© Ekansh Saxena
Coolest bathing spots in Nice
The beaches of the Bay of Nice have drawn crowds of sun worshippers for decades, ever since the 19th century, and with good reason.
With some 35 beaches stretching along the coastline and in front of the Baie des Anges, the city of Nice is a popular beach city destination. The Promenade des Anglais beach is the most famous, with around 7 km of fine pebbles with public and private sections leased to beach clubs.
As you watch paddleboarders floating past, super yachts bobbing on the horizon and tenders bringing VIP guests ashore, you can rest assured that those waters are in fact crystal clear and perfect for swimming and cooling off on a hot summer day. Many even have the Blue Flag label, which designates the best beaches in the world.
How clear are the waters of Nice?
Should you want to look into it in more detail, then the Ministry of Health in France provide up-to-date information regarding the cleanliness of France's beaches and rivers. The interactive map, which is available in English, allows you to zoom in on the beaches of interest and to review recent test results. Ranked from excellent (blue) to poor (red), the monthly testing and monitoring make it possible to assess the effects of wastewater sanitation and dirty rainwater runoff into swimming sites. Thankfully the beaches around Nice are mainly blue, excellent, with only a few areas where the water quality drops, meaning that we can swim in peace, enjoying the calm and clear waters of the Mediterranean.
Luxury beachfront accommodation
Luxury hotels can be found along the Promenade des Anglais, in the heart of Nice, meaning that the beach will, in some cases, literally be on your doorstep. Some of Nice's most well-known establishments have terraces that overlook the promenade and direct sea views from the balcony of your room. Perhaps the most famous is Le Negresco – opened in 1913, this beautiful art deco building has seen the creme de la creme walk through its magnificent lobby, from royalty to artists, musicians and Hollywood stars. Also a firm favourite with the jet set, but located a bit further north from the city of Nice, on the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, is the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat. Also originated in the early 1900s, the concept of Cote d'Azur chic was born here.
Beach clubs in Nice
Many of Nice's five-star hotels also have their own private stretch of beach and beach clubs so that you can make the most of the exclusive beach service and sparkling clear waters of the Mediterranean. Being a client of the hotel will afford you certain privileges and ensure that you don't need to rush down first thing to place your towel on your chosen sun lounger. There is no better way to enjoy the crystal clear waters in Nice.
Other beaches near Nice
For those who wish to travel away from the hub of Nice and the Promenade des Anglais, then Plage Carras is located at the far end of the promenade, close to Nice Cote d'Azur airport. The western end of the beach (closest to the airport) seems to be quieter and more popular with children and locals, whereas the closer you get to the centre of town the more lively and touristy it gets. The towns of St Jean Cap Ferrat, Eze or Cap d'Ail also offer pebbly beaches with stunning views of the Mediterranean which are a little less frequented by tourists. They all have amenities, including bars and restaurants and watersports, as well as crystal clear waters for swimming.
For more activities both in and out of the water, have a read of our Watersports Guide, Summer Activities Guide and, if you are coming to Nice with your family, then check out our list of the best family activities in the area.