The French Atlantic Coast, or Atlantic facade, is bordered in mainland France by the Iroise Sea, the Bay of Audierne and the Bay of Biscay, extending from Conquet to Hendaye.

It is made up of municipalities in the departments of Finistère, Morbihan, Loire-Atlantique, Vendée, Charente-Maritime, Gironde, Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques, which are part of the respective regions of Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

For overseas France, the Atlantic Ocean borders all French territories on the American continent: Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélémy, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana.

Traditionally, these regions are linked to fishing and maritime trade; in particular, the ports of Brest, Douarnenez, Guilvinec, Loctudy, Concarneau, Lorient, La Turballe, Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, Sables-d’ Olonne, La Rochelle, La Cotinière (island of Oléron), Royan, Bordeaux and Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

In the 19th century, near Newfoundland, sailors native to these regions fished for cod. Some settled there, in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon or in Acadia.

The French Atlantic Coast is traditionally divided into several north to south regional parts, notably: coast of the dunes of Flanders, coast of Opal, coast of Picardy, coast of Grace, coast of Flowers, coast of Nacre, coast of the Rout, coast des Isles, Côte des Havres, Mont-Saint-Michel Bay, Emerald Coast, Penthièvre Coast, Goëlo Coast, Pink Granite Coast, Golden Belt, Les Abers, coast of Iroise, coast of Cornwall, coast of Mégalithes, coast of Love, coast of Jade, coast of Marais Breton and Île de Noirmoutier, coast of Light, coast of Flowers, Basques Harbor, Wild Coast, coast of Beauty, Silver Coast and Basque Coast.

Magnificent landscapes bordering the Ocean, typical cultures (Breton, Vendée, Basque, etc.) and above all superb beaches lined with sometimes exceptional dunes (Dune du Pilat) and offering good swimming conditions make it a favorite destination not only for the French, but also for the multitude of foreigners (Germans, Dutch, English, Americans, Belgians, etc.) who bring significant competition to the Mediterranean coasts – whether French, Spanish, Italian, Tunisian, Greek or Croatian.

In summer, many seaside resorts – such as La Baule, Arcachon or Royan – see their populations increase considerably and, thus, increase the work of bartenders, restaurateurs, beach attendants and hotel and campsite managers. In the evening, vacationers walk on the cornices or go to the nightclubs, thus greatly energizing the region.


Along the Atlantic Coast, from north to south, the oceanic climate reigns. The regions bordering the Atlantic are characterized by mild and humid winters, with temperatures ranging from 1°C to 12°C. Frosts and snow are very rare, and summers are moderate, with a temperature between 16°C and 22 to 26°C. The prevailing winds are those coming from the ocean from the west.

Main resorts (from north to south, 25 objects) with TOP 5:

Le Croisic and its architectural heritage

Le Pouliguen and its coves on the rocky coast

La Baule-Escoublac and its urban heritage (TOP 5)

Pornichet and its villas on the seaside

Saint-Nazaire – capital of shipbuilding

Pornic and its castle

Noirmoutier-en-l’Île and the most expensive potatoes in the world

Saint-Jean-de-Monts and its famous beach of eight kilometers

Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and its fishing traditions

Bretignolles-sur-Mer and its famous Protest Vendée Pro WQS 4 stage for professional surfers of the world championship

Les Sables-d’Olonne and its attractions (TOP 5)

La Rochelle – fortified city

Jard-sur-Mer and its famous Conchette mill

Châtelaillon-Plage and its beaches

Fouras and its fortifications

Le Château-d’Oléron and its colors

Ronce-les-Bains and its beaches in the pine forests

Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and its rock formations

Royan and its festivals (TOP 5)

Soulac-sur-Mer and its UNESCO Notre-Dame basilica

Arcachon – the city of the four seasons (TOP 5)

Vieux-Boucau-les-Bains and its resorts in pine forests

Biarritz – King of beaches and beaches for kings (TOP 5)

Saint-Jean-de-Luz and its rich royal history

Ciboure – an Atlantic Ocean resort and Maurice Ravel’s birthplace

See here best sea and ocean resorts of France and Spain

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

Read more: Interesting places in the Pyrenees and around with Jane Cautch ...