The Best Beaches in Cote d'Azur


The beach in Cannes is lively all year round and you can expect to see people sunbathing and swimming right through the winter months. There are many private beach clubs where you can have a meal or hire a bed for the day. Also, at either end there are public beaches, and a municipal beach where you can pay to sit on a deck chair.

Cap d'Ail

A rarely crowded public beach zone embraced by cliffs, with marine activities rentals and a fine restaurant. Access is via a steep ten minute hike down from Avenue Princesse Grace. There are two private paying beaches offering lounge chairs and a bar restaurant with music and attendants that will come to your chair so you don't have to move a muscle. There are also two areas of free public beaches.

St. Jean Cap Ferrat

A small pebbly beach with clear turquoise water, a sweeping view of the coast, and the Maritime Alps. One section is public and shady in the afternoon, the other is a private beach with a sun-worshipping crowd. The beach restaurant specializes in fresh seafood, and is well worth the splurge for a romantic candlelit meal at the water's edge. Best bet: a morning swim, when the water is a smooth silky mirror.


With a sandy shore, small medieval village and relaxed atmosphere, Villefranche sur Mer is a lovely escape from the bustle of bigger Cote d'Azur cities mere minutes away and is rarely as crowded as the larger beaches nearby. There are a handful of shops and cafes here.

Roquebrune Cap Martin

A partly pebbly public beach that offers a wide sweep of shallow water. There is also an excellent beach café that rents kayacks. There are cold drinks and sandwiches available at a little wooden shack in the far western corner of the beach. Family friendly and affordable.

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