If you decide to come and unpack your bags at a Sandaya campsite on the Atlantic coast, then bathing will undeniably be high on your holiday programme! And since the French coast abounds in superb beaches, from the Côte d’Amour all the way down to the Basque country, here’s our top 8 of the most idyllic spots to spread your towel this summer. There’s nowhere better to get a world away from the everyday!
La Baule beach, Loire-Atlantique
Its reputation is as well-established as it is well-deserved: the La Baule beach, stretching for 5km from Pouliguen to Pornichet, is one of the gems of the Loire-Atlantique. Its bay belongs to that very exclusive club of the “Most Beautiful Bays of the World” and as such is subject to strict protective measures that have guaranteed its renown throughout the years. First developed at the beginning of the 19th century, it is still home to those emblematic beach huts in blue and white that are an indelible part of so many childhood memories. An unmissable beauty spot to add to your Sandaya travel journal!
Le Veillon beach, Vendée
Set your heading for the Vendée and the sublime Le Veillon beach with its soft fine sand, set in the picturesque region known as the “Talmondais”. Lying at the mouth of the Payré estuary, Le Veillon is far more than just another bathing spot. In addition to its white sand, the shores of this beguiling estuary, the 1st “remarkable site” in the Vendée, are also lined by dunes, cliffs and a forest of pines and holm oaks. A delightful seaside excursion awaits you in Talmont-Saint-Hilaire and maybe even, for the brave of heart, a surfing or kitesurfing lesson!
Les Dames beach, Vendée
If you have booked your campsite spot with Sandaya on the Island of Noirmoutier, you’re certain to fall under the charm of its beaches, each more gorgeous than the last. But if we had to choose only one, then without contest it would be the Les Dames beach on the island’s north-east coast. Already famous in the 19th century, it’s not always easy to find your space in the summer months. A word to the wise: grab your hire bike and pedal off first thing in the morning!
Pontaillac beach, Charente-Maritime
Royan, a seaside resort so emblematic of the Belle Époque, has retained all its charm of yesteryear. So it’s only natural to accept its invitation to stop off for a break, during your Sandaya campsite stay in the Charente-Maritime! To admire its superb seaside villas, there’s nowhere better than the Pontaillac beach, and whilst there why not try your luck at its famous casino, unless you prefer simply lazing with the family!
Saint-Trojan-les-Bains beach, Charente-Maritime
On the Île d’Oléron, no less than 18 beaches await holidaymakers who come to make the most of its fabulous climate similar to that of the Côte d’Azur. And the most sought-after of all, both for families and surfers, is the Grand Plage at Saint-Trojan-les-Bains on the west coast. After bathing, why not head off into the depths of the Saint-Trojan state forest, a listed site covering more than 2,000 hectares. Its many cycle tracks and hiking trails even offer delightful picnic areas set in the shade of the trees!
Pereire beach, Gironde
En-route for the Gironde, realm of beaches of soft fine sand that stretch as far as the eye can see. And if there is one above all others that is always worth the detour, it’s the Pereire beach in Arcachon, with no shadow of a doubt it’s both the town’s longest and most attractive. Fringed by pine trees and a long cycle track, it’s an open invitation not just for bathing but for a host of other activities as well. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s only a few strokes of a bike pedal from the Dune du Pilat and a few short minutes from your Sandaya campsite!
The Courant d’Huchet beach, Landes
Head south towards the Landes, where there’s no shortage of glorious long beaches, each offering the answer to all your holiday desires: surfing lessons on the Atlantic rollers, sunbathing, bike rides... But our personal preference would have to be the surprising beach of the Courant d’Huchet in Moliets-et-Maâ, at the mouth of the little river of the same name, a listed nature reserve. On the beach you can admire the river’s final meanders before it flows out into the ocean. But if you follow its course upstream towards Lake Léon, the change in scenery is striking: overhanging trees, wetlands and peat bogs take you straight to the heart of Amazonia. An unforgettable setting for a walk or a trip aboard a traditional “galupe”.
Grande Plage beach in Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
To end our selection in beauty, how about heading for the sun-drenched décor of Biarritz, surfing capital in the Basque country. The Grande Plage is itself indissociable from the town’s fame and the locals look after it with great care all year-long. The most fearless won’t be able to resist climbing its rocks at the water’s edge, a spectacle always appreciated by those watching on the sand, whilst others admire from the path leading to the aquarium. The only question is, which will you be?