With stunning turquoise waters, some of the best surf spots on the continent and beautiful sandy beaches, France’s varied coastline is unsurprisingly one of the most popular in the world. Visitors to France are spoilt for choice when it comes to the gorgeous range of towns and cities, but finding somewhere that is in close range of one of the stunning beaches is an even bigger bonus. If you are considering investing in a coastal property in France for retirement, a second home, or an investment opportunity, here are some of the most beautiful and culturally interesting towns and cities that are close to the extraordinary coastline.
Coastal Cottages for Sale in Trouville-sur-Mer, Northern France:
While it is one of the lesser-known coastal spots in Northern France, Trouville-sur-Mer is an excellent choice of area if you are looking to invest in a quiet holiday cottage close to a great range of seaside shops and the 19th century boardwalk. With a huge sandy beach, it is the perfect option for those who are looking for somewhere that offers a little more space during the crowded summer months. Along the hills, old villas provide gorgeous architecture, and the old fishermen’s area, which is still a working port, is one of the most popular local attractions. Trouville-sur-Mer is located close to the city of Le Havre, in the Calvados region.
Cottages for Sale in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Southwestern France:
The fact that three sea walls here protect the sandy beaches from the fierce winds makes this a rare and unique French Atlantic coastal town. If you are looking for a stunning coastal area, then look no further. With a beautiful sandy beach and white houses with red roofs lining the streets, you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into a postcard. The local food here is also fantastic, including the local speciality sheep’s milk ice cream and freshly caught fish and seafood daily. The town has a very interesting history as the place that the Sun King, Louis XIV, married Maria Theresa of Spain all the way back in 1660. If you are a fan of surfing, it is close to Biarritz, where there are some of the best surfing beaches in the world and lessons available.
Holiday Cottages for Sale in Sete, Southern France:
Sitting on the Mediterranean coast of France, you will find the thriving port of Sete. To the west of the town, you can find the main attraction, which is thirteen kilometres of stunning coastline, dividing the sea from the Etang de Thau, a saltwater lake. The large stretch of beautiful sandy beaches makes this one of the quieter spots on the Mediterranean. If you enjoy seafood, it’s one of the best places in the south of France to find excellent fresh seafood restaurants. It is known for an unusual sport – water jousting – which dates back to the medieval times.
Rural Cottages for Sale in Marseille, Southern France:
If you are looking to find an affordable cottage for sale in the south of France, Marseille is an ideal choice. Although it is the second-largest city in the country by population, it is home to a unique blend of historic neighbourhoods, wide sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, and excellent spots for beach picnics. The beaches are very family-friendly, making this the ideal location for families with young children looking for a holiday cottage. There are various cultural attractions in the area including the historical Fort Saint-Jean and the interesting Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Along the shoreline, there are plenty of excellent diving areas. Nearby, the village of Les Goudes is a popular gateway to the Les Calanques coastal inlets.
Small Cottages for Sale in Pigna, Corsica:
Located in the Mediterranean, the island of Corsica is one of the eighteen administrative regions of France and is known across the country for being the best place in France to find stunning beaches. With clear turquoise waters, golden sandy beaches and pink cliffs, it’s no surprise that this is the perfect haven for those looking for a stunning holiday cottage. Pigna is an old village that has been built into the side of a mountain, leading down to the sandy shores. It is the ideal location for those who are looking for a more rustic lifestyle at a slower pace.
Holiday Cottages in Honfleur, Northern France:
Honfleur is the ideal choice of destination for anybody who is looking for a more traditional French atmosphere and vibe. It is located at the point where the River Seine meets the English Channel, with a harbour and townhouses that date all the way back to the sixteenth century. Once a thriving port, it has now moved to the larger neighbouring area of Le Harve, making Honfleur a popular destination for history and scenery lovers. There are plenty of stunning attractions to explore here including the beautiful coastal Botanical Gardens or Saint Catherine’s Church which dates back to the fifteenth century. It is an ideal option for families with young children, with safe beaches that are great for catching crabs in the rock pools.
Second Homes in Biarritz, Southwestern France:
Located on the Atlantic coast, this gorgeous and sophisticated town was made fashionable by the arrival of Emperor Napoleon III with Spanish Empress Eugenie in 1854. It was once the destination of choice for European royalty, including Queen Victoria, who often chose to holiday here and further increased the popularity of the area. Since it is located very close to the border of Spain, the cuisine here is a delightful combination of foods influenced by both the French and Spanish. There are many sandy, wide beaches, and the Atlantic coast winds make it a perfect choice for surfing holidays. During July, an annual surfing festival is held in the town. Along with holiday cottages, there is a selection of fantastic boutique hotels, a lengthy promenade running between the two main beaches, several annual festivals, and thalassotherapy centres.
Cottages for Sale in Martigues, Southern France:
Known for the canals running throughout the streets linking the Etang de Berre lake with the sea, Martigues started out as an encampment, and the present-day town was officially founded in the twelfth century. Today, it is primarily a fishing port and is home to a number of historical buildings including churches that range from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century such as the Annunciade Chapel. La Couronne is just a short drive away, where you can find some of the best sandy beaches in the area including the Plage de Sainte-Croix. It’s close to a wide range of local amenities including restaurants, shops and more.
Coastal Cottages for Sale in Ault, Northern France:
Although it is located very close to the ports of Calais and Dieppe, many people arrive by boat and leave quickly, meaning that Ault is not a popular spot with tourists, making it the ideal choice for anybody looking for a quiet and authentic place to stay in France. Rather than sophisticated hotels and restaurants, the main charm of Ault is its beautiful pebbled beaches, stunning white cliffs, and a slow pace of life that is dominated by the locals rather than tourists. With a population of just 1,500 people, it’s the ideal place to invest in if you’re looking to get away from the beaten track along France’s coastline.
Beautiful Cottages for Sale in Saint-Malo, Northern France:
A citadel city that was founded by the Celtic tribes and fortified by the Romans, Saint-Malo is a stunning coastal city with tons of cultural heritage and history to explore. A large monastery was established here in the sixth century, and the monks named the rocky headland after the Celtish bishop Maclou. In the twelfth century, fortifications were built to surround the city and protect locals against Viking invasions, which can still be seen in the present day. The huge fortress is encompassed be beaches, with a wide, sandy shoreline and an awesome saltwater swimming pool that fills up when the tide is high.
Holiday Cottages for Sale in Etretat, Northern France:
Famous for its gorgeous limestone cliffs, Etretat is a town with a thriving tourism industry built on its geological heritage. The cliffs run along four kilometres of stunning coastline, but at Etretat, the weather and the water have eroded three ‘doors’ into the face of the cliff, similar to Durdle Door in Bournemouth but on a much larger and more impressive scale. The beaches are some of the most ideal spots for a beach picnic, and the area attracts people of all ages and from all walks of life. Thanks to the thriving tourism industry, you can find everything that you need here in terms of amenities.
Finding a cottage to spend summer weeks in along the coastline in France is a dream come true for many. And with some of the most stunning and diverse coastline in the world, France certainly offers plenty of different atmospheres and experiences, whether you’re looking for bustling port or fishing towns, quiet rural areas, or water sport havens.