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Nearly the entire coast of Juan-les-Pins is fringed by sandy beaches that run from the Port Gallice in the east to the edge of Vallauris-Golf Juan in the west. Most of the shore is taken up by private beach restaurants that squeeze as many lounge chairs as possible onto a very narrow strip of sand. Access and even a view of the sea is partially blocked. Of all the beach towns on the Riviera, Juan-les-Pins has gone furthest in cordoning off a commercial space. But that's only from around April to September when the tourists, who are mostly Parisian, descend in force. The rest of the year the beaches remain lightly occupied.
If you've returned to Juan-les-Pins after a hiatus you may notice more public beach space and fewer beach restaurants. A bitterly-contested law dating from 2006 has reduced the number of authorized beach restaurants and will probably reduce them further in the years to come.
The Juan-les-Pins beaches begin about where Cap d'Antibes leaves off. After the Plage des Ondes on Cap d'Antibes, the rocky coast is devoid of sand for a few kilometres until the delightful Plage Les Pecheurs named after the fishermen who sell their catch in a few stalls at the entrance to the beach. Next to the private beach-restaurant Hotel Restaurant Le Cap which rents lounge chairs, this unspoiled public beach offers calm, transluscent waters on a sheltered cove. There are beach showers but the only food in the vicinity is served at the Restaurant Le Cap or on sale at one of the fishermen's stalls.
Heading west there's a small public beach tucked next to Port Gallice called Plage de la Gallice. Secluded from the traffic noise, this beach is a favorite with locals and the last stop before a long line of private beach-restaurants. Although there are a few extremely narrow passages to the sea I recommend walking several kilometres west. There, you'll come to the crown jewel of the Juan-les-Pins coastline, Grande Plage.
At Grande Plage you get a clear view out to the Iles de Lerins in the distance and the Esterel mountains to the west. The beach is about a kilometre long and wider than the private beaches further east with beach showers and indoor toilets spacious enough to serve as changing rooms.
The next beach over is the Plage du Pont Dulys where part of the beach is taken up by watersports equipment you can rent: catamarans, kite sailboards, kayaks, paddleboards. There's also a first-aid station.
A bevy of private beach-restaurants line up along the shore before a stretch of public beach opens up running along the Blvd de Littoral until Vallauris-Golfe Juan. The only access here is via foot power since a two-lane road with no parking on either side is sandwiched between the beach and the railroad tracks.
Parking is extremely difficult the entire length of the Juan-les-Pins coastline except at Plage Les Pecheurs where there's ample free parking. Otherwise, head to one of the parking lots on the interior streets.
Juan-les-Pins beaches are within easy reach of the train station at 2 avenue l'Esterel. Walk or take bus No 15 from the train station. For schedules see envibus.fr