With the best of intentions earlier this summer I set out to write about a beach a week, which didn’t seem such a hard target, however last week got the better of me and I forgot! But summer isn’t over in the South of France in September, in fact this is one of the best times of year to go to the beach, with the crowds gone but the water still warm, so without further ado, I present to you Paloma Beach.
Named after Paloma Picasso as the famous artist used to frequent this beautiful beach with his family, la plage Paloma is tucked away on the north side of the exclusive St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula. Rather than an expansive open sea view, it looks across glittering turquoise water towards Beaulieu sur Mer, Eze and Cap d’Ail and with sailing boats and yachts dotted about there’s always plenty to see as you while away the day on the beach.
St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the domain of the rich and famous, with enormous luxury villas and estates hidden behind high walls with cascading bougainvillea, cypress tress and towering umbrella pines, but Paloma beach is open to all. From Easter to the end of September there is a private beach club (with restaurant) which admittedly takes up a large amount of space on this bijou beach so if you fancy a little luxury you can rent a sun lounger for 23€ a day. This gives you access to hot showers, changing cabins and waiter service, but if you’re like us, you find your own space by the rocks, take a picnic and walk the few metres to the restaurant for drinks. The club also has water sports where you can hire stand-up paddle boards, pedalos, jet skis etc. Out of season the club is dismantled and the beach has quite a different atmosphere.
The beach is accessed by a steep flight of stairs (seen in the out of season photo above) which makes it difficult for anyone with reduced mobility though for keen walkers these steps are in fact part of the coastal path which continues on around the whole peninsula. It’s a lovely hike and one we do with the children during the quieter, cooler months.
The water at Paloma beach is beautifully clear, varying from turquoise to dark blue depending on the sunlight and depth. It’s also very clean; I’ve never seen any debris during the summer, but often see fish. Paloma is regularly voted in the Top 10 most beautiful beaches in France by TripAdvisor. One word of warning, it is a pebble beach so bring appropriate footwear and mattresses if you can. (We can lend you these at Lou Messugo).
If you’ve been following my beach series this summer you’ll know we like jumping off rocks and snorkelling and Paloma beach has opportunities for both of these. The rocks aren’t high, but they’re accessible and fun for children. Further along the coastal path there are other opportunities to jump in if the beach itself is very crowded.
Which brings me to say that we tend to avoid Paloma in the highest season (mid July to mid August) as it does get too busy for our liking and parking can be difficult. But it’s a stunner of a beach (my photos really don’t do it justice, check here for further images) and if your only opportunity to see it/go to it is during this time then I advise going early in the morning. Arrive by 9 a.m and you should find street parking (paying) on the road nearby (Chemin de St Hospice, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat). On the other hand, if you go during September, especially during the week avoiding weekends, you’ll have no problem finding space. (The photo in the Pin below shows us on the pink mat in the foreground on an almost empty beach in September).
Have you been to Paloma beach? What do you think?
For more beach information here’s a quick easy round-up of my 12 favourite beaches on the Côte d’Azur
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