Villeneuve-Loubet beach, east of Marina Baie des Anges, is our closest stretch of coast and we’re rather fond of it. It’s where we pop out to for a quick evening dip, or where we meet friends for an evening picnic/apéro. It’s really not on the “chic” Côte d’Azur radar which means we’ve never failed to find parking even in the middle of the day in August!
Villeneuve-Loubet beach is, like all beaches east of Antibes, pebbly, but there’s a small area of imported sand at the section called Rosy Beach (opposite the restaurant of the same name). In the area between Marina Baie des Anges and Rosy Beach you’ll find a beach volley pitch (free and often available, and sand obviously!) several fixed palm-frond parasols (you have to be early to get one), trampolines, a friendly and reasonably priced yacht club, a place to hire jet skis and go para-sailing/banana/biscuiting etc, a couple of snack bars, a couple of restaurants and some picturesque fishermen’s cottages, all conveniently joined by a boardwalk.
Sailing boats, windsurfers and catamarans are available for hire by the hour, half day or full day and lessons can be booked too. Villeneuve can have enough swell to body surf or boogie board and there’s even a completely odd phenomenon known as the 4 o’clock wave when a large wave takes everyone by surprise washing high up onto the beach, sometime around 4pm.
During the highseason of July-August you’ll find a pontoon moored 50 (or so) metres off the shore to swim out to and jump/dive off. It’s a good distance to encourage young swimmers without being too far and it’s always fun to hang out there (with a fair few teenagers usually).
Villeneuve beach is also the location for the annual World Championships of pebble castle building! With such a quirky competition how can you not be charmed by this location? At first glance the beach might not be considered beautiful, stunning, gorgeous or even pretty, it has no wow factor, but look beyond that and enjoy all that it has to offer either for free or very reasonably priced (especially for the Côte d’Azur).
Almost the whole stretch is public with only one small private section of sunloungers (it’s often the opposite on beaches in Cannes, Juan les Pins and Antibes), and in keeping with its low(er) cost reputation, daily rental of these loungers is a lot less than in Nice or elsewhere.
If the idea of a pebble beach puts you off, try to focus on the positives, and there are many, not least of all, no sand in your sandwiches or car! For more tips on how to enjoy pebble beaches take a look here.
Villeneuve-Loubet beach is easily reached by car in 15 minutes from Lou Messugo. There’s a good sized car park on Boulevard Eric Tabarly opposite the Résidence Goélia Royal Cap after the yacht club with a very low daily fee but don’t be tempted not to pay, there are wardens everywhere and the fine will be bigger than the daily fee for sure. This car park is conveniently by the beach volley and boardwalk, but if it’s full you can always find a place in the Géant Casino supermarket on the main road nearby. That is never full!
Do you enjoy pebble beaches? What do you think of my local beach?
For more beach choices check out my top 12 favourite beaches on the Côte d’Azur
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