Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Gay Nude Beach at St. Laurent - Eze

The whole of the Cote d'Azur provides endless gay and gay friendly places to explore, from one end of the region to the other.

One area I am going to mention is quite the local favorite, the popular gay nude beach at St. Laurent-Eze, located just east of Nice, past Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the way to Monaco.

Before you go though, there are a few things to mention.  First, bring along a big bottle of water and whatever else you want to eat or drink, as there are no shops nearby to buy any of these things once you get there.  Second, keep in mind that the beaches are small and discreet.  Third, the beaches boast different terrains, ranging from sandy to pebbly and rocky, and some people even choose to sunbathe right on the big beach rocks.  For this trip I would recommend wearing running shoes to negotiate the terrain, but of course also bring along your towel and/or beach mat.
In general, people will tell you the gay nude beach is in Eze, but to get there you want to make sure you have the location right because if you are traveling by bus or train, you'll end up in the lovely village of Eze instead, and then have quite the hike to get to the beach in St. Laurent-Eze.

Just North of the red marker, at the curve is the starting point.
If you are in Nice and plan to take the bus, take the number 100 Menton bus that can be found going through many areas of Nice.  A good place to spot the bus if you do not know where they pick up people in Nice would be to try the Port area, just across the street from the big Catholic Church.  It only costs 1 Euro for one way and it travels the autoroute, a very scenic route along the sea to Monaco.  It does make regular stops along the way, but be sure to tell the bus driver that you want to get off at St. Laurent-Eze for the beach.

Transit Information
The bus stop is also beside a small, usually filled to capacity, parking area.  Trains do not stop at St. Laurent-Eze: only at Eze, and then Cap d'Ail.  St. Laurent is between those but still it would be quite a walk to get to the beach this way.
Bus stop/Parking lot
If it works out better for you to take the train, just take it to Eze, get off at the station and the bus stop is literally just outside the station, so wave down the 100 Menton bus when it comes your way.  The cost for the train will be about 3 Euros one-way, then another 1 Euro for the bus.

If you are driving, it’s a breeze to get to St. Laurent-Eze.  Just follow the direction the buses take along the autoroute.  Leaving Nice from the Port area, go around Mont Boron and into Villefranche-sur-Mer, which will then bypass Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, into Beaulieu-sur-Mer, which very quickly leads into Eze and the next stop will be St. Laurent-Eze, where you will see the parking area back into the valley.
Once you are in St. Laurent-Eze, cautiously cross the busy autoroute and you will likely see others heading down into the valley towards the sea on the trail.  The trail itself is called “Castelleret – Inferieur”.  It’s obvious where to go as the trail stands out.

The trail has lots of steps and walkways all leading to the same place along the path for a 10-minute walk down towards the sea to the public beach.  You’ll know when you are practically there because you will have to walk through a big tunnel carved into the stone.  This is a very safe and beautiful area, and you won’t get lost on the trail.

Once you hit the public beach, you'll want to turn right and head to the end of the beach where you will see what used to be a gated staircase.  Proceed up the stairs and carefully continue your way in the western direction.  You’re going to be walking on low cliff edges, up and over some rocks, but the scenery is amazing.  Although at this point you can stop wherever you find a spot you might like, the actual gay nude beach itself is about a five minute hike from that point.
Looking back at the public beach from the top of the stairs.

You’ll know you are getting closer when you start to see more hot naked men around and the gorgeous Hotel Cap-Estel not far away.  There’s a rope on-site to help you climb down the man-made steps carefully on to the actual beach itself.

Once you have found a spot, which can get quite busy especially on the weekends, it’s up to you if you want to strip completely down or not.  Personally I had no qualms about it and was soon swimming in the sea.  The area we were at even had a little man-made spring with fresh water and a bucket, so after you get out of the sea, you could just grab a bucket of the fresh water and pour it over yourself to remove the sea salt before you go back to sun tanning or whatever you wanted to do.
I have found the people on the beach were from all over the place and very friendly.  I didn’t notice any attitude at all, and think it’s a fantastic way to spend a glorious afternoon.
As for the cruising thing: yes, it happens.  If you met someone in the beach area that you are interested in, people tend to get back on the path going east towards the main public beach again where men will just walk off the path a bit to other man-made paths and fool around in the bushes.  Honestly, I didn’t see this being something that people get carried away with; I think it’s an in-the-moment type of thing.  It seems people are content simply being surrounded by other beautiful men in an extraordinary place.

For obvious privacy reasons I have no pictures of the nude beach itself, but believe me, you won't be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Your Blog really provides detailed directions! Thank you!

Jameson said...

aw, thank you, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

C'est super comme directions! I wish I had known when I was there :-). No one knew. Merci Jameson

Jameson Farn said...

You'll know now for next time! It's always a popular spot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the informations, very detailed and helpful ! I just send your page to some friends, and I'm sure they will make their way to this great place, which is very difficult to find when you go for the first time...