Best Places to Sail in France

If you want to go sailing in France, you will have several places to choose from. There is sailing available all around the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. There are many good options for places to sail which have various advantages and disadvantages.

Côte d’Azur

A good option for sailing in the Mediterranean Sea is to travel to the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera). The French Riviera extends roughly from Saint Tropez or Toulon in the western part of the French shoreline to the Italian border. This is all found within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) part of France. The beautiful Mediterranean Sea is certainly worth a trip and is very popular to sail on. The one disadvantage of the French Riviera region is that it may be too crowded at times since it is such as popular region to sail on. There other areas which are also very good for sailing besides the French Riviera. An advantage, though, of sailing the Côte d’Azur is that there are several places that are easily accessible and easy to dock at. However, since many wealthy people dock at places that are very close to Saint Tropez, you may find that the prices are quite high for docking. The French Riviera is sheltered from the cold uncomfortable winds that blow in some of the other regions of the French coastline.


An example of another less crowded area where you can sail is the Pyrenees region which extends from the border with Spain to the little French coastal town of Collioure. There are five harbors found along this stretch of coastline, but only Port Vendres is really suitable for yachts to dock at. Sailing along the shoreline of the Pyrenees offers spectacular views of the rugged shoreline.

The Golfe du Lion

This is a good region to sail but is known for being very windy, so if you do not like sailing in very windy conditions, then this may not be where you want to sail. Certainly, during winter time, the area can be very windy with the cold tramontana and mistral winds. Two ports in this region are Toulon and Marseille. The shoreline consists of sandy beaches for the most part. The marina at Cap d’Agde is found along this shoreline and the marina provides several services for sailboats and can accommodate up to 60 boats that are as long as 17m.  The Cap d’Agde really divides the Golfe du Lion into a southern and a northern part, so it is a very good place to stop along the route.

Instead of sailing in the Mediterranean region of France, you can opt to sail on the Atlantic region instead. Certainly this will not be as busy as the French Riviera. You can sail around Brittany which tends to have much less traffic and congestion than you would find in the French Riviera. There are also some nice offshore islands that you can visit. The best place to sail in France will really depend on what you prefer. Some of the prime areas will be busier but will have more favorable conditions than the less busy areas. There is also the cost of docking that you may want to consider when choosing where to sail.