What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Provence on France’s south coast? Is it lavender, art, markets or picturesque hillside villages? These elements of Provence are indeed magical but the beaches are also magnificent.
Having grown up only a whisper away from France, in the UK, I had always rather disregarded the beaches, assuming they would be very similar to UK beaches, with shingle and cold murky water. In northern France they have vast sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see. Being the other side of the channel, the water is not very different. But with regards to the Provence coast, how wrong could I be?
|Plage Sable d'Or, Provence, France|
What a difference a land mass makes
Of course Provence is on the south coast of France and the Mediterranean. This makes a huge difference. The water is generally sheltered and beautifully clear. Don’t be put off thinking France is ‘Western Europe’ and therefore cool either. I have known it be so hot in June that even I (big baby around cold water) had a swim (despite the water feeling somewhat fresh).
Provence’s coast often has rocky headlands that provide fantastic views. It is wonderful to walk along the beach to the end and then be rewarded with the view back over the bay from a rocky headland.
The rocks at some beaches contain iridescent material meaning the sand actually glitters through the shallows.
Another thing I love about the Provence beaches is the facilities. The French definitely know how to enjoy amazing scenery. Beach cafes provide drinks and snacks, and waiters will often bring things to your sun lounger. Watersports are usually available and toilets are generally not far away either.
When the sun starts to dip below the horizon and all the adventure of the day at the beach comes to an end you can then dine by the beach at one of the many beachside restaurants on this stretch of coast.
Do you love the French coast? Where is your favourite spot?