Garlic cape? Yes, that's the translation of Cap d'Ail although the luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation of pines, cactus, flowering plants and palms is far more abundant than garlic. Its proximity to Monaco has made Cap d'Ail a sort of bedroom community for those who work in Monaco. It's quiet at night but spectacular during the day.
One of the Cote d'Azur's best beaches, Mala Plage, is in Cap d'Ail and the seaside walk stretches all the way to Monaco. Along the way are Belle-Epoque villas built at the end of the 19th century to house royalty, financiers and prosperous artists. Greta Garbo, Sacha Guitry, Winston Churchill and Edouard Herriot are some of the famous names that wintered at Cap d'Ail. There are six parks and gardens, the best of which is Sacha Guitry park with sumptuous views over the sea.
There a small public beach by the port, the Plage Marquet (Marquet Beach) which is easy to find. The best beach is Plage Mala (Mala Beach) which you reach by descending steep steps from av Combattants-Afrique-Nord in the town centre. With steep cliffs rising on either side and fringed by pines, the setting is stunning and its distance from the town ensures an unparalleled tranquility. A combination of sand and tiny smooth pebbles slopes down to the water where waves are rare. Despite it's relative inaccessibility (forget about parking anywhere nearby) the beach can be crowded in summer. There are beach showers, toilets and a fine restaurant, La Reserve de la Mala. See more on Cap d'Ail beaches.
Getting to Cap d'Ail
Bus No 100 from Nice to Menton stops at Beaverbrook Square in the centre of Cap d'Ail.
The Cap d'Ail train station is in the town centre and is on the Nice-Monaco line. See the schedule here.
From the A8 motorway, look for the Roquebrune Cap Martin exit. Otherwise take the moyenne or basse corniche.
Tourist Information for Cap d'Ail
The Cap 'Ail tourist office has all information about events and happenings in Cap d'Ail.