Bathing at the Beaches of Menton
Bathing in Menton is real fun. In Menton, there are two very long extended boardwalks that connect to each other, one at the Baie du Soleil and one at the Baie de Garavan. The beaches are every clean, as they are cleaned every morning (at least during the main season). During the main season, there is also a Poste de Secours, a guard and
a person who provides some help in case it is needed. At an interval of 100 m, there are showers, also in the public beaches - a very pleasant thing by coming out of the saltwater.
Those who have special requests on the beach will find in Menton what they are looking for. Beside the public beaches there are also private beaches where one can get a deck chair and a matress and a parasol for a fee of more than 10 € per day. As far as i know, Menton is the only place where there is a beach specially for dog owners, as normally, dogs are forbidden on the beaches.
At the Baie du Soleil, one public beach extends alongside the whole Promenade du Soleil (sun promenade). The beaches are approximately 30 m deep (from the water up to the promenade), so that even during the main season, the beaches are never really overcrowded. The beaches at the Bai du Soleil are of course stone beaches. But the back part of the beaches was filled with sand, so that one does only touch the stones by getting into the water.
For me, the pebble beaches at the Baie de Garavan are much more pleasant. These beaches are certainly artificially arranged but therefore very clean and pleasant. One finds there very tiny pebbles of a diametre of maybe 2-4 mm. With this subsoil, one feels like laying on sand but without getting the towel full of sand grains. Walking on these small pebbles is also very pleasant.
The fact that the beaches are artificially arranged at the Baie de Garavan is noticeable within the whole area. The beaches were practically split from the sea, so that there are almost no waves at the coast. To the contrary, at the beaches of the Baie du Soleil there are some strong waves in case it is windy. The red flag does then certainly signalize that it is prohibited to bath, but who cares of such a flag during the struggle against the waves.
And another small tip for the highly probable case that one feels thirsty or hungry by laying very comfortably on the beach. At the bars and kiosks located right at the beach, a can of 33 cl of a drink costs 2-3 €, a sandwich approximately 4 €, thus totally overpriced. As the beaches are extended alongside the city centre, at a distance of approximately 100 m into town from almost each spot of the beach there is a clearly cheaper possibility to buy a drink or a snack.
As already mentioned, Menton is considered to be the warmest place at the Côte d'Azur due to its protected position surrounded by mountains and plantages of lemons and oranges. This is of course also noticeable in the water temperatures.
Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz