Nice beaches stretch like a necklace all along the baie des Anges (bay of Angels) from Nice Airport on the western edge to the foot of Mont Boron in the east, a distance of nearly 10km. The gentle curve of the bay tantalizes with a view as far as Villefranche-sur-Mer in the east and the Esterel mountains in the west. Moving inland, the terrain rises steadily behind the city to become the foothills of the Alps, a stunning backdrop to the azure sea. See more about visiting Nice.
Nice beaches are composed of large pebbles called galets. For centuries, three rivers have brought these stones from the mountains to the coast. The Var river, west of the airport, is the largest, followed by the Peillon at Centenaire beach and the tiny Magnan creek at Magnan beach. Each winter storms erode the beach and each spring bulldozers with new stones arrive to reclaim it from the sea. Although it would be possible to refill the beaches with sand instead of stones, the locals won't hear of it! Galets are a part of Nice's natural heritage so the galets are here to stay. See more on dealing with Nice's galets.
Though the galets rule out long walks on the beach, there's always the Promenade des Anglais, the beachside promenade that runs 5km along the sea. From power walks to gentle strolls, whether on skates or a bike, to experience the Prom' is to understand Nice.
In these pages, you'll discover everything you need to know about Nice beaches including the best beach-restaurants, best snorkelling, best beaches to picnic, swimming conditions, rules, cleanliness, water temperatures, a great map to help you find your beach and much, much more.
Here is a complete list of all Nice's public and private beaches: