Lyon is one of the top destinations that people have in mind when they are traveling in France. From museums and cultural sites to shopping and enjoying excellent food, there is no shortage of fun stuff to do in the city itself. What many tourists are not aware of, however, is that there are sandy beaches within easy reach of the city. If you have been looking for a way to make at least a few of your days in Lyon more peaceful, these beach holiday locations offer the perfect opportunity to slow down for a day and just take it easy.
As you are looking at the various sandy beach locations in this guide, make sure that you add storing your bags in Lyon to your plans. Dragging your things with you onto the golden sand of these beaches is just not that much fun, and you will want to be free to go swimming and have a good time. Let Bounce take care of your bags so that you can make the most of every moment of your vacation.
L'île de Porquerolles
This sandy beach area is actually an island, which makes it a really fun place to enjoy golden sand and water sports. There are numerous smaller beaches around the island that you can choose to enjoy and lots of places to stay if you want to spend time at each of these sandy beach spots. Come here for seafood restaurants, shopping, and things like horseback riding along the shore.
L'île de Porquerolles travel distance from Lyon
You can hop on the train at Lyon Perrache and get to this beach area in about six hours. You can also drive if you wish, but the travel time will be about the same.
Depending on which way you travel, you will take the Tour Fondue ferry across to this sandy beach spot. Locals love coming here to enjoy some of the best beaches in the French Riviera. You can choose to enjoy water sports with rented gear, or you might want to just rent an umbrella and some chairs and bask in the sun. There are so many lovely little communities to see all around the island that it could also be fun to hop from place to place to see what each area is all about.
Just riding the ferry over to the island is a really fun experience that many people never forget, and there is something really special about being separated from the rest of the world that is only possible on an island. Being transported to a smaller island location that enjoys a much slower pace of daily life can help you to unwind, relax and make the most of your day of peace and quiet. Best of all, you can extend your time here if you are having a great time since there are lots of places to stay right on the island.
Situated right by the Spanish border, this is one of the best beaches anywhere near Lyon. You can enjoy all kinds of fun on the sandy beach here. Argelès Beach has a promenade area with lots of shopping, as well as places to swim and relax. Well-known to locals and tourists, you can expect this beach to be busy in July and even busier in August.
Argelès-sur-Mer travel distance from Lyon
Traveling by car will take a little under five hours, so it's a good idea to make this an overnight stay. The same goes for taking the train, which takes about six hours.
Beaches in this area of the world always boast turquoise water, soft and golden sand, and lots of places to rent sun loungers and be pampered. You can head to this beach community for things like horseback riding, walking along the beach, and relaxing, or to head away from the sandy beach for some shopping and fancy dining. The fact that Argelès Beach is also close to other gems in the area, like Collioure and Sain Cyprién, means you can beach hop easily as most of these small beach towns have train stations. So although it's quite far, there's lots to see here.
Tony Bertrand Swimming Pool
If heading to the golden sand and turquoise water is not on the list of things that you have time for when you visit Lyon, you can instead enjoy this very impressive outdoor pool. This local hotspot might be within walking distance for you, depending on where you are staying in the city. If the pool is not a short walk away, it will take you no time to drive or ride public transportation to enjoy this attraction.
Tony Bertrand Swimming Pool travel distance from Lyon
This fun pool area is within the city limits, so you can drive here in less than ten minutes or take a twenty-minute train ride to enjoy easy access to swimming and other kinds of fun.
This really cool swimming pool might not be a beach location, but it is one of the best places to relax within the city limits. Come here to swim, relax on the pool deck, or participate in swimming classes or water aerobics. The fact that this location is often a short walk from lots of the places to stay in the city can make it a great choice for your travel needs, especially if you have kids with you.
There really aren't many true beaches that are close to Lyon, but that doesn't mean that you have to miss out on a relaxing day to enjoy the fine weather during the summer. Heading to a really nice pool location like this one will offer you the chance to swim, lay out in the sun, and socialize with your friends. While the beach might be a more attractive idea for some, there are those who love a day at the pool just as much as a day at the beach.
This is one of the prettiest beaches near Lyon, and there is plenty of sand as well as turquoise water to enjoy during your visit here. The beach offers easy access to everyone, and you can swim here, sunbathe, or rent water sports equipment. The shallow nature of the water makes it perfect for little ones to enjoy the shore, and you can also wander over to the local market, which sells fresh fish, food, and homemade goods.
Valras Plage travel distance from Lyon
Valras Plage is a classic beach space that is the ideal spot for a day of fun in the sun. From golden sand to local eateries and food trucks, there is everything that you need to have a great day with your family and friends here. Make sure that you consider renting an umbrella and some chairs if you are going to be lounging on the sand, as it can get pretty warm during the day in the summer.
If you didn't bring any food with you, you can walk away from the water for easy access to restaurants and some shopping. This is a good beach area to choose for a weekend getaway, but you could choose to head over here for just the day if you wanted to as well.
Grand Parc Miribel Jonage
Lake beaches can be just as much fun as ocean beaches, and the beach at Lake Miribel-Jonage is a local favorite for those who live in Lyon. The proximity of this beach to the heart of the city makes it an easy choice even if you didn't start the day with beach plans. Head here for all kinds of activities, including golf, and to spend a day getting out of the busy central Lyon area for a day of peace and quiet.
Grand Parc Miribel Jonage travel distance from Lyon
This lakeside beach is just a half hour away by car. It will take you just shy of an hour using the bus and train.
Many people head here to enjoy horseback riding on the beach, but you can also go sailing, rent a kayak, go canoeing, or even golf at the nearby course. The beach is sizeable, so you will not have to struggle to find a place to lay out, and there are many amenities right by the water if you get hungry or thirsty.
While there is some soft sand here, there are also beach areas that are pebbly and harder on the feet. Consider bringing water shoes with you so that you can get into the water all along the shore. Parking costs a small fee, and you can avoid this cost if you decide to ride the train instead.
Plan d'Eau de Bordelan
Another sizeable lakeside beach, Lake Bordelan is a great place to head with your family. You will be able to enjoy the beach area and also a nature reserve that is the perfect opportunity for hiking and other adventures. Consider renting bikes, choosing to camp here on the lake, or just coming for a day of swimming and laying out in the sun.
Plan d'Eau de Bordelan travel distance from Lyon
This lake is about a half hour from the city center of Lyon. There is no train or bus route to get to this beach location.
This beach is not all soft sand, so make sure that you bring the right footwear with you if you want to kayak or jump into the water to go swimming all around the lake. You can hike or go biking in the forested areas around the lake, or you might decide to join the aqua-fitness classes that are held on specific days of the week right in the lake itself.
This is a well-known resort area, so there are lots of other activities going on all the time. You might enjoy an archery class right by the water or choose to get involved with a gymnastics or fitness class if archery isn't your style. There is even a games area where you can play Skittles (a type of lawn game) and various other classic games with other beachgoers. If you are in the mood for some peace and quiet, you can also wander up off the shore into the grassy areas and just sit down at a picnic table with a book.
If you have time for a longer beach holiday or a trip away from Lyon, you will want to check out our guide to the best weekend getaways from Lyon. Travel doesn't have to break the bank, and if you're heading to Lyon on a budget, beach or pool days can help you to save enough money to make sure that you don't miss out on a single popular tourist destination that you want to enjoy.
Beach lovers will rejoice at being able to get to the beach during their time in Lyon. Adding a day to relax and just rest to your trip plans can be just what the doctor ordered to have the perfect vacation. You might choose to head to the Mediterranean, but if not, you have your pick of some lovely lakeside beaches that are much closer to the city of Lyon. Making time to have fun in the sun can be a great way to make memories and experience a side of Lyon that you may not have originally considered.