Watersports on the French Riviera

Windsurfing, sailboarding, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, jetsurfing, scuba diving... if you want to do it on the Riviera's water, you'll find out more here...

Did you know: From Menton at the eastern side of the coast, to Fort Carré in Antibes, the beaches are pebble, (even the sandy private beaches of Nice are pebble beneath the "trucked in" sand). From that point on, to the western reaches, beaches are sand.


  • Call: 1616
  • For information on safety on the water: Click here
  • CROSS: Regional Operational Centres for Maritime Surveillance and Rescue (Centres Régionaux Opérationnels de Surveillance et de Sauvetage)
    CROSS Mediterranean Tel: 04 94 61 71 10
    CROSS Corsica Tel: 04 95 20 13 63
  • Emergency at sea: Channel 16 on VHF radio to reach a CROSS centre for help.

Sea Temperatures

  • Generally coldest in February, average 13.1°C and hottest in August at 25.2°C.

Average Air/Sea Temperatures

Air Sea
January 8.7°C 13.6°C
February 9.4°C 13.1°C
March 10.9°C 13.3°C
April 13.2°C 14.2°C
May 16.4°C 17.2°C
June 19.9°C 20.4°C
July 22.9°C 23.8°C
August 23.0°C 25.2°C
September 20.5°C 22.5°C
October 17.0°C 19.9°C
November 12.4°C 17.3°C
December 9.6°C 14.9°C

Using the Facilities

There are many Sailing Centres (Stations Voiles) along the coast, belonging to the France Station Nautique network. Here one can get advice, rent equipment and make reservations for the many water sports. A Pass Nautique Découverte, available from April to October allows reduced rates on many activities.

Sailing and Windsurfing

The Mediterranean may not have great waves, but it has good windsurfing and sailing winds, particularly along the coast of the Estérel and the Lérins Islands, at Saint-Laurent du Var and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

Motorised Activities

These include jet-skiing, water-skiing, zodiac, parachute rides, wake-boarding; all activities requiring a motorboat. The driver of any craft with an engine more powerful than 6CV needs a licence. Details here.

  • Ligue Méditerranée Côte d'Azur de Ski Nautique


Canoes, kayaks and rowing boats can be hired from a Station Voile.

Kayaking is best in Nice, Antibes, Mandelieu, St-Laurent-du-Var and Cannes. Rowing at Villefranche sur Mer, Mandelieu, Monaco and Menton.

For more information on where and when to go boating:


Kitesurfing, although a relatively new sport, is becoming increasingly popular on the French Riviera. There are a number of kitesurf schools along the coast, recognised by the Fédération Française de Vol Libre.

  • For a list of clubs in the Alpes-Maritimes: Click here