5 Beaches You Can Easily Reach from Paris
Paris has a lot going for it. There’s more art than can be consumed in a lifetime, architecture dating back to bygone eras, nightlife beyond your imagination limits and monuments that defy structural logic.
The only thing missing, is a beach. And in the hot, sticky Parisian summers people will go to great lengths just to submerge themselves in a body of water for a few minutes. Having once leaped fully clothed into a pond in the 16th arrondissement myself, I know just how dire things can get.
France itself is filled with beaches, unfortunately most of them lie about 800km outside of the capital. The ones you can access more easily are on the northwestern coast of the country; most of them making for an easy day trip out of Paris when one starts to feel the heat.
1. Deauville Beach near Paris
Deauville is a beaching hotspot come the summer season in Paris. It is sometimes called the French Riviera of the north thanks to its district beach-town vibe and resort filled coastline.
Technically, Deauville is part of the coast of Normandy. This particular beach is much easier to reach when compared to the rest of the beaches in this region.
Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a laid back village filled with great restaurants, small curios stores and a lot of old Tudor-style architecture.
Getting to Deauville from Paris requires you to catch a train. That is unless of course you’ve hired a car for the day, which isn’t such a bad idea if you want to avoid relying on the train schedules to get you there and back.
The trains to Deauville depart from Gare Saint-Lazare in the 8th arrondissement only. One direction of the journey takes two hours in total. Give yourself time to get to the station for the last train of the day back to Paris.
2. Omaha Beach near Paris
Sticking with Normandy, one can move quite swiftly along the coastline exploring all of the beach terrain that this part of the French country has to offer.
These beaches sit on the English Channel, and so they became a point of entry into France during the atrocities of World War II. When Normandy was invaded, the landings took place on the beaches across the coastline.
The bloodiest of battles took place here on Omaha Beach, and so today it is a much sought after tourist attraction for the patriotic folk who come to visit the country.
Battle grounds aside, this is an expansive and wonderful beach for a day trip during the summer. The beach is surrounded by lush foliage and shallow hills.
Getting here from Paris isn’t as easy as hopping on a single train straight through. To make the journey yourself you’ll need to start at Gare Saint-Lazare, by catching the train to Bayeux. From Bayeux one needs to take a 20 minute taxi ride through to the beach itself.
Most people opt to rent a car for the day, as this means they can head straight there in just under three hours. There are also travel companies in Paris who will arrange a day trip to the beach for you at a fee.
3. Granville Beach near Paris
Granville also falls under Normandy territory, but it is further west instead of north. If you drew a straight line into a western direction from Paris, you’d eventually hit Granville on the coast.
This beach is my personal favorite one to visit from the city, It’s got a much more distinct Mediterranean feel compared to the rest of the coast; the water considerably bluer, and the cliffs considerably higher.
Granville is a great spot for seafood lovers as its known as one of the best places for this cuisine in France.
Given the extra distance it takes to get here, you might want to consider extending your beach visit overnight. One can catch the train from Montparnasse Station to Granville in three hours thirty minutes.
Alternatively, hiring a car will get you there in three hours twenty minutes.
4. Les cerfs-volants de Dieppe near Paris
Dieppe is a small fishing port up the northern coast of Normandy. It’s only 170km from Paris, accessible by catching a train from Gare Saint-Lazare and making one change at Rouen.
There is also a bus to Dieppe, but it takes close to five hours to arrive which seems unnecessary considering the short distance.
Ideally, this is another beach where hiring a car would be recommenced as it shortens the journey to around an hour forty five minutes.
Dieppe is mostly a fishing village, with many harbors and ports. Amongst them is a great visitors beach where you can laze around and dip into the cool see as you please.
5. The Plages in Paris
If the distances of the beaches near Paris seem daunting, fear not. One doesn’t actually have to leave the city at all to have a substantial “beach” experience.
I’m of course referring to the Paris Plages; the synthetic beaches that are constructed along the Seine River in the heart of the city come summer time.
The Paris Plages will pop up during the month of July and remain throughout the summer. Basically, the city of Paris brings in masses of beach sand, loungers, umbrellas and other attractions to make the Seine River feel like a beach escape.
The Plages are free to the public, and you need only bring a towel along as there may not be enough seating provided upon arrival.
The catch? There is actually nowhere to cool off once you reach that burning point in the middle of the day. The public are not permitted to swim in the Seine River, so bring along a lot of water and a lot of ice to stay cool.