Our top seaside resorts on the French Riviera

Head to Cannes, Saint Tropez, Nice or Monaco to enjoy the sun, wander through the small villages, and sample shellfish on the seashore... Discover our selection of small seaside resorts on the French Riviera!

  • Author

    OUI.sncf

  • Updated on

    14/04/2016

  • Destination

    Antibes

Monaco and the Cap d’Ail

Laurence Edelson

Cap d’Ail is a magnificent place set between the sea and the mountains, dominated by la “Tête de Chien”, or the “Dog’s Head”, 480m high, with the Mediterranean as a backdrop. Located close to Monaco, this Belle Epoque resort enjoyed prosperity up until the 1940s. Countless famous names have stayed there, including the Lumière Brothers, exiled Russian Princes, Sacha Guitry, Lord Beaverbrook, Greta Garbo, Winston Churchill etc.

Beaches

My favourite is the Plage de la Mala. Located in a wonderful setting, surrounded by cliffs, the water here is turquoise. To get there, take the coastal path or the Mala steps bordering L’Eden, a restaurant with its own private beach, where you can rent beach mats and lunch or dine at any time. Another great place on the beach is the La Réserve restaurant. To drink a lovely pastis in a beautiful setting, stop at the Cabanon.

You should also see the Plage Marquet, which is more family-friendly, and the Plage des Pissarelles, which is beautiful and wild, surrounded by rocks, and can be reached via a small road on the coastal corniche.

Between Nice and Monaco: Villefranche-sur-Mer, the colours of the French Riviera

By Olivia Merlen, Journalist

Nestled in a bay and surrounded by mountains, tucked away between Monaco and Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer is a charming town on the French Riviera!

A dive into the Mediterranean

In the morning, spend a few hours in the sea, snorkelling along an underwater trail, or diving. Multicoloured slugs, friendly fish, captivating starfish and mysterious wrecks... the most beautiful bay in the world is full of surprises!
Rand’eau escape, 32 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer. Tel: 06 18 79 62 33. Open from May to October.

A walk on the waterfront

Start from Port Royal de la Darse, then head towards the citadelle Saint-Elme. This 16th century fortified bastion forms a balcony from which you can overlook the Mediterranean. Inside there are houses painted in warm tones with cooling gardens.
At lunchtime, in the Port de la Santé, take a seat on the terrace. Relax against the pastel shutters on the facades, fill up on seafood while you admire the boats in the distance.

A stroll in the old town

In la chapelle Saint-Pierre-des-Pêcheurs, decorated by Jean Cocteau, immerse yourself in the secrets of the old town. La rue Obscure, still maintaining its medieval style, is worth a look. After admiring a staircase, a square and a bell tower, you end up at the Baroque facade of the Saint-Michel church.

At the gates of Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle and Pampelonne Beach

By Marie Gustin

Situated 12km from St Tropez, here I am in Ramatuelle, a theatrical town par excellence. First made famous by Gérard Philippe, who is buried here, it was then firmly planted on the map by Jean-Claude Brialy, who created the Ramatuelle Festival. Theatre featuring one-man shows, classical concerts and dance performances. Now every year, the festival hosts an eclectic programme in the first two weeks of August. The event attracts many people, unknowns as well as showbiz stars. Many headliners are performing again this year, so remember to book early!

A medieval village on the hillside, Ramatuelle is surrounded by ramparts. From here you can enjoy beautiful views over the rooftops made of pink tiles, old stone houses and the Bay of Pampelonne, just opposite.

Nearby, everyone wants to visit the fine sands of 5km-long Pampelonne beach, renowned for its atmosphere and beautiful seabed. If you come out of season, there will be less of a festive atmosphere around the beach bars. On the other hand, you can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the beach and explore nearby coves.

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