These are some of are favorite beaches on the Cote d’Azur, from Nice to just before Monaco.
La Reserve Maya – Cap d’Ail
Wonderful beach club in a very protected cove. Hard to get to, many come by boat. The best way to arrive is by train. Get off at the Cap d’Ail stop, walk under the tracks and turn right and follow the path for about 5-10 minutes. If you come by bus it is a long walk down (and even longer walking up). Not much parking if you bring a car. Great beach for lounging and swimming. Great restaurant and bar.
Paloma Beach – Cap Ferrat
This is probably our favorite beach club, and perhaps favorite beach. Doesn’t seem to get really over-crowded as Cap Ferrat is a little out of the way. Restaurant is only open during the summer, so otherwise pack a lunch or eat before or after in the port down next door of St. Jean. Our favorite dish is the Loup (fish) for two. It is quite well protected from the wind and has great views looking back at Eze on the hillside. There are usually some very nice mega-yachts moored in front as well. You can get there by car (best way) or the #81 bus which stops in St. Jean and you just have to walk about 10 minutes to get to it. You may want to do a Cap Ferrat hike beforehand, you’ll enjoy the swim that much more.
A couple of restaurants on this beach that actually is right across from Paloma Beach on the main shoreline (Cap Ferrat is nearly an island). Best way to get here is by train, as there’s a stop right at it and it’s an easy walk down to the water. Not a deep beach, but good for swimming. Bono lives just down the beach from here.
There are two beaches in Villefranche to enjoy, one in town and the other in the port. The one in the port can be seen in the photo above to the left. It is usually frequented mostly by locals so not as busy as the one in town. The beach is similar to that of Nice, it is made up of pebbles, where the one in Nice Centre is more of a sandy beach. In the port there’s a great restaurant that serves mostly locals and has good prices; La Baleine Joyeuse.
Nice Centre beach can get crowded as it is so close to town and a train stop. There’s a snack stand that sells stuff like hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream (and some cocktails), or you may prefer to visit one of the restaurants next door in Villefranche. Long walk down from the bus stop, lots of parking if you take a car.
Plage de Passable
This is the second public beach on Cap Ferrat, on the opposite side of Paloma Beach. If you look closely at the panoramic above, just to the left of center, you’ll see a beach on the other side, on the peninsula of Cap Ferrat. That’s Plage de Passable. You get off the #81 bus at the Rothschild Mansion garden museum and walk down. There’s a beach club open during the summer, quite a bit of room and good for swimming as it is quite protected.
Castel – Nice Promenade
This is the beach club that is at the far westerly end of the Nice beach, where the water tends to be a little more protected, at least during an easterly wind. We’ve tried a number of the beach clubs along here and like this one the best. But it isn’t open all year round. I know, it can’t be seen in this photo (it would be in the lower left corner), but next time I’m there I’ll get a new photo.