The Palladio beach club is a simple, fast, friendly and non-pompous beach restaurant in Boulouris, on the Western French Riviera close to Saint-Raphael.
What makes it a best beach?
The beach is rarely crowded. You can actually spread your stuff all over the place, and it won't bother anyone.
The restaurant's atmosphere. This is a relaxed (for the customers that is, waiters go 100 miles per hour), friendly beach restaurant.
Food is very decent. The venerable cheese-burger is on the menu, with its generous helping of chips/fries and its little green salad. But Palladio also offers a half-dozen composite salads, ranging from the exotic thai salad with chicken to the carpaccio.
It's reasonable in price. A "plat du jour" costs between 12 euros for grilled sardines, to 14 for a generous salad or 20 for fish. A children's menu 8 euros.
And the beach?
The beach is of golden rough sand, not the fine white powdered stuff next door, but perfectly fine.
The restaurant rents plush lounge chairs with their parasols, for 5 euros an hour, 12 euros for a 1/2 day and 16 euros for a full day from 9AM to 6PM.
You can swim in the shallow waters which are sheltered by a reef formed by an ancient lava flow, which makes it a good choice for families. You will need to wear water shoes as rocks abound. Water is usually pristine. The only downside is when the wind blows onshore, small waves will break on the reef making the waters choppy, but that could be your thing.
The beach is not under the watch of a lifeguard. That's usually the case for smaller secretive beaches in this area.
Where is this beach?
Palladio is in the seaside resort town of Boulouris, between Saint-Raphael and Agay on the Western side of the French Riviera in the Var region of France. It is right next to Plage de la Tortue.
Reach it by train, stopping at the Gare de Boulouris station.Reach it by bus from Saint-Raphael (AggloBus bus 5, not a very frequent line but convenient for access to lots of beaches) or of course by car (park by the seaside road if you're lucky or in the Boulouris "Parking de la Gare" open lot).
Any other beach you recommend on the French Riviera?
We have a long list of favorite beaches on the French Riviera. Consult the "Best Beach" category on the right and scroll through the list for a taste of what the region has to offer.
Adjacent to it is La Plage de la Tortue, another favorite beach, but with a different more upscale vibe.
And if you're interested in hiking in the region between Saint-Raphael and Hyeres (short hikes from 2 hours to half-day), take a look at this unique hiking guide to the Western French Riviera:
Hiking Guidebook to the Western French Riviera: 26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Cote D'Azur