Photo: I’m about to take a dip in the sea. 

Skinny Dipping in The South of France. I’ll tell you which are my favourite beaches.

IMG_3365Baie de Pampellone, Saint Tropez. View from the naturist beach

The best naturist beaches in the South of France. Who loves skinny dipping in the sea?  Is there any better feeling than being at one with nature and stripping off on a hot day?  I’m going to tell you about the best naturist beaches in the South of France and where to avoid.

You have to be careful which beaches to visit in the South of France.  There is a naturist beach in Eze but it is a beach mostly enjoyed by gay men.  I would avoid this beach unless this is the kind of beach you like.

SAINT TROPEZ

Photo: Pampellone Bay, Ramatuelle

Let me know if you have any beaches to add to this list!  I would love to hear of new discoveries.

However, I love the naturist beach at Saint Tropez which is full of fellow naturists and you will not receive any unwelcome attention and it is not sleazy.  All different nationalities and ages happily enjoying the sunshine in a totally natural way.  This is my favourite beach and great restaurants too!

IMG_3366Saint Tropez Ramutuelle Beaches

Follow the Ramutuelle coast road out of Saint Tropez for a few kilometres until you see a sign on the left for the beaches, turn left.  Drive until you see the sign above and take the right turn.  You will come to a huge car park which costs 4.50 euros for the day.  Park your car and walk straight onto the beach, it is flat and just a few metres away.

Photo: Freddie and Zarya on the Naturist beach

The beach is allows dogs on leads, so Freddie and Zarya love to visit too!

IMG_3370Yachts mooring in Baie de Pamplona

They wonderful thing is that there is a lovely mix of naturists, families picnicking and clothed sunbathers so there is a lovely,  cool atmosphere and it is very laid back.  Take your pick from several little beach cafes and restaurants along this stretch of beach.  The water is sparkling, clean and very beautiful in the Baie.

Photo: Restaurant Yape Yape

Then you can have lunch right on the beach at a sweet little beach shack restaurant called Yape.

Photo: Yape Restaurant, Ramatuelle Beaches

Might just see you there!

SAINT RAPHAEL:

Plage Villa Dani

Another favourite spot is on the road between Theoule sur Mer and Agay.  This is the most stunning coastline with gorgeous little coves amongst the red rock of l’Esterel, drive along and take your pick of beaches that will not be crowded even in high season.  This is because of the accessibility.  You will need a car or get on a bus at Theoule sur Mer.

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L’Esterel red rock along the coastline

The beach is a little tricky to find.  It is Cap Roux Naturist Beach, Route de Trays, 83700 Saint Raphael – Agay.  Park at Cap Roux car park and walk along the road until Villa Dani bust and you will see the steps down to the beach.

photo 4Empty beach even in July!

photo 3Saint Raphael to Agay Beaches

If you do not like the idea of a naturist beach, there are countless little beaches and coves all along this stretch of coast road.  Look out for the blue signs and steps down to the beaches.

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My Favourite Naturist Beach ever? The small island of Formentera near Ibiza has the best, most beautiful naturist beaches!

Helpful Information

Tourist Office Saint Tropez http://www.sainttropeztourisme.com

Saint Raphael Tourism: http://www.saint-raphael.com

Where to eat on the beach in Saint Tropez: There are lots of beach restaurants to choose on the beach.  My favourite is Yape Yape on the naturist beach.  Friendly, not expensive and very chilled atmosphere.   A slightly longer stroll towards Saint Tropez is  Club55, 43 Blvd Patch, Ramatuelle http://www.club55.fr

Where to stay: How about renting a villa or an apartment nearby http://www.abritel.fr

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5 Things to do on the Cote d’Azur  People always think we live impossibly glamorous lives on the Cote d’Azur and we do!  They visit and want to experience a little of this lifestyle and often return home a bit disillusioned.  It is a mistake to get onto a ‘tourist treadmill’ and visit the tourist traps.

I am going to show you where we go on the Cote d’Azur, follow my itinerary and you will have a wonderful day, living like one of us!  I hate Nice, it is crowded, full of depressed looking tourists and to be avoided.  I’m going to give you a day on the Cote, east of Nice.  This is the best bit and a lot of my friends agree (the ones who don’t live in Nice, of course!  They are probably gnashing their teeth right now).

Start the day at:

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

http://www.villa-ephrussi.com   The stunning villa is now owned by les academie des beaux-arts http://www.les-academie-des-beaux-arts.fr .  The original owner Beatrice de Rothschild created  a villa inspired by the Italian Renaissance.  Visit the villa and the exceptional gardens.  If you are a gardener, like me, you will love to explore the grounds.  Events are held here throughout the summer months, so check out the website.  You might be lucky enough to get tickets!

Fete des Roses is an annual event in early May

Stop for a reviving coffee down by the sea and then take a walk.

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat – Morning Walk

We all like to exercise here, it is very easy when the weather is sunny and it is wonderful to be by the sea in the great outdoors.  Also essential for all the eating, drinking and partying!  Enjoy the wonderful views and work up an appetite by walking the coastal walk from Saint Jean Cap Ferrat to the port in Beaulieu for lunch,  You can’t get lost, just keep going until you arrive in the port!  On the way you will walk along a stunning coastal path, passing by some beautiful villas, such as the Belle Epoque once owned by David Niven, look out for the plaque.

Lunch in Beaulieu

Then have lunch on the port in Beaulieu.  You are spoiled for choice with a row of nice portside restaurants.  I like The African Queen, it is open from 12 til 12 and you will never feel rushed.  Fresh fish, good food, fabulous view and impeccable service. http://www.africanqueen.fr

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Afternoon at Cap d’Ail Beach

Then Time for a little nap on a sun lounger, with a handsome waiter to bring you a cool reviving glass of something cold?  Drive along toward Monaco, or jump on a train http://www.horairetrain.net and head to the beach at Cap d’ail.  You will find a row of beach restaurants with sun loungers to hire for the afternoon.  This beach is never crowded and you can have a little rest and summon up some energy to hire a windsurfer, kayak or surf board right here on the beach.  They have really patient instructors if you need a lesson, if not jut hire whatever takes your fancy. Or, if you want a really small, quiet beach for a siesta and swim, either drive a little further or get off the train at the small Roquebrune Station and walk 2 minutes down the steps to Plage de Buse.

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This is my favourite little secret beach and there is a revamped beachside cafe for drinks or lunch there that is very good and my dogs were welcome.  The Larger Plage Bleu is just a few hundred yards to the right and the Corbusier sea path at the end of the car park.  This is one of my favourite sea walks and is wonderful after the first bit running alongside the railway.  Spot the Corbusier seaside house on the walk and enjoy gorgeous views.

plage

These are lovely family beaches with free parking. Say hello if you see us there!

Evening in Monte Carlo

You will be spoiled for choice with fabulous restaurants here, ranging from small family owned informal places to 3* Michelin restaurants.  This is one of the upsides of providing an enclave for rich tax dodgers, they have some lovely places to be entertained!  This week we enjoyed a lovely meal at Buddha Bar Monaco, so I shall tell you about it:

Buddha Bar Monte Carlo

http://www.buddhabarmontecarlo.com  Pop in for cocktails downstairs or treat yourself to dinner in this stunning old building that was originally a theatre and has retained all of the best architectural features. The fusion food is delicious, we tried a set menu for 85 euros,  and look forward to our next visit.  I’ll make do with some Buddha Bar compilations until the next time!

buddha bar

 

There is always something exciting and interesting going on.  Take  look at the website for up to date information. http://www.visitmonaco.com

IMG_2900Pit Stop Bar and Lounge

There is a new Ferrari themed bar at the Sporting Club in Monaco for summer to check out http://www.pitstopbarandlounge.com

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Iconic Monte Carlo Casino

There are so many terrific things going on at the moment in Monaco.  http://www.montecarlosbm.com

I love going to the ballet and Philharmonic Orchestra http://www.balletsdemontecarlo.com

Remember, this is a day out for whatever budget.  If you are splurging, choose the restaurants above but you are also spoiled for choice with countless other small, good inexpensive places.  A train ticket is so cheap and one of the prettiest railway journeys in France between Nice and Menton. http://www.ter.sncf.com