The Best Private and Public Beaches In Cannes

Cannes’ beautiful beaches let you experience the French Riviera at its finest. Vacation like the stars at one of the exclusive private beaches or live like a local at some of the city’s hidden gems. Whether your ideal beach day involves swimming, sunbathing, or a delicious meal by the sea, you can live your dream next to the Mediterranean Sea.

Located in the sunny southern France, Cannes is one of the most beautiful cities on the French Riviera. Cannes has been known as the playground of the rich and famous since the 19th century, and the Cannes Film Festival has only solidified its glamorous position.

The Cannes coastline is often split into five zones: Gazagnaire, Port Canto, La Croisette, Boulevard de Midi, and La Bocca. There are private and public beaches in each zone. The entire 15-kilometer-long coastline includes 7.5 kilometers of beaches, split into 13 public beaches, over 30 private beach clubs, and two beaches run by the city.

Other Côte d’Azur cities, such as Nice and Menton, mostly have pebble beaches, but Cannes has white sand to match its crystal clear waters. We’re featuring the most beautiful beaches in Cannes.

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Santiago Cornejo

Roubine Beach

Roubine’s crystal-clear waters and gentle slopes of fine sand make it one of the most picturesque beaches in Cannes. It rarely gets very busy so it’s perfect if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter. There are sometimes a few snack vendors nearby or you can use the BBQ facilities to cook a lovely picnic lunch. The Résidence La Palme d’Azur Cannes Verrerie offers stunning furnished apartments just moments from the beach.

Best For: Beachfront Barbecues

Beach Zone: Boulevard du Midi

Type: Public

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Plage du Midi

Located in one of the city’s most picturesque areas, the Plage du Midi is one of the best public beaches in Cannes. The old quarter, ‘Le Suquet’, is only a short walk away so you’ll be close to many of Cannes’ attractions. The beach itself is narrow but long, with golden sand and shallow water. In the busy summer months, there are often large pontoons on the water where visitors can play or relax amidst the gentle waves. It’s one of the most popular beaches in Cannes and the atmosphere is always lively and friendly. You can have a meal and enjoy the private beach at the L’Alba restaurant next door. For accommodation, The Hôtel Belle Plage offers sea views from the edge of Le Suquet and you can wind down at its spa after a long day of relaxing at the beach.

Best For: People Watching

Beach Zone: Boulevard du Midi

Type: Public

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Plage de la Bocca

Plage de la Bocca sits right next to the city’s main port, which is part of what makes it one of the busiest public beaches in Cannes. This beach and the surrounding area are a little more laid back compared to other parts of the city. There’s plenty of space to relax on the golden sand under the warm sun and it’s also a great place for water sports like kayaking and jet skiing. There are multiple kiosks along the boardwalk and beach bars such as Le Cabanon on the boulevard. The Mercure Cannes Mandelieu is a gorgeous hotel roughly 300 meters from the beach.

Best For: Fun on the Water

Beach Zone: La Bocca

Type: Public

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Plage Macé

Plage Macé is a ‘regie municipal’ beach with a private paid section run by the city of Cannes. Like other private beaches in Cannes, you can rent chairs, umbrellas, and lockers, but Plage Macé offers significantly lower prices. It has toilets, showers, kiosks changing rooms, and lifeguards. Note that food and alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the beach unless you buy them from the kiosks. During the Cannes Film Festival, a large screen is set up to screen a selection of classic films in the evenings. Nearby, there are two stunning five-star hotels run by Barrière: Le Majestic Cannes and Le Gray d’Albion Cannes. Both offer easy access to this beautiful municipal beach as well as their own private beach areas.

Best For: Cinema Under the Stars

Beach Zone:  Croisette

Type: Private & Public

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Croisette Beach/Plage de la Croisette

The most well-known beach in Cannes, la Croisette beach is the place to see and be seen. If you’re hoping to spot a celeb or two on your trip, this is the beach to visit. It’s right next door to the Palais des Festivals where the Cannes Film Festival is held. Most sections of the beach are private and owned by hotels and other private establishments along the Promenade de la Croisette. You usually don’t need to be a guest at a hotel to use its beach but hotel patrons sometimes get free or discounted access. For example, the Regent Carlton Cannes Hotel owns Carlton Beach, one of the best beach clubs in Cannes. Another accommodation option is the Mondrian Cannes hotel. This hotel offers direct access to the Rue d’Antibes shopping district, home to designer boutiques and elegant cafes.

Best For: Celeb Spotting

Beach Zone: Croisette

Type: Private

Axel Bührmann

Plage Public Zamenhof/Plage Zamenhoff

Head to the eastern end of La Croisette to find Plage Zamenhof, the eastern equivalent to Plage Macé. Like Plage Macé, it is operated by the city, with full amenities, reduced fees, and the same rules around food and drink. This beach is smaller than Plage Macé and very popular with locals, so visitors should consider arriving early if they want to grab a good spot. Stay close to this popular municipal beach and get access to the beautiful private Beach Martinez by staying at the Hotel Martinez.

Best For: Mingling with the Locals

Beach Zone: Croisette

Type: Private & Public

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Palm Beach

Swimming and sunbathing are usually the most popular activities at Cannes’ beaches, but Palm Beach is one of the best beaches in Cannes for surfing. In calmer conditions, it’s a great option for beginner surfers and when it gets windier it becomes a hotspot for kitesurfing. Even if you aren’t interested in trying to surf yourself, it can be lots of fun watching the multi-colored kites fill the sky. It’s a short walk from Fred l’Ecailler, one of the best seafood restaurants in Cannes. Located towards the eastern end of Cannes beaches, even in the high season, the beach and surrounding area tend to be less crowded.

Best For: Surfers and spectators

Beach Zone: Gazagnaire

Type: Public

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Bex Walton

Bijou Plage

A significant portion of this beach is open to the public but there’s also a private section that belongs to the Bijou Plage Restaurant. It invites visitors to get away from the crowds in the rest of Cannes and enjoy an idyllic retreat in its sheltered bay. Its bistro-style menu changes throughout the year to offer the best seasonal produce of the region. It’s also close to the Square de Verdun which has plenty of grassy space for children to play and tall trees over benches where you can find some shade. It’s also a ‘handiplage beach’, which means there’s a ramp for wheelchair access.

Best For: Dinner by the Sea

Beach Zone: Port Canto

Type: Private & Public

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Plage des Pierres Hautes

Just a short ferry ride from Cannes’ Old Port lies Île Sainte-Marguerite, the largest of the Lérins Islands. The island is home to a beautiful lake, a fascinating 17th-century prison, and the Plage des Pierres Hautes. This beach is one of the Cannes region’s only naturist beaches. Unlike the soft sandy beaches on the mainland, visitors to Plage des Pierres Hautes set up their towels and loungers on the flat limestone rocks above the water.

Best For: Getting ‘Natural’ in Nature.

Ferry Departure Zone: Plage du Midi

Type: Public

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Long Beach

This picturesque private beach belongs to the Long Beach Restaurant. You can enjoy a meal on their patio by the sea or relax on one of their sun loungers with a fresh fruit cocktail. Long Beach is run by the JW MARRIOTT Hotel, which sits opposite the restaurant. This five-star hotel is built on the former site of the Palais des Festivals and its stylish rooms feature cinema-themed art that speaks to the location’s history. It’s very close to the city center and it’s a great spot to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day.

Best For: Cocktails on the sand

Beach Zone: Croisette

Type: Private

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Plage de la Petite Fontaine

This beautiful beach is one of the region’s smallest and if you’re driving here you’ll need to arrive early to ensure a parking space. It’s in the Théoule-sur-Mer resort village, nestled in the Esterel Mountains, just south of Cannes. Many visitors enjoy snorkeling here due to its clear water and rocky crevices. The Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa promises a slice of paradise by the seaside in Théoule-sur-Mer.

Best For: Getting up close with marine life

Beach Zone: La Bocca/Theo

Type: Private

H2: Popular Beaches Just Outside Cannes

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Eric Molina

Plage des Rochers Beach

The Plage des Rochers de la Bocca is roughly 20 minutes from the main La Bocca beach on foot. Don’t forget to bring a phone or camera to capture the large, red rocks that emerge dramatically out of the emerald water at the shoreline. It’s right next door to the Cannes la Bocca train station and there’s a free car park about 200 meters away. The nearby Villa Belle Rive offers both hotel rooms and self-catering apartments.

Best For: Photo Opportunities

Beach Zone: La Bocca/Théole-sur-Mer

Type: Public

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Irina Solatges

Plage de la Raguette

Close to the beautifully restored Chateau de la Napoule, this small beach is a wonderful hidden gem just outside of Cannes in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. It’s a calm, sheltered beach that stays quite shallow, which makes it great for families with young children. You can grab a bite to eat with views of the ocean at the nearby Restaurant La Rotonde.

Best For: Peace and Quiet

Beach Zone: La Bocca/Mandelieu-la-Napoule

Type: Public

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