Beaches and swimming

Travel responsibly and sustainably

Îles de la Madeleine Beach

Most of the sand on the beaches starts off as sandstone eroded from red cliffs. Once in the salt water, material from the cliffs loses its thin film of iron oxide and is carried around the islands by longshore currents before being deposited in spits whose general orientation is determined by the direction of the prevailing winds and currents. Once dry, the sand appears white. It accumulates on beaches and helps create the dunes. Grains of sand on the beaches are in constant movement, and the width of any beach is directly related to the volume of material available and the strength of the waves and currents, which carry it.

Les Îles offer 300 km of beaches on which to find a favourite spot!

The beaches are easy to reach, and what a pleasure it is to swim, relax and get a good tan from the wind and the sun or take long, invigorating walks.You can also build sand castles, collect shells or just sit and meditate by the sea.

The temperature of the seawater around the islands usually stands at around 18°C (64°F) in mid-August. Water in lagoons and bays can reach temperatures higher than 20°C (68°F). Wind is a major factor when choosing a place to swim: it is always a good idea to look for a beach that is protected from the wind.

Beware of treacherous currents

It can be very dangerous to go swimming on windy days even if you are a good swimmer. Waves are often the sign of strong currents along the coast.


Other activities «Nature»

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Les Îles de la Madeleine
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