© Alexandre Lamoureux

Saint‑Nazaire and its beaches

At Saint-Nazaire, if you ask locals the way to the beach, they’ll invariably reply: “Which one?” This is, after all, a town boasting 20 beaches! Are you more of a sandy-beach or rocky-creek person? Up for a dip in the waves or lazily sunning yourself? A canoe or a windsurf? Here in Saint-Nazaire, there’s something for everyone. As a family or with friends, discover a remarkably unspoilt, thoughtfully laid-out coastal stretch.

A town

boasting 20 beaches

Here, enjoy the generous skies, sun and sea…

The people of Saint-Nazaire long kept it a secret that their stretch of coast, several kilometres in length, concealed so many enchanting beaches and coves. Today, we boast that the destination Saint-Nazaire has 20 beaches and coves, two designated Handiplage (with facilities for the handicapped), six provided with lifeguards in summer, and one a star in a famous French film, Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot. Plus, three of our beaches have gained Blue Flag status.

  • Do you have lively little ones? Young and old alike will love the beach games made from driftwood on Saint-Nazaire’s central beach, featuring wooden castles, bridges and diggers, as well as swings. This is an adventure playground where children can run about barefoot in the sand!
  • Do you have older children into skimboarding and windsurfing? Then head for La Courance or Saint-Nazaire’s main central beach, with Le Skate Park water sports centre.
  • Are you looking for tranquillity? Seek out the little coves around Port Charlotte or at La Petite Vallée for peace and quiet.

Beaches for all seasons

  • Looking to relax after a hard day’s work? Some of our beaches are practically in the heart of town: the Plage de Saint-Nazaire, in front of Place du Commando; the Plage de Villès-Martin, with its bus stop, plus a bar offering snacks (April to September); or, to the west, there’s Saint-Marc-sur-Mer’s large beach, with bars and restaurants, plus memories of comic character Monsieur Hulot.
  • Intrigued by our pêcheries, the fishing huts hanging over the Loire Estuary? Head to the little port of Trébézy or to Sautron to see them close up.
  • Or, if you simply wish to admire a magnificent sunset… try any of Saint-Nazaire’s many beaches!

So, in your view, which is your favourite Saint-Nazaire beach?

Plage de Monsieur Hulot

Our star beach

If you think you’ve seen the main beach at Saint-Marc somewhere before, with its distinctive jetty, group of rocks and its Hôtel de la Plage, don’t be surprised. Here, you’re in the place where the classic French comedy movie, Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, was filmed. Director Jacques Tati, seeking a fine natural setting, chose Saint-Marc-sur-Mer for its family atmosphere and its magnificent beach.

Where to swim in Saint-Nazaire?

Swim with peace of mind

6 beaches with lifeguard supervision in summer

Every summer, the town of Saint-Nazaire ensures that lifeguards are on duty on the six most popular beaches in its area, namely:

  1. the Plage de Saint-Nazaire
  2. the Plage de Villès-Martin ― Accessible
  3. the Plage de Porcé
  4. the Plage de la Courance (Saint-Marc-sur-Mer) ― Blue Flag
  5. the Plage de Monsieur Hulot (Saint-Marc-sur-Mer) ― Blue Flag ― Accessible
  6. the Plage des Jaunais (Saint-Marc-sur-Mer) ― Blue Flag

Our lifeguards, 40 in total, patrol the relevant beaches every day of the week from late June to the very end of August, meaning everyone can feel secure bathing in these places. You can easily identify our lifeguards by their bright red and yellow outfits.

Blue Flag beaches

Three Saint-Nazaire beaches have met the very strict criteria necessary to be awarded this prestigious eco-label. The quality of the bathing water, local waste and waste-water treatment, the provision of lifeguards … dozens of tests, mainly concerning environmental issues, have to be passed for a beach to be permitted to fly the Blue Flag during the summer season.

Beaches offering greater accessibility

Two of our beaches benefit from installations and bathing equipment specifically designed for people with reduced mobility (PRMs), including via the provision of appropriately smooth paths and wheelchairs specifically adapted to bathing.

This enhanced accessibility is available during the summer period at the same time as when lifeguards are in place, and concerns:

To use these facilities, please contact the relevant lifeguard posts.

These two beaches are respectively classified “two rubber rings” and “three rubber rings” by the association Handiplage (the maximum award being “four rubber rings”).

Place du Commando

The place to be

This town square is the social heart of the town, with its unbeatable views over the Loire estuary, so if you want to make the most of life’s little pleasures, Place du Commando is the place to be! Day or night, locals or visitors, from near or far, with friends or family, everyone crosses paths here, it’s a meeting place and a melting pot. Whether you prefer waffles or pancakes, meat or fish, cocktails or local beers, Place du Commando always has plenty on offer, at any time of year.

Opened in summer 2018, the new seafront space encourages relaxation and conviviality:

  • In the square: decking areas, water games, picnic tables and an improvised stage under the pine trees.
  • On the beach: sun-loungers, WiFi parasols, lifeguard service, a summer library and a fabulous wooden playground for children all year round!

Don’t miss:

A stone’s throw from the square, you’ll find a group of three monumental sculptures that are submerged and revealed with each passing tide. This is also the third piece in the trail of contemporary art ‘Estuaire à Saint-Nazaire’ and is named Le pied, le pull-over et le système digestif (meaning, The foot, the pull-over and the digestive system).