There are 15 private beaches dotting the Nice coast which you could easily recognize by their colorful umbrellas even if each beach wasn't marked by a sign. Along with the beach comes a restaurant-bar where you can eat lunch, have a cocktail, and in some cases have breakfast or dinner. Small fences delimit the sides of the private beach area which usually runs as close as possible to the water line.
Within the fences are lounge chairs, beach umbrellas and mats to protect your feet from the stones. At the end of the beach season, the equipment is packed up, the restaurant locked and the private beaches are open to all.
All private beaches are not alike! Prices vary substantially, tending to be cheaper the further you go from the center of town. Some beaches offer half-day prices which is convenient. Styles are different as well with some beaches clearly catering to families while others go for the young and stylish. Most lounge chairs are hardframe with a thick mattress but some are contructed out of sturdy canvas. Decide which you prefer and choose accordingly.
The private beaches are open in beach season and closed the rest of the year. The exact opening and closing dates are heavily weather-dependent. Usually the lounge chairs start coming out around Easter or mid-April but that could be delayed if there's a spell of wet weather. At the end of September most owners pack it up but if the weather is warm and sunny, they'll stay open until the first rains of autumn start to fall.
During the season, the beaches are open to their customers from around 9am to 6pm daily. The opening hours for each beach are noted on each page.
Most beaches charge separately for the umbrella and lounge chair; some give one price for both. Unless otherwise noted, the price includes access to an outdoor cold water shower, an indoor hot shower and a changing cabin. It also includes the use of equipment such as a kiddie pool and play area but not services like massages and yoga classes. The prices I've indicated for each beach are for the season's height in July and August. Prices drop a few euros off-season. When budgeting for a day at the beach, factor in the price of a meal and drinks as you are not allowed to bring your own food and drink. Some beaches have a half-day rate applicable for afternoons only. See more on costs.
Private beaches offer an array of extra services from yoga classes to masseuses to snorkel rental and kickboxing. In addition, there are lifeguards on duty daily at most private beaches where you can arrange a private swimming lesson for a fee. The staff are multilingual so you won't have any problem making arrangements.
List of Private Beaches