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French Riviera Beaches

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French Riviera: Beaches

The French Riviera is known for its beaches and the shimmering blue waves that lap at the edge of the shore. But if you want to know about French Riviera beaches, it pays to do your research ahead of time!

There’s a wide spectrum of beaches in the Cote d’Azur - from luxurious private beaches to public beaches. There are French Riviera beaches that cater to families, nude (or naturalist) beaches, gay beaches, topless beaches and the list goes on and on. Further, it pays to know the area in which you will be staying. For example, the beaches of Nice, France are known for their rocky pebbles, while the sands of the Saint-Tropez Peninsula are widely known for their soft sand.

It’s well worth knowing your plage (or beach) before heading out!

Generally speaking, you will pay an average of around $25 or $30 to use a private beach in the French Riviera. With that fee comes hot showers, the use of a chaise lounge chair, a mattress and an umbrella. Many of the private beaches are held by hotels perched upon the coastline. Guests of the hotels usually get a discounted price on admission to the private beach. People who are not staying at the hotel can also usually use the private beach facilities, but they will have to pay more for the luxury.

Many of the hotels offer food services, restaurants and beverages for an extra fee.

Some of the most well-known private beaches in the French Riviera are in Cannes, France and Saint-Tropez. In St. Tropez, the most well-known are Nikki Beach and La Voile Rouge. At this hot-spots you'll often find the glitterati and champagne showers on a regular basis. This is where A-listers go to party, including the likes of Paris Hilton and a variety of other celebrities.

You’ll see a variety of what’s acceptable at various French Riviera beaches when it comes to clothing and nudity. The attitudes of the French are far different from those in the United States. So, you are likely to see more skin there than you would at a beach in the states. The best rule of thumb is to play it cool and avoid gawking. You won’t need anybody to draw you a map to know what’s acceptable at each beach. You’ll know when you see it!

While it may be anything goes at some beaches, when you go to restaurants, bars and the like at the beaches - it is expected that you will cover up and show some more modesty.

At most private beaches in the French Riviera you want to get there early. You may find some jockeying going on to secure the best spot. When you see images of colorful umbrellas all lined in a row on a beach in the Cote d’Azur, you can be assured that those are private beaches.

You also can find French Riviera public beaches across the coast. The main difference is that they are, of course, open to the public and free. Many of the public beaches also offer showers, but they are unheated. You will also find bathrooms, but their quality may be a bit questionable. Expect long lines and throngs of tourists - depending upon the season. There are public beaches in Antibes, France that are considered quite family friendly. The beaches here are a bit more sheltered - making them good for kids to swim. They can get crowded.

Cannes, France is known for its private beach affairs, but there are also public beaches here just off La Croisette. You’ll also see lots of nearby cafes and bars.

Nice, France has public beaches. The beaches in Nice are known for being lined with pebbles not soft sand. Most people use blow-up mattresses here or chairs to avoid the discomfort of the hard stones.

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La Scala
50 Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes, France 6400
La Scala offers a fine private beach in Cannes. Many of the other nearby hotels also offer private beach-going experiences. Private beaches charge...
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Hotel Martinez
73 Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes, France 6400
If you want a private beach in Cannes, France, Hotel Martinez is one of the options. Many of the private beaches offer their own guests special...
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Plage Publique des Ponchettes
24, Rue Saint Francois de Paule, Nice, France 6003
This is one of the most popular public beaches in Nice, France. You'll find a good atmosphere, free unheated showers and a typical ambiance here...
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Beau Rivage
24, Rue Saint Francois de Paule, Nice, France 6003
This is one of Nice, France's most popular private beaches. It's very nearby a popular public beach. Admission fees apply here allowing you to...
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Ruhl
Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France 6000
This private beach features water skiing and other amusements. This Nice, France private beach also features warm showers, changing rooms, chairs...
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Hi Beach
47 Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France 6000
Hi Beach is a private beach in Nice, France. It's considered a trendy spot with unusual touches. There's a restaurant here, and you can rent a...
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Aqua Club
Route Epi, Ramatuelle, France 83350
For a more laid back and relaxed Saint Tropez beach, check this one out. Children are allowed here, and the number of boob jobs seems to be kept...
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Neptune Plage
Quartier Pampelonne, Ramatuelle, France 83350
Neptune Plage is probably one of the top nude beaches in Saint-Tropez. This naturalist beach attracts a wide variety of ages and body types, but...
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Voile Rouge
Route des Plages, Ramatuelle, France 83350
This beach in Saint-Tropez is where topless sunbathing got its start. You will still see some people baring it all here. Today this is a real...
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Club 55
43 Boulevard du General Patch, Ramatuelle, France 83350
The hip, rich and famous party at this spot in Saint-Tropez. This private beach is known for skimpy suits and extravagant spending. Expect...
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Les Girelles
18 bd Patch, Ramatuelle, France 83350
Many beach lovers call this their place of choice when they want to stay in the St. Tropez Peninsula. It's a tiny hotel with only 14 rooms. It...
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Tikki Hutte
Plage de Pampelonne, Ramatuelle, France 83350
You can't get much closer to the beach than these beach-side cabanas available for rent on the St. Tropez Peninsula, which is inland from the town...
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Cap Ferrat Watersports
Plage Paloma - Chemin de Saint Hospice, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
JET SKI - SKI NAUTIQUE - WAKEBOARD - BOUEES - WAKESURF - RANDONNEES JET - LOCATION BATEAU
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International Diving School - Cap Ferrat Diving
, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
Cap Ferrat Diving is located at the heart of the village of St. Jean Cap Ferrat, France... only 10 minutes from Nice and Monaco. Departing from...
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Nautical Center
Cro dei Pins, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
Situated near the Cro dei Pins public beach, the Nautical Center offers beginner as well as more advanced courses in several water sports:...
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Paloma Beach
Chemin de Saint Hospice, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
Water sports - Bar - Restaurant - Open everyday from Easter to September, Shuttle for sailors
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Passable Beach
Chemin de Passable, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
Water sports - Ski - Kayaks - Bar - Restaurant - Lounge - Open everyday from Easter to September, Evenings from June to September. Shuttle...
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Sailing on the Santo Sospir
, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
Two instructors will take you out sailing on this magnificent vessle with a lateen sail hoping to view whales and dolphins! Departs : 9:00am -...
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Water Sport St. Jean Cap Ferrat
Plage de Passable - Chemin de Passable, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France 06230
WAKEBOARD, SKI NAUTIQUE, JET SKI, BOUEE - PROMENADE EN MER A BORD D'UN MAGNIFIQUE VOILIER
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Nikki Beach
Quartier Pampelonne, Ramatuelle, France 83350
Fueled by hip music, cocktails and the French Riviera sand and surf, Club Nikki is one of the most well-noted private beaches in Saint-Tropez...
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