If you’re planning to travel to the continent this summer, there are a few spots on the French Riviera featured in many holiday guides to France that you just have to see. This particular stretch of coastline is peppered with wonderful gems and in this article, we share 6 of the best ‘must see’ places.
Luxury, glitz and glamour sum up what Cannes is all about. You’ll see it in the fine dining restaurants, the luxury fashion boutiques, in the hushed casinos and at the VIP nightclubs.
Cannes is the place to enjoy the very best in indulgence and pampering. The Promenade de la Croisette leads down to the umbrella filled sandy beach where you can hire a sun lounger and chill in the glorious sunshine. You own personal waiter is on hand to serve delicious cocktails and ice cold beer. If you visit Cannes in May, you’ll feel just like a movie star as you mingle with directors and actors at the Cannes Film Festival.
About a 30-minute drive from Cannes is the Mediterranean village of Antibes, a port for many of the world’s most expensive super yachts. You’ll soon be charmed by the narrow streets, quaint shops, cafés and restaurants.
The small, crowded, sandy beach next to the port is well worth a visit, as is Château Grimaldi which owes its name to the Grimaldi family, who ruled Antibes from 1385 to 1608.
Further up the coast, between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Mercantour National Park, is the vibrant city of Nice. Stay a few nights and enjoy the city’s boutique restaurants, bars and cafés. The main beach is stony rather than sandy, but just around the coast at Coco Beach, you can swim and snorkel in the aquamarine sea.
4 The Village of Eze
Eze is one of the gems of the Côte d’Azur and is located on a steep hilltop 1400 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. This charming medieval village lies has incredible views of the Cap-Ferrat coastline, and the maze of old cobblestone streets lead to artisan boutiques, small art galleries, cafés and bars.
One of the main attractions of Eze is the La Chevre d’Or, a luxury hotel set in a 14th-century chateau. It has a superb Michelin starred restaurant and an exquisite garden with fountains, roses, shady trees, and some inspired art installations.
The Perfume Factory and Museum Fragonard is open to the public for tours. Go behind the scenes and discover the perfumer’s laboratory, then visit the small shop to buy perfumes at factory prices. There’s a scenic trail that starts near the Perfume Factory and winds its way down the hillside to the beach.
At the very top of the Eze hillside is the spectacular Jardin Exotique d’Eze, a breathtaking botanical garden, seemingly hanging between the sky and the sea. On a clear day, visitors can take in 180-degree views of the coastline all the way from Italy to Saint-Tropez.
5 St Tropez
A trip to the French Riviera isn’t complete without spending some time at St Tropez. This small but quaint town has a lively night scene and some wonderful restaurants. The rich and famous own St Tropez, so expect to be rubbing shoulders and mingling with celebrities the world’s beautiful people.
Not far from St Tropez, is Pampelonne Beach, the best beach on the French Riviera. You can also book into one of the St Tropez’s beach clubs for a champagne lunch and a day of tanning by the sea.
Cassis is a town on the outskirts of the French Riviera, being a 2-hour drive from St Tropez. It may not be a town you’ve heard of, but it’s a stunning place to visit. The small town has a lively fishing port overlooked by the amazing Cap Canaille – the highest sea cliff in France that towers almost 400 metres straight up out of the sea.
Pull on a costume and head down to the beach at the end of the Port for a dip in the sea. Then enjoy a few drinks in one of the vibrant beachside bars. To the west of Cassis, you’ll discover the Massif des Calanques – white limestone cliffs dropping down more than 400 metres. Here, marine valleys have been cut out of the rock, creating miniature fjords and magnificent natural coves. This area is a haven for scuba divers, hikers and rock climbers. You can hire a boat to get a real feel for the astounding beauty of the Calanques.