French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes

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French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes -   Plage de St-Aygulf, Fréjus    Just outside of Fréjus, St-Aygulf beach is encircled by rocks inside the nature preserve Les Etangs de Villepey, which affords a lovely view over the Fréjus bay and protects both fresh- and saltwater lagoons. More than 217 species of birds live here. The most exciting time to visit is spring, when pink flamingoes and gray herons fly overhead while you soak up the sun.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes - Plage de St-Aygulf, Fréjus Just outside of Fréjus, St-Aygulf beach is encircled by rocks inside the nature preserve Les Etangs de Villepey, which affords a lovely view over the Fréjus bay and protects both fresh- and saltwater lagoons. More than 217 species of birds live here. The most exciting time to visit is spring, when pink flamingoes and gray herons fly overhead while you soak up the sun.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes -   Plage de Pampelonne, St-Tropez    St-Tropez's public image was forged and burnished on this 9km stretch of white sand. A galaxy of stars have bronzed their busts and butts to perfection on this beach, and the mega-wealthy and -famous continue reserving places in the exclusive beach clubs. Certain stretches are reserved for nudists. Gays and families also have their own designated areas.    Photo Caption: Pampelonne Beach of St-Tropez, France.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes - Plage de Pampelonne, St-Tropez St-Tropez's public image was forged and burnished on this 9km stretch of white sand. A galaxy of stars have bronzed their busts and butts to perfection on this beach, and the mega-wealthy and -famous continue reserving places in the exclusive beach clubs. Certain stretches are reserved for nudists. Gays and families also have their own designated areas. Photo Caption: Pampelonne Beach of St-Tropez, France.

Top Summer Destinations: 16 Hot Spots -   Helsinki, Finland    Named the World Design Capital of 2012 (www.wdchelsinki2012.fi/en), Helsinki has a full roster of arts and design events planned for summer. From bold Marimekko fabrics to the distinct architecture of Alvar Aalto, modern Helsinki provides a vibrant and style-conscious backdrop to a year's worth of design competitions, lectures, and exhibits.  Photo Caption: The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland.

Top Summer Destinations: 16 Hot Spots - Helsinki, Finland Named the World Design Capital of 2012 (www.wdchelsinki2012.fi/en), Helsinki has a full roster of arts and design events planned for summer. From bold Marimekko fabrics to the distinct architecture of Alvar Aalto, modern Helsinki provides a vibrant and style-conscious backdrop to a year's worth of design competitions, lectures, and exhibits. Photo Caption: The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes -   Iles de Lérins, Ste-Marguerite & St-Honorat -   Ile St-Honorat is the smaller of the two, dominated by a fortified Cistercian monastery that is still occupied by monks. Ile Ste-Marguerite is an Eldorado for those wishing to break up their beach time with hikes through pine and eucalyptus woods.  Trans Côte d'Azur boats leave from quai Laubeuf; first departure from Cannes 9am, last return to Cannes 6pm (trans-cote-azur.com)

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes - Iles de Lérins, Ste-Marguerite & St-Honorat - Ile St-Honorat is the smaller of the two, dominated by a fortified Cistercian monastery that is still occupied by monks. Ile Ste-Marguerite is an Eldorado for those wishing to break up their beach time with hikes through pine and eucalyptus woods. Trans Côte d'Azur boats leave from quai Laubeuf; first departure from Cannes 9am, last return to Cannes 6pm (trans-cote-azur.com)

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes -   Ile de Porquerolles, Hyères    A short boat crossing from the Hyères peninsula leads you to an island of pine trees, vineyards, walking and cycling trails, and several small, sandy beaches. Rent a bicycle and choose a destination: the silvery sands of the Plage d'Argent; Plage de la Courtade, ideally situated by Fort Ste-Agathe; or beautiful Plage Notre Dame, the island's biggest beach, bordered by pines and furnished with a seasonal…

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes - Ile de Porquerolles, Hyères A short boat crossing from the Hyères peninsula leads you to an island of pine trees, vineyards, walking and cycling trails, and several small, sandy beaches. Rent a bicycle and choose a destination: the silvery sands of the Plage d'Argent; Plage de la Courtade, ideally situated by Fort Ste-Agathe; or beautiful Plage Notre Dame, the island's biggest beach, bordered by pines and furnished with a seasonal…

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes -   Plage de Rondinaram, South of Porto-Vecchio, Corsica    The horseshoe-shaped Rondinara beach -- with its fine, white sand; clear, shallow turquoise water; and resident cows in the off season (tourists chase them away in the summer months) -- is one of Corsica's most beautiful bays. It has a desert island-like quality to it; bathing here in spring or autumn can make you feel as though you've found your own slice of paradise.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes - Plage de Rondinaram, South of Porto-Vecchio, Corsica The horseshoe-shaped Rondinara beach -- with its fine, white sand; clear, shallow turquoise water; and resident cows in the off season (tourists chase them away in the summer months) -- is one of Corsica's most beautiful bays. It has a desert island-like quality to it; bathing here in spring or autumn can make you feel as though you've found your own slice of paradise.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes    By Anna E. Brooke    The coastline from the Hyères to Nice is lengthy and varied enough to satisfy a range of beachcombers -- whether you seek solace and tranquility in a secluded cove, wild nature, family activities, or a hotspot in which to see and be seen. The island of Corsica, too, is famed for its shorelines. Access to the listed beaches is free.     Photo Caption: The sandy beaches of Ile de Porquerolles in Hyéres, France.

French Riviera's Best Beaches: 5 Med Escapes By Anna E. Brooke The coastline from the Hyères to Nice is lengthy and varied enough to satisfy a range of beachcombers -- whether you seek solace and tranquility in a secluded cove, wild nature, family activities, or a hotspot in which to see and be seen. The island of Corsica, too, is famed for its shorelines. Access to the listed beaches is free. Photo Caption: The sandy beaches of Ile de Porquerolles in Hyéres, France.

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