18 Best French Riviera Beaches To Sunbathe & Swim: Best Beaches On The French Riviera

Here are the best French Riviera beaches to swim, sunbathe, and relax in the South of France. The French Riviera is one of the best vacation destinations in the world.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters or simply want to relax and soak up some sun, there are plenty of beaches in Nice to fit your needs. The French Riviera is known for its beautiful beaches, and Nice is no exception.

The best beaches on the French Riviera are located in cities like Nice, Menton, Cannes, Antibes, and St Tropez. These cities have developed a reputation for being hot spots for celebrities and other wealthy individuals who want to escape their busy lives in Paris or New York City for a few weeks during summertime.

But these cities aren’t just about celebrities, they offer plenty of activities, and things to do in the French Riviera for tourists who aren’t interested in celebrities but still want a relaxing vacation experience with plenty of sunshine and maybe a little shopping.


The South of France also has a reputation as being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. If you’re looking for places on the Cote d’Azur that are easy to get around by car, buses, and trains and have the best things to do while you’re there, then consider visiting Nice, and the rest of the Cote d’Azur.

Because the South of France is also known as the best Mediterranean paradise to visit, there are many best beaches on the French Riviera with sunbeds, terraces, and beachfront restaurants offering different Mediterranean kinds of seafood to choose from.

But the Cote d’Azur isn’t the only place on the French Riviera with great beaches; there are many other smaller seaside towns that have stunning views from their beaches, however, some of those beaches are quite hidden.

Whether you’re looking for something secluded or want to be near the restaurants, old towns, the city of French Riviera, and hotels, there’s something for everyone on this list of the best French Riviera Beaches.

 

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1. Plage des Ponchettes: Best Beach In Nice

Plage des Ponchettes is a public beach located just right opposite Vieux Nice (the old town of Nice), and close to the port. It’s a public beach where you don’t need to pay to lie on a sunbed and eat at a restaurant, making it really easy to spend all day here.

The activities you can do here include swimming and sunbathing, but also playing sports such as volleyball.

The water is absolutely stunning with pebbled stones and rocks. There are also lifeguards on duty.

If you’re looking for parking near the beach, there’s plenty of free space just off-street or close by. You’ll need to pay for this if you park within one kilometer of the beach itself since there are meters along its borders.

Best Hotels In Nice Near Plage des Ponchettes:

 

2. Plage Beau Rivage, Beachfront Terrace, Sunbeds & Sea Views Restaurant In Nice

Plage Beau Rivage is a beach in Nice, France. It’s one of the best beaches in Nice and it’s a private beach, but it also has public sections.

At Plage Beau Rivage, you can relax and sunbathe on their sunbed, while ordering food and drinks at the restaurant.

Plage Beau Rivage is located near Old Town Nice and all the restaurants, shops, and hotels that are close to it.

Affordable Hotels In Nice Near Plage Beau Rivage:

3. Opera Plage Restaurant et Plage Privee a Nice With Seafood, Sunbeds, Sea Views & Beachfront Terrace

Opera Plage is located in the heart of Nice, on the Promenade des Anglais. This beach has beautiful views and a lot going on.

It’s also sort of like a cross between an outdoor restaurant and a beach club. You can get cocktails, food, and lots of seafood, so you don’t need to leave for any reason!

If you want to take it easy though, there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent so that you can focus on relaxing in the sun instead of worrying about getting burned or having to reserve your spot early with some towels.

If there are two things everybody knows about Nice, they would be:

1. The Promenade des Anglais (the famous seaside walkway) and its delicious cuisine include fresh seafood dishes.

2. Opera Plage Restaurant et Plage Privee A Nice offers both indoor seating areas where diners can enjoy meals while listening to music provided by DJs playing electronic tracks throughout their stay while the outdoor area allows guests access.

Best Hotels In Opera Plage Restaurant et Plage Privee In Nice

 

4. Plage Blue Beach Public & Mediterranean Restaurant With Sunbeds Beachfront

Plage Blue Beach is both a private and public beach in Nice, France. It’s located on the Promenade des Anglais and is a 1.5km walk from the train station. It’s also just a stone’s throw away from other public beaches.

When you get there, Blue Beach has an oceanfront Mediterranean Restaurant with sunbeds beachfront that serves up Mediterranean food and drinks to enjoy while you’re sunbathing or swimming in the ocean.

If you want to get away from all of those crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet by yourself for a while then consider checking it out! There are many things that make Plage Blue Beach one of the best French Riviera beaches in Nice including:

A great deal of space where everyone can have fun together without getting too crowded.

This gives everyone time to relax before going back home again after having spent their day exploring, sightsing and enjoying everything that Nice has to offer.

Chic Hotels In Nice Near Plage Blue Beach

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5. Les Sablettes: Best Beaches On The French Riviera Menton With Sunbeds, Beachfront & Restaurant

Les Sablettes is one of the best beaches on the French Riviera that has sunbeds and a restaurant with views of the sea where you can eat Mediterranean food.

The restaurant with outdoor chairs and sunbeds also has an amazing ambiance for everyone to sunbathe and relax while eating and drinking.

Best Hotels In Menton Near Les Sablettes

6. Plage Rondelli, Menton Best Public Beach

Plage Rondelli in Menton (a town on the Italian border), is a public beach that’s close to the center of old town Menton.

It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. The beach also has volleyball nets set up for those who want to play a game of beach volleyball.

On warm nights, you can enjoy a drink from one of the many bars or restaurants on this lovely stretch of sand or even dance at one of its clubs.

Affordable Hotels In Menton Near Plage Rondelli

 

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7. Plage de la Bouillabaisse, St Tropez Waterfront Restaurant With Sunbeds, Sea View

The Plage de la Bouillabaisse, St Tropez is one of the best beaches in St Tropez as you’ll find both private and public spots for relaxation by the sea.

You’ll also find sunbeds, and restaurants to indulge in grilled fish, and a seafood menu right on the beachfront, an excellent place to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea with its clean waters while eating lunch or dinner.

The Plage de la Bouillabaisse is one of the best French Riviera beaches with sunbeds where you can lie down, relax, and get your Mediterarian tanned skin on while enjoying amazing views of the sunset over the sea.

There are some water sports available at this beach too such as parasailing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, etc., so if you want to try any of these activities out then this would be a great choice as well.

Best Hotels In St Tropez Near Plage de la Bouillabaise

8. Nikki Beach St Tropez Luxury Beach Club With Sunbeds, Waterfront Restaurant

Nikki Beach St Tropez is a luxury beach club on the French Riviera. It’s located on a private beach, with sunbeds and umbrellas, plus free towels for guests.

The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, along with burgers and salads for lunch or casual meals.  For drinks, there’s an extensive cocktail menu or you can enjoy your favorite tipple from the bar at Nikki Beach St Tropez.

There’s also a pool where you can relax in one of the cabanas or get active by taking part in water sports like jet skiing or windsurfing.

Best Apartments, Villas & Hotels In St Tropez Near Nikki Beach Club

9. Pampelonne Beach In St Tropez With Chic Beach Clubs:

Pampelonne Beach is a public beach in St. Tropez and one of the most popular beaches on the French Riviera.

If you want to relax, sunbathe, and swim on one of the most beautiful beaches in St Tropez, look no further than Pampelonne Beach.

The Pampelonne Beach offers a gorgeous stretch of pristine white sand and clear aquamarine water and is a favorite destination for celebrities, influencers, and even regular people looking to escape their everyday lives.

They love to party at Pampelonne Beach because it has everything they need: beautiful scenery, great food and drink options at some of the beach clubs on Pampelonne Beach, and plenty of space for them and their friends to spread out.

It’s long, but it can also get too crowded, while this white sandy beach can also be perfect for strolling along its wide promenade and taking in some rays.

If you want to kick up your heels after sunbathing, head to one of Pampelonne’s chic beach clubs to party, dance, and drink some cocktails right on the beachfront.

There are several hotels near Pampelonne including Le Touquet, which has hosted many famous musicians over the years including Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Mick Jagger.

Affordable Hotels, Apartments & Villas Near Pampelonne Beach In St Tropez:

 

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10. Cabane Bambou, St Tropez With Sunbeds, Beachfront, Restaurant

Cabane Bambou is also one of the best beaches on the French Riviera in St Tropez with sunbeds, a bar, and a restaurant.

Cabane Bambou has sunbeds and a restaurant on the beachfront, as well as an open-air terrace for guests to enjoy drinks and snacks throughout the day.

Cabane Bambou is within walking distance of many other popular beaches in St Tropez, making it easy to explore your options before making yourself at home here.

Affordable Apartments, Villas & Hotels Near Cabane Bambou In St Tropez:

 

11. Plage des Marinieres: Best Beach In Villefranche-Sur-Mer

The Plage des Marinières is one of the best French Riviera beaches on the Mediterranean, home to the longest stretch of beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

The sand curves around the bay for about a kilometer and faces southwest, which means it gets plenty of suns all day long.

To the right, you’ll get the best view of the old town of Villefranche-sur-Mer and to the left is a low wooded hill.  And in the background, you’re covered with steep cliffs making a beautiful historic backdrop.

The beach itself features a number of sandstone rocks that jut out into the water and provide some lovely spots to relax on your towel or under an umbrella.

The water can get a bit shallow, but it’s still possible to swim comfortably and with safety precautions.  Plage des Marinieres might also be ideal for families thanks to its calm gentle waves and shallow waters.

There are also several restaurants nearby where you can enjoy lunch before heading back out onto the shoreline.

Best Apartments, Villas & Hotels Near Plage des Marinieres In Villefranche-Sur-Mer

12. Plage Les Bains De la Plage, Villefranche-Sur-Mer With Sunbeds, Beachfront, Restaurant

Plage Les Bains de la Plage is located in the heart of the town of Villefranche-Sur-Mer, so you can enjoy your day on the beach while still having plenty of options for food and drinks.

This is another beautiful beach that also has some of the best sunbeds and umbrellas so that you can comfortably relax during your time at this beautiful spot.

And if you’re looking for something to do after your swim, there are plenty of restaurants nearby where you can grab lunch or dinner.

It’s also close to the town where you can easily wander off and sightsee all the charming architecture and shops.

It’s one of the most popular beaches in Villefranche Sur Mer, but it’s also known as one of the best beaches in the South of France (and possibly even all over Europe).

It was named one of the top 10 swimming spots back in 2016 because it offers crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Affordable Apartments & Hotels Near Plage Les Bains De la Plage In VilleFranche Sur Mer

 

13. Passable Beach In Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat With Sunbeds, Beachfront, Restaurant

The Passable beach is accessible by a series of stone steps from the promenade. Passable Beach is a hidden beauty in the heart of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

It’s not visible from the road, which makes Passable Beach perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, and swimming in a more silent and peaceful way as compared to other popular beaches in the French Riviera.

If you’re looking for a secluded beach in the South of France that’s not overrun by tourists and traffic, Passable Beach is the place for you.

Known for its crystal clear waters and picturesque views, Passable Beach is one of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat’s most sought-after destinations for both locals and tourists.

The pristine beach is surrounded by beautiful rocks and sands that provide a unique experience for guests.

While it’s not necessarily a sandy beach, there are plenty of sunbeds and restaurants on hand to make your day as enjoyable as possible.

The Passable beach is one of the best beaches on the French Riviera where you’ll want to take advantage of the restaurant, which serves delicious food and drinks.

Best Hotels Near Passable Beach In Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

 

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14. Salis Beach: Antibes Public Beach

Salis Beach is a public beach and it’s located in the town of Antibes.

Salis Beach is one of the best beaches on the French Riviera to go swimming and sunbathing, especially if you want to relax on a nice day.

There are sunbeds available for rent close by, but don’t expect to get one during high season as they tend to get booked up quite quickly.

You can also take advantage of the restaurants close by as well as their beachfront restaurant just off Salis Beach where you can enjoy some delicious food with some great views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Best Apartments & Hotels Near Salis Beach In Antibes

 

15. Plage Mace: Cannes Public & Private Beach With Sunbeds, Restaurant

Plage Mace is a public and private beach with sunbeds, a restaurant, and a playground. It’s located in Cannes, which is easily accessible by public transport from Nice.

Plage Mace is also one of the best beaches in Cannes, and a great spot for those who are looking for a bit of luxury on their beach getaway right in the heart of Cannes.

It’s just off the main road, so you can pop over for a quick dip or sunbathe in the morning before heading to work, school or sightseeing.  Or you can also sunbathe for an hour or two before going off to shop around Cannes.

And if you want to take a longer break from your day, there are luxury boutique shops across the road from Salis Beach, so head over there after relaxing at the beach.

The beach has both free parking and paid parking nearby. If you don’t have a car or don’t want to use it then it’s possible to get here by taxi from Nice airport and from other hotels around the area too.

Affordable Apartments & Hotels In Cannes Near Plage Mace Beach

16. Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere: Cannes With Sunbeds, Beachfront, Restaurant

Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere is a large public beach in Cannes, with sunbeds and a beachfront restaurant.

If you’re in Cannes, France, and want to feel like you’re on a tropical island, then Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere is one of the best beachfront restaurants with outdoor chairs and sunbeds to visit.

Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere is a romantic, chic beach club with excellent service and top-notch Mediterranean seafood.

The decor is chic, and gorgeous with tropical vibes, and the music is great for dancing and chilling out at the beach. Plus, it’s on the waterfront!

If you book in advance, you can enjoy all this in a relaxed setting, perhaps be seated right at the front closer to the beach.  And if you don’t have time to book ahead of time. No problem! I’m sure they’ll work with you to get a table or seating as soon as they can.

The food at Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere is delicious. Their Mediterranean seafood is prepared perfectly and served with care.  The drinks are also great, try one of their signature cocktails and menu for the day from their extensive list of options!

If you’re looking for a laid-back beach club experience in Cannes that doesn’t require too much planning or effort on your part.  Then Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere is definitely worth checking out.

Best Apartments & Hotels In Cannes Near Mademoiselle Gray Plage Barriere

 

17. Neptune Monaco Beach: Monaco With Sunbeds, Beachfront, Restaurant

Neptune Beach is a public beach located on the western side of Monaco.  It’s a popular spot for sunbathers and swimmers, as well as anyone who wants to check out some of Monaco’s beautiful yachts.

Best Hotels In Monaco Near Neptune Monaco Beach

18. Plage du Larvotto: Monaco Public Beach

Plage du Larvotto is one of the best beaches in Monaco’s main public beach, located in the southern part of the city.  It’s one of the most glamorous beaches on the French Riviera, and some women may go sunbathing without their bikini tops.

The beach is located just off of the Monte Carlo Casino and overlooks the luxury apartment buildings that line the promenade.

As you walk along the pebbles, your feet will barely touch the sand, this is more like a pebble-lined beach than a traditional one.  But what makes Larvotto truly unique is how private it feels despite being surrounded by hotels and skyscrapers.

This gorgeous stretch of beach has close-by beaches that provide ample space for anyone who wants to relax or play sports on their own.

You can swim there without any problems; however, don’t expect this beach to be less crowded at all times!  It can still get too crowded during the high season in the months of July to August.

If privacy matters most to you when choosing where to go swimming or sunbathing in Monaco, or if you prefer being able to take off your clothes while tanning, then Larvotto Beach might not be right for your needs (although there are many private beaches nearby).

There are also a few waterfront restaurants with sunbeds and outdoor seating areas to choose from so you can enjoy a nice meal and a drink while sunbathing.

And with room service available at several hotels nearby, there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself as much as possible while you’re there.

Best Apartments & Hotels In Monaco Near Plage du Larvotto

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