What? : Public beaches

Crystal clear waters, fish, umbrellas and pines… The public beaches around Nice are full of surprises. Here's our list of the most paradisiacal.

La plage de la Réserve in Nice

Located beside the Club Nautique de Nice, La Réserve beach is well known to regulars and locals looking for tranquility. And for good reason; it is much less frequented than its sister beaches but it’s just as beautiful! The place is authentic, the water is transparent, and divers search among the rocks for big fish.

If you’re feeling peckish just put on your best outfit / towel and go to the nautical club restaurant for a refreshing lunch with a sea view; the view of Nice and the Baie des Anges is simply breathtaking.

The Little Extra: a little further on, once you have passed the restaurant de la Réserve, you can also enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the area by diving in the coves.

Address: 122 Boulevard Carnot, 06300 Nice.

La plage Coco beach 

Coco Beach, east of Nice, is one of those fiercely guarded atypical places. More than a beach, it is actually a succession of large, flat, dazzling white rocks that remind us of a lost Greek paradise.

Nicknamed “the swimming pool” by the locals, this confidential place is dear to the hearts of the people of Nice; the address has been passed down from generation to generation. And for good reason, here time stands still and people come happily listen to the sound of the waves slamming on the rocks. The cove seems to have been designed for diving enthusiasts.

At lunchtime, the gangs of friends get together for an impromptu picnic. The atmosphere is friendly, good-natured; some play cards, others sip rosé. Families rare because the beach is difficult to access for toddlers, and you can only swim by taking a ladder and stairs.

The Little Extra: its appearance means that it a place not regularly frequented by tourists.

Address: 6-8 Avenue Jean Lorrain, 06300 Nice

La plage des Marinières at Villefranche-sur-Mer

Marinières beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer is the most significant public beach located on the outskirts of Nice.

Popular with swimming and sunbathing enthusiasts, this relaxing and picturesque bay stretches for 700 meters and offers a magnificent view of the bay of Villefranche and the moored boats.

The sand consists of micro pebbles, the water is transparent and, the sea is very easy to access making this one of the favourite beaches for families in the region.

In the centre of the beach a lifeguard station (only active in summer) ensures the safety of ythe oung and old. The beach is also equipped with anti-jellyfish nets. 

During the high season it is possible to rent mattresses. A large car park with more than 400 spaces is also available. The only disadvantage of this beach is the proximity of the railway which brings some noise pollution. Nevertheless, it is very well used!

The Little Extra: to eat there are several high-end snack bars and restaurants along the car park. The magic of this beach takes on its full meaning at night when the sunset covers in the sea.

Address: Promenade des Marinières, 06230 Villefranche-sur- Mer.

La plage de la Darse at Villefranche-sur-Mer

Ideal for swimming and sunbathing, this small pebble beach is located behind the wall of the port of La Darse. Little known to tourists, it offers one of the most beautiful views over the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer and is away from the tourist hubbub. To get there just take the Chemin du Lazaret, behind the ramparts, and access is via stairs.

In the evening it is an ideal place to stroll, to have a family picnic and to enjoy the fresh summer air.

After a calm swim this moment of relaxation can be extended in one of the many bars and restaurants in the city, all in the immediate vicinity of the boats.

The Little Extra: take advantage of being in this beautiful place to visit the historic port of the Darse de Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Address: port de la Darse.

La plage des Fosses at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

It is undoubtedly the most beautiful beach of our selection.

Located to the south of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, this cove offers regulars an exceptional green setting; surrounded by pines, palm trees, and majestic Art Deco villas. It also overlooks the city’s old quarry.

The western part of this 300-meter beach made of sand and small pebbles is the most pleasant, because it is away from the road. Several pontoons line the seaside and offer the lucky ones a prime place to spread their towels.

Finally, for snorkelling enthusiasts, note that the seabed is very rich here.

The Little Extra: if you want to explore the surroundings the tourist trail will take you along the seaside to the Pointe de Saint Hospice and its chapel.

Address: Av Claude Vignon 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

La plage des Fossettes at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Located below the Jardin de la Paix, on Pointe Saint-Hospice, Fossettes beach is undoubtedly the most unspoiled bay on the peninsula. It is almost deserted in the off-season.

Its green setting and clear waters make this cove an enchanting place. Located just 25 minutes from Nice, it is appreciated by locals and regulars for its tranquility and the richness of its seabed.

Pine trees provide shade and coolness for swimmers. A shower is available.

The Little Extra: Fossettes beach has a small snack terrace, ideal for having a drink or a coffee before swimming.

Address: Prom. des Fossettes, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

La plage du grand Large at Cagnes-sur-Mer

La plage du Grand Large is the only sandy beach in Cagnes-sur-Mer. The sand is artificial but it remains pleasant for holiday makers who want to rest, have fun, or sunbathe.

Located between Boulevard Kennedy, the racecourse, and the mouth of the Cagnes, this beach is very popular with families.

Note that by the sea, in the area on the right towards the racecourse, there are some pebbles; it is therefore better to wear good shoes before swimming!

The Little Extra: the family atmosphere of the beach.

Address: 4 promenade de la Plage, 06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer.

by Louise Ballongue