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Best Beach: Agay

AzurAlive: Agay Beach, French Riviera

Agay is my favorite large beach on the eastern tip of the Var, close to the Alpes Maritimes. The Var hosts many great beaches, especially towards Les Issambres, St Tropez, Gigaro, Hyères. This one is special. 

Why?                                                                                  

First, the site. The Esterel Mountains peer over this little beach town of Agay, with gorgeous fiery red pitons and rocks overlooking the bay. The bay of Agay sparkles like a round emerald, with the beach running like a crescent around half of its rim. So there's plenty of space. And with the volcanic hills behind, you think you're on an exotic island.

AzurAlive: Agay Beach, French Riviera

A the eastern edge of beach, you can rent sea kayaks, dinghies, and large windsurfing boards for more fun in the water. On sea kayaks, you can explore the beautiful rocky coastline to the west. It's a treat! Check-up the Wind Club d'Agay for details, also the town's municipal club right next door.

Agay sports a series of decent snacks and even nice restaurants that aren't out to rip you off (see below for our tested recommendations). To wrap it up, you'll find public showers right on the beach for rinsing. The beach is not cordoned off into private paying slices so your wallet can relax with you while you soak in the sun. Beach mattresses are offered on one corner of the beach, at private Maobi Plage's restaurant and bar.

AzurAlive: Agay Beach, French Riviera

Other Tips?                                                    

Summer is obviously the most popular time for visits to the little resort town of Agay. Even though it gets crowded, it doesn't feel overwhelmed due to the size of its long beach.

Two restaurants to recommend, one cheap but good and one pricier but very good.
La Belle Vie Café. You can't miss this restaurant at Agay' main round-about, in front of the beach. It serves hamburgers, bagels, sandwiches, large salads and has a nice relaxed feel on its terrace. Open from April to October. Affordable with a bagel lunch going for 7€ in 2012.

For something more upscale, with nice provençal menus around 25-30 €, this is a good choice: Côté Jardin. Open from April to October, closed Monday for lunch. Set behind the Belle Vie Café, off the D100 road that heads inland toward the Esterel Mountains.

Where?                                                         

The sandy beach of Agay runs all along the bay, by the Boulevard de la Plage, from the port to the west to the nautical station to the east. Further out east in the bay, there's another smaller beach carved into the bay called La Baumette.


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Book: Balades Choisies

Book on Strolls through Nice, France Here's an interesting book for those of us who long to discover another side of Nice, France. Part work of art with its many watercolors of hilly city streets and houses, part invitation to stroll through Nice away from the mainstream, Balades Choisies delects the reader with a sort of treasure hunt. 

The book leads you up and down the streets of the Cimiez hills, but also up Mont Boron, Riquier, St Roch as well as La Madeleine and others hilly areas of Nice. Text is sparse, enough to pique your interest without being encyclopedic. Very nicely done.