Agay Bay, Agay

10. Plage du Camp Long, Agay Bay, Agay

Mountains on one side, palm trees on the other, and a U-shaped beach.

Camp Long Beach is a cozy getaway where you can rent a boat to drive around the coast or simply take in some vitamin D on the sand.

No need to pack a lunch, there are food options steps away from the sand.

Come out and safely play in the comfort of proximity to the shore.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the South of France so popular?

If you had to pinpoint a reason why the region has become a hotspot for tourists, it would be a safe bet to say it has a lot to do with the weather.

There’s a big difference, climate-wise, between beaches in the north and beaches in the south.

Bordering on the Mediterranean is always going to win out over the cold water of the Atlantic.

Also, many people have an itch all year long to get away, particularly in the cold months elsewhere.

Knowing there’s a place that’s always warm enough to jump in the ocean is extremely appealing.

Locals have really leaned into it and have made it the destination of destinations all year long.

What's the most expensive beach in the South of France?

According to the numbers, Pampelonne Beach has routinely outpriced other sandy options along the coast.

To start with, this beach is somewhat famous.

It all started back in the mid-50s when the sex symbol of the day, Bridget Bardot, was featured in the cinema running along the shore.

That wasn’t Pampelonne’s last foray onto the big screen.

Essentially, this beach has been attracting wealthy clientele for decades.

Technically, it’s the private parts of Pampelonne that are expensive to enjoy.

If you want to say you were there, some small areas exist that are public and free.

Is the South of France considered safe?

There are several factors that go into the answer to this question.

For one, where do you plan to stay?

Private beaches and resorts are amongst the safest because they are heavily guarded.

They also offer visitors seclusion, as in you don’t really need to go anywhere else following arrival.

If you are staying in a more open hotel, it’s possible that criminals will be watching.

It’s no secret that the whole Mediterranean Riviera could be featured on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

That means, perhaps more than other places in France, the South of France attracts as many unsavory characters as it does wealthy ones.

Of course, it would be fair to say that no matter where you travel on Earth, it’s important to proceed cautiously.

Locals drawn to a criminal lifestyle are always on the lookout for those who stick out.

Just be smart, don’t travel with excessive jewelry or cash and you should be fine.

Aside from beaches, what else is the South of France known for?

The water isn’t the only inviting aspect of the area.

Fresh produce grown in the South of France is praised by foodies everywhere.

Fruits such as peaches, cherries, figs, and pears are often found in farmers’ markets and are firmly on the sweet side.

Speaking of sweets, another local treat in abundance is fine wine.

Grape varieties make favorites such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Grenache.

Lastly, there are some thought-provoking archeological sites of significance throughout the South of France.

Humanity has noticed the benefits of setting up shop by the Mediterranean for thousands of years.

Why not squeeze in some ancient history if you’re coming for the beach?

Add Nîmes, Pont du Gard, and Arles to the list of things to see on your trip.

1 Comment on 10 Best Beaches in the South of France

  1. The South of France is a popular destination for those seeking rest and relaxation, with its sunny weather and luxurious resorts, but it also offers a variety of beautiful beaches to choose from, making it a top pick for travelers.

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