• Riviera Insider editorial

Top 5 secluded beaches on the Côte d'Azur

We're in the height of summer and our beaches are packed! Here's a list of secluded beaches to enjoy the sea without the crowds.

Plage de l'Estagnol, Bormes-les-Mimosas. Photo: AS

The turquoise waters of the Côte d'Azur are enchanting, but not all beaches along our gorgeous coast are the same. When the height of summer overcrowding makes the beach something you dread, seek out these lesser-known and perhaps even more beautiful spots. From our 2021Summer Guide, here are our top picks!

Plage de l'Estagnol


Here, west of Cap Bénat and the presidential summer residence Fort de Brégançon, one sandy beach is more beautiful than the other - whether Plage de Brégançon (dogs allowed), Plage de Cabasson, Plage du Grand Jardin, Plage de Léoube, Plage du Pellegrin or Plage de l'Estagnol (photo). The crystal-clear water in the idyllic, pine-lined bays gradually deepens, ideal for ball games in the sea. There is no traffic here, and virtually no buildings. For those who enjoy walks, there is a seaside path from beach to beach.

Plage de Saint-Clair

Le Lavandou

The long sandy beach with a view of the Hyerian Islands is a sheltered dream, despite the busy road behind it. With volleyball courts, palm trees at the back and various cafés and restaurants. A rocky coastal path leads to the centre of Le Lavandou in a few minutes' walk. When the mistral blows, the sea is much calmer here than on the other side of Cap Bénat.

Plage de Gigaro, La Croix-Valmer

Plage de Gigaro

La Croix-Valmer

The Gigaro beach below La Croix-Valmer is known for its natural, wild side. Those who have had enough of sweet idleness and are physically fit can walk eastwards along the coastal footpath (sentier littoral) to the pretty Cap Lardier and the even prettier Cap Taillat.

Plage de l'Aiguille Théoule-sur-Mer Photo: AS

Plage de l'Aiguille


The sand here is not as white as on the beaches mentioned so far, and water shoes are recommended in the sea. Apart from its seclusion below red Estérel rocks, the Plage de l'Aiguille is a hit precisely because of its rocky seabed: be sure to bring snorkelling equipment! Colourful fish of all kinds can be seen and sometimes even an octopus. Good swimmers can reach the rocky arch at the Pointe de l'Aiguille, while those on foot can approach the small bays at the Pointe from above via the Parc de la Pointe de l'Aiguille.

Plage des Ondes, Cap d'Antibes Photo: AS

Plage des Ondes

Cap d'Antibes

Our spot for the sunset! The beach on the west side of the Cap - we call it "turret beach" - is tiny, parking difficult (side street), but the view towards Cannes and the Estérel mountains against the sunlight is simply incomparable. When most people vacate their seats for dinner, bring your picnic and enjoy.

Plage de la Mala, Cap d'Ail Photo: AS

Plage de la Mala

Cap d'Ail

To get to this beach below a mighty rock face, you have to walk a bit (including about 100 stairs). But the effort is rewarded with a gorgeous little sheltered bay far below the hustle and bustle of the coastal road between Monaco and Cap Ferrat. Public and private beach sections.


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