Joel Douillet / Alamy

Côte Sauvage, Poitou-Charentes, France

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The French jealously guard any spare spot of beach they can get to. But not that many get to Côte Sauvage, which lies opposite the oyster- (and people-) heavy Île d’Oléron, on France’s untamed west coast. Surrounded by a shaggy pine and green oak forest, between Ronce-les-Bains and La Palmyre, this 18-mile stretch of white sand is accessible only after a serious hike over the dunes. visit-poitou-charentes.com

—Alexandra Marshall

Europe's Secret Beaches

Côte Sauvage, Poitou-Charentes, France

The French jealously guard any spare spot of beach they can get to. But not that many get to Côte Sauvage, which lies opposite the oyster- (and people-) heavy Île d’Oléron, on France’s untamed west coast. Surrounded by a shaggy pine and green oak forest, between Ronce-les-Bains and La Palmyre, this 18-mile stretch of white sand is accessible only after a serious hike over the dunes. visit-poitou-charentes.com

—Alexandra Marshall

Joel Douillet / Alamy

Europe's Secret Beaches

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