The best beaches on the French Riviera
The Cote d’Azur or French Riviera is the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of France, about 300 km long, from the city of Marseille to the border with Italy. Mild winter, warm but not hot summer, almost 300 sunny days a year. The bathing season, which lasts from late May to late September, the water temperature ranges from +20 to +25 ° C .
The variety of beaches on the Côte d’Azur is breathtaking: large, long and very small, sandy and rocky, desert-like and buried in verdure. But everywhere you open your arms to the sun and the sea.
The distance between the populated areas of the Riviera is not great, transport accessibility is provided by trains and buses. Traveling every day you can find a new place for swimming and recreation.
Perhaps the descriptions of these 10 beaches will help you compose your initial itinerary.
This municipal beach is a paradise for windsurfers and people keen on extreme sports. It’s about 4km long and 50m wide.
The beach is sandy but has stones and there are some shallow waters. The water is bright blue and crystal clear due to the rocky seabed. Stunning views of the sea coast, clean air – a perfect place for a picnic by the sea. The beach is equipped with toilets. Even during the peak tourist season there is always plenty of room. In Almanarr is a center where water sports help to overcome the effects of injuries. Easy and free parking is a 2-minute walk away.
Buses don’t go here, you can only get here by cab or private transport. Toulon County, Var, Route du Sel. GPS coordinates: 43.070192, 6.131715.
Carlton Beach is one of the most respectable private beaches of Cannes, located in the city center, with a splendid view over the bay. The coast of fine sand, clean and clear blue water, the atmosphere of respectability and comfort. Sun loungers and umbrellas, showers and toilets, lockers, access to the pontoon, various water sports. The beach is monitored and always cleaned. Animation and all kinds of activities for adults. Pets are not allowed. There is a parking space.
Most of the city’s private beaches are accessible only to the hotels that curate them. Carlton Beach belongs to the hotel Intercontinental Carlton, 5 * , celebrities who have been there are reminded by signs on the door of the rooms. Places in the hotel are booked six months before your planned vacation. In July and August the beds are reserved only by the hotel guests. Rest areas for groups of guests to ensure privacy are fenced off with special screens.
Carlton Beach is located along the famous Croisette. It is located in Cannes, Boulevard de la Croisette, 58. The coordinates are 43.549318 and 7.027062.
La Bocca (Plage de la Bocca)
The public beach, devoid of the pompousness of the paid ones located in the center of Cannes, is never overcrowded. The reason is the location of La Bocca. It can only be accessed by going down the stairs. Cannes beaches are characterized by a good gentle way into the water, Plage de la Bocca is no exception. In summer, there may be jellyfish, as the fences are removed from them. Cleaning of the area is no worse than at the paid resorts and in the morning the beach is in perfect condition. Umbrellas and deckchairs are cheaper than in the city center, there are showers, but the toilet is outside the beach. Lifeguards are working. Smoking is not allowed on La Bocca . The free parking lot is 200 meters away.
Young people like this beach for the opportunity of active pastime .
Ride jet skis and jet skis, ride on a tubing and banana, fly a parachute behind a boat, play volleyball on the sandy shore – all this you will find in La Bocca. Fans of snorkeling will certainly be attracted by the rocky outcrops of reddish color located in the blue-blue water.
The Plage de la Bocca, on the right of La Croisette, can be reached from downtown Cannes by going through a tunnel to the parking lot, 200 meters on the right of which is the Plage de la Bocca. Boulevard du Midi Louise Moreau. Coordinates 43.548038, 7.009850.
Stunning romantic beach, one of the most beautiful and intimate beaches on the Riviera. Mala Beach has the clearest turquoise waters and is surrounded by tall steep cliffs, with the silence broken only by the noise of the surf and the singing of the birds in the early morning hours. The path leading to the water winds past pines, cedars, fig trees, lush vegetation fills the air with a unique fragrance. No wonder this coast was loved by the famous ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya, who had a villa here. The beach is named after her.
The shore is sandy and pebbly, but as you approach the water it becomes sandy and the entrance to the water is gentle. There are paid and free areas. Even in the high season it is not crowded, in the morning there is practically no one. You can use shower cabins, toilets, sun beds and umbrellas for extra fees. You can rent catamarans and canoes and lifeguards are on duty on the beach. A quiet bay, where Mala Beach is located, during the day becomes a haven for yachts and boats that bring those wishing to visit this place. There is no parking.
Mala Beach is located on the coast between Nice and Monaco. You can reach it either by water or from Cap d’Ail you can walk down a long, stepped but very pretty path. The Cap d’Ail stop from Nice is 15 minutes by train or bus. Buses from Nice and Monaco leave every 15 minutes. Port de Cap D Ail. Coordinates 43.724888, 7.412304.
Plage des Marinieres
The Marinières beach in the Gulf of Villefranche is 1 km long and is sheltered from the winds by the Cap Ferrat. Jellyfish are fenced off on the sea side. The lack of waves and the diversity of aquatic fauna attract divers and snorkelers. There are regattas, rowing and sailing clubs.
On a long but narrow beach is always a large number of tourists. The shore – a pebble, but so fine that many take for the grainy sand, a pleasant way to enter the water and sunbathing. The entrance to the water is shallow, in the clean, blue water there are a lot of different fish.
The main part of the beach is free – umbrellas and sun loungers only their own. There is a paid section with sunbeds and umbrellas, but the sunbeds are very close to each other, no towel rental. There are showers and toilets, in July and August there are lifeguards. When cleaning, not only the shore, but also the surface of the water is cleaned. The beach area is popular with family vacationers, both locals and visitors. There is a specialized dog bathing beach at the very end of Mariniere. There is a paid parking lot with plenty of spaces, and there is a boat stop by the avenue de lange-Gardien.
The easiest way to get there is by train. The train arrives almost at the Plage des Marinieres, just take the stairs. From Nice, you can take bus 100 and 81.17 Prom. des Marinières, Villefranche-sur-Mer. Coordinates 43.706769, 7.315108.
Masé (Plage Macé).
Plage Macé is a free municipal beach, fairly wide and crowded. Nearby is the pier, where luxury yachts are parked, the promenade is located in close proximity to the beach.
The coastline – a beautiful white sand, a bit of dust, the entrance to the water gentle, nice. The beach area is well maintained, there are medical points, lockers, showers, umbrellas, deckchairs. Water amusements, animation, children’s playgrounds. The shore is decorated with palm trees growing here. In the evening and at night on the big screen festival films are shown. A lot of local pensioners, foreign tourists. With parking, especially in high season – a problem.
The beach is right behind the Cannes Film Festival Palace. La Croisette Cannes. Coordinates: 43.549971, 7.022841.
The famous beach was created for the rest of the most famous and wealthy people of the world, because the whole cape is covered with their luxurious villas. Here reigns an atmosphere of peace and contemplation. In the neighborhood grow vineyards, lots of greenery, the air filled with the scents of pine and eucalyptus.
Beach – pebble, but the stones are so small that from a distance they can be mistaken for sand. 50 steps laid out with large pebbles lead to the water. The beach is paid, but not far away is a free section. From the winds the coast is protected by rocky scenic cliffs, attracting fans of snorkeling and exploring the amazing coastal cliffs. Showers, toilets, umbrellas and sun loungers are available for a fee. Yachts are available for rent. Recreationists dive from the pier, and catamarans and jet skis are also available for trips.
There is free parking and bicycle parking nearby, but parking is almost always a problem.
Paloma Plage is close to Nice on Cap Ferrat. Av Jean Mermoz, 06230 Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. Coordinates: 43.685727 7.342919.
Pampelonne (Plage de Pampelonne)
Pampelonne is a glamorous and expensive vacation on the Côte d’Azur. The beach is divided into 21 zones, its length is more than 5 km. Some areas are reserved for hotels, others are reserved for naturists and other vacationers. Each zone offers visitors its own entertainment and has unique features. There are paid and free zones. To see the parade of celebrity yachts arriving on vacation, you must reserve a deck chair on one of the hotel beaches closer to the dock.
Beautiful fine white sand, easy entrance to the water, clear blue water surrounded by mountains, the most beautiful sunsets in Saint-Tropez – not for nothing this beach is beloved by many world celebrities. While Paloma Plage has the highest number of billionaires on vacation, Pampelonne has the highest percentage of celebrities .
The center of Pampelonne is the most crowded, the bulk of vacationers are young people. Away from the center, where it is less crowded, resting families with children, older people, nudists. Standard facilities, daily cleaning. Dogs are not banned. The parking place is better to be occupied early.
Plage de Pampelonne runs from St Tropez to Cape Camara. Saint Tropez can be reached by bus from Toulon, Nice, Cannes; by boat from Saint Maxime, Grimaud, Saint Raphael. Route des Plages Merci De Supprimer Le Nom De Saint Tropez Dans L’adresse. Coordinates 43.232195, 6.662233.
La Petite Afrique Beach
La Petite Afrique Beach translates as “Little Africa” – the name comes from the picturesque palm grove which creates an impression of the African coast. The weather here is sunny and cloudless.
It is a municipal sand and pebble beach, located in a bay protected by rocks from the wind and waves. A smooth set of depths, clear water and an atypical French coastal view. On La Petite Afrique Beach standard for beach holidays: umbrellas, deck chairs, changing rooms, toilets, lifeguards. Organized rental catamarans and other water transport, there is a playground for volleyball, a children’s play area. Nearby there is a convenient paid parking lot for cars.
Petit Afrique is near Beaulieu-sur-Mer. La Petite Afrique beach can be reached by bus or car. Address: Boulevard Alsace Lorraine, Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Coordinates 43.711848,7.337573.
Aiguille is located in the natural reserve of Pointe de l’Aiguille. From its observation deck and offers a magnificent view of the beach. Despite the fact that the descent to it is quite steep, the dense vegetation and rocks attract a large number of holidaymakers.
Aiguille Beach, undoubtedly, will appeal to lovers of outdoor activities for the opportunity to dive from the rocky ledges of the shore and snorkel and snorkel. An underwater trail marked by buoys is organized for adults and children with a waterproof map.
It is a public beach, a small size, surrounded by reddish rocks, the coast – the same reddish sand mixed with fine pebbles. The rocky hill above the beach, creating a shady curtain, protects vacationers from the summer heat. Toilet and shower are available, you can rent mattresses. Lifeguards rarely look into this cove. There is a parking lot at the top.
Egil is near the town of Theoule-sur-Mer, 10 km from Cannes. Theoule can be reached from Nice by train, from Cannes by train and by bus no. 620. Theoule-sur-Mer, 68 Boulevard De La Corniche D’Or. Coordinates 43.505830, 6.951498.
It is impossible to tell about all the beaches, and it is very difficult to choose the best of the best, especially since everyone has their own selection criteria. Therefore, for a vacation filled with unforgettable experiences, be guided by your idea of the ideal beach, fortunately, there are many to choose from.
10 Best Beaches on the French Riviera
Villas in the south of France are very popular and considered some of the most luxurious places on earth! The mild climate and beauty of nature make this place a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world. Some of the main attractions of the Cote d’Azur are its stunning beaches.
1. Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
If you want something a little more exclusive on your vacation in the south of France, Paloma Beach is just what you need. The famous beach at Cap-Ferrat was created for the rich and famous. One part of the area is semi-sandy and the other part is semi-pebble. Such delightful scenery, such clear water and peaceful atmosphere you can hardly find anywhere else.
2. Plage Publique des Ponchettes, Nice
The beach Ponchettes is located opposite the old town of Nice (Vieux Nice), between the beaches of Opera and Castel. This beach is public and one of the most crowded beaches in the city. The whole coastline is covered with pebbles (except for the beach volleyball court).
A free parking space near this beach is very difficult to find. It’s best to leave your car at the Cours Saleya street parking lot or at the Nice Port (10 minutes walk). The best way to get to the beach is by bicycle or bus.
Lifeguards and first aid posts are available on the beach.
3. Plage de la Petite Afrique, Beaulieu Sur Mer
Plage de la Petite Afrique in Beaulieu sur Mer is a beautiful sandy beach which stretches along a beautiful coastline. Its so unusual name translates as “Little Africa”. This is one of the most popular vacation spots on the French Riviera.
The beach is equipped with showers, toilets, for a fee you can rent deck chairs and umbrellas. Near the beach there is a large (paid) parking lot, which is a short walk from the train and bus stops. The children’s playground is located in the shade of pine trees, next to the volleyball court and beach club.
The white shores of the beach around the bay are covered with very fine pebbles that can pass for sand. The palm trees dotted along the beach make it feel like a tropical paradise, and the pine trees farther away provide pleasant shade.
4. Plage du Borrigo, Menton
This beach is what you can call “the first of Italy”. The coastal strip is quite narrow and the pebbles are quite coarse. This is not the most popular beach for tourists. But the locals visit it willingly, considering that the water on Plage du Borrigo is cleaner. Like all the others, the beach is equipped with showers. Nearby there is a convenient parking lot, there is almost always a place.
5. Plage de la Marinière , Villefranche-sur-Mer
The beaches at Villefranche-sur-Mer are a quiet alternative to the beaches of Nice. Ignore the main sandy beach in the center of Villefranche and go to the pebbly beach called PlagedePassable. You can rent sun loungers at Passable. The beach is not only very beautiful, but also very quiet, it is surrounded by villas such as Nelcott (the old Keith Richards mansion) and Villa “Des Cedres”, where King Leopold II of Belgium spent his summers. You can also walk to Cap Ferrat and follow its path along the sea and the bay.
6. Plage de la Garoupe, Cap d’Antibes
Just outside the delightful town of Antibes is the sandy beach of La Haroupe, which in the summer season is full of locals as well as vacationers. The sea here is warm and the view from the apartments is beautiful. Right around the bay and on the hills are villas of the world’s rich people – Roman Abramovich has one of his many homes here, and his extraordinary yacht can often be seen near the coast.
7. Castel Plage, Nice
Castel Plage in Nice is a public beach covered with pebbles of all sizes. There is also a private beach with a restaurant next to the harbor, which is open from April to September. This pebble beach stretches for 150 meters and does not have a lifeguard station. The emergency station is 150 meters away at Plage Publicue des Ponchettes.
This beach is the easternmost of the Etats-Unis promenade and is opposite the Hotel Suisse and the castle hill.
The beach offers a beautiful view of the promenade of Nice and the Bay of Anges (Bais des Anges). Like all beaches in Nice this beach is oriented to the south.
8. Plage Marquet , Capd’Ail
Plage Marquet is the easternmost beach of Cap d’Ail and is located right on the border with Monaco. The beach is the most popular and crowded in the summer.
Near the beach you will find plenty of parking spaces. The beach also has ramps for wheelchairs.
Near the beach, the water is always clear and calm, creating ideal conditions for diving and sailing. Marche beach, unlike other beaches, has a natural slope to the sea, which is ideal for walks with children.
There are two restaurants on the beach with private beaches, each offering rentals of deck chairs. You can also grab a bite to eat at the tennis club or stroll along the port, where you’ll find several other cafes.
9. Palm Beach, Cannes (Plage du Palm Beach, Cannes)
The public beach of Palm Beach also known as Pointe Croisette, is located on the east side of Cannes, including the port of the large yachts of Port Pierre Canto. Near the beach there is a large free parking.
The sandy beach has several trees that provide shade and comfort in the summertime.
10. Plage de La Mala, Capd’Ail.
This is a small secluded beach with two excellent restaurants and a safe swimming area. Plage de La Mala is a small harbor.
The beach is a short walk from Cap d’Ail. You can get here either by bus or by train. But because of the large number of steps, it is not recommended to use a bicycle, baby or wheelchair.
The safe swimming area is marked with yellow floats, and the children’s area, closer to the shoreline, is marked with white floats. Outside the swim zone, there is usually a small flotilla of yachts and boats in the bay.
Nothing beats enjoying nature in the shade of La Reserve de la Mala or Eden Plage Mala with an icy glass of rosé wine and a plate of fresh seafood.
Spend this summer unforgettable, basking in the sun on the Mediterranean!