The south of France has some of the finest beaches in the world, making this region of the country a perennial playground of the rich and famous. With azure waters, powder white sand, tranquil sailboats bobbing in the distance, and the occasional celebrity cameo, Côte d’Azur has been a staple destination of choice in the itinerary of jet set tourists since the middle of the twentieth century. While once bucolic hamlets having grown into affluent international holiday capitals, most of the pristine beaches of the region remain untouched by time, attracting well-heeled tourists from every corner of the globe. With plenty of glorious golden sunshine, the finest seafront cuisine and cocktails, and extravagant beach parties at night, the bounteous beaches of the French Riviera present a vacation opportunity of a lifetime.
Plage Pampelonne near St. Tropez, perhaps the most iconic beach in southern France, has retained its status as a bona fide paradise on Earth since Brigitte Bardot’s original visit in 1955. The shoreline stretches on for five kilometres, uniting immaculate white sand with the tranquil, aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean Bay. Lined with deck chairs and sun loungers, Pampelonne offers rare pleasures in the form of delectable apéros, world-renowned DJs, and the company of billionaires. Tourists can step into the famous Club 55 to try out a range of unique cocktails and seafood platters while rubbing shoulders with international celebrities. Water sports enthusiasts may enjoy paddle boarding, jet skiing, and windsurfing activities on the beach by contacting one of the many beachfront kiosks dotting the shore.
For travellers who wish to steer clear of the paparazzi, Palm Beach in Cannes may be a preferred option for a week of unadulterated leisure. With a plethora of informal beach bars, live music, and laidback BBQ counters lining the coastline, Palm Beach is the ideal setting for a lively trip with friends. Medusa, a nearby concept restaurant and cabaret club, puts together a night of unforgettable entertainment with a sensual show by Gabriele Rizzi’s dance company Nu’Art. The beachside casino provides the perfect finale to any day on Palm Beach and offers stunning views of the Cannes peninsula and the Lérins Islands.
Larvotto Beach in the heart of Monaco presents a world of opulence for the luxury traveller. Visitors may choose to park their yacht next to this pebble beach and take in the sights and sounds of Avenue Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo—the most expensive residential street in the world. In the evening, travellers may wish to sail into the sunset with a flute of sparkling champagne to cool one’s lips—an experience that eludes words. At night, the scene is set for an enchanting al fresco dinner at La Note Bleue, an immensely prestigious beachside jazz bar with an extensive wine and game meat menu.
To soak in the sun in Cannes, Monaco, or St. Tropez, beau monde beachgoers may wish to rent a villa in the south of France, away from the hubbub of these tourist capitals. One Authentic
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