A Day at La Ciotat, France Beach

Our Southern France adventure continues. A few days ago, we left Genoa, Italy to visit Southern France and enjoy some of its surrounding areas. While our stay at Aix-en-Provence, you can find that post here, we wanted more beach time to enjoy this summer vacation. We headed to La Ciotat, France for the day.

A 45min. drive from Aix-en-Provence, the coast of France was not very far. We decided to choose La Ciotat for our beach adventure since we enjoyed the area from our visit the day before. On our way, we did hit some tolls (yes, France has plenty of tolls ranging from 1Euro-25Euro, depending on where you are driving and distance). More on that later. Overall, the drive was not bad to the beach.

We parked at this location and arrived shortly after 0930. Parking was about 5Euro from 0930-1300 (that is the time the mister put in the parking meter) and not a far walk to the entrance of the beach. We chose Plage Lumiere as the beach for the day. When we arrived, there were already people set up for the day. The beach was full of families and plenty of kids running around. I noticed plenty of local kids out at the beach with their grandparents. The sunny, warm weather was wonderful, but as soon as your feet touched the water, Oh my goodness! That water was icy cold! It took some time getting used to, but I was only able to get up to my waist, same with the family; eventually, I had the courage to dip myself further but not without continuing to move around to keep warm. The water was nice, clean, and clear! Many people were in the water surprisingly; I was grateful that there was no wind that day.

We chose Plage Lumiére (Beach) for the day

I promise, this water was crystal clear, it was beautiful but COLD in July!
Proof I was in the water, but hubby has the rest of the photos with me actually in the water 🙂
More beach to our left, but I have to pay for the cabanas in that direction.

We spent most of the morning sunbathing and wading in the water and people watching. Expect to find a few topless sunbathers but in this beach we were at, there was not many noticed; I’m not sure if it was because this was a more kid friendly/family beach? Otherwise, I was starting to get used to the topless beach norm in Europe (I’ve not done it myself)! But seriously, it really is normal here and not such a big deal. I honestly see more speedos than I’d like lol.

I definitely recommend this Plage Lumiere beach if you are ever in the La Ciotat area looking for a relaxing beach day. I recommend getting there early as there was already a crowd of people there by 10:00am. There was a lifeguard present, a public restroom, a few eateries closeby, it’s also wheelchair friendly and accessible, and the best part about this beach, the sand! From my research, this was the only public sandy beach in the area, plenty of sand for the kids to play in (most of the European beaches are typically rocky). It’s not far from La Ciotat’s old town and port, it’s a good place to relax for the day.

Lifeguard station and help center right by the beach
Playing in the sand

That concluded our day at Plage Lumiere. Now, on to Valensole, France to continue our Southern France adventure. Salut! A bientot! Till next time!


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