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Beaches in the Côte d'Azur

The coast during the summer months is notoriously busy and on some beaches you’ll struggle to find space. However, there are some quieter areas and if you’re after a bit of sea and sand, it’s useful to know where to head.

Away from the bustle of Nice is the Plage de Passable in a little cove in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and it takes just over half an hour to get to. With a restaurant, sun loungers and water sports, it has lovely views towards the Bay of Villafranche.

On the other side of the Cap Ferrat peninsula is the little shingle beach of Paloma. This is a protected cove, popular with families and with great facilities. Half the beach is private, and often frequented by celebrities, while the other section is open to the public.

For more glitz and a feel for the buzz of the South of France, nothing beats the beach along La Croisette in Cannes. You’ll need to make a reservation at one of the restaurants, but can stay there for the afternoon topping up your glass with chilled rosé. The drive can take between 35 and 45 minutes from your villa.

Just west across the bay is Théoule-sur-Mer, which has a quieter beach, covered in lovely golden colored sand.

The famous Pampelonne Beach at St Tropez is the best one to go to for people watching, and as such, gets incredibly busy. It does have very good facilities including some great restaurants. The drive is anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic.

The nearest sandy beach to your villa is Juan Les Pins , hugely popular in 30s and 40s with many Hollywood stars including Charlie Chaplin and Marlena Dietrich. It takes about 25 to 35 minutes to drive from your villa.

Nice has 15 private beaches with public ones in between, stretching for over four miles from the airport to the Vieux Port. They are pebbly and can be quite steep in parts, making them not particularly ideal for younger children. However, there are stretches that are less steep, and it’s here that you’ll see most families. To drive there takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

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