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Life.Style Journal

Best beaches in the South of France

05 Jul 2019

The Cote d’Azur is well-known for its chic beach-side resorts, spectacular stretches of idyllic beaches and colour of the Mediterranean Sea with its various shades of shimmering blue.

It’s little wonder the Riviera attracts millions of tourists to its shores each summer. Sometimes there is nothing better than leaving the buzz of the crowds behind in search of a secluded sandy spot. Whether it’s for quiet communion with nature or to spend quality time with your family, we have curated a list of the best peaceful beaches in the South of France within a two-hour drive of Parc du Cap.

1. Plage de la Garoupe, Cap d’Antibes

7-minute drive – This is undoubtedly one of the prettiest beaches on this stretch of coast. It was here that 1920s power couple Gerald and Sara Murphy introduced their glamorous friends Hemingway, Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald to the concept of soaking up the rays in the summer months. Silky white sands slope into crystal-clear, gentle waters and the rocky headland is a snorkeller’s heaven to explore. The views are panoramic, made up of the Bay of Angels looking out towards Nice, the immense Alps towering over the coastline, and the sumptuous array of villas and hotels nestling amongst the fragrant pines.

During the summer months (May to mid-October), most of Garoupe beach is commandeered by private beach clubs – Plage Keller, Petite Plage and Plage Joseph. These beaches have a polite ban on selfies for some degree of peace. A couple of small areas here are reserved for the public during the summer, but the ultimate experience of relaxation comes with visiting this sophisticated beach during the off-season. Find out more here about the artistic talent this area has attracted over many years.

2. Plage du Château, Alpes-Maritimes

30-minute drive A favourite of the locals, this understated beach is situated opposite glitzy Cannes. It is located between the port and the castle Napoule. The breakers on this scenic beach help form a pool-like expanse of shallow turquoise waters which results in an exceptional bathing experience. In the summer the castle provides welcome shade on this wide sandy beach. The nearby cafés and parasols making it ideal for families. Close by the castle there is a coastal path which leads to another small, secret beach directly at the foot of the castle. Get there early though as places are limited!

3. Plage du Camp-Long, Var

1-hour drive Camp Long Beach, also known as Tiki Beach (named after a little restaurant there), is a beautiful sandy beach east of Saint-Raphaël on Cap Estérel. Surrounded by red rocks, the beach is a 150-metre, heavily indented stretch of coastline. The result is a glimmering natural pool protected from waves. This aking this a peaceful spot to steal away from the crowds to read a book on the rocks facing the sea, or idle in the sun on a lazy afternoon. This beach is a closely guarded secret for all those lucky enough to visit.

4. Plage de Bonporteau, Cavalaire-sur-Mer

1-hour 30-minute drive Not far from Saint Tropez, the charming fishing village of Cavalaire-sur-Mer has a beautiful, long beach. If you explore a little further and you’ll discover a slice of paradise in the unspoilt beach of Bonporteau. Here you’ll enjoy a diverse display of wild flora, including eucalyptus, tamarisk trees and Washingtonia palm trees. Further the waters are particularly clear and crystalline, with fantastic underwater fauna and flora. Sheltered by pines, sit back and enjoy the gentle breeze and sounds of the lapping sea whilst enjoying a glass of Provençal rosé.

5. Plage du Grand Jardin, Bormes-les-Mimosas

1-hour 45-minute drive Plage du Grand Jardin is close to Bormes-les-Mimosas. This is one of the most charming villages in Provence, with picture perfect views at every turn. Most people flock to Plage de l’Estagnol 500m away, which is often compared to a Caribbean beach and therefore attracts larger crowds. This means that Plage du Grand Jardin is a hidden gem. Lesser known, it is as beautiful as Plage de l’Estagnol and is well worth the walk to enjoy the calm, uncrowded beach with clear white sands and azure waters.

6. Plage de la Bastide Blanche, Cap Taillat

1-hour 45-minute drive Located on a nature reserve, reaching Bastide Blanche beach is only possible by sea or a half hour walk from Escalet Beach. This means even in the busy summer months this beach is an oasis of tranquillity. Pack a picnic and make a day of it on this luxuriously long sandy stretch, taking time to enjoy the quieter side of the South of France as you relax at the sight of the shimmering crystal waters of the Mediterranean.

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