Loire-Atlantique lies open to the ocean. Oh la la, what a lot to choose from!
Along the entire length of its 133 km of Atlantic coast, on the Côte d’Amour or the Côte de Jade (Jade Coast) there are many top-quality beaches.
Around Pornic there are little, unspoilt inlets, huge dune beaches at La Turballe or Saint-Brevin: nature is generous here.
The seashore also offers quite different types of beach. In La Baule Bay, you’ll find the town on the beach: the promenade is a hive of activity. Lots of surprises in store!
Throughout the year, depending on the season, you can enjoy your favourite activities: swimming, fishing off the beach, building sandcastles, watersports (sailing, canoeing, sand-yachting, diving), walking or just relaxing…
To each a beach in Loire-Atlantique!
Find detailed information for each beach in our selection by searching on the map.
The environment is important for our beaches
Blue Flag online - One guide: the Blue Flag
The Blue Flag is a badge which is important for tourism because it denotes an environment of exemplary quality. As well as indicating the quality of seawater for bathing, it recognises the high quality of overall management of the environment. You can use a map search to find Loire Atlantique’s Blue Flag beaches.
The quality of seawater for bathing
In Loire-Atlantique you can swim in top quality seawater! The Departmental Social and Health Authority (DDASS) regularly checks water quality. You’ll find the readings displayed at beach access points, in town halls and in most tourist offices in seaside resorts. You can also look at the Eaux de baignade website, maintained by the ministry responsible for health and safety: www.baignades.sante.gouv.fr
Environmentally-friendly beach cleaning
To ensure your comfort, beaches are cleaned in a way that is sensitive to the environment. Beaches are living natural ecosystems. To avoid ‘sterilising’ the environment through constant mechanical cleaning processes, more and more coastal communities in Loire-Atlantique are opting for what is called ‘environmentally-friendly’ beach cleaning. Cleaning is matched to the ecological interest and to the amount of use of each site. On the more ecologically interesting sites, litter is only collected manually. For many areas that are more heavily used, mechanised cleaning is carried out only during the summer period but done manually during the rest of the year. That way the tidal deposit can be preserved.
Did you know?
The tidal deposit is a strip a few metres wide that is made up of seaweed, shells and other natural materials that the tide washes ashore. These materials are an essential part of the coastal ecosystem.
The tidal deposit allows a diverse range of flora and fauna to be maintained and helps to stabilise sandy coastlines. It reduces beach erosion, which means that we can avoid having to build sea defences that can often be rather ugly. That way, each year when you return you can be sure of finding the same amount of sand on the beach as there was the year before!
So tidal deposits are not a nuisance but the sign of a natural, living beach.
If you follow the advice below, it will help us to conserve the environment.
In order to access the beach you may sometimes have to walk through natural environments that are especially fragile such as heaths or dunes. In order to protect them:
- keep to the sign-posted pathways,
do not damage plantations or material used to protect saplings,
do not cross over the small wooden fences erected to protect the most fragile zones,
do not pick flowers: most of them are rare and protected species,
do not damage areas protected by the department or by the Coastal Preservation Authority: they are indicated by information panels,
use the bins and public conveniences provided,
do not allow your dog to stray.
Almost all communities on the Loire-Atlantique coast have beaches that are supervised in summer.
Keep an eye on the flag at the lifeguard station!
There are also many small precautions that you can take to ensure your safety. For further advice and information consult the Eaux de baignade website maintained by the ministry responsible for health and safety: baignades.sante.gouv.fr
Accessibility for disabled people: everyone on the beach and a beach for everyone!
Efforts to make beaches accessible for disabled people have been increasing rapidly in Loire-Atlantique. Many communities provide beach wheelchairs known as ‘tiralo’ that can go into the sea. Some go even further and provide a wide range of help, special arrangements and services for disabled people.
Tides, the force that drives the Atlantic!
Tides are the movements that take place in seas and oceans. When the sea rises up the beach it's a high tide; when it retreats it's an ebb tide (low tide).
Tides can be explained by a combination of the gravitational pull exerted by the moon and the sun. The extent of the tide varies. At full or new moon, when the earth, moon and sun are aligned along the same axis, the tidal difference is very large. The sea comes in very high and goes out a long way; this is known as a ‘spring tide’. At the other extreme are ‘neap tides’, when the tidal difference is very small. These occur during the first and last quarters of the moon. On tide tables the tidal difference is shown by the coefficient.
Because of the tidal cycle, the coasts of Loire-Atlantique change their appearance throughout the day. At high tide, the waves cover the beach. At low tide a wide area, known as the foreshore, is uncovered. The size of the foreshore varies from one beach to another. Sometimes it's still possible to swim at low tide. Thanks to the tides, you can stand and fish from the beach when it's uncovered at low tide!
The times of tides vary from one coastal area to another. You can check the times on the tidal clock located in the right-hand column.
Beach weather forecast
All year round, whatever the weather, there are plenty of activities on Loire-Atlantique’s beaches!
Check the beach weather forecast!