From Saint-Tropez to Cannes and Monaco, whether you chose to spend your day in the beach with friends, or enjoy a luxury yacht charter with your family, here is our selection of Top Beaches in the French Riviera.
The choice of the beaches in the Côte d’Azur is really great, starting with the private and hidden coves, to a very civilized urban beaches in the heart of the coastal cities.
#Trendy. Pampelonne Beaches – Saint-Tropez Peninsula – Var
Pampelonne is the longest, most famous and most popular beach in the entire French Riviera. It is the place, where the rich come to play, and the rest do not have to stay away.
Pampelonne Beach is fuelling Saint-Tropez’s fame since 1955, when there was filmed Roger Vadim’s movie “And God Created Woman”, with Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
At the high season, July to August, it might welcome up to 30.000 vacationers a day. More than four-kilometre (about 3 miles) stretch of the bright soft sand lies along a beautiful curved bay, and it has everything you could dream about.
As for the private beach clubs, you are sure to find the one that you’ll be amazed about. Film stars rub shoulders with North London property tycoons at Club 55; nouveau riche Nikki Beach is always up to the swimming party and champaghe fight; Cabane Bambou is more about friendly charts; Tropicana Club, Tahiti beach, Key West, Les Palmiers and others are more down to earth, and for a wider range of clients.
Daily charges for the hiring of beach loungers, mattresses and parasols rise from €30. And you will rarely get change from €50 for lunch.
#Urban. Larvotto Beach – Monte-Carlo – Monaco
Principality of Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, and Monaco’s Larvotto Beach is in its heart.
The azure sea is full of luxury yachts, beach with loungers and sunbathing people, nearby restaurant hold an uproar, and other side of the Princess Grace Avenue skyscrapers stretches to the sky. Yes, welcome to classic luxury summer capital.
The part of beach is public, the other part hosts very nice beach-restaurants – white lounge La Note Bleue and more classic Miami Beach. Both are very good choice for a quality of food, as well as on prices.
Full day deckchair and parasol rental for two persons will cost €50 if in the two front rows by sea, €40 in others. Main course rates start at €19.
#Heavenly. Plage de la Baumette – Massif Esterel – Agay – Var
The turquoise and crystal clear water. Plage de la Baumette extends over approximately 300 meters. There is a possibility to rent the paddleboard or other nautical recreational equipment at the beach.
Beach is accessible for families, and it is sheltered from the wind. Left side is the widest, on the narrower right side there are some areas reserved for private beaches and restaurants.
Baumette beach is slightly away from the road and it does not find a parking nearby (only about ten spaces along the road).
#Vivid. Plage des Sablettes, Menton – Alpes Maritimes
Sablettes beach of Menton is located along Bonaparte Quay and the Old Town, between the Old Port of Menton and Port Garavan. 350 meters of the coast, covered with fine gravel, dedicated for relaxation and recreation. In the first half of 20th century it was reclaimed from the sea.
We are in love with this beach because of two reasons. When the morning sun illuminates the hill-rising Vieux Menton, its homes flares with all the ranges of red and orange. Menton is nicknamed la perle de la France – the pearl of France; I might add that it is more a sapphire sparkling in the sun. Second enchanting thing about the view is the lines of mountain peaks. Undoubtedly, the most beautiful mountains are placed in this place.
Beach is ideal for family holidays. There is large selection of private beaches and restaurants. There is a large parking area, volleyball court, grocery shop; easy to come by public transport.
#Picturesque. Plage des Cigales – Port Grimaud – Var
This sandy beach is being loved by everyone because of its picturesque goldish coastline decorated with an expressive basked-handle shaped bridge, the lighthouse and all the pines on the shore.
Limited space but very nice space to spend a day, just next to Port Grimaud, the most famous port in Var department; it is close to the Sainte-Maxime.
It is quite hard to find a parking place, but if you enjoy to walk, it will not be much of a problem.
#Wild. Cap Taillat, Saint-Tropez Peninsula – Var
Cape Taillat is a show that you deserved! Accessible by the coastal path on by boat only. If you will chose to walk, you will reach it from the Escalet or Gigaro Bay after some good 20-minute walk.
The banks of Cape Taillat are rich and varied sandy beaches, numerous coves and huge rocks on which nudism has become a standard. You will discover a rich vegetation, extraordinary cacti, thousands of cicadas tingling their concert just for you under the pines. Caribbean-like turquoise sea, soft waves and white sand beaches. The perfect place to be.
#Endless. Nice – Alpes Maritimes
Five kilometres of pebbles, it is the beach of Nice, the capital of the Cote d’Azur. If you’ll want to walk from one end of the beach to the other, it will take about an hour.
One of the busiest streets of the coast, you will find a numerous residences, museums, restaurants along the Bay of Angels. Plenty of space to take a dip in the sea, or to organize a picnic with your friends.
You will pleased with a large selection of private beaches. At the beginning of Promenade des Anglais you will be met by relaxed Plage Castel, further, energetic and ready to party Hi Beach, and a lot of other. Surely you will find the one.
#Protected. Sainte-Marguerite island – Iles de Lérins – Cannes – Alpes Maritimes
Facing Cannes and the Juan-les-Pins, Lérins islands are resting are the sea by the shore. There are two islands, the bigger one is called Sainte-Marguerite, and the smaller is Saint-Honorat. The boat from Cannes and Juan-les-Pins sails to Sainte-Marguerite regularly every day.
Here you will find a number of small coves and beaches. Upon the arrival at the port, go to the left or to the right, the island is not large, so you will not tarry to find the beach.
Lagoon between the two islands are full of small boats during the summer. It is a not-ending party on the water. If you will get thirsty, traders offer their products from the sailing boats; whistle and waving your hand to draw attention.
Cove of Portet – is after the forest house and private property, about twenty meters after the aisle of Portet. This little known cove is in our opinion one of the most beautiful on the island of Sainte-Marguerite. Surrounded by flat rocks, the beach is composed of small pebbles. You must arrive very early to find a place. The shortest way from port is to take the Eucalyptus path which provides access to the forest house. Then take the left aisle of the Centre and here you are. About 20-minute walk.
Cove of Four – Southeast of the island, it is the beach called the Four. Uncrowded, there are mostly hikers or people are coming by kayak. The beach is nice even if it is only the rollers.
Cove of Crimea – To the east of Fort Sainte-Marguerite, there are several small shaded coves made of pebbles. The various beaches are narrow but there is more common place, in the south of this island. Nice view of Cannes and Cap d’Antibes.
To get to this cove from the port, follow the signs for the communal cemetery. The stairs down to the creek are set opposite.
#Stylish. Paloma – Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat – Alpes Maritimes
East of Nice, the rocky peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is not a secret. The high-class villas and hotels have long been a favourite with the jet set. But anyone can sunbathe on the tiny Paloma beach, the shingly shoreline of a cove that faces north-east rather than out to sea.
For €23 you get a chaise-longue by the Paloma Beach restaurant, warm shower and changing room. The view is spellbinding: yachts and sailboats, the resort of Beaulieu, the cliffs of Èze and Cap d’Ail.
The platinum credit-card crowd turn up at the Paloma Beach restaurant. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Shane Warne were spotted there at James Packer’s pre-wedding party. It is nice place to try courgette-flower, fish, shrimps or marinated salmon. Main courses may include stylish pizzas and pastas.
#Nested. La Mala – Cap d’Ail – Alpes Maritimes
La Mala Plage is a very impressive beach sticking between the rocks of Cap d’Ail. This magnificent stretch of white sand and pebbles has the verdant Cap Mala on the eastern side end and a steeply rising cliffs on the western side. Lazing in this semicircle of Mediterranean greenery and gazing out over the rippling translucent water the Côte d’Azur.
There is a couple of fine private beach-restaurants. Both ends of the beach are public, the left is sandier, the right one if turning from pebbles to rocks.
This is a place you may never want to leave.
You can come to the beach by boat from Nice or Monaco. If you come here with a car, you will need to walk to the beach, including steep stairs. But definitely worth it.