Nice is a city that people flock to from all over the world, especially in the summer months. And for excellent reasons! Some of the best beaches in Nice are among the best in Europe!
This guide uncovers the prettiest Nice beaches, including ones you can visit right in town and others you may have to make a little extra effort to get to!
At the end of the guide, I also answer some frequently asked questions about the beaches in Nice – and give you a map of where to find them all (that you can save and reference later).
Did I miss any of the top Nice, France beaches? Let me know in the comments.
In this post...
Best Beaches In Nice
1. Plage du Centenaire
Thanks to its location, Plage du Centenaire is considered one of the top beaches in Nice. It’s just a short walk from Place Massena and is located along the Promenade des Anglais, a scenic promenade that takes you along Nice’s coastline.
Plage du Centenaire is a stone beach, but even so, it’s still a popular spot, especially for sunbathing.
The color of the water will also take your breath away, especially on a sunny day, as you’ll get to appreciate those iconic turquoise hues.
Thanks to the beach’s location, you’ll find plenty of amenities nearby, including seafront cafes and restaurants. If you’d like to stay in this area, then Le Meridien Nice is the perfect option, as it features a swimming pool and rooftop terrace.
Another great thing about Plage du Centenaire is that it’s wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, it’s the only beach near the Old Town!
2. Plage des Ponchettes
Plage des Ponchettes is another pebble beach that’s just a short walk from Place Massena. You’ll find this beach within Nice’s most famous landmark – its Old Town. It is located between Plage Publique de Castel and Plage Publique de l’opera.
Thanks to its location opposite Vieux Nice, it’s one of the busiest beaches in the city. As such, you can expect plenty of crowds here, so we’d recommend visiting early to grab yourself a spot.
Whether you’re looking to have a game of beach volleyball, catch some rays, or head out to swim in the tranquil waters, there’s something for everyone.
In terms of amenities, the majority of cafes and restaurants are located across the road. Although this isn’t ideal for families with small children, you could always bring a picnic with you instead.
When it comes to accommodation, you’ll find mainly holiday apartment rentals nearby. However, this B&B (Room with a Vue) offers cozy rooms, and breakfast is included.
3. Plage Beau Rivage
Plage Beau Rivage is situated between Plage du Centenaire and Plage publique de l’opera. From here, you can easily explore Old Nice, so it’s in a great location.
Now, it’s important to note that Plage Beau Rivage is a private beach. In fact, it’s the largest private beach in Nice and is owned by Hotel Beau Rivage. It’s found along the Promenade des Anglais and has been around since 1935.
Better yet, it’s one of the only ‘Green Beaches’ in the area, as the hotel prioritizes sustainable tourism.
Not to mention, you can avoid the crowds compared to the city’s public beaches, so you’ll have a much more peaceful experience.
If you still weren’t convinced to visit, then you’ll also find a lounge bar and seafront restaurant at this hotel, which serve tasty food and cocktails. For those who’d prefer to just relax, you can simply hire a sunbed.
4. Castel Plage
Next to Plage des Ponchettes, you’ll find another of the top beaches in Nice. It’s a private beach owned by Castel Plage which is a stunning Mediterranean restaurant located along the waterfront.
The restaurant is open between 10 am and midnight, although opening hours and schedules may change depending on the time of year you visit.
First of all, the food here is delicious, and there’s an excellent wine list at the hotel. The seafood dishes are especially popular, and you’ll have epic waterfront views.
After dining, why not rent a deckchair or parasol? That way, you can spend the rest of the afternoon sleeping under the sun.
Although private, this beach can still get pretty busy as it’s only small. To ensure you can hire a rental, it’s best to head there early.
Also, there’s not much room to wander around due to the sheer number of sun beds.
5. Plage Publique de Carras
Stretching for around 700 meters (2,296 feet), Plage Publique de Carras is one of the longest beaches in this area.
It’s around an 18-minute drive from Old Nice, so although it’s not as central, this beach is still a fantastic place to visit.
In fact, it’s one of the city’s least touristy beaches, thanks to its location. Not only that, but Plage Publique de Carras is also wheelchair accessible. Just be aware that there may be fewer restaurants nearby (depending on where you are).
Like the majority of beaches in this area, Plage Publique de Carras is a pebble-stone beach. However, there are a few sandy areas here.
For those who’d prefer to do something more active, this is the only beach in Nice where you can jet ski. Jet Evasion offers rentals here during the summer months.
There’s also a beach volleyball court at this beach.
6. Plage de la Réserve
Just a 10-minute drive from the Old Town of Nice, you’ll find Plage de la Réserve.
This beach is much smaller than others mentioned in this guide, and it’s more popular with the locals than tourists. That’s what makes it so special.
As it’s located away from the city center, it’s also one of the quietest beaches in Nice. However, due to its size, it can still get crowded during the afternoon. As such, it’s best to get here early. Just be aware that the area is pretty rocky!
In terms of amenities, you’ll find fewer cafes and restaurants in this area. However, La Réserve de Nice is found right next to the beach and is a superb fine-dining restaurant.
If you’re looking to stay nearby, then Hotel Le Saint Paul is a popular option. Just be aware that you’ll be quite a walk from the Old Town.
7. Coco Beach
Coco Beach is located further along from Plage de la Réserve, with there being around a 10-minute walk between the two. Compared to the crowded beaches near Old Nice, this place is much more peaceful.
The beach itself is only a small area, and the rocky ledges that surround it make for ideal sunset viewing locations.
Coco Beach is also a great place to swim, as the waters are tranquil and crystal-clear.
However, one of the best things about this beach has to be the breathtaking views of Nice! Honestly, we could spend all day here just taking in the city’s beauty.
If you’re planning to visit Coco Beach, then you’ll want to keep in mind that there aren’t many amenities nearby. You’ll find some local restaurants within walking distance, although these are found more towards Plage de la Réserve.
Regarding accommodation, you’ll find mainly holiday apartment rentals here.
8. Plage Mogador
If you don’t mind traveling further out from the city, then Plage Mogador is around a 25-minute drive from Place Massena.
It’s located near Plage de la Serre and Plage du Galion, so there are plenty of other beaches to visit nearby too.
Like the majority of beaches in this area, Plage Mogador is a pebble beach. As well as being clean and quiet, you’ll find toilets nearby, making it a great spot for families.
You can also hire a jet ski from Cagnes Watersports during the summer if you’re looking for a bit of adventure!
Although we’d recommend staying in Nice and taking a trip out of the city, you’ll find plenty of hotels near this beach. Popular options include Hôtel du Bord de Mer “Le Vanillé” and Hôtel La Villa des Oliviers, with the latter being more affordable.
Not to mention, there are several fantastic eateries nearby, many of which offer tables overlooking the waterfront.
9. Plage Petite Afrique
Plage Petite Afrique is another of the top beaches in Nice (well, technically, it’s a 25-minute drive away).
It’s found toward the end of Beaulieu-sur-Mer Marina and is nestled alongside a cliff, so the views are certainly something!
Thanks to the towering palm trees, there are some shaded areas, and Plage Petite Afrique offers a much smoother surface underfoot (far fewer pebbles).
If you don’t want to stay in Nice, then we’d recommend staying in Beaulieu-sur-Mer instead. It’s just a short drive away from the city, and you’ll be right near Plage Petite Afrique.
Not to mention the variety of restaurants that are available here, some of which are right on the beach. One of these is Baia Bella which offers a restaurant and cocktail bar.
10. Plage des Marinières
Finally, we have Plage des Marinières, which is around a 25-minute drive from the Old Town. To get here, we’d recommend driving the M6098, as you’ll be treated to striking coastal views along the way.
Situated between Nice and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, this beach is in a great location. Not only are the waters crystal clear, but they are shallow too, making it the perfect spot for families.
You also won’t need special water shoes here (which we’d suggest for the other beaches), as Plage des Marinières isn’t as pebbly. Toilets and parking are close by too, although there aren’t too many restaurants nearby.
Compared to other areas, you won’t find many hotel options either. However, Hôtel La Villa Patricia is a great choice if you want to stay nearby.
It’s just a 5-minute walk from the beach and features an outdoor swimming pool and rooftop terrace.
Nice Beaches On a Map
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any sandy beaches in Nice?
Most of the beaches in and around Nice have pebbles and shingles, but you can find a sandy beach nearby in Villefranche-sur-Mer’s Plage des Marinières. It is a small town with a famous resort that attracts beachgoers because of its sand.
Are the beaches in Nice swimmable?
Yes! However, if you’re looking for calmer waters, you will need to stick around the Promenade des Anglais beaches.
This is a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) stretch of beach along the Baie des Anges. If you travel to the other part of the city, you will see deeper waters and rocky coasts.
Are the beaches in Nice free?
There are 25 public beaches in Nice and the surrounding area. However, do note that 14 of these beaches are private and belong to hotels or restaurants, and you will need to rent a lounge chair and umbrella for the day in order to access them in the high season (May–September).
Did I miss any of the best beaches in Nice (or nearby!) on this guide? Let me know in the comments.
More French Riviera and Nice Travel Guides
- What to do in Nice
- Two days in Nice
- Nice in the winter
- Best day trips from Nice
- Where to stay in Nice
- Nice to Saint Tropez ferry
- What to do in Cannes
- Cannes in the winter
- What to do in Marseille
- Two days in Marseille
- What to do in Toulon
- What to do in Eze
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Aram is a travel blogger and writer from Armenia who spends his time between Spain and his home country. He is passionate about music and football (the European kind) and covers a lot of Western European destinations on the blog. Aram is a laidback traveler who enjoys meeting new people and finding the best food in each city that he visits (hence his frequent trips to France, Italy, and Greece!). He has been featured in (or written for) Forbes, BBC, The Guardian, Fodor’s Travel, and more.