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Plage du Fort Carre & Plage de la Fontonne Beaches, Biot

Lovely pebble beaches along the coast towards Biot

featured in Beaches Updated

Antibes sits at the far end of the Bay of Angels (Baie des Anges), a vast sweep of azure blue sea that washes up on a smooth pebbled shore.

These grey shingle beaches edge the coast road all the way down from Nice to Antibes, where the iconic Fort Carré marks the end of the stony beaches and the beginning of Antibes’ sand beaches. As such, those looking to escape Antibes’ summertime crowds on the sand beaches have the option of visiting the pebbled beaches that begin at the rocky and narrow Plage du Fort Carré and stretch westwards to the wider and busier section called Plage de la Fontonne at Biot.

However, there is no shade along this coast, just pebbles and sea. There are few facilities and it backs the major coastal road, meaning this stretch of coast tends to be an acquired taste. The great advantage of this entire stretch of beach is that it's completely public.

There are fresh water showers at this beach and a few food kiosks and vans parked up in the summer months, but it’s a good idea to bring a picnic if you’re looking for variety. The closest toilets are at Biot.

Because it’s an unprotected beach as we mentioned, this beach doesn’t have any shelter from the cool winds. Not a great choice for winter sun except on calm, windless days. You could walk your dog on here, but the road backing very closely onto the beach could prove a hazard.

These tend to be good beaches if you don’t want to overlap your towel with a stranger’s, as happens on many Riviera beaches. However, the rocky beach and lack of facilities mean that these beaches are generally for hardier souls.

Beach Bars & Beachclubs in Antibes

If you’re feeling like a sit-down lunch, head into Biot. Be aware that Biot is a town of two halves: seaside town and hill village. Don’t get fooled into thinking you’ll be having lunch in the famous medieval village as that’s several kilometres inland on a hill. Well worth taking the bus from the Biot train station to see it though, and it has some lovely shady cafes and restaurants to escape the heat. If you want to stick to the coast, the marina at nearby Villeneuve Loubet (the huge curved building) has some quite good restaurants on the waterfront.

Setting & Location

With a lovely view to your left of the city of Nice with the Alps rising up behind, these beaches are not without charm, particularly in the evenings when the stones cool down and the beach fills with families picnicking and swimming in the long twilight hours.

Water Safety & Clarity

Because the beach is very open and unprotected, these beaches do get affected by chop and waves when the wind gets up. In fact, during the winter storms, the coast road that runs along behind the beach often has waves crashing across it.

During the summer there is one lifeguard on duty at Plage du Fort Carré and a lifeguard station at La Fontonne. The seabed drops away quite quickly so keep a good eye on any children swimming.

Note that the mouth of the River Brague comes out at La Siesta at La Fontonne, so after heavy rainfall it can get a little polluted.

Beach Quality

This is a pebble beach, made up of flat grey stones that have been smoothed into gleaming discs by the waves over the centuries (they’re perfect for skimming across the water.) Because they are so smooth, walking across them isn’t painful, rather it’s a bit awkward and the stones also get quite hot in summer. Here’s where those rather silly looking but effective rubber-soled swimming shoes come in so handy.

Watersports Nearby

Those wanting to indulge in some high-octane watersports should head to nearby Villeneuve-Loubet or to the sandy beaches at Juan les Pins. A trip to Marineland Waterpark is a must for families, especially those who enjoy slides, flumes and tube rides. The Marineland animal park has plenty of marine mammals to discover as well as miniature golf and a special kids island.

The medieval village of Biot is a ten-minute bus trip inland and worth the time to explore either before or after a dip in the cool waters of the Mediterranean.


For those fancying a decent walk, you can walk to Fort Carré from Antibes old town in about 20 minutes to half an hour, either the quick route along the road or through the port past the superyachts. (There’s a path that carries on past the shipyard and around the small headland where the fort sits if you’re sticking to the water). Carry on along the coast road (Route du Bord du Mer) until you find a suitable spot.

For those using public transport, the train is quick and simple as Biot is just one stop from Antibes and the train station lies just by the sea. There is free parking along the coast road, although it fills up quite quickly in summer as half the country descends on the coast.


Map of the surrounding area