I have visited all the well known beach towns but would like to stay with my teenage daughter at one that has good transportation but off the beaten path. Any recommendations would be great
In the fall of 2011, we stayed in a little town on the coast named Agay. We had come from Italy, stopped in Nice and decided to drive along the coast to eventually get to the Luberon area of Provence. We stayed in a Logis hotel named Hotel Des Flots Bleus. It was in an interesting little hotel along the coast. With our door closed, we couldn't see the water but we could sit on the patio in front of the room and see the coast. I don't know how much of a "beach" town it is but... You could go to the Camargue area and stay in one little towns along the coast. I would stay in Stes Maries-de-la-Mer. You can get there from Arles, probably by bus. We had a car so I am not sure about the transportation. Just farther west, is a resort area of la Grande Motte. We drove through there and were surprised about it being such a resort area. Again, I don't know about transportation. Farther southwest, look at Sete, le Cap d'Agde, Narbonne-Plage, Perpignan area of Canet Plage and eventually to Collioure. It seems as if there would be lots of choices. I am sure you could also use a train to get to the larger cities along the coast. It just depends if you want to be along the coast east or west of Marseilles.
I agree that you should look at the Languedoc region. There are a lot of nice beach towns and there is train service. Sete has good train connections and is a larger town with nice beach at one end of town.
We stayed in Languedoc for 5 weeks and found the beaches in that region to be lovely! Cap d'Agde is nice but beware...half of the town is clothing optional...not just the beach but the town as well. Restaurants and everything...Could be very eye-opening for you and your daughter! :) The half that is clothing-required is not very interesting. It's a very French, very 70s beachfront. I would head west to Coullioure. Gorgeous, old beach front town. Very French! The Fauvre painters hung out here and the old town is very beautiful.
I don't know if it is well known or not, but I happened upon a smaller beach town between Nice and Canne and it is Ste. Maxime. It was big enough so there were nice restaurants and shops as well as a market. The beach was nice and had an old carousel there as well. I have stayed there a few times and although I had a car I think there must be some sort of transportation there.
We loved Collioure, France. Although we drove there from Provence, I know there are train connections also. We drove into Spain and the whole area is lovely.Besides the beach area, there are many restaurants, little shoppes,nice hotels etc.
Thank you. I will look up St Maxime.