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With the summer season in full swing it seems as good a time as any to take a look at the one thing that makes the French Riviera one of the most popular destinations in the world, it’s stunning coastline, also responsible for its namesake the Côte d’Azur, the blue coast.
It is where the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea meets with the Alpine mountains providing a dramatic backdrop to many on the beaches.
To the far west of the Riviera are the uber glamorous beaches of St Tropez and the Pampelonne area provides a wide sandy bank and hosts some of the most famous beach clubs in the world and the sea is dotted with yachts anchored off the shore awaiting their well-heeled guests.
The stunning town of St Tropez is best viewed, either from the water or from the beautiful sandy beach opposite in the quaint town of Port Grimaud.
Moving Eastwards past St Maxime and Frejus there is the bay of Agay, with sandy beaches it is a popular resort on the borders of the rocky Esterel coastline that are home to the beautiful rocky ‘calanques’ which are filled with rock pools and wild life in the crystal clear waters.
On the Eastern side of the Esterel is the bay of Theoule, with the red rocks giving way to sandy beaches as it moves towards La Napoule, with its famous Chateau sat on the beach.
The beaches of Cannes are split, to the east of Cannes is the long beach of La Bocca which runs parallel with the train line. It is predominantly public but a few restaurants at either end.
The central beach in Cannes is obviously the Croisette beach that runs from the Palais de Festivals to Port Canto. It has to be one of the most famous beaches in the world, packed (almost) end to end with beach clubs that play host to parties day and night during the congresses and festivals.
At the ‘tip of Cannes’ is the stunning Palm Beach, host to the art deco casino building that also has a pool at its beach club, tunes and trendy faces abound on sunny afternoons! The beach is the closest land point to the Cannes islands, these are a haven of tranquillity in the summer months and can be accessed from La Napoule, Cannes, Golfe Juan or Juan les Pins by ferry all year round.
Golfe Juan to Juan les Pins
From Golfe Juan to Juan les Pins is a long stretch of golden sandy beach perfect for bathing and various watersports including water-skiing and paddle boarding. Juan les Pins was the height of fashionable resorts since the 1920s and still retains much of its charm on a summer’s evening when sat on the beach watching the sun set over the Esterel having a gourmet dinner at one of the infamous beach restaurants.
Antibes and the Cap d’Antibes
The Cap d’Antibes is interspersed with coves and pebble beaches and the best way to explore them is by walking the ‘sentier littoral’ which is the costal path that runs behind some of the biggest villas on the Cap. From here you can access swimming areas and exceptional views that cannot be seen by car. If you start the walk from the villa Eilen Roc you will finish at La Garoupe with its sandy cove and top restaurants.
Antibes itself has sandy beaches to the west of the town, the Ponteil and Salis, which offer the magnificent view of the old town and the Alps in the background. The famous town beach, La Gravette, nestled in the walls below the spires of the cathedral and Chateau Grimaldi, home of the Picasso museum. Behind the beach is the biggest pleasure port in the Mediterranean with some of the largest yachts in the world. The port is bordered on the far side by Fort Carré which was built to protect the town from attacks across the Baie des Anges, so named after the angel sharks, still spotted in the area!
For the best villas and accommodation to visit this coastline contact us