The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

A beach-a-week: Villeneuve-Loubet

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!  

best beaches on French Riviera Villeneuve Loubet

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.

boat hire on Villeneuve Loubet beach

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.

boogie boarding at Villeneuve Loubet beach

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).

pontoon Villeneuve Loubet beach

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).

pebble castle championships Villeneuve Loubet

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.

fun on Villeneuve Loubet beach

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.  

apero at Villeneuve Loubet beach

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!

catamaran at Villeneuve Loubet

Villeneuve Loubet beach

throwing stones on Villeneuve Loubet beach

evening swim at Villeneuve Loubet

evening on Villeneuve Loubet beach

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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Villeneuve Loubet beach Côte dAzur France

 

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Comments

  • Curtis Bausse
    Curtis Bausse Wednesday, 12 August 2015

    That's a great tip about a place that's still quite 'secret' - in the sense that one can find a parking space! No problem with the pebbles - at least they don't get into your camera, eyes and picnic.

  • Guest
    Christy Swagerty Sunday, 09 August 2015

    I just think it's awesome you have a beach to go to at all! :) Love the summery photos, and love even more that you are unplugging a bit to enjoy the vacation! Great job with the #AllAboutFrance link-up, Phoebe, because now it's going to be where I return to for my France fix often! Let me know if you'll ever be out by Munich!

  • Guest
    Sally Sunday, 09 August 2015

    Growing up in Australia, I was amazed the first time I saw people on sun lounges on pebbles on a beach in Europe. Not sure I like them, but I do like the idea not having to clean off the sand. The other good thing about this beach is that it looks quite shallow (relaxing). Good idea for a series!

  • Guest
    Wander mum Saturday, 08 August 2015

    I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of pebble beaches - but that's before I heard about pebble castle making ! What a great idea. I also like the thought of it not being too busy and with parking! Thanks for sharing #allaboutfrance

  • Phoebe
    Phoebe Saturday, 08 August 2015

    Sounds beautiful! We are coming to visit Côte d'Azur next week and are staying in Villeneuve Loubet for 10 days, planning to use it as our base for exploring with hopefully plenty of relaxation time in between. Your post has made me think we've chosen the right location! Thank you

  • Guest
    Girl Gone Gallic Friday, 07 August 2015

    Another bonus with no sand means you don't have to worry about taking pictures on the beach and potentially scratching your lens !

  • Guest
    FrenchVillage Jacqui Thursday, 06 August 2015

    I love the sound of your local beach as it has pebbles! I hate sand with a passion, so much so heading for a day on the beach makes me very unhappy! Give me quaint villages and quiet back roads and I'm very happy.

  • Guest
    Emily Thursday, 06 August 2015

    I love the pebble beach castle competition. What a fantastic idea! We are currently in Spain with tiny pebbles: grit really. I wonder if it could catch on?

  • Guest
    BacktoBurgundy Thursday, 06 August 2015

    Pebbles may not be as soft but don't get into everything that you still find weeks later. This one looks great and it's nice that it's a good stretch of public beach which, as you say, can be rare in the south. Lovely photos.

  • Guest
    Melodie K. Thursday, 06 August 2015

    Love the low-key vibe of this beach, how it's a beautiful place yet not the most popular. We would enjoy its pebbles to the max, throwing them into the sea as pictured here . . . only need to remember to bring enough blankets to make a cushion between us and nature!

  • Guest
    Lisa Monday, 03 August 2015

    I agree Phoebe, pebble beaches have a charm of their own, especially the no sand sandwiches! Two of your photos had great resonance with me, the empty wine bottle and the child covered in pebbles! Both activities enjoyed many times on my favourite, one time local, pebble beach at Aldeburgh in Suffolk UK. I liked it so much, my very new urban 'handkerchief sized' garden is mainly "laid to pebbles - and gravel"!! Although I've been through Villeneuve Loubet on the train en route Antibes or Cannes, I will now make a point of getting off the train there and walking to Antibes so that I can have a good look - and maybe find the restaurant for lunch!

  • Guest
    Catherine Monday, 03 August 2015

    We have been to this beach when we have been staying at lou messugo. The restaurant at sunset is the place to be.

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