The 10 Most Beautiful Anchorages in France

by | Apr 24, 2020

Visiting France is always a good decision for a perfect vacation! The country is full of surprises for anyone who visit for holiday. France is one of the most visited tourist destinations that provides excellent routes for sailing holidays too. The country it not only rich in historical culture, unique architecture and interesting attractions, but also in beautiful coasts.

You can visit the Mediterranean coast, sail along the Atlantic coast or you can choose the beautiful island of Corsica. One thing is sure, you will have an unforgettable holiday in all destinations!

If you still haven’t decided on any plans for your upcoming sailing holiday, rent a boat and choose from the list of the 10 most beautiful anchorages in France.

1 – The Chausey Islands

Chausey Island is a Norman archipelago located off the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. The changes in the landscape, the variations in luminosity and in the transparency of the sunlight make it a magnificent place.

Aerial view of the Chausey Islands

The Grande-Ile anchorage is ideal, as well as the one at Port-Marie (only in a northerly wind) with a good depth: silt in 1 to 2 meters of water. Sailing is tricky, so it is better to use the Beauchamp channel to cross the archipelago.

2 – Bréhat, in Northern Brittany

The Bréhat archipelago is shaped by the tides. It reveals impressive and particularly revealing contrasting colours.

View of the sharp cliffs in Bréhat in Northern Brittany

On location, underwater buoys are waiting for visitors, but on sunny days, the places are expensive. There is an excellent anchorage north-east of Logodec, but also at the Chambre waterfront. The other anchorage in Bréhat is recommended: La Corderie, on the west side of the island.

3 – The Glénan Archipelago in Southern Brittany

The Glénan Archipelago consists of seven small islands around an inland sea with transparent waters and white sandy beaches. No, you are not in the Seychelles but in Brittany! Off the coast of Concarneau, this archipelago resembles the heavenly landscapes of tropical countries.

Aerial view of the Glénan Archipelago in Southern Brittany

We advise you to anchor at La Pie (beacon) which is situated between Saint-Nicolas and Bananec. You go in from the north leaving the isolated danger “La Pie” to the starboard. In addition, the anchorage of La Chambre (bay), which is located in the triangle Saint-Nicolas, Bananec, Fort Cigogne, in the heart of the archipelago.

4 – The island of Noirmoutier, in Vendée

The island of Noirmoutier, also known as “l’île aux Mimosas” offers outstanding landscapes such as salt marshes, dunes and holm oak forests. A small corner of paradise in the Vendée to discover at once.

Aerial view of a bay in the island of Noirmoutier

Check out the Pointe des Dames lighthouse and then the Bois de la Chaise boom. Once on the buoy, admire the view: fine sandy beach, bathing cabins at the foot of a pine forest, guaranteed to make you fall in love!

5 – The island of Aix, in Charente-Maritime

The island of Aix is located west off the Pointe de la Fumée, which is the tip of the Fouras peninsula, and east of the island of Oleron. You will find swamps, forest, vineyards, creeks, a beautiful diversity of exceptional wild landscapes. We recommend planning a stopover here!

View of a bay in the island of Aix with a sandy beach and 2 lighthouses

We advise to anchor on the west side, under the lighthouse, at the foot of the village and a few meters from the beach. You can drop anchor at any time of the tide, but don’t forget to check the weather forecast!

6 – L’île aux Oiseaux, in the Arcachon basin

L’île aux Oiseaux is a small island located in the heart of the Arcachon basin. It is, as its name suggests, a paradise for birds, a haven of peace and has an exceptional wild nature.

Aerial view of the bay of Archachon

Several anchorages are available around the island. At high tide, we advise you to anchor not far from the beach huts. You will be able to admire this small treasure of the Arcachon bay from the boat, particularly preserved from the rapid urbanization of the coast.

7 – The island of Porquerolles, near Hyères

The island of Porquerolles is a magical place, only a few minutes by boat from the peninsula of Giens in Hyères. The island has two different unique faces. To the south you will find a steep coast with sharp cliffs and some hidden creeks. To the north, there is a Caribbean atmosphere with fine sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Set sail to discover this unique island.

Aerial view of a bay in the island of Porquerolles with surrounding natural landscape

We recommend anchoring in the Notre-Dame Bay that is easily reachable. This beach is famous for being one of the most beautiful beach on the island of Porquerolles. Enjoy the pleasures of the sea and the sun in this typical Mediterranean atmosphere.

8 – The Lérins islands, near Cannes

Just a short distance from the Croisette, facing the bay of Cannes, the Lérins Islands welcome you. An idyllic setting with unspoilt nature and beautiful Mediterranean scenery offers sailors a unique collection of natural landscapes. It is the perfect destination to sail away in Cannes.

Aerial view of the Lérins Islands near Cannes

The two main islands are easily accessible, the south of Sainte-Marguerite Island and the north of Saint-Honorat Island offer excellent anchorages.

9 – Calanques of Piana, west of Corsica

The Calanques de Piana is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sites in Corsica, classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. This set of rocky coasts and remarkable seabed is a unique place in Europe.

View of the unique Calanques de Piana in Corsica in the sea

We suggests you to anchor at the Piana marina where the anchorage is easily accessible. Take a swim in the sparkling clear waters, or watch the sunset over the red rocks.

10 – The Lavezzi Islands, south of Corsica

The Lavezzi Islands are an uninhabited archipelago of unpolluted natural resources located about 10 km off the coast of Bonifacio. This place is a paradise of wild bays, white sand and crystal clear waters has an almost lunar scenery! Whether you are passionate about scuba diving, or just curious to discover the seabed by snorkeling, this place is simply made for you! Once dived in this magical setting, don’t be surprised to come face to face with a dolphin, a turtle or a grouper.

View of the Lavezzi Islands in Corsica showing the clear blue sea and rocks along the coast

Cala Lazarina is a calm anchorage, protected from the west and east winds. You will anchor in 3 to 5 meters of depth in front of a wonderful sandy beach. Moreover, at sunrise and sunset, you will be able to listen to the wonderful ” chirping ” of the shearwaters.

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