The secluded beaches and hidden gems of the French Riviera

Cannes in France

The southeastern coast of France, known locally as the Côte d’Azur, is famous throughout the world. From glamorous resort towns with upmarket boutiques to medieval villages amidst lavender fields, splendid destinations abound, each with its own unique character and alluring atmosphere.

One of the most scenic ways to travel around the French Riviera is of course by sea. Whether you choose to crew the vessel yourself or invest in a luxury yacht charter, this gives you peace and privacy, unparalleled views, and access to areas off the tourist trail.

Discover the secluded beaches and hidden gems of the French Riviera that are sure to take your breath away. Holidays to France aren’t all about visiting Paris and the battlefields of Normandy – if you’re prepared to travel a bit further, a Mediterranean paradise awaits.

Secluded beaches

Plage Jean Blanc on the French Riviera in France
The dreamy sands of the Plage Jean Blanc
  1. Jean Blanc

The epitome of the Mediterranean coastline, Jean Blanc beach is a paradise of white sand and blue water backed by sweet-scented pine trees concealing chattering cicadas. Walk the coast path to reach the Elephant, an emerald cove that only the locals know.

  • Sainte-Marguerite Island

Just half a mile off the coast of Cannes, one of the most sought-after spots along the French Riviera, Sainte-Marguerite Island is a refuge for those seeking to escape the playground of the rich and famous. It has a rich heritage best discovered via a visit to the Royal Fort.

  • Plage Mala

Backed by buildings clambering up the cliff face that falls straight into the water, you could not wish for a beach with more dramatic surroundings than the Plage Mala. Challenging to reach by the coastal path, this is a haven for those travelling by sea despite its closeness to busy Monaco.

Hidden gems

Verdon Gorge France
The spectacular Verdon Gorge
  1. Mougins

Shore up in Cannes and head inland, away from the glitzy streets filled with designer shops, to Mougins. This medieval town has captivated creatives for centuries and is still renowned for its lively art scene and fantastic restaurants ranging from rustic cafés to Michelin-star experiences.

  • Gourdon

Move away from the coastline and up into the cliffs with a visit to the rural commune of Gourdon. Enjoy picturesque panoramas at every turn and walk the Gorges du Loup for an up-close view of glorious gushing waterfalls. Gourdon is just 14km from Grasse, north of Cannes.

  • Verdon Gorge

A substantial road trip but well worth the two-hour drive is the spectacular river canyon Verdon Gorge. A bright aqua river snakes through the sheer cliffs, ideal for water sports ranging from stand-up paddle-boarding and kayaking to white-water rafting in fast rapids.

This area is a natural regional park, protected due to its astonishing landscape and extraordinary diversity. Clamber along the clifftops for a bird’s eye view and head out to see the swatches of purple lavender if you’re visiting in summer.

More from Heather Cole
What is it like to visit North Korea?
When I think of North Korea it’s about nuclear weapons, and an...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.