The French Atlantic coast is beach heaven with long stretches of clean, soft sand and unspoilt scenery (a lot of it is protected under the Conservertoire du Littoral, the society to protect the coastline). The beach and beach holidays are essential parts of French culture. For many, this beach culture is exclusively associated with the Med, but several of the most popular beaches are along France’s Atlantic coast. In particular the Charente-Maritime department in the region of Poitou-Charentes. This region of France is blessed with a great number and variety of beaches, which means there is a stretch of golden sand to suit pretty much all tastes – and budgets.