Below you will find some of my French Riviera beach photos; wherever available, just click of the picture to view a larger size version.
At the western extremity of the French Riviera lies St. Tropez, a well-known resort, loved by artists, celebrities and politicians alike. And it has got some pretty beaches too!
Still further west, close to Toulon, lie the Isles of Hyères. A short boat trip from the port of Hyères, they are a haven of peace (no cars!) and offer nice beaches and beautiful views over the Mediterranean.
Half way from St. Tropez to Cannes are the twin towns of Frejus and St. Raphaël. This picture was taken in early March, so nobody to be seen! In contrast to Cannes, here at least the beaches are wide enough to be called beaches!
Just 20 minutes west of Cannes by car (ok, 15 mins in winter, 25 mins in summer), lies the Esterel, a very old mountain range, consisting of red volcanic rock. A scenic coastal route called the Corniche d'Or runs all the way to Frejus. There's plenty of opportunities to get out of your car and descend towards the beach in one the many rocky inlets. No sand here, but relative quiet and magnificent scenery should make up for that.
Cannes...here shown the narrow sandy beach in front of the famous Carlton Hotel, and the beach a bit further west, near Mandelieu. Not too busy, taken in early June (as mentioned, I never come here during the height of summer... but I will try to capture a picture of what it is like in July and August!).
Best time to visit and relax: October-April.
Antibes of course is right in the middle of the action... these pictures were taken in June, so just outside the tourist peak season of July and August. Antibes is a very interesting town with a rich history, very much worth a visit. This little bay and accompanying beach is very pleasant when not too crowded.
Not everyone's cup of tea, but I quite like the shingle beach of Villeneuve-Loubet. You have a nice view on Cagnes-sur-Mer and Nice, with the Alps providing a scenic background. Nice Airport is very close by, and in normal weather conditions approaching planes fly right over this stretch of water towards the nearby runway.Deserted outside the summer months, it gets busy in summer, but never crowded. Note that like in many places around the Mediterranean, the water gets deep very quickly!
Right next to Villeneuve-Loubet, on the way to Nice, is Cagnes-sur-Mer.
The seafront has been redesigned and refurbished, and there is a very wide pedestrianised boulevard between the beach and the main through road.
Along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, the same pebble beach as in Villeneuve.
Romantic and beautiful on a warm summer's evening, great for relaxing in autumn and winter, and nice and fresh for an early swim in spring!
Plenty of beautiful things to see in the old part of Nice, just on the other side of the Promenade.
Driving east from Nice, towards Monaco, after about 10km, is Eze Bord de Mer, a tranquil setting of villas, tucked away in the greenery and flowers. From the main road (called Basse Corniche), there are several public footpaths leading down to the beach, along some beautiful gardens.
Summer here does not end until well into October!
The picture (note no editing has taken place, colours are real!) shows the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, with its private beach and Olympic swimming pool. Not accessible for everyone, but a beautiful setting nonetheless.