Blue Flag Beaches in France

Blue Flag Beaches in France

Matthieu Cany shares the latest data on Blue Flag beaches and explains how the programme impacts the demand for seaside homes in France…

Sun, sea and sand. Three enticing words that many of us associate with tranquillity and happy memories made during the holidays. With 5,500km stretching along the English Channel, Atlantic and Mediterranean shores, it’s fair to say that France has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s leading seaside destinations.

We regularly assist property buyers who wish to make the coastal lifestyle a part of their lives by buying a holiday home that can also produce a rental income. While a few years ago, a lovely property in close proximity to the beach would have satisfied most buyers, today’s house hunters are increasingly eco-conscious and thus consider a number of environmental factors.

Le Grau-du-Roi, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Not only do buyers prefer a property that is energy- efficient or has the potential to be upgraded accordingly, they also enquire about the quality of the nearby beach to determine whether it would present an attractive destination for themselves and make their holiday home an appealing choice for tourists. After all, previous research by reveals that 71% of UK travellers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 42% saying that climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices if possible.

As you are spoilt for choice for French beachside destinations, you will want to take your time to locate the best option for you to buy a property in. Your first point of call should be a local estate agent to gather basic information such as property prices, details about the most appealing neighbourhoods and the buying process in general. To find out whether the area is popular with tourists to generate a rental income, we recommend contacting the local tourism office, which should have access to the latest tourism statistics. Most importantly, however, to determine if the nearby beach is an attractive destination and healthy environment, we often refer our clients to the Blue Flag programme for information.

Cannes, Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Recognising the most sought- after waterside locations, the Blue Flag Awards are one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas and sustainable tourism, and are organised by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), based in Copenhagen.

The flag guarantees clean beaches and marinas, excellent quality of bathing water and evident efforts towards sustainable tourism and environmental awareness. Earlier this year, the foundation released its latest list of Blue Flag beaches with France being awarded a total of 512 Blue Flags, making it one of the top five countries in the programme.

The Blue Flag criteria are grouped into four large families. For municipalities and beaches, judges evaluate environmental education (public awareness of environmental issues), waste management, water management and general environment (safe, ethical and sustainable). For marinas, judges base their decision on environmental education, waste management, environmental management and site management.

Blue Flag, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Matthieu Cany is a director at Sextant Properties, Tel: 0207 428 4910.

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Lead photo credit : Panorama of Cannes, Cote d'Azur, France, South Europe. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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