Tired of swimming pools, lake, rivers, and natural lidos? Of course you have the beach option when staying in Cotignac. You just have to be willing to drive between an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes. Our favourites are Estagnol and Cabasson (Fort Bregançon) in Bormes-les-Mimosas, as they are shallow for what seems like miles into the sea and are really kid-friendly. But the quickest cool beach is Théoule sur Mer (95 km away, 1hr 15 mins drive on the A8, exit Théoule) in the Cote d’Azur, believe it or not!
For our favourites in the Var: Head to Bormes-les-Mimosa: drive through Brignoles to La Celle and continue in the direction of Toulon. At the great big roundabout go straight (rather than onto the A57 that leads you into Toulon) and head to Pierrefeu du Var (D14). From Pierrefeu continue in the direction of La Londe des Maures (D12). You’ll drive through the village of La Londe and then you’ll need to get onto the D42A (head South). You’ll drive through some of the most beautiful vineyards (Léoube, Ott, etc) and eventually see signs for Estagnol, then Fort de Bregançon further down. There are snack stands and restaurants at
both so you need not bring a picknic but do bring a parasol as shade is limited. There is no public shower at Estagnol but there is one at Cabasson (Fort de Bragançon). Check this map out if you get lost: https://www.google.fr/maps/place/Le+Lavandouemail@example.com,6.2991568,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x12c92d77305be1b1:0xee2cf5ea02895df6
The beach at Fréjus has had some rather nice improvements done to it lately. It’s a lot bigger as the old army barracks have turned into a beach park! There is now lots of parking and a long beach walk for pedestrians and cyclists, roller bladers, and skateboarders. Again, shade here is limited so bring a parasol. There are some nice restaurants here too and they are much cheaper than at places like Théoule and Estagnol. You can feed your 4 person family for around 45 euros, drinks included. To get there, take the A8 from Le Thoronet and get off at the Frejus exit. Go South and you’ll eventually see signs to the beaches (les plages). With Summer traffic it will probably take about an hour and 15 mins.
If bling-bling is your thing, and you don’t mind paying a small fortune, try the private beaches in Pamplonne (my favourite is Key West but there are also places like Tahiti and Nicki Beach for the young, rich, and beautiful show-offs and party animals). At Key West you can entertain a family of 4 for around 200 euros for the day which includes lunch, wine, and 2 loungers for the adults (kids tend to be in the sea rather than on a lounger). There are some public parts of Pamplonne too, of course, but it’s just so nice to have your own matelas to lie on and have cocktails brought to you by fit, tan, men, n’est ce pas? From Cotignac take the A8 direction Nice, then the St Tropez (Le Muy) exit and head South. It’s well indicated.
Let us know if you get to any of the beaches listed above, we’d love to hear from you and your experiences!