The French Riviera, or Cote d’Azur, might be the most beautiful part of France, known for its amazing scenery, wonderful culture and cuisine and charming little coastal towns. The area where the Alps meet the Mediterranean, with the best climate in the world, offers a lot of places for exploring and a lot of beaches for relaxing. Keep reading, we bring you the reasons to visit the French Riviera – 7 best vacation destinations where you can indulge in the culture and the beauty of extraordinary Cote d’Azur.
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Now let’s explore the French Riviera…
St-Tropez is a small-town set on the French Riviera, that has it all – celebrities, glamour, yachts, exclusive clubs and some of the best beaches ever. Yes, this is the place where celebrities step off their yachts to go clubbing.
Visit its picturesque Citadel of Saint Tropez and the Museum of Maritime History that it houses, and you’ll learn about the history of this former fishermen village. Besides this one, there are many other museums worth exploring, such as the Museum of Annonciade and La Maison des Papillons or the Butterfly Museum.
After you’re done exploring this fancy village, hit the beach and relax. The most popular beach in St-Tropez is Pampelonne for sure – the one you know from Brigitte Bardot’s movie “And God… Created Woman”. If you’re more into some less popular beaches, don’t hesitate to explore the coast, you’ll find the one that you’ll enjoy.
Fréjus is a port-town on the French Riviera, with impressive Old Town and amazing beaches and natural surroundings. The Old Town with colourful houses is very much worth a visit, as well as the Roman ruins, and walks in nature around it. The town was founded by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C. and has some truly impressive Roman ruins on its grounds.
Another building that you must see is its Cathedral – Cathédrale De Fréjus, an impressive medieval building that features unique painted ceilings and wooden beams. There are also a few impressive museums, such as Musée Archéologique (Fréjus Archaeological Museum) and Musée des Troupes de Marine (Museum of the Marine Troops).
Fréjus offers some amazing beaches, as well – there are four amazing sandy beaches totally worth enjoying.
Cannes is a real jewel of the French Riviera, it’s one of the most glamorous resorts that will give you the time of your life. It is famous for its film festival, and it is surely one of the reasons you’d want to visit it, but there’s more.
The architecture in this gorgeous city is remarkable, and very picturesque, especially at night – everything looks so glamorous. Just walk along the boulevards of this gorgeous city and check out its amazing old hotel buildings (such as InterContinental Carlton Hotel) and amazing museums. You must visit Musée de la Castre, an old fortress, and Notre-Dame D’Espérance, a stunning church, both in Le Suquet.
Cannes is full of beautiful beaches – both private and luxurious ones and public ones, that are amazing as well. There are amazing beach bars where you can have a nice cocktail and enjoy the sunshine. Or you can go sailing and exploring the coast that way. If you’re looking for a great time in the evening, explore great clubs and casinos that are there, as well as some of the amazing restaurants where you’ll try authentic meals you’ll love.
Located between Cannes and Nice, Antibes is a very popular tourist destination. This small resort town is surrounded by fortified walls overlooking the sea – it’s the view you just cannot miss. Explore the cobbled streets of the Old Town, and then go to Marche Provencal and shop for seasonal fresh produce, meats, seafood, olives and cheeses. Also, stick around for the craft market that features clothing, artwork and other handcrafted items.
Antibes was once home to Napoleon Bonaparte, so be sure to check out the Naval and Napoleonic Museum where you’ll get to see many of his belongings, as well as the artefacts related to his family. Also, we suggest visiting the Picasso Museum located in Château Grimaldi that was home to Picasso for six months in 1946.
Besides exploring the rich history of the small town of Antibes, you must enjoy its wonderful beaches – relax, sunbathe and take a few dips in the sea.
Nice, the largest city and the unofficial capital of the French Riviera, is a very picturesque city with an idyllic coastline and the azure Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the best beach cities in Europe with a diverse selection of beaches – you’ll enjoy it very much.
A walk down the 7 kilometres long Promenade des Anglais is mandatory, and it’s the best way to enjoy the views of the sea. While strolling down it, you’ll get to a great 19th-century villa with a really nice garden – don’t hesitate to enter its gates, it the Musée Masséna, where you’ll see many curiosities such as Napoleon’s death mask and a tiara belonging to his wife, Empress Joséphine, as well as a collection of 19th-century French art.
Besides exploring the Promenade, you should walk down the streets of the Old Town, especially the Cours Saleya which is the main pedestrian street of this historic area. There are many quaint shops and adorable cafes where you can take a break from all the walking that you did.
Located on the French Mediterranean coastline, surrounded with azure blue sea, with perfect weather conditions, Monaco, the second smallest country in the world, feels like a paradise. Monaco earned the title of one of the most luxurious destinations, thanks to its Casino, lux hotels and Grand Prix motor race.
There are many interesting spots packed into this micro-state, that you must visit. Of course, one of them is Monte Carlo casino, at least you have to stroll around it and do some people-watching and checking out all the luxurious cars parked in front of it. Visit Cathedral of St. Nicholas (or Monaco Cathedral) – a gorgeous building that is the resting place of many members of the Grimaldi family, including Grace Kelly.
It’s a good idea to explore Monaco’s museums, including Musée Oceanographique, that is set on a cliff above the sea. There are few amazing gardens worth visiting, one of them is Princess Grace Rose Garden, which was created by Prince Rainier III to the memory of his wife, Princess Grace.
Menton is a small picturesque town located between Monaco and the Italian border, sitting against the backdrop of the Alpes Maritimes mountains. This scenic seaside resort has a lot to offer – slightly faded Belle Epoque villas, impressive gardens, amazing beaches, scenic port and fine restaurants.
Wander the narrow and steep streets of its medieval Old Town – they will take you to the top of the hill, where you’ll find a famous cemetery and a great view over the town and the azure sea. After all this climbing, get down to the seaside again, find yourself a perfect beach where you can rest and relax.
Menton is known for its lemon and other lemony products – thanks to its subtropical microclimate that allows citrus trees to grow year-round. This is also the reason why Menton is full of amazing gardens, some even classified as “Historical Monuments” or “Jardin Remarquables”.
We know it’s hard to only choose one of these gorgeous destinations, so why not arrange a road trip and visit them all? You will have the time of your life for sure.