Côte D’azur: A Guide To The Best Vacation Spots In The French Riviera.

Introduction

The glamorous and beautiful strip of coastline called the Côte d’Azur Also known as the French Riviera is renowned for its spectacular scenery, cuisine and Provencal culture, charming villages and the sheer joy of living. This beautiful French region is the ideal destination for tourists looking for exceptional food and wine coupled with fascinating culture and history.

This region along Provence’s southeast coast is where the Alps meet the Mediterranean. The climate is mild almost all year-round and sunny summer days are cooled in the evenings by the sea breeze.

Below are the best vacation spots in the French Riviera;

Cannes

Cannes is a glittering, seaside paradise perfect for people-watching and relaxing. It also provides excellent views and culture. Climb the spiral staircases and traverse the pastel-coated houses in Le Suquet, you’ll end up at the Musée de la Castre, a home for ethnographic art in a historic fortress overlooking the Croisette and the marina. Take a 15-minute ferry ride to two of the Lérins Islands off the coast for therapeutic beaches and crowd-free landscapes

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Best Places To Stay In Cannes

Whatever the season, this scene-stealing location on the Croisette is always at the centre of the action. Relax under palm trees and parasols in the summer, or cross the promenade into the private beach club. The shimmering marina, the rue d’Antibes cafes and shops and the hilly Old Town are a 5-minute walk away.

A 45-room boutique hotel in downtown Cannes, a stone’s throw from La Croisette and beach nearby. The hedonistic concoction is completed by VIP access to a private stretch of beach, a tranquil and well-furnished spa and a breathtaking rooftop terrace with bar and pool.

Located 5 minutes walk from the beach, in Cannes. It features a garden and a sun-lounger terrace. Each guest room comes with soundproof windows, air conditioning and free internet access.

Best Things To Do In Cannes

La Croisette

This promenade is the place to experience. Luxury fashion houses queue up along Boulevard de la Croisette, and on the shore is a string of private sandy beaches. 

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Palais des Festivales

The Cannes Film Festival venue has been shot so many times it’s taken on some form of public significance. You can walk the very steps, the most famous people in the world walked. 

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Marché Forville

The French are known for their markets, filled with fresh local, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Every morning (except Mondays) go to the Marché Forville to try the local produce (meats, seafood, olives and more). 

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Le Suquet

The oldest place in Cannes is Le Suquet, a Roman village. The neighbourhood is a joy to stroll through, and the pastel-colored buildings offer a sense of what Cannes was like in the 18th and 19th centuries (before the crowds of vacationers arrived)

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Best spots to eat In Cannes

The two Michelin starred restaurant is the finest dining experience in the area. The atmosphere and the food are fantastic. It weaves a tangle of ingredients and tastes from Mediterranean bases which remind you you have taste buds.

Ristorante Panini Federal is a friendly, cosy bistro serving authentic Italian paninis. A large range of sharing platters is always on display, and the drinks are very fairly priced. The cost of a Bellini or a Sicilian red glass is about 7€.

L’Assiette Provençale provides a €25 set menu, which is a steal for a spot overlooking the harbour. There is a roof on the terrace, so you can experience their famous courgette flowers and cannelloni.

Nice

   

The French Riviera’s capital, Nice is one of Côte d’Azur’s most famous and prettiest cities. Stroll through Promenade des Anglais and walk around the historic Old Town, then head to Castle Hill for views of the city, harbour and mountains. Art lovers can enjoy the Chagall and Matisse museums, luxury shopping, nightlife and world-class dining are not limited. 

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Best places to stay In Nice

Designed in 1912, the Hotel Negresco is just what French Riviera fantasies are made of. This luxurious hotel is known around the world for its extravagance. It is just a 15-minute walk to the old town.

 

Hotel Floride is in a stunning, traditional townhouse with plain but classically decked out rooms. A laid back lounge is available to relax in, with a buffet breakfast on sale. Sights such as the Church of Sainte Jeanne d’Arc and the Marc Chagall Museum are within convenient walking distance.

The 5-star package comes with all the amenities you would want. It has an on-site spa of 1,600 square feet, a luxurious facility complete with a hot tub and sauna. Some of Nice’s top attractions are within easy reach of the Boscolo exedra.

Best Things To Do In Nice

The Promenade des Anglais is more than just a fantastic walkway next to the Mediterranean. Since it was built in the 1820s, it has been an important part of Nice city life. You can sit up on the benches and find shade under the pergolas and palm trees. 

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The biggest, and most impressive, the church in town is Notre Dame de Nice. If you want to indulge in French religious architectural splendour, this is the place to be.

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For art lovers, the Matisse Museum is a must-see attraction. This charming museum is located in a historic Genoese villa filled with beautiful Italianate gardens. Look through the permanent collection of varied ensemble works by Matisse.

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The vast gardens stretch to the busy Place Masséna, which boasts the Fontaine Du Soleil, a magnificent fountain with a statue of Apollo, the Sun God of Greece. It has a great open-air theatre, that hosts concerts in the spring and summer.

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Best places to eat In Nice

The menu is full of amazing creations at this two-starred Michelin restaurant, including a discovery option offering samples of favourite meals and deals for diners who want to try it all. Every dish is matched beautifully with vintage wine.

A little gem of a bistro with moleskin benches and a selection of 100 percent natural wines. It is a great place to go on a hot date. Although there is no menu, you can enjoy a selection of dishes that vary with the seasons. 

Le Vingt4 is a terrific gastronomic getaway. The menus are succinct, with a well thought-out range of fascinating modern dishes. Each dish is expertly coupled with two suggestions of at least two wines.

Menton

Menton This quiet town is distinguished by vivid colours along the waterfront, it is more reasonably priced than many of its glamorous neighbours on the Côte d’Azur but just as stunning. It’s right on the Italian border, exposing you to a bit of an ethnic mishmash and a Franco-Italian food scene. It’s most known for its citrus fruits. You’ll enjoy the annual Lemon Festival if you’re around at the end of February. 

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Best places to stay In Menton

Set just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. This four-star hotel boasts luxurious facilities such as a hot tub, indoor pool and on-site restaurant. Other amenities include Wi-Fi access to the beach and rooms with a TV and minibar. Some rooms provide views of the sea.

The Royal Westminster Hotel is set right next to the Promenade Du Soleil backdrop. This hotel offers rooms overlooking the sea. It also boasts a fitness centre, pet-friendly facilities, and air conditioning.

Best Things To Do In Menton

Spend the day taking in the museum. It was established after the Cocteau specialist, Séverin Wunderman, donated his multi-million dollar collection of the artist’s works to the town. This titanic array of 1,800 items form most of the exhibits of the museum which, as you would expect of Cocteau, are in all kinds of format. 

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Originally established in 1905, the gardens contain many tropical and subtropical plants from Japan, South America, and other tropical lands. Autumn is an especially wonderful time to experience all the lovely colours of over 700 vegetative plants.

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You can see where France and Italy meet at Sablettes Beach. You can go on a sailing trip to see over 30 dive sites including picturesque underwater caves, shipwrecks and spectacular drop-offs.

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Staying in Menton without sailing along the fun streets is impossible. Walk to the covered Marché des Halles on the Quai de Monleon to shop for food. Or simply to enjoy the friendliness of its people.

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You can see where France and Italy meet at Sablettes Beach. You can go on a sailing trip to see over 30 dive sites including picturesque underwater caves, shipwrecks and spectacular drop-offs.

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Best places To Eat In Menton

Mirazur

This two Michelin-starred French Rivera restaurant located on a hillside has a spectacular view of the beach, harbour and town.

Le bouquet garni

A Roman family runs this restaurant. The highlight is a basic tomato and mozzarella salad made from the freshest creamiest burrata.

Le P’tit Resto

In this little traditional French restaurant, you can find home-made, highly savoury food. Order the boeuf bourguignon and frites, or steak with gorgonzola.

Monaco

Monaco Monaco is a small autonomous city-state across the Mediterranean coastline, on the French Riviera. It is famous for its vast yacht harbours, renowned grand Prix that takes over the streets once every year, and casinos.

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Best Place To Stay In Monaco

Hôtel de Paris is among Monaco’s most popular hotels. It lies right by the Monte-Carlo Casino. If you stay here, you will be right in the thick of it. The rooms are spacious and opulent.

This hotel is a blend of privacy and a perfect location. It is right next to Casino Square. Next door to it is the Métropole shopping centre. Several restaurants and top-end designer shops are within three minutes’ walk.

If you’re looking for luxury, this elegant hotel is just the place to be. Be sure to take advantage of the terrace, from there you can see all the mega-yachts and those fortunate enough to call them theirs

Best Things To Do In Monaco

The palace dates to the 13th century, when it was a Genoese fortress. If the Prince is not at home, you can visit the palace. A simple way to tell is to look at the flag in the main tower. If it’s raised, then the Prince is home.

Casino de Monte Carlo is one of the world’s best-known casinos, particularly as it was built in 1893 in a flamboyant Beaux-Arts style. James Bond fans will love the scenery, as It is said to have been the setting for Casino Royale’s novel. 

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Travellers that love fast cars won’t want to skip the Monaco Grand Prix. It Is considered one of the world’s most coveted car races. Because the streets in Monaco are narrow and have sharp corners, the track is regarded as one of Formula One’s most difficult races. Racers need to go slower than the 190 mph required by Formula One regulations. 

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Best places To Eat In Monaco

Blue Bay

The one-Michelin star restaurant is a magnificent experience. The Caribbean and Mediterranean menu fusion is unlike anything else in the area. Go for the six-course food menu, which will definitely stimulate the taste buds

L’Express.

A great place to lunch when visiting Monaco's Old Town. They serve delicious pasta, fish, and risotto with a positive spirit. Enjoy a view of the historic city while you lunch.

Marché de la Condamine

In this vibrant market and food court, you can find all of Monaco's speciality foods. One dish you should try is Barbagiuan, which is basically deep-fried ravioli filled with Swiss chard, onions and cheese.

Mougins

Mougins has a perfect setting, with a spectacular Alpine backdrop on one side and beautiful Mediterranean views on the other. It’s an art lover’s paradise packed with local, trendy art galleries, including works by emerging local artists and some that you should know too: Picasso, Cézanne, Dalí et al. Cannes is only half an hour away, which explains why a lot of Hollywood stars pick Mougins as their shelter during the movie festival. 

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Best Places To Stay In Mougins

Tuck yourself into a country house in Cannes with manicured gardens. lounge in the tantalizing swimming pool, revel in the swish spa and dream of Michelin starred meals.

This guesthouse is a refuge for lovers, it is perfect for snuggling. Follow the candlelit road to a converted farmhouse where worldly cares will be extinguished by tinkling fountains, squishy armchairs and sculpted Madonnas.

Best Things To Do In Mougins

 

Enjoy watching lotuses in bloom with flowers up to 25 cm in diameter and leaves up to 1 mm long in Europe’s largest lotus colony. The Fontmerle is a small and impressive 5-hectare natural pond. 

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This guesthouse is a refuge for lovers, it is perfect for snuggling. Follow the candlelit road to a converted farmhouse where worldly cares will be extinguished by tinkling fountains, squishy armchairs and sculpted Madonnas.

If you’re a golf enthusiast, then you’re in heaven. Mougins is renowned for its picturesque golfing atmosphere. The best thing to do in Mougins is to head over to one of many golf courses. 

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Best Places To Eat In Mougins

L’Amandier

Located in an old mill, it has stunning scenery fitted with chandeliers. The price here is reasonably fixed.

Le Sot l’y Laisse

The speciality meal, a tasty stew of chicken, lends its name to the place (it means 'the fool leaves it there' referring to the juicy oyster of meat that most people lack in poultry). Meat, fish, and desserts are all fantastic.

Le Petit Fouet

This little restaurant in Mougins serves anything from breakfasts to cheese, escargots and charcuterie, to delicious cassoulet daube de boeuf lunches, fish soup, asparagus-mushroom risotto and other classic French cuisines.

Getting To Cote D’azur

By Plane

The Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur is one of the French Riviera’s busiest international airport. A lot of airlines, such as Air France and British Airways, offer daily connecting flights into Nice, stopping in cities like Paris and London.

By Car

The 950 km (or 590 miles) drive from Paris to Nice takes about eight hours. The “La Provençale,” motorway connects Nice to the Italian border in the east and the Aix-en-Provence in the west.

By Train

You can take a train from the French Riviera to places all over France, and major European cities. If you take the high-speed TGV train from Paris, It’s about a five-and-a-half-hour ride to Nice