Far from the crowds on the Promenade, the public beaches of Coco Beach and its neighbours, La Reserve and Bain Militaires, provide a tranquil haven for those who don't mind soaking up sun from carved-out rocks. Tiny pebble patches appear infrequently among the giant rock slabs that make up this part of Nice's coast but the views over the baie des anges make the discomfort worthwhile.
Plus, the only sounds you'll hear are the seagulls and waves crashing against the rocks. Tourists are few as there are no nearby hotels but this rocky stretch of coast is popular with the locals who live in east Nice. Note that there are no private beach-restaurants here but there are a few seaside restaurants (see below) that offer good value for money.
La Reserve and Coco beaches are highly exposed to the sea, making swimming risky during high winds.
The waters off Coco beach are sparkling but La Reserve and Bains Militaires have had problems with water quality due to their proximity to Nice Port. It's best to avoid submerging your head while swimming there.
Access & Parking
The beaches lie along boulevard Franck Pilatte and Avenue Jean Lorain a short walk from the Port Lympia stop on tram line 2. Street parking is usually not a problem.
Either come with a picnic or plan to eat at one of the restaurants noted below as cafes, shops and snacks are a lengthy walk away.
The largest and most popular of these beaches is the easternmost Coco Beach, not far from the border with Villefranche-sur-Mer. Here, the rocks have been leveled out to make flat beaches. There's a lifeguard here from mid-June to mid-September and beach showers.The nearest bus stop for Coco Beach is Theodore de Banville/Loraine.
Located right under a well-known restaurant of the same name, La Reserve is the wildest of the three beaches. Although there is ladder access into the sea there are very few flat spaces to throw down a towel and no outdoor showers. For a secluded romantic place to watch the sunset though, you couldn't do better. The nearest bus stop for La Reserve is Villa la Cote.
As the name suggests, Bains Militaires was once reserved for the military and their families but now it's open to all. This small pebbly beach has beach showers and is next to the Club Nautique of Nice which proposes sailing and rowing courses. There's also a clubhouse with a restaurant that's open to all. The Club Nautique restaurant (tel 04 93 89 32 97; closed Monday) offers reasonably priced dishes and a prix fixe lunch on a terrace overlooking the sea. The nearest bus stop is Saint Aignan/Pilatte.