Best Places to visit on the Cote d’Azur French Riviera:
- Menton – hidden gem on the border with Italy
- Monaco – Splurge and save ideas for an unforgettable stay in Monte Carlo
- Beaulieu, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Villefranche – Restaurants, Walks and things to do
- Nice – A big city set on on the beautiful Mediterranean sea
- Cannes – home of the Cannes Film Festival
- St Tropez – Small fishing village now crammed with Superyachts
The Cote d’Azur, otherwise known as the French Riviera is the most beautiful Coastline stretching from Menton to St Tropez. The french riviera is the very epitome of luxury in all its forms, probably why this Luxury Travel Diva visits so often! Remember, luxury does not have to necessarily be expensive. I give lots of ideas for budget options as well as expensive places.
How to get around on the French Riviera:
– Hire a Car! Regular Diva readers know I always recommend this, anywhere in the world. Hire a car when you arrive in Nice Airport, all the big car rental companies are there. Shop around online for deals first. I use carrentals.com HOWEVER, if you arrive on a cruise ship, this is not very practical, so hire a Limousine and driver for the day.
– Train – A beautiful railway runs all the way along the coastline. Simply buy a ticket from a machine at the station. All of the towns mentioned here have stations (Except Saint Tropez)
– Bus – Again buses run all the way along the coast roads on the riviera. This is great value for money. For example a bus ticket Nice to Monaco return is 1.50 euros.
PHOTO: Old Town in Menton, French Riviera
Let’s start in the East of the French Riviera. Menton is the last seaside town before Italy. The border is actually right on the edge of Menton. The little known town is popular with French tourists and retirees from all over France. It is also home to one of the top 10 restaurants in the world!
The best places to visit in Menton are the very pretty Old Town, Museums and markets. The gardens are spectacular too and some very interesting little shops! Read more here:
PHOTO: Princes’s Palace Monaco
Monaco is a super glamorous Principality, popular with many Diva readers! Some of you even live here. Make sure to stay here and enjoy the prestigious events taking place. These range from Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco Fashion Week, Monaco Yacht Show and many more events, Charity Balls and Summer events. Read more here:
Beaulieu, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Villefranche
The beautiful low Corniche road goes along the coast from Monaco to Nice. If you are driving stop along the way at these 3 small towns.
- Beauieu has a lovely Port with some good seafood restaurants. There is a lovely coastal walk to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. This takes about 40 minutes strolling leisurely
- Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is home to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. This is ope to the public and has gorgeous gardens and views. Super restaurant for a light lunch too. The beautiful Cap Ferrat is home to many wealthy Russians and is incredibly beautiful. You can walk all around the Cap or enjoy some of the little beaches dotted amongst the rocks.
- Villefranche is another stunning small town. Again it has a beautiful Port. You will see some huge cruise ships at anchor here because the bay has very deep water. Explore the Fort Mond Albanmeander and through the winding streets with little restaurants and shops.
PHOTO: Nice Port, French Riviera, France
Home to Nice Airport, which has the most spectacular landing strip imagineable. Look out of the airplane window as you come in to land. A large city with a big shopping centre, long Promenade all along the seafront and beautiful old town. This is not a favourite of mine personally. Super popular, so here it is! I do like shopping trips into Nice from time to time. Find out where in my Nice blog.
There is always something going on in Nice! Take a look at my Events section on the blog for more information.
PHOTO: Place Massena, Nice, France
Read more here:
PHOTO: La Croisette, Cannes
Furtjer to the West, about half an hour drive from Nice you will find Cannes. Cannes is famous for The Cannes Film Festival held every year in the month of May. A luxurious Seaside town with some good hotels, beautiful beaches, lovely old Town and good restaurant. Find all the top designer boutiques along with some small french shops full of gorgeous clothes.
Between Nice and Cannes there is Antibes. However this is not my favourite place to visit.
Read more about Cannes here:
I also love to visit the beautiful Iles de Lerins for day. Enjoy lunch and explore the islands, Worthy of their own blog! This is my favourite thing to do in Cannes, make sure you visit. OR hire a boat and explore the islands.
If you are a movie fan and plan a trip to Cannes for the Film Festival, here is some information:
Once upon a time this was a tiny fishing port. Now, it is packed with luxury yachts in summer and the fishing boats have long since departed. Despite the enormous popularity of Saint Tropez it retains its charm and is definite ‘must see’ on the French Riviera. Technically a little bit further West than the Riviera but I love is so here it is! Read my tips and advice for a visit here:
Ramatuelle is nearby and has a gorgeous village perched up on a hill, you cannot miss it. Plus a lot of Provencal Vineyards, visit these for a wine tasting and to stock up on wine. The famous Minuty Rose Wine Vineyard is here. Read all of my information about how to get to Saint Tropez, how to beat the crowds even in high summer.
If you are a fan of secluded beaches, here are some of my favourite all along the French Riviera. Some skinny dipping options too, for those who are feeling brave! Here is some info:
I hope this will keep you busy on the Cote d’Azur! Let me have your ideas too.