Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk is a pretty short trail only along the waterfront. The town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule is frequent by locals in the summertime due to its superior public beaches. During the second week of our southern Provence road trip, we stayed at a golf hotel in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. One day, we decided to walk along the rocky beaches with golden sand and get fresh before heading for daily excursion.
Where is Mandelieu-la-Napoule
The seaside resort Mandelieu-La-Napoule is a few kilometres south-west of Cannes, about 18 minutes of driving. It faces the bay of Cannes at the foot of the Estérel and the south-western end of the Alpes-Maritimes department.
Mandelieu-la-Napoule is the first golf destination of the French Riviera, with two renowned courses, one of which was created in 1881 by the Grand Duke Michel, nephew of the Tsar. Nowadays it has several golf courses, one of which is just next to our apartment. Among many other things, the mimosa, this winter sun, the myriad of small suns that illuminate the hills, is in the heart of the locals and that the entire city celebrates in February every year.
Where the walking trail starts and ends
The sunshine in the summertime is hash and dazzling. It was only 9:00 in the morning, and the air temperature already reached above 30°C. We parked our car near the Riviera Beach Hotel and bathed in the sea for half an hour before setting off the trail.
Our walking trail started at the Port of La Rague and ended at the Port Mandelieu-la-Napoule. So the kilometre-long coastal path drawn by the sea took us from one beach to another, including two ports, two castles, three beaches, and a rock tunnel.
Sites along Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk
Plage de la Rague
Next to the Port de la Rague is the beach Plage de la Rague. It has two mini arched bays and is flat to walk over. The beach is also bigger than the other two on the trail. The first castle, the Agecraft Castle, is on the small hill and is not directly on the trail.
Plage de la Raguette and a viewpoint
From Plage de la Rague we had to pass a small rocky path to reach the second beach, Plage de la Raguette. We stopped at this part to take pictures of the Rague beach. In the morning light, the beach turned into red-oranged colour. This beach is more secretive and offers an unusual setting. It has limited space but has a viewpoint of the surrounding.
Rocky tunnel, Château Beach, and Chateau la Napoule
Passed the second beach, we arrived at the foot of the Chateau la Napoule and walked through a small rock tunnel. The tunnel is cut through into the red rock but with open arched spaces toward the seaside.
Along with the castle, the coastal path allows you to get to another little beach, Château Beach. The beach situates between the Port Mandelieu-la-Napoule and the Chateau de la Napoule. It has a small opening to the sea.
Chateau de la Napoule, dating from the early 20th century, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Henry and Marie Clews and promoting art. Henry devoted himself to the building’s architecture and his artistic works in the museum. His wife was behind the gardens that she designed with a talent that is still recognized today. Visitors have to pay an entrance fee to see its garden and museum.
The Golden Corniche d’Or
Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk was pleasant but short. However, if you have time, you could drive the Golden Corniche d’Or, a road that links La Napoule and Saint-Raphaël. This road offers unique panoramas along the way, such as the view of Pointe du Cap Roux, a famous landmark for sailors. It is very winding, crossing the rocks, and a long trail between blue sky, red rocks and green Esterel. The tour from Cannes also explores this area and discovers the Calanques of the Esterel.
It is also possible to stop for a hike along this road. For example, La Dramont, the circled hiking trail at Cap Du Dramont, is a short trail overlooking the sea. Officially inaugurated on 11th April 1903, the Corniche d’Or is one of the most spectacular roads along the French Riviera.
Where to stay
Mandelieu-La-Napoule is only a few kilometres away from Nice. Given its nine public beaches, year-round festivals, outdoor activities, and golf courses, it is a very fair holiday base. While the accommodations in Nice are at the high-end, some accommodations in Mandelieu-La-Napoule have acceptable offers.
We were happy with our apartment, which is next to a golf course with several pools. Some of the top picks are:
How to get there
- From Cannes, take the A8 highway to exit 40 “Mandelieu-centre”. Or via D6007 to arrive at the city.
- From Cannes Train Station it takes 20 minutes to the city.
- It takes 20 minutes from Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport and 5 minutes from Cannes Mandelieu Airport to Mandelieu-La-Napoule.