Menton’s east side Les Sablettes beach just a few minutes from Italy. Photo by Tobias Alt.
We like Nice for lively, not-so-touristy life, the fantastic promenade but pebble beaches, Cannes for fine sand, amazing summer fireworks (get close and early! ) and beach restaurants (best are west of the port).
Antibes is smaller, less sophisticated but has a terrific beach with good value café – Plage de la Garoupe – and lovely walk around Cap d’Antibes. Juan-les-Pins sands are narrow and ultra-busy, specialising in watersports
A newly smartened-up but good value Villeneuve-Loubet, between Antibes and Cagnes-sur-Mer offers great convenience, a well presented pebble beach, lots of family-friendly facilities and very little style.
The cute little town of Menton, far east and next to Italy, is about as quiet as the Riviera gets, though some would describe it as dull, if not dead.