Summer 2016: best beaches of Monaco and Cote d’Azur
Situated between Italy and France on the Cote d’Azur, the Principality of Monaco enjoys more than 300 sunny days a year. Great climate, a variety of flora and fauna, and friendly smiling people are among its major attractions. From the deep blue of the Mediterranean to the beautiful white canyons, Monaco never fails to amaze.
The Côte d’Azur is famous for its blue waters and sunny, beautiful beaches. And this is not just limited to Nice and Cannes. So let’s have a tour of the sunny spots in France and in Monaco where you can enjoy your summer.
Nikki Beach Fairmont, Monte-Carlo
It is the second year in a row that the panoramic roof of Fairmont Monte-Carlo Hotel invites its guests to enjoy the luxurious and fashionable Nikki Beach, created by Jack Penrod in 1998. For breakfast, lunch, aperitif, dinner, dance, fashion and cinema, Nikki Beach meets your every wish. According to Xavier Rugeroni, CEO of Fairmont Monte Carlo: “Nikki Beach Fairmont Monte-Carlo is a formula that meets all the requirements of our customers”. The hotel manager has renewed the partnership with Nikki Beach through 2018. Nikki Beach occupies the 7th floor of the hotel and is now referred to as “the seventh heaven”. It offers you a vacation in paradise. This place is popular among celebrities, yachtsmen, sponsors and other demanding guests.
Le Méridien Beach Plaza, Monaco
Hotel Le Méridien Beach Plaza has the only private beach in Monaco and the quietest place in the Principality. You will feel as if you are in your own little world here and you might not even notice the first class service offered by the hotel, as it is very discreet while you enjoy the sun with your friends and loved ones.
Le Méridien Beach Plaza offers a variety of premium class services, but also an extraordinary tranquillity, stunning views of the horizon, a sandy beach and excellent cuisine. Three swimming pools and the hotel fitness club are also there for you to enjoy.
Larvotto Beach, Monaco
This is one of the most famous beaches of Monaco. It is rare that a local won’t know their way to Larvotto beach. Popular among locals and tourists, this is one of the France’s most beautiful beaches.
Larvotto Beach is an artificial beach, carefully designed by professionals who know all about relaxing in the sun. Even the most demanding holidaymaker won’t find anything to complain about on Larvotto. Soft sand, stunning summer sunshine, and beautiful sea views are a real pleasure to your senses. The clientele here is typically Monegasque – calm and noble.
The beach allows topless sunbathing. It is divided into several zones, with the most peaceful and remote area designed for young moms with their kids taking their first tentative steps on the soft sand. A nice touch, not typical of Côte d’Azur beaches, is a jellyfish mesh spread all across Larvotto, protecting the bathers.
The beach is also equipped with a variety of restaurants, offering a choice of dishes to suit all tastes.
La Note Bleue, Monaco
Technically La Note Bleue is at Larvotto Beach as it occupies a part of it, but it stands apart.
This beach and restaurant are popular among tourists and locals alike. A most diverse clientele comes here not just to sunbathe or take a nap on pristine white sand, but also to enjoy amazing jazz music, a speciality of la Note Bleue.
La Note Bleue owes its name to a famous saxophone player, Barney Wilen from Nice. It rhymes with relaxation and insouciance. In contrast, Miami Plage, located just there, is more suitable for families with children.
Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel
This private beach is located next to a 5* hotel with the same name. It is less spacious than its neighbors, but it is the advantage of the beach as such a restricted access makes you feel more special, here you can hide from the noisy crowd while admiring breathtaking nature.
Its indoor and outdoor pools are also there for your pleasure.
This is the most expensive and sophisticated beach in terms of service level. You get not only the usual sunbeds, but also bungalows and tents offering you another kind of intimacy.
The beach, with its 200 sunshades, is open to the public from April to October. You may also rent a tent or a sunbed for a month or for a season. The price is subject to high/low season and the proximity to the sea. A bungalow costs an average of 250 euros per day; a tent is 100-180 euros per day and up to 10,000 euros for the whole season.
This is another exclusive beach in Monaco that can be proud of its sophisticated clientele. It is not open to the public. You can enjoy peace and quiet in your tent or bungalow rented for a day or for the whole season. Tent prices range from 200 euros a day to 10,000 euros per season. Please contact the beach staff for more information as prices are seasonal and vary depending on deckchairs’ position.
Whatever your arrangements, even one day on the quiet beach of Monte-Carlo Bay is well worth it.
This beach is located on the border of Fontvieille, Monaco, and Cap-d’Ail, France, just behind the Mariott hotel. Plage Marquet is not the most luxurious. It features two restaurants, Le Lamparo and Cap Marquet. The first one is cheaper, the second more expensive. They both serve a mix of French, Mediterranean and Italian menus.
Here you can relax on a comfortable sunbed, under a parasol. Marquet was originally a pebble beach, but sand is specially brought here for the season. Rent a kayak or a canoe, a surfboard or a paddle board. Since this beach is very popular among the local French people, the prices are not as high as in Monaco, although the same goes for the level of service.
Let us now move further along the French coast.
Mala Beach, Cap d’Ail France
A small town of Cap d’Ail (“Garlic Cape” in French) is located exactly between Menton, Nice, and Monaco. With its both calm and sophisticated spirit, the beach is famous for its crystal clear waters, picturesque sea, and mountain views.
Two restaurants, La Reserve and Eden Plage Mala, are here to cater to your tastes. You will always be a welcome guest here as the “Garlic Cape” has been a favourite place for the Russian nobility ever since the 19th century. That is why local residents treat Russians very well.
La Mala is a very fashionable and stylish beach.
You may have a problem parking during the high season. If the day is not too hot and you enjoy walking, follow the coastal path from the Marquet Beach towards Nice and you will reach Mala beach in about 40 minutes. The path goes along the sea, offering you picturesque views and silence broken only by the sound the waves.
Anjuna Beach, Eze, France
This is an exotic Eden in France. The tiny village of Eze is stunning in its beauty and so is the exotic beach of Anjuna, where a restless traveller can chill in the shade and listen to the water splashing at their feet. You will feel like Robinson Crusoe whilst still in France!
The beach is open every year from April to September and is incredibly popular thanks to its original concept developed by Patrick Degioanni and his wife Erica in 2000.
It is located just at the foot of a cliff.
Every Sunday the beach arranges parties and celebrations, breaking the usual silence. This is when you can treat yourself to gourmet Mediterranean cuisine and fine wines. Both a party place and a secluded, quiet spot, Anjuna beach has it all.
Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
There is a special “something” to Cap Ferrat that you can’t really put into words. Maybe you will feel it too when you come to this small place, away from the busy roads of Monaco. Cap Ferrat reflects the time of Marilyn Monroe and her films: Small quaint streets, noble old homes, and well-kept shops for tourists and locals. The time moves slowly here; everybody is busy enjoying life.
Paloma Beach seems to have come straight from a page of a retro magazine with its dark brown sun beds, wooden platforms, and boats that drop their clients off for dinner in a restaurant. Waiters and beach boys serve you with towels and cocktails. There is no glamour or pathos, just friendly staff who do their best from year to year, making us holidaymakers happy. By the way, the menu is always the same and has not changed over the years. Fritto Misto, artichoke salad, battered zucchini flowers are all-time favourites with beach dwellers.
The beach does not have a big car park, so either come early or rely on your good luck. Next to this private beach, there is also a public pebble one, shaded by trees. It has a wooden pier to the delight of children jumping from it. During the season you can also rent a jet ski and other water sport equipment.
Marinières, Villefranche, France
Away from the crowds, tourists, and noises of the city, you will fully enjoy the peace and beauty of the first private beach in Villefranche, which only opened in summer 2016. The staff do their very best to make this place highly relaxing.
Be a pioneer and discover this little paradise. Don’t stress about it being overcrowded as this “paradise” has a total surface of 763 m2. Plenty of space for everyone!
The confectionery Deli Bo provides catering for the beach.
Great desserts and cocktails to look forward to! There you can enjoy water sports, entertainment, and wonderful views of the sea and yachts.
Beach Baie des Milliardaires, Cap d’Antibes, France.
Until June 2011, the Billionaires Bay at Cap d’Antibes was only accessible by boat. These days a little coastal path will take you there. The bay overlooks the Gulf of billionaires – the Gulf’s first public bay. A most sophisticated lover of harmony and tranquillity will enjoy this fairy-tale, naturally secluded pebble beach.
Please use flip flops for swimming as the pebbles are quite large and the path to the bay is narrow. You can now access the beach through avenue Mlle Beaumont. This amazing bit of nature will amaze you with its emerald green sea and exotic flora.
Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, France
This large sandy beach spreads across the famous French resort of Juan-les-Pins. Its white sand of a rare natural beauty will make your summer vacation unforgettable. The beach has often been quoted as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches. So if you are a great nature admirer, this place is right for you.
Just to let you know, there is a roadway next to the beach. It is not a busy one though, so it won’t disturb your peace.
Pampelonne, Saint-Tropez, France
The most iconic beach of Saint-Tropez stretches as far as 6 kilometres. There are both restricted private areas and municipal beaches, open to the public. If you a looking for peace and solitude, naturally, you should go for a private one. However, the public part is also beautiful and has excellent service. So diverse and available to everyone, Pampelonne remains one of the main attractions of Saint Tropez. Lovers of topless sunbathing also have their most secluded and remote corner.
In the evening the whole beach becomes a giant dance party under the sky.
La Bouillabaisse, Saint Tropez, France
This is another sandy beach of an exceptional beauty in Saint-Tropez. If you love privacy, this is the perfect place. This beach is a bit less frequented than Pampelonne because of its more remote location.
Here you can bask in the summer sunshine while admiring stunning views of the Maures Mountains. Follow the direction of Saint-Tropez port to find this beach. Those who have been to this quiet corner of the famous resort claim that no photo does justice to its atmosphere and picturesque landscapes.
Please note that access to private beaches is determined by the management company and may vary from 20 to 100 euros depending on their category and location. Loungers may cost from 15 to 80 euros per day. Advanced booking of sunbeds is required in high season.