Travel and Leisure — March 3, 2015 at 5:00 am

7 Best Beaches in the French Riviera

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The French Riviera is known for its unspoiled beaches and spectacular horizon views. Escape the cafes in Paris and vineyards in Bordeaux to explore the sunnier side of France. Here, visitors can admire aqua-blue shorelines as they sunbathe on the beach or sip wine at a seaside café. Beach goers and urban dwellers can experience a hint of city class amidst charming beaches. For the best of both worlds, head to one of these top beaches in the French Riviera.

L’Ille de Riou
Located outside of Marseille, this hidden gem flaunts the best of Southern French scenery. The beach’s most unique feature is that it is only accessible via boat. The beach is most notable for its spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. The shallow inlet, surrounded by large rock formations, allows swimmers to free-float in calm waters. This is a perfect destination for those who enjoy secluded beaches.

Plage de Pampelonne
Situated near St. Tropez, this legendary beach is one of the area’s most popular shorelines. The area integrates majestic shorelines with swanky restaurants, which attracts the trendy and wealthy. Over-priced restaurants and late-night parties wash up a vibrant atmosphere all day and night. This beach is the perfect spot for beach-goers who desire to rent cabanas and private sun-loungers.

La Garoupe Beach
Visitors explore white-sandy shorelines and traditional turquoise waters in this Cap d’Antibes beach. Part public, part private, this region attracts the chic traveler who enjoys sunbathing in class. Visitors can rent a sun-lounger or parasol for a small fee. However, this beach boasts a “no-selfie” zone so travelers enjoy the experience rather than boasting their beautiful beach body.

Plage de la Paloma
Located east of Nice, this small beach is nestled along rocky shorelines, which are decorated with Grecian style homes. High-class travelers mark their spot sleeping in swanky villas and eating overpriced sandwiches at seaside cafes. This destination is ideal for those who want to yacht or sail the shorelines in style.

Cannes
Cannes is one of the Riviera’s most popular regions. Visitors are greeted to high-class, private beaches sprinkled with public areas. Visitors do not have to stay in the hotel to enjoy the private beach areas. Cannes is a long shoreline, which is outlined with the popular The Promenade de la Croisette. This area contains high-end hotels, restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping, which is crowded during peak season.

Plage des Marinieres
Located in Villefranche-sur-Mer, this beach does not contain any private beach rentals. Completely public, this beach attracts families and those who want a traditional beach experience. The beach is approximately one-kilometer long and adjacent to the old town. The beach is easily accessible via car or by train. Since the beach is public the area contains snack bars instead of classy cafes and high-end restaurants.

Paloma Plage
Located in St.-John-Cap Ferrat, this is the ideal beach for relaxation. Quiet, small and discreet, this is beach is not secret, but does not boast the mainstream charm like Cannes and St. Tropez. The beach is 150 meters in length, snugged underneath coniferous-covered hills. The beach is part of Scaletta Cove and is accessible via bus, car or foot from the nearby town.

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