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The French Riviera: 8 Must-See Spots

The French Riviera: 8 Must-See Spots

Known in French as the Cote d’Azur, French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. This coastline is one of the first modern resort areas. The town started on the 18th century as a winter health resort for the British upper class. After World War II, French Riviera became a popular convention site and tourist destination. In fact, many famous celebrities have homes in the region. It is also the main yachting and cruising area with many marinas along its coast. As a tourist center, French Riviera benefits from 310 to 330 days of sunshine per year, long coastline and stunning beaches, golf courses, French Riviera home rentals, ski resorts, and restaurants. From fields of lavender to sea scenes, here are the must-see spots you can’t miss on your next trip.

La Colline du Chateau – Nice, France

Any trip to French Riviera should begin with a stop in Nice, overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Start your tour with a climb up to Castle Hill (La Colline du Chateau) to witness what the excitement is all about. Once you reached the top, you’ll surely amaze by the stunning views of the Baie des Anges, the boardwalk of nice, Old Town, and the variety and vibrant architecture. There are few crumbling walls remains on the castle on the hill, green park that is perfect for a picnic or for relaxation after a full day of sightseeing tour.

Old Town – Nice, France

Old Town or Nice’s wonderful Vieille Ville, is a charming maze of narrow streets chock full of different shops, galleries, and eateries. Cafes are all around the many squares in the Old Town, so grab the opportunity to sit down, sip a cup of coffee, and people-watch. You can also try other restaurants such as Lou Pilha Leva and their Nicoise cuisine such as pissaladierre (onion pizza).

Eze, France

Another great addition to your itinerary is the medieval village of Eze, located in craggy cliffs high above the sea. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as this dramatic Mediterranean backdrop, well-preserved stone buildings, and winding alleyways make this small village looks like a set staged for a postcard. Bring also a pair of walking shoes, as steep paths within the village will bring you to the summit which is 1,400 feet above sea level.

Grasse, France

An impressive medieval village, Grasse holds the important part of being the perfume capital of the world. There are famous perfumeries like Fragonard that offer a free tour to their factory. Enjoy the never-ending fields of lavender that covered the entire area of the hilly landscape. Grasse is located between Nice and Cannes, so you can add in your itinerary a quick stopover in this place. Pick up a few bottles of perfume or just smell the lavender.

Monaco

Surround by France on three sides, Monaco is an outwork of glitz and glamour. This principality is known as the place for the mega-rich people, but for those short on cash, can still enjoy the sightseeing in places such as Fort Antione, the Cathedral of Monaco, and Prince’s Palace. You can also visit the luxurious yachts at the harbour and the Monte-Carlo casino.

Menton, France

Arguably the best-kept secret on the French Riviera, the town of Menton has all the glamour and beauty of the well-known coastal villages. The extraordinary beaches of Menton are all but empty in the off-season, and its boutiques are relatively free of bargain-hunting visitors. You’ll surely enjoy the town’s old world ambiance. Menton, France has over 300 days of sunshine a year, beautiful gardens, and its world-class Italian cuisine due to its location on the Franco-Italian border. You can spend your afternoon here for a great complement to your Riviera trip. If you’re traveling here in February, don’t miss out their annual Lemon Festival, the entire town goes all out to celebrate the spring and town’s colorful history, when it survived on the production of citrus. Witness the gravity-defying floats which mostly made of oranges and lemons, parading through the streets of Menton.

Promenade des Anglais – Nice, France

Enjoy the scenic seaside location of Nice, added with balmy weather, and beautiful Mediterranean character. Promenade des Anglais is the most popular street in Nice, a charming pedestrian area that follows the curve of the beaches of Baie des Anges. The promenade boasts its luxurious and tallest buildings such as the Palais de la Mediterranee Theater and the lovely Villa Massena. The Villa Massena houses a museum of history and art and is open to visitors. It is also covered by amazing landscaping including formal French gardens. Aside from strolling and sunbathing on the beaches, cycling along the promenade, or rollerblading, there are plenty of historic and cultural landmarks and attractions nearby such as the Cours Saleya, an interesting market in the traditional Provencal style. The market is open daily except for Mondays, it offers flowers and local artisan food products. Another attraction in Nice that you should include in your itinerary is the Jardin Albert I which is a walking distance of the Promenade des Anglais. This huge garden was one of the first public parks in Nice and it features towering palm trees and monumental fountains.

Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez is an elegant seaside resort that is famous to tourist from all over the world. This town was once just a humble fishing village. It was made stylish by the popular actress Brigitte Bardot in the 1950s when she was shooting for her film. Saint-Tropez boasts its interesting old-world ambiance of cobblestone streets, cafes, and shady squares. This town is a great place to explore with a stunning beach-town vibe and many fun activities.

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

27 Comments

  1. I love the Mediterranean although I didn’t make it to any of your French Riviera towns. I spent a couple of months in Palamos and even made it to Toulon. I guess I was just having too much fun in Spain. However, I would have liked to have made it to Nice.

    • Carmen Edelson

      Sounds amazing! Well, now you have a few more reasons to return 😉

  2. I’ve been wanting to visit the French Riviera. Each town looks so picturesque, and I’d love to explore Nice’s Old Town. Plus, I’m always happy on a coast!

    • Carmen Edelson

      I feel the same way about being on the coast!

  3. This looks amazing! I have never been to France but I’d love to go….someday! Thanks for sharing! Such beautiful sites!

    • Carmen Edelson

      You’re so welcome, Christina! Hope you can go.

  4. The French Riviera looks like a wonderful place to visit. I love all the pictures and spots you presented in this article. Who knows … maybe it will be my inspiration for this summer. 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson

      That’s great, I hope you get to go and enjoy it!

  5. Simply fun and relaxing to look at these wonder. Really the best moments of your life.

    • Carmen Edelson

      Traveling creates amazing life memories and moments for sure!

  6. Joscelyn
    Reply

    I love France and have always wanted to visit the French Riviera! I’ll have to add these places to my bucket list!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Definitely add them, Joscelyn! 🙂

  7. What a beautiful spot to visit! I love all the different spots you pointed out. Old Town (Nice) and Menton were such captivating photos. Thanks for sharing!

    • Carmen Edelson

      They are very captivating places. Thank you for reading!

  8. I have been to South of France recently and out of all places I liked Grasse the most ! It is due to my new found perfume obsession 😀

    Thanks for sharing your experiences

    http://www.traveling-lady.com

    • Carmen Edelson

      Oh yes, I totally know what you mean! It’s an amazing place.

  9. Your pictures are gorgeous! Perfectly summed up – I am sure those who are traveling to the French Riviera would find this post really helpful.

    http://www.allshethings.com

    • Carmen Edelson

      I hope so, thanks for saying 🙂

  10. I LOVE this post! I have been to the French Riviera but it’s been quite a few years. Monaco was my favorite spot. It’s full of elegance! I also really enjoyed Nice. Thanks for sharing this post! You have made me want to go back 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson

      Monaco is so fabulous! And I’m glad to hear that, Melody 🙂

  11. Hi Carmen, what a delightful place with all the facets that make a fantastic trip – history, architecture, culinary experimentation, coastline geography… the list goes on. I especially love that you added little facts and tidbits about how each of these places are recognized – like Grasse being the perfume capital of the world; tis good to know! I can’t wait to get to the French Riviera!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thanks for reading, Jess! I hope you enjoy yourself there when you do decide to visit 🙂

  12. Angela
    Reply

    I live in Cannes, why not mention us?! and I think it would be important to mention that the beaches in Nice are not sand, each year we hear the tourists exclaim their surprise and disappointment.

    • Carmen Edelson

      Hi Angela, thank you for your feedback! I love Cannes and have a whole separate post on how to spend 48 hours there, plus another article about the film festival 🙂

  13. Eze is my absolute favourite. Specially having a drink at the hotel Chateau Eze and enjoying the spectacular views from there. And at your list I miss Saint Paul de Vence. And for lunch go to Le Club 55 at St Tropez beach Pampelonne. I will soon also make a post about this region although my posts are focussed on charming and luxury villas, chalets and other holiday homes. You have a great blog!!!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thank you for all of these amazing recommendations!

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