100,000 petition as Saudi King closes French Riviera beach for holiday

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has incurred the wrath of French locals after a public beach was closed for his three-week holiday.

Over 100,000 beachgoers on the French Riviera have signed a petition against the closure of La Mirandole beach, which sits under the king's villa in Vallauris, between Antibes and Marseille.

See also: The best beaches in Europe for 2015

Under French law, the beach is open to the public, with a section for nudists.

But French authorities have closed it for the Saudi King's holiday for privacy and security reasons.

According to the BBC, the petition reads: "We recall that this natural zone, like all maritime public estates, is an intrinsic public property that should be available for the benefit of all, residents, tourists, French, foreigners or people passing through.

"We ask the state to guarantee the fundamental principle of the equality of all citizens before the law."

Petition after La Mirandole public beach closed for Saudi King holiday

Along with the petition protesting the "privatisation" of the beach, the mayor of Vallauris has also written to Francois Hollande, the French president, to protest against unauthorised work done by the Saudis at the property, where a slab of concrete was poured onto the beach to install a 'temporary' elevator.

According to the Independent, Mayor Michelle Salucki wrote: "We understand the security reasons and the nation's greater interest. But nobody can exonerate himself from the laws of the land."

The Saudi monarch arrived in Nice on Saturday with a 1,000-strong entourage.

His inner circle will be staying at the villa, while about 700 others will stay at hotels in Cannes.

Some local hotels and restaurants, however, are not upset with the visit, as they say it will have a positive "economic impact" on business.

Europe's best beaches (according to Lonely Planet)
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100,000 petition as Saudi King closes French Riviera beach for holiday
This pebble beach is made up of two sections, one of which used to be a nudist beach. Popular with tourists looking to enjoy a spot of sunbathing, the beach has also gained notoriety for the concerts it has hosted over the past few years, including the Rolling Stones. 
Peniche is known for its long beach and excellent surfing waters. Close to the Ilhas Berlengas nature reserve, Peniche has a historic centre with a coastal fort and plenty of opportunity for visitors to get involved with water sport lessons and activities. 
Rondinara Beach sits on a horseshoe shaped bay and is known for its beautiful white sands and clear blue waters. There is also a smaller beach just off the main beach at Rodinara which can be accessed easily and offers plenty of walking trails to visitors. 

Cala Goloritzé in Sardinia is unreachable by car or boat so visitors must make their way to the stunning beach on foot which gives you the chance to take in some of the stunning scenery before you relax on the sand. 

Iceland is known for its iconic black sand beaches made of black basalt and Vík is no exception. The striking cliffs surrounding the beach are home to a host of wildlife including puffins. 
One of Devon's premier beaches, Bantham can be found in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Visitors to the beach can expect stunning views over Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island. The shallow and sandy bay makes the area perfect for swimming and paddling. 
This natural bay in the north west of Scotland is unreachable by car, instead you have to make your way to the one mile stretch of sand on foot but it will be worth it for the stunning views found at the end of the walk. 
Cala Macarella can be found in the south of Menorca and the smooth white sands and turquoise waters are overlooked by rocky cliffs and palm trees. Take a stroll along the shore to discover the second, smaller cove at Cala Macarella. 
Voutoumi is one of Antipaxos's two main beaches and although it has a pebble shoreline as soon as you get into the water the ground underfoot is sandy. Voutoumi boats some of the clearest waters in Europe, making it the perfect location for snorkelling and swimming. 
The Curonian Spit is 98km long curved sand dune spit which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pine forests in the area are home to plenty of fascinating wildlife including deer and elk. 


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