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Beaches on the Côte d'Azur's insider take:

The Mediterranean is an often shockingly intense blue on the Côte d'Azur, but it takes a bit of know-how to find the right sandy or rocky spit to appreciate it from. For the truth is, the beaches here are better for strutting and posing than they are for sunbathing or swimming. The pebbly beach at Nice is long and almost entirely public, with gorgeous turquoise shallows. If it's sand you want, then head to Cannes, preferably with your wallet at the ready. The town's luxury hotels control most of the city's beachfront, renting chairs, and sometimes umbrellas, at prices that accelerate steeply as they approach the sea. Antibes has a few public sandy beaches near the port and old town, as well as a miles-long stretch of pebble beach that extends along the eastern shore of the Cap d'Antibes. Juan-les-Pins, on the western shore of the Cap, has a busy public sand beach that is the liveliest on the coast. The best option for the adventurous is at the Côte d'Azur's western edge, in the town of Théoule-sur-Mer, where a fair amount of stair climbing and hiking can result in a private, rocky cove straight out of a 1960s French movie.

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