France has a coastline of almost 3 500 kilometres which offers plenty of lovely beaches on three sides – the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay), the English Channel, and the Mediterranean Sea. Every sunbather should find a perfect beach in France.

Beaches in the north of France are not as famous and as popular as the beaches in the south or along the Atlantic. However, one can find there really spectacular coasts, numerous cliffs and wild, unspoiled beaches. This area, Normandy, is also well-known for its historical importance. The most popular beaches in the north of France include Saint-Malo, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage and Neufchâtel-Hardelot.

The north-west coast is similar to Normandy beaches but there are more white sandy beaches there. Brittany beaches offer also plenty of cliffs and spectacular rock formations. One can find there large, popular beaches as well as tiny and quiet places. The most popular beaches can be found near Perros-Guirec, Roscoff, Carnac, Quiberon, and Concarneau.

The beaches along the Atlantic will please not only sunbathers but also surfers and other water sports lovers. Just as the beaches in the north and north-west parts of France, beaches along the Atlantic are not very crowded and the water is rougher, colder and less clear than in the French Riviera. One of the best destinations in this area include La Rochelle, Arcachon, Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz.

The French Riviera and the whole Mediterranean coast offer the warmest, the sunniest and the most reliable weather in France. However, this part of French coast is also the most expensive. These beaches are really popular and usually crowded but offer lively social life and great eating and drinking facilities.

Among all destinations it is not difficult to find well-developed places with plenty of amenities, suitable for families, surfers or naturists.


France offers thousands of places worth visiting. Every region, every town, every village are fascinating and unique. Depending on the destination one can admire architectural treasures, sites of historical significance, art collections in well-known museums and art galleries, etc.


There are many hiking destinations in France with the most famous in the Pyrenees and on Corsica. The trails are diverse and well-marked. “GR” (Sentiers de Grande Randonnie; direct, long routes) trails are marked with red and white waymarks. “GR de Pays” (short, less direct routes) are marked with red and yellow waymarks. Short paths are marked with yellow waymarks.


France is a very popular ski destination and can boast numerous excellent ski resorts, especially in the Alps. Everyone should find a slope suitable for their skills and a resort suitable for their needs.

Water sports

French coast is a paradise for water sports lovers. They can enjoy swimming, sailing, surfing, windsurfing, jet- and water-skiing, canoeing, snorkeling and diving. Great conditions, numerous resorts and facilities for water sports will please everyone.


Fishing in France is possible from the north through to the south – thanks to numerous lakes and rivers as well as plenty of coastline. Fresh water fishing (in rivers, streams and lakes) in France requires a license. The permit can be obtained from the fishing tackle shops or bars. Tourists can also get Carte de Peche de Vacances (holiday period licence) instead of annual fishing licence. It is valid for fifteen days and can be used between 1st June and 30th November. Trout fishing is allowed from March till September. In some areas salmon fishing and night fishing are prohibited all year. Coastal fishing doesn’t require fishing licence and is allowed any time, day or night.

Rock climbing

Rock climbing is a very popular activity in France thanks to the excellent conditions and superb quality French limestone. The best regions include the south east of France (Alps and Pyrenees) and the north east part of France. Hiking in that spectacular scenery will be an adventure.


French cities and coast offer lively and vibrant nightlife. In major cities nightclubs, bars, pubs and discotheques are open all night. There are plenty of rock and jazz clubs. In provinces it is popular to spend evening eating and drinking. Another nightlife activity in major cities is night shopping.


France offers plenty of diverse activities. Besides the ones given above, one can also try biking, visiting spa, horseback riding, playing boules, golf, pelote or tennis.