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Discover the stunning secret beaches of the South of France

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 14 August 2017

The stunning Calanque de Port-Pin ©ThinkstockPhotos-Marcobarone

The stunning Calanque de Port-Pin ©ThinkstockPhotos-Marcobarone

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Escape the holiday crowds with our selection of some of the best hidden beaches in the South of France. Just don't tell anyone else about them.

Calanque de Port-Pin, Bouches-du-Rhône

Between Cassis and Marseille lies a stretch of coast punctured by tiny fjord-like inlets called calanques. This one, a pebble beach, is surrounded by white rocks and pine-covered limestone hills. It’s a little bit of a hike from but you’ll be rewarded by a refreshing dip in crystal-clear water.

The beach and beach club of Paloma in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat ©ThinkstockPhotos - OnnesThe beach and beach club of Paloma in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat ©ThinkstockPhotos - Onnes

Plage de la Paloma, Alpes-Maritimes

The lovely beach of Paloma is located at Port de Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera and is a rather exclusive little cove. It tends to be overlooked by tourists and is a popular beach with families and locals.

The neverending sandy stretches of Espiguette beach near Montpellier ©Fotolia - PixelheldThe neverending sandy stretches of Espiguette beach near Montpellier ©Fotolia - Pixelheld

Plage de l’Espiguette, Hérault

This huge beach close to the Camargue National Park is located near le Grau-du-Roi, east of Montpellier. It boasts natural dunes, unlimited space all around and will make you feel like you have the place to yourself.

Plage du Gigaro near St Tropez ©ThinkstockPhotos-davidevisonPlage du Gigaro near St Tropez ©ThinkstockPhotos-davidevison

Plage de Bonporteau and Plage de Gigaro, Var

Get away from the crowds of St Tropez at Cavalaire-sur-Mer, a picturesque former fishing town. The main beach is a 3-kilometre stretch of white sands but the nearby sandy coves of Bonporteau and Gigaro offer a more tranquil and peaceful option.

Turquoise sea at the Calanque d'En-vau ©ThinskstockPhotos-Gabriel-mTurquoise sea at the Calanque d'En-vau ©ThinskstockPhotos-Gabriel-m

Calanque d’En-vau, Bouches-du-Rhône

This little sandy calanque is only accessible by scrambling on a path down the limestone cliff but the setting is so glorious, the waters so turquoise, it makes all the efforts worthwhile.

Plage Mala in Cap d'Ail ©ThinkstockPhotos-sergiopazzanoPlage Mala in Cap d'Ail ©ThinkstockPhotos-sergiopazzano

Plage Mala, Cap d’Ail, Alpes-Maritimes

If you want to sunbathe and swim in seclusion, then this sandy and pebble beach in Cap d’Ail, just a stone’s throw away from Monaco, is perfect for you. Climb down the steep steps from the town centre and enjoy the peace and quiet.

The beautiful sea at the Island of Porquerolles ©ThinkstockPhotos-sam74100The beautiful sea at the Island of Porquerolles ©ThinkstockPhotos-sam74100

Plage de la Galère, Var

The tiny plage de la Galère is located on the eastern end of the island of Porquerolles in Var. As it is protected by the bay and offers shallow waters, it is very popular for families but is known for its rugged beauty thanks to the many rocks and boulders you can explore.

Peace and quiet at plage de Passable ©TangopasoPeace and quiet at plage de Passable ©Tangopaso

Plage de Passable, Alpes-Maritimes

If you’re looking for something a bit quieter and more family-friendly than the crowded beaches near Nice, Plage de Passable is ideal. It is sheltered from the wind and boasts great views of Villefranche.

Like this? You might enjoy:

Stunning photos of the French Riviera

Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region guide

Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées region guide

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