Beach ready on the Côte d’Azur

They don’t call it the Côte d’Azur for nothing.  The colour blue is everywhere but my favourites are the clear blue sky and the many shades of the Mediterranean Sea.

Here along the coast tourist season has really picked up.  Getting my groceries done at the market in Cours Saleya takes a little more time, a little more use of my elbows, and a general dose of “pardon madame/monsieur“.

But the crowds aren’t just at the market.  The beaches are now more crowded during the day and the water is warm enough that people are dipping in more than just their toes.  Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved going to the beach.  My favourite reason to go to the beach, aside from cooling off in the sea, is the chance to do nothing/to read a book/to people watch.

A trip to the beach is all about being prepared though.  Here are a few tips for you if you plan on taking a trip to the Côte d’Azur this summer.

•     The usual applies: remember your sunscreen, a hat, and drink lots of water.  It can get very hot during the day on the beach and, unless you choose to lounge at one of the ‘private’ spots on the beach, parasols are not provided.  (Of course, you can always bring your own.)

•     Despite what you see on the big posters in the Nice airport the beaches in Nice are not sand beaches.  This makes for very clear water; however, it can get uncomfortable sitting/lying on the galets.  Remember to bring a mat and an extra towel to sit/lay on.

•     If you’re looking for sand beaches head west.  The beaches in Antibes and Cannes are sand beaches.  The beach in Villefranche, while not filled with galets, has fine pebbles but no sand.

•     Of course, if you’re in Cannes during the film festival be sure to arrive extra early in order to find a spot on the beach.

•     If you’re not keen on being on the beach with everyone and their cousin do like the natives do: arrive at the beach after 6 pm.  You’ll still get time on the beach to tan but you’ll be able to pick a great spot on the beach.  Pack your cooler and have dinner on the beach along with a bottle of your favourite rosé.  Just remember to pack the corkscrew!

D and I did go to the beach this weekend.  In fact, we went twice: we enjoyed a quiet evening in Villefranche; and we had a casual lunch among the crowd in Antibes.

What are your favourite things to do at the beach?

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  Here’s to a great start to the week…happy Monday mes amis!

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Categories: beach, tips

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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9 Comments on “Beach ready on the Côte d’Azur”

  1. May 9, 2011 at 9:13 AM #

    I can only imagine how busy it’s getting in your little part of paradise. Great beach tips. I’m not much of a beach person, which is kind of sacrilege for an Aussie, but I suspect it has a lot to do with having red hair/fair skin and an intense dislike of sand in my pants (gravel must be even worse 🙂 Do you find the beaches are really messy when you go down at 6pm after a day of tourists? (Rubbish, etc)

    • May 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM #

      Surprisingly, the beaches are pretty clean. People seem quite content to clean up after themselves. There are garbage bins around and people also arrive with their own little plastic bags to put their trash in. (That should have been a tip!)

      I agree with you about the sand; it gets into everything. That’s why I don’t mind the beaches in Nice. While not the most comfortable spot to be you don’t end up with sand in the car, in your shoes, in your hair…

  2. May 9, 2011 at 11:46 AM #

    Fun fun fun! I miss the beach in Nice… I used to spend evenings there- usually there were baguettes and cheese from Monoprix and a person playing guitar involved… 🙂

    • May 9, 2011 at 6:47 PM #

      I look forward to dinners on the beach as D usually prepares our meal. All I have to do is be there!

  3. May 9, 2011 at 6:16 PM #

    Don’t forget the beach in Cap d’Ail. Extraordinary!

  4. May 10, 2011 at 7:42 AM #

    That blue is incredible. The beach at Nice came as a surprise to me. Rocks??? But once you sort of dig a hole for yourself, it’s really not bad at all. All I want to do at the beach is lay around like a turtle in the sun. Read a paragraph or two….lay around some more.

  5. July 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

    I love the blues in this picture. My favourite thing to do at the beach is so sleep, eat, listen to music and play swim.

    • July 30, 2011 at 5:00 AM #

      Yes, along the coast blue seems to be the dominant colour. Some days, the sea has 3 or 4 different shades of blue; it’s absolutely lovely.

      I love doing nothing at the beach; I also enjoy people watching too!

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