The smaller beach in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is the Boisvinet Beach. It is located North of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, along the Corniche. It’s a charming local beach that is popular with families because the surf is mild and lifeguards are on duty.
The Sailing + Surf School
There is a surf and sailing school on Boisvinet Beach called Semvie Nautisime it offers classes in surf, sailing, windsurfing, and more for both kids and adults.
The Swiming Basin
A nice feature of the Boisvinet beach is the swimming basin. At low tide, the basin is revealed and is a nice place for kids and adults to swim in calmer waters without bumping into any boats or windsurfers.
At high tide the basin is actually covered, disappearing into the sea. As a result, swimming on this side of the beach is restricted. It’s best to check the tide schedule to know when the best time to take advantage of the basin will be.
A Neighborhood Beach
The Boisvinet Beach is a real local beach and is mostly frequented by the residents who live in the neighborhood. There really isn’t any “public parking” at this beach so unless you can find a place on the street, the best way to get there is to do as the locals and walk!
Restaurants and Restrooms
The Boisvinet Beach has a set of restrooms at the surf school, accessible straight from the beach. There is also a lifeguard cabin as well.
There are two charming beach “cabines” that serve food, snacks, and drinks throughout the day.
The Beach Club
The beach club has a good-sized menu and a spacious covered deck for enjoying the view. It’s a great place for lunch or an afternoon crepe or gaufre (Gaufre: a French sweet waffle, most often served with sugar or Nutella!)
The deck at the Beach Club is a fun gathering spot for a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the beach and the view. Or you can head down to the beach and enjoy your drinks and snacks in comfy beach chairs right in the sand.
What to Order:
There’s is a nice mix of items on the menu from healthy options like tartines and avocado toast, to more decadent treats like fish and chips. They also serve homemade crepes and gaufres to order so save room for one of those!
La Petite Cabine de Boisvinet
Next door is a smaller “cabine” that has equally good food and friendly service! They serve quick and easy lunch items like panini sandwiches or my personal favorite a Croque Monsieur served with a salad and vinaigrette.
La Petite Cabine also offers a great selection of fresh juice (try the grapefruit, it’s so refreshing!) and they also offer homemade crepes and gaufres as well. Either one is a great treat at the end of the day.
A Great Place for a Drink
At the end of the day, either one of these “cabines” is a great place for a glass of wine or a cold beer. You’ll have one of the best seats in town to watch the sunset and may even catch a few of the locals engaged in a competitive game of pétanque right there in the sand.
One of the things you’ll notice about this part of France is the dramatic clouds. They make for the best photos!
The Boisvinet Beach is a great place to capture some great artistic “beach shots” showing sand, surf, and sky, experiment with your iPhone’s photo editing app and you’ll be able to turn these shots into some dramatic black and white worthy of framing!