TOP BEACH CLUBS AROUND MONACO
If you’re planning your next beach holiday on the Mediterranean coast, look no further than the French Riviera. That’s roughly 180-kilometre stretch of coastline that runs from the French border with Italy to Toulon. It includes glamorous beach resorts in Saint-Tropez, Cannes and the independent microstate of Monaco. Bursting with extraordinary natural beauty and opulence, the Côte d’Azur remains one of the world’s most gilded destinations for summer vacations, attracting celebrities, glitterati and wealthy crowds for generations.
LA MALA / CAP D'AIL
Just a little further up the coast and around the bay from Monaco lies the spectacular and secluded Mala Beach at Cap d’Ail famed for its natural unspoiled beauty and boutique atmosphere. It has been voted the best beach on Cote d’Azur so many times that we stopped counting. Some people refer to it as a hidden gem of the Riviera, but it is easy to find it if you know where to look. To get to La Mala be prepared to take a good old walk downhill and down some serious stairs, but there will be a prize – the jaw dropping beauty of a place, also known as Eden Beach, which takes its name after one of the beach clubs. Next to the public area, there are two private beach clubs both gorgeous and expensive, but this is in the South of France. However, the atmosphere at Eden and La Reserve is palpably different.
Places to visit:
La Reserve de la Mala
Perfect for: Impressive service with a view
Ruled by ‘the Monaco set’. You can reach this luxurious and classy oasis of plush daybeds, sandy shores and white sun umbrellas by a taxi boat from either Monaco Yacht club or with your own yacht – just deck at the bay and call the restaurant for a tender. It’s a great place to be lazy for an entire day, stretching your body on a comfortable daybed, protected from the sun by gauze curtains. Don’t forget to order lunch from an extensive menu of Mediterranean seafood.
Eden Beach Club
Perfect for: A romantic getaway and sundowners
A private beach hidden away in an intimate cove. This is more rustic and down to earth, there is something Caribbean about it – maybe its strong cocktails, maybe – a reggae live music session.
Eze is a cute medieval village, famous, among other things, for two beach clubs Anjuna and Papaya, and they are like twins with opposite personalities: one is wild and decadent (expect drinking by noon); whilst the other has holistic vibes and great for those that like to meditate all day and know their matcha from their matte.
Places to visit:
Anjuna Beach Club
Perfect for: Dancing like nobody’s watching
If ‘party’ is your middle name, then choose Anjuna – it has a devoted following convinced that “a little party never killed nobody’’. But be warned, you will dance a lot and most likely you will drink even more; it doesn’t matter what food you order – you probably won’t remember it. The decor is chic but rusty and matches Anjuna’s laid back vibe. If you’re ok with loud music, then feel free to book one of their signature turquoise sunbeds, but remember to leave kids back at the villa.
Papaya Beach Club
Perfect for: Chillin’ like a villain
What makes Plage d’ Eze so charming is the highly scenic view of St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to the west. The beach is quite rocky, but nevertheless serene. Papaya club is a wonderful place for a relaxed afternoon.
Places to visit:
Perfect for: An unforgettable classy day
This chic beach, with its long wooden jetty and yellow deckchairs, is a must see for everyone passing by Cap d’Antibes. It is a beach club on a gloriously pretty Plage de Garoupe, filled with elegant people, who either know what’s best on the Riviera or have a reliable concierge. Plage Keller is perfect for an afternoon with kids – the place offers water activities on site and a beautiful cliff walk around the Cap. It takes you around to the charming Millionaire’s Bay. The food at their restaurant, Le Cesar, is gourmet with many regional specialties and top-notch seafood.
The coastline here is divided into public and private beaches for every pocket. Le Croisette gets absolutely packed during the film festival and it is always buzzing with stylish restaurants and bars. Next to it there is another top area called Port Canto named after the old vessel port.
Places to visit:
Perfect for: Staying calm inside the storm
A trendy place for those in the know that prefer to hide away from busy crowds of Le Croisette. This hidden gem offers comfortable sizable beds and a remarkable scenic view of the two islands in the bay of Cannes, “Les îles de Lérins”. From time to time, L’Ecrin throws sensational themed parties. Kids are welcome and adults will enjoy the new menu at the recently refurbed restaurant.
Other note-worthy beaches that should be on your radar:
La Cigale Vista Beach in Roquebrune
A rising star of Monaco’s discerning clientele. It’s worth visiting just for the sake of trying divine culinary creations by the star chef Mauro Calogreco.
Eden Roc in Cap d’Antibes
An ultimate Riviera spot reserved for the hotel’s guests but try to visit. It’s an epitome of the South of France living and old glamour.
Carlton Beach Club and Z Plage in Cannes
Two great options on the busy Croisette for those wishing something new to explore. It guarantees a five-star service. The setting is chic with rows of plush sunbeds on pontoons and a large sandy beach area.
By Elena Leo and Mattias Piault