Most Beautiful Beaches in Antibes & Cap d’Antibes

Antibes and Cap d’Antibes are the jewels of the French Riviera. Idyllic destinations where you can spend leisurely days shopping in colourful markets, walking coastal trails, visiting historic sites or dining in Provençal restaurants under the shade bougainvillaea-laced canopies.

But it’s also along this scenic stretch of the Côte d’Azur, that crystal blue waters shimmer, and the sun sparkles like diamonds on its surface. Luxury yachts drop anchor in half-moon bays, bookmarked by limestone cliffs and dotted with spurge olive trees and Holm oaks.

Delightful white sandy beaches and secluded pebble coves invite you to gather for a picnic, and go snorkelling or paddleboarding; while stylish bars at the water’s edge tempt you to sample local delicacies.

From the ramparts of the charming old town of Antibes, past Port Vauban and historic La Garoupe lighthouse to beautiful bays of the cape backed by resplendent Belle Époque villas, here are a few of the best Antibes beaches to visit during your stay.

Plage de la Gravette

The old town of Antibes dates back to the end of the 4th century B.C. when it was a bustling Greek trading post. In fact, the name Antibes derives from the Greek name for the town – “Antipolis”, meaning “the opposite city”. This referred to it being opposite Nice, another trading post across the bay.

Beneath the old town, between the Port of Antibes and the Picasso Museum, you’ll find Plage de la Gravette. Out of all the beaches of Antibes, it’s the most centrally located, making it popular with locals and visiting tourists.

The horseshoe swathe of sand is sheltered from the wind by the ancient ramparts of Antibes, offering limited shade at one end. Also, the swell is tempered thanks to a breakwater, making it a safe spot for little ones to go swimming.

The facilities on the beach itself are limited, however, the vibe is lively, especially in the summer season, and having Antibes Old Town as a backdrop makes it distinctly photogenic.

There are plenty of places to break for lunch and drinks in the old town, but one of the best ways to spend the day is to venture here with a basket of delicious picnic goodies fresh from the Provençal Market.

Related Reading: Best Things to do in Antibes, France

Plage du Port

Around 100 metres from La Gravette along Quai Henri Rambaud is the diminutive Plage du Port. This beach in Antibes is lesser-known, and you won’t find it on many tourist maps.

The beach is a mix of gravel, sand and rock – backed by the harbour wall, making it a sun trap for those eager to top up their tan.  Behind, is Port Vauban d’Antibes, a capital of yachting in the Med. Although the harbour has been modernised in recent years to accommodate more vessels, the original natural harbour has existed since before the Romans arrived.

Although there are no facilities on the beach, it’s the ideal spot to escape the crowds and sample the old Antibes. To appreciate the contrast, you can wander along Billionaire’s Quay, admiring sleek mega-yachts or gaze along the coast near Antibes, across the Bay of Angels towards Nice. On the hill to the left, you’ll also discover the 16th-century Le Fort Carre with the snow-capped Alps behind.

Between swimming in the sea or enjoying a picnic on Plage du Port, you can also have your photograph taken with Le Nomade, Jaume Plensa’s modern sculpture. Constructed from iron, it’s designed with the letters of the alphabet and depicts a seated man looking out to sea.

Plage du Ponteil

You’ll find Plage du Ponteil hemmed between the old town of Antibes and a forested headland. The public beach is carpeted with soft white sand leading to crystal clear waters that are shallow and safe for swimming.

A tree-lined promenade backs the beach with kiosks serving snacks and drinks (I recommend the lemon sorbet!). Across the street, bakeries and bistros await with an array of goodies to tempt you in for lunch.

Here you can hire boats, kayaks and paddleboards if you fancy having fun with water sports. And there’s a small private beach – Royal Beach (among the best beach clubs in Antibes) – at one end where you can rent sun loungers and parasols for comfort, and dine in the seaside restaurant.

As this beach is a popular spot with Antibes residents, you’ll often see families and groups gathering for picnics and playing volleyball until late on balmy summer evenings. It’s also a great place for romantic sunset strolls along the promenade.

Tip: There’s free parking behind Plage du Ponteil from 1st October to 31st May, and it’s just €1/hour during the high season.

Plage de la Salis

Just a couple of kilometres from Antibes, adjacent to the sailing club and Plage du Ponteil, is Plage de la Salis.  

Regarded by many as the best beach in Antibes, pristine white sands sweep down to shallow, turquoise water, offering excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities for all ages. The views are pretty spectacular too, encompassing pine-clad peninsulas, ancient ramparts and distant Alpine peaks.

You can enjoy water activities such as sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking nearby. And there are no shortage of places to find food and drinks along the beach, with snack bars serving sandwiches and cool drinks, and nearby restaurants offering lunchtime menus.

There are no loungers or parasols to rent here, and as the beach doesn’t have any shade, don’t forget to pack high-factor sunscreen and/or a sunshade. It’s also wise to arrive early in summer to secure a spot nearer the sea, and away from the road that runs behind.

Plage de la Salis is home to a “handiplage” – an accessible beach that is staffed in the summer months for those needing assistance. And there are public toilets and changing facilities nearby

Bay of Billionaires

Until 2011, the Bay of Billionaires was only accessible by boat, and for some fortunate visitors, this is still the best way to experience it.  The bay is also known as the “Fake Money Cove” – a name that comes from the sea reflections looking like silver on sunny days.

Nowadays, you can walk down to the exclusive cove, by following Le Sentier du Littoral hiking trail around the coast, passing high-end villas owned by wealthy business magnates, oligarchs and A-list celebrities.

One such villa is Villa Eilenroc, a 19th-century Belle Époque masterpiece built by the architect responsible for Palais Garnier opera house in Paris. The tiny pebble and rock beach is hidden beneath its lush gardens and shady trees.

Tip: If you don’t want to walk the coastal trail, you can also take the stairs to the right of Villa Eilenroc to reach the Bay of Billionaires.

The small beach is framed by limestone rocks scattered with Mediterranean vegetation and you’ll often see sailboats anchored nearby. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic in nature or to snorkel or dive, as the bay is teeming with exotic marine species.

There are no amenities here and the beach is quite isolated, but if you’re seeking a tranquil spot for relaxation and swimming, this is it.

The Swimming Bay

You’ll also find this secret swimming bay along the coastal trail close to Villa Eilenroc (which itself can be visited on Wednesdays and Saturdays). A set of stairs, carved between limestone cliffs, leads to several bathing platforms and clear aqua waters.

With a ladder to access the sea, this is the ideal place for a refreshing plunge to cool down after a hike, or to enjoy a picnic while watching the acrobatics of cliff divers as they plummet into the depths.

While you’re relaxing, you can admire the views of the sea and the Cap d’Antibes lighthouse. Through the trees, across the Bay of Billionaires, you may also catch a glimpse of a five-star hotel famed for its celebrity allure. The exclusive Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc dates to the 1870s and was originally constructed as a villa for writers to hone their talents.

Plage de la Garoupe

Before the 1920s, the French Riviera was mainly regarded as a winter destination. However, when the Murphys – a wealthy couple from America – arrived on Cap d’Antibes, they had very different ideas. They spent hours cleaning up La Garoupe Beach – then littered with nets and seaweed – to attract their friends to party here during the summer months. Such friends included Picasso and Hemingway. Therein started the French Riviera’s heyday.

These days you don’t need to be among the elite to enjoy this beach, although hints of its past glory days as party central remain. Above the beach stands the historic La Garoupe lighthouse, and it’s also the starting point for the Sentier de Tire-Poll walking trail. An area so captivating that it was mentioned in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, “Tender is the Night”.

Plage de la Garoupe is a combination of white sand and fine pebbles. A perfect destination for families with young children, as the water is clear and shallow with a gentle slope ideal for paddling or swimming. The palm trees also provide shade from the persistent sun.

The heat of scorching summer days is often tempered by a welcome easterly wind, thanks to the beaches’ position on the cape. There are few amenities, aside from showers, a summer lifeguard and a couple of restaurants, but the snorkelling is excellent. Swim out to the seagrass and marvel at the colourful marine life beneath.

One of the best Antibes beach clubs also resides here, along part of the beach known as Plage Keller. You can spend the day relaxing on the pontoon or enjoy a sunset meal or cocktail on the terrace of chic Restaurant Le César.

Plage des Ondes

Ondes Beach, close to Juan les Pins and Port de l’Olivette, is one of the most picturesque beaches along this stretch of coastline. A fairly peaceful haven with exquisite views of L’Esterel and Les Iles de Lerin, with crystalline waters perfect for swimming, and a narrow sliver of white sand framed by pine trees.

The beach is good for families with small children as the waters are shallow for swimming – but do keep little kids in sight, as there is a road directly behind the beach. There are also amazing snorkelling opportunities with many reefs and rocks located nearby. However, it’s worth noting that there are no amenities, kiosks or restaurants on the beach, so you’ll need to come prepared.

Notably, a small stone turret stands near the shore. The 1950s Petit Tour, which originally belonged to nearby Villa l’Etoile, was once used as a dressing room for French actress Martine Carole when she filmed “Un Soir sur la Plage” here in 1960.

If you wish to do some scuba diving in the area, you can head for La Fourmigue Nord – an underwater village that was built as part of another film set in the 1960s!

If you’re seeking a pretty beach with interesting stories and magical sunsets, Plage des Ondes should be a top pick.

The best beaches in Antibes are also among the most beautiful in the South of France! Whether you fancy uncovering local history, want to paddle board in calm bays, or simply enjoy a leisurely day of beach fun with the kids, visiting one of these beautiful beaches will be among the highlights of your trip to the Côte d’Azur.

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