Looking for the perfect beach to relax on this summer?
The French Riviera is home to some of the most stunning coastlines in the world. Whether you’re looking for adventure, solitude, trendy beach clubs or just a sun-soaked escape, we’ve got you covered. Due to new mooring regulations (yacht above 24m) in France, most of these beaches are only accessible by tender.
Here are our top picks for the best beaches to visit on the French Riviera this summer.
1. Best French Riviera beaches: Var area
Notre-Dame beach (Porquerolles island, ile d'Or)
In 2015, Notre Dame was voted “Europe’s most beautiful beach” by the European Organisation for the Promotion of Culture and Tourism in Europe. Surrounded by lush, aromatic pine forests, Notre-Dame beach is a treat for the senses. Situated on the island of Porquerolles, Notre Dame is an iconic site on the island, thanks in part to its fine sand and the translucent color of its water. Another notable feature of Notre Dame is its protection from the elements. The beach is oriented North-East, which means it is sheltered from the mistral wind in the West and from the East wind in the East. This means you can enjoy your time on the beach without having to worry about strong winds or uncomfortable weather conditions.
North-west facing sandy beach
Best French Riviera Beaches gallery
Here’s our Top 7 best French Riviera beaches:
La Bastide Blanche (Var)
Golden sands and secluded coves deliver a clarity of mind only matched by the Mediterranean sea. Although la Bastide Blanche is just 15 minutes south of the best beach clubs in the Ramatuelle/St-Tropez area, visitors won’t find many lengthy stretches of sand here, but they’ll have their pick of charming coves and private shorelines.
South east facing sandy beach.
The beaches of Saint-Tropez have been legendary ever since Bridget Bardot emerged from the waters of Pampelonne beach in Et Dieu… créa la femme (And God Created Woman) in 1956Pampelonne is the longest (4.5km), most famous and most popular beach in the Saint Tropez area. Here you will find some of the most notorious beach clubs in the south of France. Celebrity haunts Club 55 and Nikki Beach are popular with locals, tourists and the A-list.
Often crowded in high season…
Fine east facing sandy beach, mostly private beaches
La Baumette (Var)
La Baumette is located on the eastern shoreline of the beautiful bay of Agay. Although it’s not the most spectacular beach in the Agay area, La Baumette boasts crystal clear waters and a family-friendly, south-facing sandy beach surrounded by Mediterranean greenery. La Baumette is the perfect place to snorkel and try your hand at paddle boarding as it is well sheltered from the wind.
South west facing sandy beach
2. Best French Riviera beaches: Alpes Maritimes area
L'Aiguille (Alpes Maritimes)
Near Theoule sur Mer, surrounded by pine and cork trees, l’Aiguille beach (part of a regional nature reserve that stretches up the shrub-covered red cliffs), is an east-facing sandy beach, well sheltered from the wind. Enjoy the view of Cannes and the Iles de Lerins and the natural beauty of the surrounding red rocks of the Esterel hills against the azure seNear Theoule sur Mer, surrounded by pine and cork trees, l’Aiguille beach (part of a regional nature reserve that stretches up the shrub-covered red cliffs) is an east-facing sandy beach, well sheltered from the wind. Enjoy the view of Cannes and the Iles de Lerins and the natural beauty of the surrounding red rocks of the Esterel hills against the azure sea.
East facing sandy beach
La Croisette (Alpes Maritimes)
At the height of the summer season, this 2km stretch of fine sand and the beach restaurants that line it are a showcase for Middle East and Russian models and moguls, and the crème de la crème of Parisian society. June and September are the best times to experience less preening. If you like rocky coves, just a stone’s throw from Cannes, Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat offer a new experience, a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of Cannes.
Fine south facing sandy beach, mostly private beach.
Paloma (Alpes Maritimes)
Paloma is a small pebble beach near the picturesque fishing village of St-Jean Cap Ferrat. Paloma beach was once a favourite of the Picasso family. Take a stroll along the seafront for stunning views of the Mediterranean. Receives great morning sun, in shadow by midday.
East facing pebble beach.
La Mala (Alpes Maritimes)
La Mala is a hidden gem: a small, west-facing pebble beach tucked away in a cove surrounded by stunning cliffs. Often crowded in summer.
West facing pebble beach.
Recommended book: Alpes-Maritimes et Var, Plages vues du ciel, Edition Gilletta-Nice Matin