From Ajaccio to Deauville to Malaga, Musement shares nine beaches near Paris across France and beyond that are reachable in under three hours.
Last summer we compiled a list of some of the dreamiest beaches in France. If you can’t resist the desire to dive in the sea again this year and you’re seeking inspiration for a quick escape from Paris, here’s a list of nine of the most beautiful beaches within three hours from the capital.
Located approximately 125 miles from Paris proper, Honfleur, a former refuge for the Impressionists, is one of the most famous seaside resorts of Calvados. There are two beaches located just outside the center of this charming little sea town that is still imbued with traces from its days as a fishing village. The closest, “Booty Beach,” is also the most popular. The beach of Vasouy—in the extension of the coastal road towards Trouville—is quieter, wilder, and more withdrawn.
Deauville, just 10 miles from Honfleur, is the most mythical seaside resort of Calvados and one France’s most famous. Easily accessible from Paris via a two-and-a-half hour train ride, Deauville is characterized by planked walkways, Art Deco cabins, colorful beach umbrellas, and a romantic atmosphere. If you have the chance to go in September, don’t miss the 45th edition of the American Film Festival.
If you wish to visit Normandy but prefer pebbles to sandy beaches, head to the rocky beach at the foot of the fascinating cliffs of Etretat. In addition to a swim in the Channel, you can enjoy some of France’s most beautiful landscapes, photograph the distinct hollow needle, and, during low tide, explore several hidden caves.
Nowadays, it’s sometimes easier, faster and cheaper to travel abroad than to spend holidays within your own country. Bustling Barcelona is a particularly popular destination. In the Catalan capital, you can spend holidays taking in the culture, entertainment, and gastronomy without having to forsake the beach. Many of Barcelona’s beaches are accessible by car, bus, and even subway or tram. Barceloneta, Barcelona’s closest and most popular beach, is just a 20-minute walk from the city center.
Hammamet is a seaside resort in southern Tunis with many sandy beaches where you sign up for some water sports or just relax on a lounger after a day exploring the nearby medina. If spending day after day on the beach isn’t your thing, you can stroll the medina’s narrow streets, haggle in the souks, meander the charming Muslim cemetery, and climb to the top of the Kasbah’s ramparts where you can enjoy a superb panorama. Several direct flights link Hammamet to the French capital in less than two hours 30 minutes.
From Porto Vecchio to Calvi, the enchanting beaches of Corsica leave no traveler indifferent, and you won’t find Ajaccio lacking. Nestled between the ramparts of the citadel, Saint François Beach is one of the city’s most famous and photographed. If you prefer wilder beaches or like to surf, don’t miss captivating Capo di Feno.
The Costa del Sol is a must-see destination for sun, sunbathing, and Movida music. Malaga has an impressive number of beaches that are particularly easy to reach from the city and even the airport. If hitting the sea is the first and last thing you want to do, head to Playa Guadalmar for a quick dip near the airport. If you like seafood, head to the El Palo fishing district where you can take in the typical fish restaurant atmosphere and enjoy beaches with charming little traditional boats resting on the sand. Most of Malaga’s beaches have a “chiringuito” (beachside snack bar) where it’s nice to have a cocktail in the evening, nibble any time of day, or savor delicious tapas alongside a cocktail.
Less popular than Malaga, Dubrovnik offers paradisiacal beaches along the turquoise Adriatic Sea. From the Old Town (or King’s Landing), it’s possible to walk to the beautiful beach of St Jakov, accessible only by stairs. At the beach, rent a kayak to explore the coast or relax on a lounger in the shade of an umbrella while admiring Lokrum Island, which you can reach by boat in just 10 minutes by boat.
The island country of Malta—a two-and-a-half hour flight rom Paris—is also a must for those who love the seaside. With its large stretches of fine sand and small, intimate coves, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the beautiful Blue Lagoon, a cove of transparent water and white sand that’s a snorkeler’s dream come true. We also recommend you stop by Għar Lapsi, a natural limestone pool.