The place in the sun: a beach time in Larvotto, Monaco
Many tourists associate the Principality exclusively with its nightlife, with the Casino, or just as well with the high-heel shopping races in the local boutiques. Nevertheless, the locals consider Larvotto Beach and its numerous restaurants to be a real magnet attracting residents and tourists for the better half of the year – from the end of April to October. Do not expect any sand – you will only find tiny fine pebble in Larvotto. While kids are fine with running around stepping on it, we recommend you grabbing a pair of comfortable beach shoes.
One can easily get to Larvotto – either by walking along the picturesque promenade from Ni-Box towards the east in the direction of Italy – this will take about 10-15 minutes at a leisurely pace from the Casino; or by taking bus number 6 towards Larvotto and getting off the bus stop with a self-explanatory name Plage.
Larvotto is technically a public beach. So bring your own towel and a beach umbrella, and make yourself comfortable anywhere you like. The rescuers in the central part of the beach (near the white watchtower) will be at your service. They also have showers, a medical center, and a public bathroom where you can also change. A tanning cream, a swimsuit and a huge folding boat can all be bought right here in one of the local stores. The beach is pretty spacey which is why you will always find a vacant piece of sand. The main wave of the vacationers inrush is in the noon. The local school youth prefers to spend their time right here at the pier – with much noise, water splashes, and screaming; while the families or older people usually make themselves comfortable at the shore. In the peak of the season the sea’s central part is separated by a net along the pier – so that no jelly-fish gets here. However, some frequent visitors grouch that the water remains dirty and is not cleared up by the tides because of the net in this part of the sea. The Mediterranean is not the most shallow sea, so keep an eye on the children – they can safely play in the waves a couple of meters away from the shore, but one step further and the bottom is pretty quick to disappear. The bottom, like the shore itself, is made of fine pebble, so it is pretty comfortable getting both in and out of the sea.
If you get hungry and do not carry sandwiches with you, which is what some numerous Italian & French families who literally live here on weekends do, by lunchtime move to one of the nearest restaurants – the menu and the prices are available at the entrance. Some of them sell the very same sandwiches, drinks, and to-go ice cream – at any time of the day. The kitchen, as a rule, works at lunchtime from 12:00 to 2:30 PM – so at other time they have a very limited menu to choose from. Most restaurants accept credit cards, but if the bill does not exceed 8-10 euro, you will have to pay cash. There is no ATM at the beach, which is why it is better to stock up on some change in advance.
There is an amazing playground for younger kids – in the part of the beach that is closer to the fountains, while older kids play soccer with friends or skate in the upper part of the promenade. In the opposite part of the beach the lovers of active sport get a chance to take diving classes or parasail – look for the banners and the caption “ski” and, mysteriously so, “Yamaha”. If you miss the treadmill – stop by the Larvotto Gym, one of the most popular sport clubs in the Principality – they sell daytime visits.
Eventually, if a more organized vacation is to your liking – several private beach restaurants with sun loungers, beach umbrellas, food and drinks are at your disposal.
What do You think about Larvotto, and do you have your own reviews about this Principality’s attraction?