A yacht charter in France with Zizoo grants you access to one of the world’s most renowned and scenic cruising grounds. France also boasts world-class facilities for sailors and a range of stunning scenery along the coastline, from lush, green islands to the gorgeous sun-drenched beaches of the south.
Nice and surrounding Côte d’Azur
Coast of Brittany
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From Corsica's rugged beauty, to the charming landscapes of Brittany and the chic, sun-drenched towns along the French Riviera, a sailing holiday in France offers something for everyone. The ideal time to go sailing in France is May through September. France does not require a visa for travellers from many countries and the local currency is the euro.
The main airports along the coast include Nice Côte d’Azur, Marseille Provence and Lorient South Brittany. Nice airport offers direct access to the south coast and is a 90 minute drive to your sailing holiday in Grimaud. La Mole Airport, near St-Tropez is another possibility. Lorient South Brittany will place you near the port town of Arzon on the west coast which is just over an hour away by car or taxi. Some of the more popular marina locations for sailing in France are Arzon, Grimaud, St-Tropez and Bonifacio.
From towering cliffs, inspiring monuments and glamorous nightclubs to picturesque coastal villages and striking architecture, there is something to see and do when sailing along the French coastline. Here are just a few places to explore on your sailing holiday in France:
Near Arzon is the historic town of Nantes with beautiful castles and a stunning Gothic cathedral. In the south of France, start at Grimaud near Saint-Tropez and sail to Nice and the nearby cosmopolitan ports of Cannes and Monaco. In Nice, relax with a drink at Le Bar des Oiseaux within the Old Town near the beach. The port is home to great restaurants like Le Bistrot du Port and San Marco Italian. The coastlines of Saint-Tropez and nearby Corsica are particularly beautiful, or enjoy quieter spots like Juan-les-Pins with its range of spas. Beaches only accessible by boat include Calvi in Corsica and the Lérins Islands with stunning scenery.
France offers a wealth of activities for sports enthusiasts. You’ll find a range of diving companies, including Nice Diving and Poseidon Diving in the town's port. In Corsica, check out Diving Corsica Sports or Corsica Diving Centre and then explore its crystal clear waters. Don’t forget to request for snorkelling gear with your sailing holiday in France. Saint-Tropez is world-renowned as a luxurious destination but is also a great place to go paragliding or mix with jet setters at Pampelonne Beach.
Back on the mainland, cycling enthusiasts will be thrilled about the winding paths that offer scenic views such as the cycling path on the coast of Nice which opens up to views of super yachts at Antibes near Juan-les-Pins.
Deciding where to go sailing in France often depends on your sailing experience. For novice sailors or for those looking for a more relaxed cruising experience, it is recommended to sail along the southern coast of France in the Mediterranean. More experienced sailors would enjoy sailing on the Atlantic Ocean in Brittany. Along the gorgeous coast of Brittany, you can dock at Arzon or La Trinité-sur-Mer. You’ll also be pleased to find many natural harbours in inlets to make stops during your sailing holiday in Brittany.
The French coastline is also home to many important historical towns and sites. In Brittany, don't miss the historic port town of Auray, the megalithic sites in Carnac and the intriguing beaches of Ploumanac’h. Along the French Riviera you will find Eze, an impressive hilltop town not far from Nice. You can also explore historic Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica and birthplace of Napoléon.
On the southern coast, you’ll be free to explore the Mediterranean, whether along the beaches to the west, towards Monaco and Italy to the east, or to the southern islands. If sailing along the southern French coast, you’ll enjoy stopping off at the islands of Levant and Hyeres, or you can head straight to Corsica.
Marseilles offers excellent mooring and is another bustling town. Hyeres is a beautiful island with a harbour allowing you to stop and explore before continuing up to Marseilles. Corsica’s main port is Ajaccio, located at the foot of its expansive and scenic natural park. As you head around the island on your boat holiday, you can also stop at Calvi, Basia, and Bonifacio ports and explore each town’s particular charm. All of this is easily done in the pleasant sailing conditions of the area, and you’ll admire scenery too often missed by land-dwellers.
France offers ideal sailing for both beginners and expert sailors. When planning a sailing holiday in France, you’ll enjoy pleasant sailing conditions and excellent weather in the summer. The southern climate is typically Mediterranean, with air temperatures frequently in the 30s in the height of summer. Water temperatures rise above 20°C, with low wave heights that are usually well under half a metre. In Corsica, conditions are similar. The French island enjoys slightly warmer temperatures than Nice on average, but has somewhat choppier waters with waves occasionally reaching up to a metre.
Deciding where to go sailing in France often depends on your sailing experience.
Anchorages are easy to find on the Brittany and southern coasts, and Ajaccio is served by the marinas of Port Tino Rossi and Port Charles Ornano. Book ahead for moorings, especially when travelling in high summer. While the warm weather lasts for a long time in Corsica, be aware of occasional strong winds along the northern coast and between the Bonifacio Strait towards Sardinia in the south. Also remember, you can book a skipper who can easily navigate the waters of Corsica during your sailing holiday in France with Zizoo.
For novice sailors or for those looking for a more relaxed cruising experience, it is recommended to sail along in the Mediterranean along the southern coast of France.