The difference between sand, stones and smaller stones

The difference between sand, stones and smaller stones

Ah, sandy beaches. It’s a foreign concept to many French people, who are used to toughing it out on large, round stones at the sea. However, I’ve been spoiled by the California coastline and Hawaiian islands: laying out should be relaxing, not a constant struggle to get comfortable on the rocks.


So I was intrigued when another expat enthusiastically shared the virtues of Villefranche-sur-Mer–only 10 minutes away with–you guessed it–a sandy beach! I hopped aboard the 1 Euro bus, and scrambled down to the seaside to find…smaller stones. However, believe me, it makes all the difference. Instead of spending 10 to 20 Euros per day for a chaise lounge at a private beach, hop the #100 bus (direction Menton) to the Octroi stop and follow the signs to Old Town, and then take the stairs down to the beach. Spread out a towel, and nap in the sun in comfort.

Villefranche "sand"

I’ll be signing off tomorrow to head to another sandy beach–this one, however, a bit farther away. I’m heading to Corsica for a few days with a girlfriend to explore the northern coast of this “island of beauty.” Corsica is supposed to be a bit rough and rugged, but unbelievably gorgeous. Looking forward to sharing plenty of photos upon my return!

  • I remember being very annoyed by this phenomenon all over the Adriatic. The stones can HURT!

  • camorose

    Not comfortable at all. If only I could afford a yearly “subscription” to the private beaches…

  • Oh yeah I'm totally with you, stones and pebbles do not make a beach.

  • I need sand! How am I supposed to pile it on top of myself and make my bottom half a mermaid?!?! <3

    But really, it does look uncomfortable.

  • Yep, spoiled by SoCal beaches myself…just getting used to the stones & pebbly variety. Actually, I think I'm a bit bruised from the big ones; guess I don't have it quite down yet! But the calm, blue waters make up for it a bit I'd say…thanks for sharing & love the photos..

  • I really dislike the pebbly beaches in the South too and I'm from good old Britain where the beaches are generally too cold to sit on for long (or it rains LOL)! I was reading the comments below Christine and saw you wrote about a yearly subscription to private beach? So how much is that then? I didn't even know it existed!!

    Enjoy Corsica, I'm off to Calvi this Saturday, can't wait! Will it be your first trip to Corsica too?

  • camorose

    I always wonder what the kids do to have fun–no sand castles for them! Making piles of rocks doesn't seem nearly as fun, but it does seem to keep them busy.

  • camorose

    I do love not having huge waves to knock me down and the delightfully warm water! It's great when you're actually in the sea, but laying out is a bit rough.

  • camorose

    I don't actually know if they do yearly subscriptions, but I'm betting it's possible if you're willing to spend the big bucks! It was my first trip to Corsica and it was absolutely amazing–I'll definitely be writing about it plenty this week!