For the past three weeks or so, we have been slowly making our way down the Atlantic coast of France. Along the way we have passed through, explored and stayed the night (or a few) at many places and areas.
We have discovered some truly amazing spots and cities, some well-known, while others are secret gems, at least to foreigners anyway. Personally I think the secret gems are the best spots! Less crowds and it’s a really nice surprise!
I have come up with a fairly decent and lengthy list of our best picks to visit along this beautiful coastline. We visited many more but these are definitely our favourite and most memorable spots that we recommend and would re-visit ourselves given the chance.
1. Etretat; This isn’t a secret spot and is definitely a busy and well known place but it is worth a stop in. You will get to see part of the cliffs of Normandy while you are these plus the famous natural arches that are embedded into them here.
2. Honfleur; Again this spot is no secret to Europeans but to people like us, its less heard of. A beautiful old town built around an old port, filled with restaurants, cafes and speciality shops. It’s a great day out and makes a postcard worthy picture!
3. Omaha Beach and Arromanches; This area is an incredible piece of history. Filled with WWII museums, bunkers and memorial sites, it is a moving experience. The area and landscape itself, is again, breathtaking. I think a must see, in particular is the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.
4. Le Mont-Saint-Michel; I cannot recommend a visit here enough! Quite simply the most magnificent castle and village I have ever seen. It is magical and will leave you gob smacked!
5. Saint Malo and Dinard; This is the start of the Brittany region in France and they weren’t lying when they say its incredible. Crystal clear waters and never ending coastal walks, these towns are stunning! Saint Malo is the bigger city and old town, where as, Dinard seems more relaxed. Something for everywhere in these areas.
6. Erquy; Atruly breathtaking port from above here. The water is so blue it will have you mesmerised! Some nice coastal walks to cliff tops will give you some incredible views.
7. Perros-Guirec, Tregastel and the Ploumanach area; Again the waters here are that amazing blue/aqua colour and you will stumble of some hidden coves of pure natural beauty! Do the coastal walk here to ensure you don’t miss a thing!
8. Crozon; This was a hidden gem! We were left speechless when we stumbled upon the most beautiful cove and hidden beach that you can only reach by boat! We stayed parked up in the forest, where the coastal walks link up to and it was so peaceful and calming. Just amazing!!!
9. La Rochelle; This spot wasn’t even on our list, but we are so glad we decided to stop in! A medium sized city built around an old port. It has everything! We wish we had stayed longer!
10. Lacauna; A little surfy town with great beaches and proper waves! The perfect mix of beaches and shops! I love it when you can stroll up from the beach and have everything right there!
11. Hossegor;This town is no secret to any surfing enthusiast! It definitely has lived up to its name. A surfy town, with a beautiful lake and beaches. The perfect spot to relax and unwind! Oh and catch some waves if you are game!
12. Biarritz; Another amazing beach front location! This place has a real resort feel, plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars along the waterfront. You really get that vacation feel being here.
So there is our list! I will be very shocked to hear if anyone disagrees with these picks! They all have their own charm and feel that makes them unique. Keep this list in mind for your travels in France.