If you like luminous seas, long pebble beaches and an endless supply of cocktails, there’s nowhere nicer than Nice. There aren’t many world-class towns where you can stroll the streets, parks and promenades with the salty tang of the sea ever-present. Which makes Nice, resplendent in its coastal setting along a four-mile stretch of the French Riviera, something rather special.
That pebble-strewn demi-lune of beach borders the Mediterranean’s Baie de Anges and is tracked its entire length by one of the world’s great city walks along the Promenade des Anglais, dotted with world-class restaurants, top hotels and plenty of shops. But while you could be forgiven for seeing it as one (really, really) long beach, this is the south of France where nothing is ever so simple. In fact, this stretch comprises more than 30 separate beaches, 20 of which are public, 15 private and all with something special to set them apart.
Mostly seasonal and open largely between April and October when the sun and crowds are at their most potent, it’s wise to know before you go whether you want cocktails and loungers, gourmet food with price tags to match, or family friendly shores with shallow waters. To help you decide, here are our picks of the best for any occasion.