You probably wouldn’t expect 12 beautiful beaches in central France, given it’s so far from the ocean. However, there are some amazing bodies of water in this region and unless stated otherwise, all are around a 30 minute drive of La Prairie Étoilée Glamping
If you want to swim, kayak (if you have them bring your own!), take part in watersports, fish or just relax with a picnic on a sandy beach, there will be a spot by one of the many lakes for you!
If you are struggling to decide about a coast or country location for your relaxing break away in France, The Centre-Val de Loire region may be the perfect answer – the best of both worlds!
12 Beautiful Beaches In Central France – The Indre
The Indre has the biggest expanse of water in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Created by a huge hydroelectric dam, at the time the largest in Europe. Constructed in the 1920s, Lake d’Éguzon, at Éguzon-Chantome, now has a number of beaches and watersports.
1. Plage de Chambon
In the height of Summer Plage de Chambon is a hive of activity. With motor boats pulling inflatable donuts, waterskiing, leisure cruisers, pedalos and Parc Aqualudic – a large inflatable off the beach – it’s a bustling burst of energy and popular with couples and families alike. There are beach bars and cafes that open through the summer season but it’s also a great spot for a picnic!
2. Plage de Fourgères – Saint Plaintaire
Fronting a large expanse of lake Éguzon, plage de Fourgères, is a great spot for swimming. In the summer season there are canoes, pedalos and rowing boats to hire and you will see watersports such as waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing.
3. Plage de Bonnu – Cuzion
Bonnu is another beach on Lake Éguzon. At this beach there’s a pontoon to swim out to, boats to hire and you can participate in watersports. A point of interest on the bank, is a sculpture by the artist Jorge Carrasco called Madeline (you can see a painted church by Carrasco and his studio, at the village of Le Menoux). It appears that Madeline is tempted to dip her toe in the water – have to say, it is almost impossible to resist!
4. Plage de Montcocu – Baraize
Our guests love this beach. It’s peaceful and calm here, especially inMay, June and Septmenber. No powerboats just a wooded area leading down to the beach with tall wooded hills in front. There are canoes to hire and a beach bar open every weekend and everyday during July and August. There are more people around in peak season but it’s still one of the quieter spots.
5. Plan d’eau de Poulingny-Notre-Dame
If you are staying at La Prairie Étoilée, then the closest lake just 15 minutes by car or a 45 minute cycle through quiet country lanes. It’s home to Sensas Park, an amazing teleski park where you can have a go at wakeboarding or waterskiing without a boat! It’s such great fun to do but also mesmorising to watch! Here you will also find a beach with swimming area and cafe.
6. Belbouche – Mezieres en Brenne
The furthest away of the lakes we are going to include is Belouche but it definitely falls into the category of one of the 12 beautiful beaches in Central France. It’s within the Brenne Regional Natural Park (1 hour 20 minutes away), itself know as the area of 1000 lakes. Brenne is one of France’s most important areas for biodiversity and it makes for a great day trip. Lake Belbouche has a gorgeous lakeside beach. Kayaks are available to hire to explore this beautiful and vast body of water. Take time also to explore more of the the park itself, see if you can spot any of the rare forna or animal species it’s home to! Nearby is also La Blanc, ZooPark Haute-Touche and the beautiful chateau, park and gardens of Azay-Le-Feron.
12 beautiful beaches in Central France – La Creuse
La Creuse has it’s share of this selection of 12 beautiful beaches in Central France- the ones we are including are those within the “Pays des trois Lacs” (3 lakes country) plus two more. The Trois Lacs is a name given to a union of 5 communes (Anzeme, Le Bourge d’Hem, Champsanglard, La Celle Dunoise and Jouillat). Again, the lakes are the product of dams constructed for hydroelectricity. It has only added to the beauty of this area made up of a number of picturesque gorges. They may be over the departmental boarder into La Creuse but they are still only an easy 30 minutes drive from La Prairie Étoilée Glamping.
7. Plage de Jouillat (Pays des Trois Lacs)
The plage de Jouillat is the first lake we visited. It was on the trip when we came to France to pick up the keys to our house, the sale having gone through – an exciting time. It’s such a great atmosphere at the beach, totally relaxed and everyone just chilling out and having fun.
There is a sandy beach area and a large grassy bank with picnic benches in a wooded area, offering shade. Here you can hire kayaks and pedalos, swim or fish. You can also get a different perspective of the lake by zooming across to the other & back on a zip wire! Take a picnic, or in the main summer months, grab a snack or meal at the beach bar and restaurant. Hang around because a swim at sunset is quite lovely.
8. Le Bourg d’Hem (Pays des trois Lacs)
A stunning lake with beach. On sunny days in May, June and September we’ve often had the place to ourselves. There’s a sandy beach and is much flatter than at Jouillat, a grassy park area and wooded area with picnic benches, offers lots of shade. Here too you will find great swimming, kayaks and pedalos to hire. In the main season there is a snack van and a bar and restaurant but this is a great place for a picnic or barbecue for lunch or dinner!
9. Anzeme (Pays des Trois Lacs
The third of the Trois Lacs is Anzeme. Again its a lovely sandy beach with the usual kayak and pedalo hire and bar/restaurant with lovely walks nearby.
More a waterfront than beach, but a really beautiful spot in the Creuse Valley. Being only just over the boarder into La Creuse, it is still on lake Éguzon, in fact the departmental boarder runs down the middle of the lake! At the Hotel du Lac you can hire kayaks or, if you aren’t feeling that energetic, buy tickets for the Bateau Promenade – a boat cruise up as far as Éguzon itself and return. You’ll get to spot a number of the beaches and appreciate the vastness of this lake, as you cruise through stunning scenery and relax.
The plan d’eau (body of water) at Châteleus-Malveleix is a little gem and had to be included when considering 12 beautiful beaches in Central France. With a beach, bar, bowling, tenis, mountain bike hire and tracks and of course a great place to swim. A great stop off for a dip on a hot day on your way back from Boussac, Guéret or Abusson!
And Over into Cher for our last but not least of 12 Beautiful Beaches in Central France!
When staying at La Prairie Étoilée you are so well placed for exploring! The departmental border of Cher is also very close providing access to some great wine tasting opportunities in and around Châteaumeillant! But there’s also a lake that we just had to include…
12. Sidiailles – Cher
We’re crossing another departmental border for this stunning lake, this time into Cher. It’s our second furthest away at a 45 minutes drive but as well as a beautiful beach and lake there is a host of activities here if you want to do more than relax on the beach. Activities include a tree adventure, giant zip lines, waterbikes, kayaks and even bunjee jumping so have a super relaxed or as much as an adventurous time as you like!
Open Water Swimming at any of these 12 Beautiful Beaches in Central France
You can swim at any time of year but it’s only through the main summer months (July & August) that lifeguards are at the beaches. Make sure outside of this time you are aware of how to stay safe when open water swimming.
Early on or late in the season you may want to bring a wetsuit to stay longer in the water but many brave it in just their swimming togs. Usually from June onwards the water is surprisingly warm! Swimming shoes are always a great idea!
When the temperatures hit the 30s, there really is no better place to be. Keep your bathers with you when you are out and about so you can divert off for a dip at any time – we do – often; the most difficult thing is deciding which beach to head for!
Everything you need for a relaxing day at the beach
Even if you were staying for a couple of weeks, you could visit a different beach every day with so many fabulous beaches to head to! If you are staying at La Prairie Étoilée to take the hassle out of your day you can order a picnic to take with you. Or make your own & if you didn’t bring bring beach towels, cool bags or a parasol with you, you can always hire them from us; then all you have to do if find your perfect spot!
If you’d like to know more, about where to visit when holidaying in this beautiful, yet off the beaten track, part of France, download Your Guide to Secret France here – It’s Free!