“A modern beach that suits Monaco”: our readers share their views on the new Larvotto beach

Some head to the Larvotto beach early in the morning © Prince’s Government

What do you think of the new Larvotto beach? We asked our readers to share their thoughts on our Facebook page and our Facebook group. By the looks of it, the new seafront has divided opinions.

A beautiful and modern resort

Most of our readers say they are satisfied with the new beach. “The concept of the new beach [is] very beautiful and spacious,” writes Christine. Marie-Hélène too is enthusiastic about the new resort. “It’s much cleaner than before and therefore it is more enjoyable, even if some restaurants and shops have not yet opened,” she writes.

Amongst the restaurants that have already open is La Note Bleue. Sylvain, who works at the establishment, shares with us his enthusiasm. “We’re happy to be back. It’s true that we were apprehensive about it. But we’re really happy to be here. We loved it before and now that we’re getting used to it and we do like it!”

It’s a real pity for families

A lot of change also means a lot of choices to be made. One of the victims of the beachfront renovation is the former volleyball court, which was not included in the redesigning project. Fiona expresses disappointment that the new beach is not as family-friendly as its predecessor: “Restaurants used to have spaces dedicated to children. These have now disappeared. It’s a real pity for families. But it is true that the beach is very beautiful and modern.”

The transformation has certainly not gone unnoticed with locals such as Lydia, a modern languages student in Nice, with whom we talked to on the beach. “I do have a lot of memories of the Larvotto beach, so it does make me a little sad that I am no longer able to really recognise the place. It has lost a little of its soul and liveliness. But it is still a modern beach that suits Monaco.”

© Palais Princier de Monaco

A lot of concrete and not much shade

Ghislaine sums it all up in one short comment. “It’s too much cement for my taste.” For our readers, the excessive amount of concrete the biggest criticism of the renovation. “It is more modern, and the restaurants really have improved, but finding shade on the concrete seaside promenade is a feat. It’s not particularly pleasant for families. The renovation was an opportunity to create a really cutting-edge environment, but for me it’s become a missed opportunity,” writes Serena on our Facebook group.

The rates of the private beaches are very excessive

Marie-Hélène agrees. “There really isn’t much shade on the public beaches,” she writes. Alex echoes her thoughts: “There is a severe lack of green spaces and not a single tree. There are maybe 20 cm of shade around 11:30, but otherwise it’s impossible to protect yourself from the sun, which is a shame. Apart from that, I’m impressed. The beach area is more spacious and more open than before.”

Other users mention practical shortcomings. “There are not enough showers,” laments Karine, “and yesterday they didn’t even work!”. Céline suggests that Monaco put “signs outside the shopkeepers because you get a bit lost not knowing what and where you are on the promenade.” Lastly, the price tag of the private beaches has raised an eyebrow or two. “The rates of the private beaches are very excessive, €30/40 for half a day for a sunbed…” writes Alex.

When you lie down it feels like you’re in a cat litter box, and you come out all white

© Palais Princier de Monaco

A non-smoking beach that makes your feet ache

Like Céline, many beachgoers are surprised that pebbles have made a comeback. “As they are still unpolished by time and very packed together, they hurt your feet a lot.” And she is not alone in being disappointed by the pebbles. “They should have put real sand or something else in there instead of the white rocks. When you lie down it feels like you’re in a cat litter box, and you come out all white. It still feels quite dirty,” writes User Cpags Pags. Meanwhile, Christine tries to focus on the positives. “The sea area is very pleasant,” she stresses, “and you can swim in peace! The only problem is the pebbles, which could have been replaced by sand! Otherwise, I really like it!”

The big novelty of Monaco’s refurbished beachfront is that the Larvotto beach is now completely smoking-free. The ban is part of the “Monaco Zéro Mégot” initiative, which seeks to rid the Principality of cigarette waste. “The non-smoking area is perfect,” writes Christine. “Now we’ll have to see whether people will use it to smoke!” According to Marie-Hélène, some have already disregarded the rule. “What I can’t stand is the fact that smokers are allowed on the private beaches (much like dogs). Maybe we could make one part of the private beach smoking and the other non-smoking, so as to respect everyone’s wishes…”.