We have discovered the exclusive world of the private French beach, and we will never be the same again.  Comfy lounge chairs and umbrellas, white sparkling sand, blue Mediterranean water and a smooth French waiter who follows every sentence with “it’s no bother.”

Tall cold drinks decorated with fruit, plates of cheese, tuna tartare, salad niçoise, and some warm baguettes all served in wicker baskets.  Gentle lapping waves with yachts bigger than my house in the background.

Ah, heaven!

Here are a few of the family-friendly beaches on the Côte d’Azur:


Cannes has one of the most famous (and expensive) beaches, but it lives up to the hype for beauty.  You have to park in a city parking lot a few blocks off the beach and then walk to the water and choose which restaurant/beach you want.  If you eat at a restaurant, you get to use their beach for the day.

This private beach is centrally located in Cannes.  It has a wonderful restaurant that serves food to the tables or right to your chair at the edge of the surf.  They have large lounge chairs and umbrellas, a small children’s play area (for under 5), and a beautiful sandy beach.  Service was excellent here.

Between the private beaches you’ll find the auditorium from the Film Festival (Palais des Festivals), and the red carpet is out all year long for your Instagram snapping fun.

Juan Les Pins/Antibes

This area has sandy beaches and many options to choose from.  Parking is public and there is free parking available, but it’s a bit of a walk from the lot to the beaches.

Plage de la Gravette
This is a public white sand beach walking distance from the old town area.  Toilets and parking are available.  Lifeguards and shower from July- August.

Ponteil beach
This beach is in a calm bay that is safe for kids.  There are lifeguards from mid-June to mid-September, and parking along the street.

In the summer, this beach has a jellyfish net, showers, street parking and a sandwich stall on the beach.

Royal Beach
The Royal Beach Hotel has a private beach that is open from April through September.  They offer sun loungers for 20 per day.  Lunch and dinner starting at 20.  Kids menu

More information on Juan les Pins and Antibes beaches can be found here:

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Beaches Cote d'Azur