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
If you liked this, why not PIN it!
I could laze here for the day, though those sun lounges are expensive so I’d happily take a mattress on the rocks. Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust, I’m a bit late commenting but I was travelling so I figured that was a good excuse 🙂
Enjoyed reading this- I’m *hoping* to take the family back to Europe in 2017 including France but this time not just Paris, somewhere south too. We hate over crowded beaches and tend to travel either just before or after the mad part of summer. But we find that because the kids in Europe are still at school, that my kids don’t get to make new friends (which they love doing when away).
Going back read your other posts in your beach series 🙂
I love the South of France when it is slightly off season. You get the great weather without the crowds! This beach looks great.
That’s a beautiful beach. I’m so jealous of your Southern French weather that makes beaches in September a pleasant option! Looks like a fantastic place to spend a day.
I think you’d *quite* like it Rosie!!!
Good idea Catherine
In France the seafront isn’t allowed to be private so there’s always got to be some access even if it’s only a metre wide. Most beaches on the Côte d’Azur have a private bit where you can rent a sun lounger (not just for hotel guests) and a public bit and it just varies whether the private is bigger than the public. In general the chic-er the beach the bigger the private area is! I’ve been writing about beaches that are mainly or wholly public in this series “A beach-a-week”
But MUCH more crowded Richard!
Slightly more inviting than Winchelsea Beach
How lovely to have a beach that is open to all, too many belong to hotels and resorts these days and unless you can produce a room key they won’t let you on
No I have never been to Paloma beach. It does look good. We should visit it next time we come to Lou Messugo
As we head into autumn you are making me hanker for a summer beach day … but as someone who does not do heat very well I tend to visit beaches more in the winter. That said, with those trees for shade, I might manage a bit of whiling away the time at Paloma Beach given half a chance. (and no sand to get in my sandwiches either!)