La Note Bleu. Probably the best of the private beaches is La Note Bleu, which has something for everyone with activities for kids, jazz concerts, and an excellent beach restaurant serving Mediterranean-Asian food (and a lounge with Wi-Fi, if you must!). It's also a jellyfish-free zone, with nets that keep their tentacles at bay. Amenities: food and drink; toilets; showers. Best for: swimming; sunrise. Plage du Larvotto, Av. Princesse Grace, MC98000. 377/93–50–05–02. www.lanotebleue.mc. Closed Dec.–Mar.
Larvotto Beach. The sandy Larvotto Beach just off Avenue Princess Grace, said to be the world's most costly street to live on, is the only free public beach in Monaco, and it has the added bonus of being protected by jellyfish nets. Access by the number 4 or 6 bus, you can rent loungers or just bring your own umbrella. There's a mini-club for kids; dogs are not permitted but that doesn't stop some owners. SkiVol operates from the Larvotto public beach during the summer season with a great range of water sports including wake boarding, donuts, and flyfishing. Amenities: water sports; lifeguards; toilets; showers. Best for: swimming. Right side of pier, Av. Princesse Grace, 98000.
Plage Mala. This lovely stretch of sandy, shaded land is easily one of the most stylish of the Riviera beaches, and despite its proximity to Monaco—half an hour by foot—Plage Mala's public area never gets crowded. Another upside is that the coves under the impressive cliffs produce the best area for snorkeling along the coast. The downside: there are numerous bare tops. Private beach restaurants are close by where you can rent loungers. The 3.5-kilometer (2.2-mile) Mala footpath that stretches to Plage Marquet in Fontvieille in Monaco is relatively easy to walk, with the most challenging leg being the access to Mala beach itself. Walking to Monte Carlo generally take less than an hour, however, avoid the path during stormy conditions. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling; swimming; walking. Av. Raymond Gramaglia, Cap d'Ail, 06320.