Forget Barcelona, Paris is the ultimate beach-city break for 2011!
Paris Beach (or Paris Plages 2011) is a free summer event that transforms several spots in Paris into fully-fledged beaches, each with a distinct theme.
In total, there's three kilometres of sand, with 2000 beach chairs, and 15 restaurants.
The brainchild of Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, well-known for launching ambitious municipal events, Paris Plage, which was initially criticised by some as costly and frivolous, has become a permanent fixture in the Parisian summertime scene.
From sunbathing in the sand to swimming in pools suspended over the Seine, kayaking, or enjoying free evening concerts, Paris Plages offers activities that both kids and adults will enjoy.
There's three main beach spots: on the square in front of City Hall (Hotel de Ville), along the right banks of the Seine river on the Georges Pompidou Expressway, and along the Quai de la Villette in northeastern Paris.
The new feature for this year is the involvement of Disneyland Paris. The French subsidiary of Disney has taken the construction of sandcastles to a whole new level, by reproducing the famous castle of la Belle au bois dormant (Sleeping Beauty) - seven metres high.
Paris Plages 2011 will be open daily from 8am to midnight until 21 August.