This Secret Beach Is France's Own Little Corner Of Paradise With Vibrant Cliffside Views

A secret beach in the south of France. That's the dream of so many vacationers. Imagine yourself with a chilled glass of sparkling wine, condensation running down the side, snacking on a delightful meal, dramatic cliffs in the background, and the water gently lapping the shore. You can almost feel the relaxation, can't you? This isn't a dream, though. You can actually visit a secret beach on the Côte d'Azur, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. This astonishingly lovely place is Plage Mala, aka Mala Beach. It has a public area and two private beaches you can access by dining at their restaurants.

Plage Mala is only a six or so-minute drive from the border of Monaco, and it couldn't be prettier if you tied it up with a bow. If you don't want to rent chairs and umbrellas on the beach, you'll have to carry everything down some stairs, but the experience is worth it. Here's what you need to know about the cliffside Plage Mala, how to get there, and everything you can do while sunning yourself on the French Riviera. 

All about Plage Mala

There are several ways to get to Plage Mala. You can come in by boat, and though you'll moor offshore, both restaurants have a water taxi to bring you in. You can take the train from Nice towards Monaco and get off at Gare Cap d'Ail. Then, there will be a short walk to the beach and down the stairs. You can also take bus #100 and take the Beaverbrook stop. Then, you follow the small blue signs for Plage de la Mala. 

You're so close to Monaco that you could actually walk there in under an hour! If you want some great pictures, try taking the 1.4-mile path along the water from Mala Beach to Marquet Beach (close to the Monaco border).

As we mentioned, there are public parts of the pebbled shore. That means if you don't want to rent a chair, you can bring your own or double up a towel. These areas have access to toilets and showers as well. This is a great spot for swimming with clearly marked floats in the water, so you know where it's safe to swim. Though it wouldn't be easy to bring a stroller down the beach entrance stairs, if you have small children, there is an especially shallow area marked by white floats. If you're visiting during tourist season over the summer, there will be a lifeguard on duty as well. Even better? Entrance to Plage Mala is free. Bring cash to rent a kayak on the beach or to try stand-up paddleboarding

The private beaches at Plage Mala

There are two private beaches at Plage Mala. First, there is Eden Plage Mala. This restaurant spot on the shore has a deck with chairs and umbrellas and a private section of beach you can access throughout the summer. The bar section is open until midnight in June, July, and August so you can party long past sunset. On certain evenings, you'll get to experience a live band or DJ. Beyond the bar and restaurant, there are two caves to travelerblog nearby and an anti-jellyfish net along this section of the beach so you can swim with no worries. You can call the water taxi service to take you between your boat and the restaurant or indulge in a massage in Eden's relaxation area. There's even a little boutique on site where you can find locally-made products and great gift ideas.

La Réserve de la Mala is the other beach restaurant on Plage Mala. In addition to the food, there are hot showers and linen, free Wi-Fi, deckchair rentals, and a water taxi you can call to bring you from your boat. It's recommended that you reserve your deckchair and umbrella before you go during the height of summer. While you're in the area, you're just 6 miles away from the quirky, colorful French beach town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, which is worth a visit for any traveler.