French Riviera beaches – public or private

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© Millie Brown | Le Parasol – Available as a Limited Edition Fine Art Print


Le Parasol shot in Nice, France is my latest release Limited Edition Fine Art print in the French Riviera Collection.

Sometimes you just want a dip, a quick bake and some extra beach room, that’s when you go public. And, sometimes a chilled rosé, a comfortable sun bed, a safely secured sun umbrella and lunch are the order of the day, time to pay and go private.

The non flying umbrella doesn’t always go to plan however as I found out on the now no longer existing private beach in Villefranche sur Mer some years ago!

It went something like this….a gust of wind appeared out of nowhere, and the ‘secure’ and safe umbrella from a few places away took off, aimed itself at my head, and hit me so hard it actually knocked me off that comfortable sun bed! And, as if that wasn’t embarrassing enough they  wanted to call an ambulance! I didn’t let them of course and after a few minutes of stunned silence splayed out face down on the sand, which is always an elegant look (and a bit like the woman in the pic, without the privacy of the beach umbrella covering me) I clambered back up, trying to imagine no one had seen the spectacle! It didnt take too much longer before I eventually slunk away  taking my  head with the proverbial egg on it  and my middle finger which looked like it had been broken  (it got squashed when I went down) off the beach for the day!

Here on the beach in the image ‘Le Parasol’  a fence separates the public and private beaches and unusually the private side looks empty, this was taken prior to the late morning hustle for sunbed positions took place!

Each year along this coast (and others in France I assume) the inspectors come out with their measuring tape and make sure the privates are not encroaching on public space! There is always a bit of the sneaky slow crawl out of sunbeds taking place, and there have even been cases of staff asking members of the public to remove themselves when they have been sitting at the waters edge in front of their beach!  Not surprisingly this is not legal, but it happens! Legally there must always be an area between the sea and the private beach that the public can use, a passageway if you like to pass from one area of the beach to the other.

A few of my favourite private beaches;

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© Millie Brown | Anjuna Beach – Eze sur Mer


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© Millie Brown | Paloma Beach – Cap Ferrat


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© Millie Brown | Plage Passable – Cap Ferrat


Enjoy (and watch your back when the wind comes up)!!

Millie xx

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5 Responses to French Riviera beaches – public or private

  1. Beautiful images, Millie. Makes me wish summer would hurry up and appear – or at least Spring! Love the story and glad you weren’t really hurt. Lucky people who buy one of your beautiful prints.

  2. We invoked this rule every time the security guards at the Club Med in Moorea used to try to kick us off the beach. Beaches are public:).

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