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Enjoying Nice Beach
You must wear Jellies ! The stony beaches can hurt and be hot in the summer so wear the right thing on the beach. If you don't like the look of the person next to you then move away some were else.
I have been coming to Nice since 2001 and its a wonderful place. There has been some trouble in the Cours Saleya area but its become a big drinking place at night if you don't like that kind of thing then stay away and go home at a sensible time. Walking the streets with revealing clothes on late at night is going to attract the wrong kind of attention. If your a girl never ever walk alone in any city anywhere late at night (after 10pm). I like Villefranche beach because its sandy, it costs one euro on the 100 bus to Menton. In the village center you get of the bus walk straight ahead The Tourist office is on the corner of the Tree Lined avenue on your right and its on the right. Beach is a 10 minute walk. If your lazy jump on the tourist train and it will take you down the hill to the beach.
The only downside to this beach is it gets busy I sometimes walk around the corner passed the excellent Lounge Beach Petite, good service and good ice creams ! Here I sit with the locals on the narrow strip by the other two bars. The first one is the best, reasonable prices and nice nuts with your drink, good to watch the sun go down here. The last time I was there along came a group of young Americans (I think they were extra's in the movie Wall E they were very square and big... they all went in the water together, the girls shouted stuff like " Oh its salty" "Oh its so warm" and the boys flexed they arms with a small ball in the water and after about ten minutes they all left,
and floating in the water was a huge menstrual pad, dripping with blood. I got a plastic sack and collected it up and put it in the bin, by the way there were no other people in the water around them at that time. That was not a nice experience. The next day there was two artists from the USA painting the scene in front of them on the same part of the beach. One of them had included the couple and there baby girl who sat next to him on the beach. When the couple noticed this they asked him how much for the painting I nearly fell of my perch when I heard what he said "five hundred, i can sell this back home in the gallery for at least a thousand"
Well the got chatting and smoking and the artist told the man he had five children back home ( he looked about 20 to me ) and then the sob story about how he missed them, but he was here to paint and make his flight home. I looked at the mother and raised my eyes and she smiled at me, she new it was a con and we both shook our heads.
All the beach area is patrolled by the police on bikes, cars, roller blades and even in there swimming trunks. Which is very good because there are some unruly french boys and girls who come down and just behave very badly , strange macho behavior including spitting at each other and throwing sand every where, when they leave the beach it was strewn with coke cans and rubbish left behind by them, but this was early in the year before the police presence.
- Food and Dining
Beach and Promenade des Anglais
One of the reasons most people go to the Riviera is to walk along the beach or promenade and watch the rest of the world go by. And they do go by; on roller skates, skateboards, bicycles, jogging, powerwalking, or like us, walking at their own pace. On the beach are several restaurants and bars where you can sit under a sunshade and enjoy a glass of wine or a full meal. On the landward side of the street are cafes, hotels and restaurants, most of them on the expensive side. Here are some photographs to give you an idea of what you will see.
A Lovely Stretch of Beach
You won't find powdery white sand at Nice's shoreline, but you will find a long stretch of beach strewn with pebbles worn smooth by years and years of wave action.
It was Fall when we traveled to Nice and although the beach was dotted with visitors, only a couple people ventured into the waters. The view was a good enough enticement!
I've read that most consider beaches near Old Nice, at the west end of the city, best. There is a charge to use them (15 euros) and said to be well worth the price. You'll find umbrellas, chairs and beach mats for rent, plus eateries and showers/restrooms.
If you ask for "premier ligne" you have an unobstructed ocean view from your chair. Otherwise, you may find yourself several rows from the water. Child-friendly beaches: The Blue Beach, La Reserve
We didn't have much leisure time to spend at the beach, but it would be a good choice if you do have an afternoon free to do so.
- Family Travel
Public or Private
The pebble beach of the Baie des Anges is divided up into public & private sections.
The public ones are great places to sunbathe, but obviously they get crowded.
The private ones are of course not free. They do however have lockers for your valuables as well as a supply of sunbeds & umbrellas. Some of them even have restaurants on the beach & a carpet covering the pebbles.
Along the length of la Promenade des Anglais are scenic beaches where les niçois and holidayers go to get some sun. There are public beaches where anyone could bring a towel and private beaches where one could rent a mattress, but both get super crowded in the peak summer months. Although beautiful and scenic, these beaches are not the best on the Côte d'Azur. The reason is that they are pebbly rather than sandy, which is not the most comfortable to lie or walk on... And forget building a sandcastle!
The beach is sandier, quieter and less jam-packed with tourists than its more high-profile neighbor monte carlo. There is only a handful of shops and cafes here, but sunbathing is much more pleasant. Beautiful mansions loom overhead, and there is a delightful market here.
Hang Gliding & Other Activities
I saw people having a short thrill on the beach. You pay for a chance to be pulling up into the air from the beach over the water. A speed boat is pulling you. The air under the colorful sail is lifting you up fast. Looks like fun, if I had the money to spend...
There are many activities to do on this beach, including lying in the sun! You can rent an umbrella and a chair, too. Lots of people there on the weekend, for sure.
And it was very hot. There was a marathon going on, too. The bike races were going on for hours, it seemed.
- Road Trip
- Hang Gliding
The Rocky Beach
The beaches of Nice are wonderful in their location right along the main drag in Nice and for the beautiful cool blue ocean that brushes up against the beach with its gentle waves. The beach itself is like most European beaches, full of rocks instead of sand, however once you get over the fact you can't make a sand castle, the rocks aren't so bad. If your not happy at the thought of laying out on rocks, there are pay sections of the beach where you can get beach chairs and refreshments for a fee.
The Luxury of a Private Beach
"Nearly all the beaches in Nice stretch along the sweep of the bay between Rauba Capau and the airport at the other end of the Promenade des Anglais. At equal intervals along this bay there are about 15 private beaches separated by the public beaches. You are allowed to walk along the length of the bay including the private beaches if you remain close to the sea". (This intro was provided by 'allaboutnice' - another virtual tourist member, who has a wonderful page with lots of info about Nice - see below for link to her pages).
As we were only there for 4/5 days (any longer and it could get very pricey) - we booked our spot on the hotel's private beach at our hotel reception (reduced price for hotel clientel), intending to do things in the easiest way possible.
We spent quite a few heavenly hours on comfey sun beds, reading, sipping cocktails (brought to us by an unobtrusive waiter) and generally doing not much at all.
This beach provided large fluffy towels, also there were changing rooms and showers and a restaurant serving good food. Recommended, the salads, especially Nicoise which I enjoyed with a glass of champagneinbetween lying around doing nothing...Ahh the life.
(Tip - I highly recommend take beach shoes, to deal with the pebbles, they can be VERY hard on the feet, but once you're in, it's fine!)
Also, check out allaboutnice's extremely informative guide here : http://www.allaboutnice.com/beaches.html
I wish I'd read her restaurant tips before we went there!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Women's Travel
Who needs sand when you have Promenade des Anglais
Nice has a very long beach, offering also supervised, non-supervised, payed and free spots. But you will not find any sand as in a normal beach. All you will find is big rocks that can ruin someone's comfort, but .. you know that in advance because you read it on VT ;) and you get a thick plastic roll and then a supplementary towel on top of it to make a nice tanning bed so you won't feel the rocks. And also you buy special shoes that stays on your feet when you enter the water. Those shoes are the only way you will feel good entering the water, otherwise is guaranteed you will fall down at the first wave :) I did that so I know :)
At the beach, right in front of the Hotel Negresco is an area where the tourists can watch the daring young people get a parachute ride - the boat takes them up (they usually ride in twos) and then dips them down into the water and then it goes back up and the boat makes a circle and drops them back on to the beach. You can hear the two screaming with joy and it is a fascinating sport - even if you are just watching.
- Family Travel
- Water Sports
Stones and wonderful water
As everybody knows, the beach in Nice is stony, but this makes the sea so wonderful and clean!
Unfortunately water was too cold for a bath :-(
The beach is not as comfortable as a sandy beach, but you cannot miss it.
Enjoy the sunshine and water
The entire Riviera provides some stunning beaches for you to just relax on and enjoy the sunshine. We knew ahead of time but were still surprised to see the small stone beaches in Nice. I guess we were expecting to see tiny pebbles rather than small stones. You definitely need a pad or mat to make it more comfortable.
There are around 12 private beaches along the Baie des Anges, where you can rent a chaise lounge, mattress or beach chair. These are not cheap, but they may serve a purpose for you if you don't want to lie on the stones. Some of the private beaches do have sand that has been brought in, and some have restaurants attached to them too.
Even if you're not a sun worshipper, a walk along the beach or sitting and just watching the sparkling water is a great stress reliever - not that you should have stress in Nice!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Nice stony beach
Despite I live at Baltic see and have sand I liked stony beach of Nice as well. Water is more salty as in Baltic see but there is opportunity after bathe to have a quick shower right there in beach. So you don't need to dress when you are overlaid with salt. And what is important this possibility to have shower is available in public beaches as well.
Go to the Beach
Not being a sun worshipper, it didn't really bother me that the beach is rocks instead of sand, as you can see in one of the pictures. And apparently it doesn't bother the sun worshippers either. But anyway I was there in the winter so that is not the time to lie out, but it is definitely the time to go sit on one of the benches along the walkway and watch the peacefulness of the seagulls flying and eating from the " birdlady's" hand. It can also be a time for you to chat with some snow birds as I did. It is just a really relaxing place to go.
- Women's Travel
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