The Atlantic Coast is as striking and magnificent as the rolling waves which crash into the foot of the dunes on its sandy beaches. With its long surfing beaches and maritime pine forest, this coast is the ideal destination for walking, horse ridingand cycling.
In the lively resorts, sun-worshippers, nature lovers and watersports fans will be spoilt for choice.
Looking forinspiration? Discover the resorts and their surroundings!
Bénodet: the tip Southern Brittany
Bénodet is a small, pleasant seaside resort on the southern tip of Brittany. Its best beaches include the Plage du Trez, in the centre of Bénodet, the Plage de la Pointe St Gilles, popular with fishing enthusiasts, the Plage du Letty, on the lagoon, and the Plage du Coq, whose natural setting is perfect for some late-afternoon sun.
The resort also offer myriad activities for young and old alike: sailing, water sports, coastal hikes, cultural visits, such as the Musée du Bord de Mer (dedicated to the sea and the coast around Bénodet), tours of local industries, including two biscuit-makers, as well as cruises along the Odet and to the Glénan archipelago, which comprises seven islets with idyllic white sandy beaches.
Just 15km away visitors can also explore Quimper (the capital of the Cornouaille region), stroll along its lively narrow streets lined by half-timbered houses, admire its cathedral and marvel at its faïence pottery.
Pornic : on the threshold of Brittany and the Vendée
Located only 50 km from the city of Nantes, Pornic embodies the feeling of getting away from it all, with its marina, medieval town and its beaches. Getting lost in its medieval streets is good for the soul and a visit to the château de Gilles de Rais, better known by the name Blue Beard, is sure to give anyone goose bumps. Nature lovers will enjoy taking to the Sentier des Douaniers route which extends for 15km, while others will prefer to recover their energies at the Alliance Pornic, a real local institution and one of the most well renowned Thalassotherapy centres. An hour from Pornic, the Brière regional natural park consists of protected wetland habitats that are home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Gastronomes will love following the vineyard route towards Nantes and discovering the wines of the Muscadet appellation, a dry white wine which perfectly accompanies seafood..
Rendez-vous in Saint-Jean de Monts on the Coast of Light in the Vendée area
Amongst white sands, pine forests and salt marshes, Saint Jean de Monts is the perfect seaside resort to enjoy a stay with your family in the great outdoors. Renowned for its more than 8 kilometers-long white sandy beaches offering a great area for walkers and beach games, this resort offers a a wide range of sporting and cultural activities. Golfers will also enjoy teeing up on an amazing golf course, just 300 metres from a long sandy beach. Getting around is easy thanks to the area's extensive network of cycle and footpaths. You can take a boat to discover the nearby islands i.e Noirmoutier Island – which can also be reached by road thanks to a bridge - and Yeu Island, the farthest island from the continent after Corsica.
Biscarrosse in the Landes forest amongst pine-trees and dunes
South from Bordeaux is a flat, sandy pine forest known as « Les Landes ». Biscarosse is located on the border of this forest and its biggest draw is the water with its many lakes and dramatic ocean waves. Famous for its immense dunes, this is a resort where you will enjoy taking a surf or a kite-surf lesson. You can’t miss the historic seaplane museum that recounts the adventures of the pioneers of aviation and the associated seaplane festival that is held every two years in May! In the nearby bassin d’Arcachon, come and explore the Pyla dune, the highest in Europe more than 100 meters high! Of course, your holiday wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Bordeaux area wine properties!
City-break in Biarritz on the Basque coast
A holiday in Biarritz is both a trip in the footprints of celebrities such as Napoleon III, his wife Eugenie and Hemingway to name a few AND a very contemporary experience. Here, authenticity is always combined with modernity. Visit the Sea Museum and discover more than 50 aquariums. For those in the mood for amusement, try your luck at the casino. And if you simply want a little pampering, treat yourself with a treatment in one of the 2 thalassotherapy centres in town. Biarritz is the historical capital of surfing in Europe for 1957, with 11 surf schools! Golf and horse-riding are also part of the programme for a perfect stay. And gastronomy is definitely a must, whether you are willing to have taste the Basque cuisine in a Michelin-star hotel or a family restaurant.
Anglet, a surfers' paradise... and more!
In Anglet, you have the choice between 11 beaches. Surfers will head to the best spots - beach of Les Dunes and beach of Les Cavaliers. Nature walks, cycle trails, pedestrian paths, tree-climibing course… for nature-lovers there are plenty of ways to fill your lungs with fresh air in Izadia Nature Reserve or Pignada trim forest. If you are willing to discover all the secrets of Anglet gastronomy, take time to wander through the stalls of Quintaou Market. In the surroundings, don’t miss the visit of the town Bayonne, the economic and cultural capital of the Basque Country famous for its heritage, its summer festival, its yummy chocolates and its prime smoked ham.
Hendaye, on the Spanish border
Hendaye is the last French seaside resort before the Spanish border. Of course, there are plenty of nautical pleasures for a perfect family holiday including windsurfing, diving and sailing. Enjoy stunning views from the old medieval Basque Town situated on a hill top. Don't miss the Abbadia Château-Observatory built by the explorer Antoine of Abbadia, an enchanting highlight, overhanging the sheer cliffs of Hendaye. Nearby, Biarritz is worth a daytrip and should be on your list of places to see. And did I mention Saint-Jean de Luz, the capital of Basque seafood cuisine?