Pooches welcome: Dog-friendly summer beaches in the French Riviera and the Var

Looking for a beach to swim with Fido in the busy summer months? Here is what’s available in the region.

They aren’t called the dog days of summer for nothing. The extreme heat of the season affects everyone, including our four-legged friends who like a good cooling off like the rest of us.

One way to beat the heat is to take a nice cooling dip in the sea. The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var have several spots, all found on a website compiled just for them, that allow dogs to join in the fun. There are 37 in the Alpes-Maritimes and 15 in the Var, giving quite a bit of choice.


Hands down the most generous in the region for dog-friendly beaches is the Alpes-Maritimes, with a choice of seaside spots from Menton to Villeneuve-Loubet on the mainland, as well as a whopping 28 on the Îles de Lérins, there is no shortage of splashing sites welcoming pets.

There are four super close to Monaco. Menton has two. One is just after the Garavan port at the city limits with Italy and the other is at Casino Beach where a designated area for dogs has been established. There is also Piscine Beach in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Douaniers Beach in Cap d’Ail.

A little further down the coast in Villefranche-sue-Mer is Ange Gardien Beach (pictured above), Lanterne Beach in Nice near the airport, Hippodrome Beach in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Saint-Laurent-du-Var’s Port Beach and Vaugrenier Beach in Villeneuve-Loubet.

On the Îles de Lérins, Saint-Honroat has 10 places for pooches, and the Sainte-Marguerite has 18.

Tolerance is shown off-season in Beaulieu sur Mer and Théoule sur Mer.


The Var has a fair share as well, starting with Saint-Aygulf’s Esclamandes Beach, then La Gaillarde Beach in Les Issambres, Bonnegrace Beace in Six-Fours-les-PLages, Bregancon Beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas, the aptly named Dogs Beach in La Londe and in Bandol, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer’s Port d’Alon Cove. The department’s undisputed winner for dog-friendly beaches is Ramatuelle, which boasts eight in all, though they enforce strict leash laws.

As with many of these swimming spots, people shouldn’t expect white sandy beaches… these are primarily rocky outcroppings or small pebbled beaches, but they’re still lovely areas and they are designated to ensure the comfort of all, so they won’t be filled with tourists and they won’t have people complaining about any inconveniences, so both you and your dog can frolic without fear of retribution!

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Photo of Plage Ange Gardien in Villefranche-sur-Mer by Monaco Life