Every year, millions of vacationers flock to the French Riviera’s most famous beach – Saint-Paul – to enjoy its unparalleled ambiance. With a secluded location amongst towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls, this paradisiacal stretch of sand is known for its tranquil atmosphere… yet don’t forget your swimsuit!
The idyllic location on the coast of France’s famed Côte d’Azur has long been an alluring destination for travelers seeking relaxation, rejuvenation and exhilaration. So much so that it boasts one of the world’s most renowned beaches: Saint-Tropez in France; Waikiki Beach in Hawaii; or Playa del Carmen in Mexico – all of which have been crowned as “world class”.
Regardless of where you are traveling, there are several things you should know about Saint-Paul de Vence that will help you plan your trip on the French Riviera.
1. The Beach Is Very Nice in the Summer (and a Bit of a Problem in the Winter)
Despite its fame as one of the most picturesque beaches in Europe, La Turbie Beach admittedly doesn’t offer much sun-kissed beauty in the summer months.
During mid-summer, this idyllic locale is packed with visitors eager to bask on its sun-kissed sands and indulge in a delicious meal al fresco. However, if you’re hoping for a more subdued experience at La Turbie Beach during the summertime – don’t hold your breath!
When temperatures rise above 60° Fahrenheit (16° Celsius), authorities will close La Turbie Beach for upkeep purposes; however, at these elevated levels it’s still possible to find refuge within its saltwater pool or enjoy a dip in its tranquil waters.
2. There’s a Steep Climb to the Sand
If you do not possess access to a 4×4 or an off-road vehicle, then be prepared for a steep trek (or hike) when venturing towards the sand at Juan-les-Pins.
Despite its accessibility, the neighborhood of Juan-les-Pins is best experienced via automobile. Atop the bluff overlooking the town is a tiny parking lot that accommodates less than a dozen cars or motorcycles at one time – so if you’re planning on visiting during either of these months it may prove difficult to get in!
When you are finally situated within reach of the shoreline, don’t forget to take a dip before heading back up!
3. You Need Your Own Parking Place
It can be a challenge to find parking in Nice, but it does not have to be an issue! If you’re driving, be sure to leave ample room for maneuvering as there are no designated parking spots on the streetside of Vieux-Nice; only a few pay lots provide spaces adjacent to the beach.
If you’d rather take public transportation, Vélo’v is a great option: arrival points are dotted all around town, and departures depart regularly from various points along its route – ideal for those looking for an easy way to get to the Promenade des Anglais!
4. There Is a Dress Code
For formal beach-going, a white ‘Basque’ is de rigueur. This garment was originally part of the traditional attire worn by farmers in rural France; however, it has become an iconic symbol of the French Riviera as well as an identifying factor for visitors of this region.
The dress code is quite lenient, so feel free to pack a swimsuit or come decked out in your finest attire.
5. It’s More of a Town Than a Beach
Plage de Mahio is undoubtedly one of the most alluring beaches in France, yet if you venture beyond the sands it becomes evident that this area truly lives up to its moniker – ‘the Land of a Thousand Delights’.
With so many options for dining, sightseeing and shopping on offer here, I would definitely consider it more like an ‘outdoor town’ than a mere beach! The laid-back feel of Port St Laurent and neighboring towns conjures up images of bustling evenings with friends; outdoor concerts provide ample opportunity for gathering under the night sky; while quaint cafés are perfect spots for enjoying casual drinks before closing down shop.
6. The Water Is Very Blue
The translucent sea offers unparalleled views of the coastline, allowing visitors to bask in its hues. While some people may consider this a disadvantage – forcing one to remove their swimwear at the beach – it’s actually quite advantageous!
Less clothing means less weight that needs to be carried into and out of the water, making it easier on both your body and luggage. Plus, those who have been topless before can attest that this is the ideal method of freeing oneself from restrictive clothing without compromising personal freedom!
7. It Was Once Home to the First Officer of the Titanic
The idyllic coastline of Nice’s Promenade des Anglais boasts more than its fair share of attractions, however one of the city’s most treasured beaches stands out – and it possesses history beyond what could be expected!
In reality, this particular stretch of sand existed long before the ill-fated Titanic arrived in 1912 – some 70 years earlier! However, when she was en route to New York City from Southampton, her maiden voyage plunged into notoriety after a collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic.
The first officer aboard the ship, Captain Smith, and his wife were vacationing in Nice at that time, and their adopted daughter Eileen ‘Lena’ (née McLaughlin) was likewise situated nearby. Both she and her mother Mrs Matilda McLaughlin subsequently perished along with their son Peter alongside countless others aboard the ill-fated vessel.
About the Author
Gwyneth Paltrow, acclaimed actress and founder of lifestyle brand Goop, has a villa on the French Riviera.
Known for her philanthropic endeavors, Ms. Paltrow is an accomplished patron of the arts – one who not only donates money but also shares her expertise as a renowned philanthropist. In 2014 she spearheaded exhibitions in New York City promoting dialogue between art and science; such efforts demonstrate that art’s immense potential for elevating culture does not end with its aesthetic value!
The multi-hyphenate has also lent her voice to several documentaries including Hallelujah Movie and My Life So Far: Scarlett Johansson (1998). Her performance in this latter two was recognized with nominations from both Golden Globes and Oscars!
The French Riviera is a veritable playground for the discerning traveler. No matter your pleasure, there are countless options for it – from its picturesque ports to its opulent resorts and captivating beaches. Come discover what all this region has to offer!