The French Riviera is one of the most famous and popular regions in the world. The region offers a sumptuous setting with its immense beaches, steep cliffs and unique culture. It is also famous for its many picturesque towns and villages, which have been immortalised by artists from all over the world: Gourdon, Valbonne, etc. The French Riviera is the perfect place to get away from it all for a weekend or a holiday. Admire the azure blue of the Mediterranean Sea, and make the most of what the Côte d’Azur has to offer. Be it beaches, old towns, water sports, cultural visits, mountains or excursions, the Côte d’Azur is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the treasures of the South. Here’s a list of places not to be missed on a trip to this part of France.
Land in the heart of the French Riviera
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Nice: a chic seaside resort
Nice is undoubtedly one of the best-known cities on the French Riviera. With its sandy beaches, colourful buildings and spectacular scenery, it’s easy to see why Nice is such a popular place to visit. The city is also home to some of the region’s most popular tourist attractions, including the famous Château de Nice, the Promenade des Anglais and Vieux Nice.
If you’re a culture lover, you’ll be delighted to visit Nice’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The museum offers an impressive collection of works by local and national artists, as well as exciting temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Or for those who prefer to take in the spectacular views Nice has to offer, head to one of the city’s countless promontories. The hill of the Château offers breathtaking views over the bay and old Nice, while the hill of Mont Boron offers panoramic views over the whole city and the bay.
Monaco: the kingdom of luxury
Located just east of Nice, Monaco is a small kingdom with much to offer visitors. Although Monaco is best known for its glamorous and luxurious atmosphere, the principality is also home to a variety of interesting historical and architectural sites. Monegasques are very proud of their history and cultural heritage and this is reflected in the museums, monuments and galleries they offer.
One of Monaco’s most popular tourist attractions is certainly the Prince’s Palace, located in the centre of the principality. The former residence of the Princes of Monaco, the Palais Princier is open to visitors and offers a fascinating insight into the life of the Monegasque royal family. The principality is also home to the Exotic Garden, Notre-Dame-Immaculée Cathedral, the Flower Market, the Monte-Carlo Greenhouses and the Monaco Oceanographic Museum.
Cannes: a festival mecca
Located around 30km west of Nice, Cannes is one of the most famous spots on the French Riviera. The city is famous for the Cannes International Film Festival, which takes place every year in May and attracts stars from all over the world. But Cannes is not just a destination for film lovers. The city is also a very popular destination for those looking for a chic and sophisticated seaside resort or a relaxing break by the sea.
The first stop for anyone visiting Cannes has to be La Croisette, the city’s most famous avenue. With its lively restaurants, luxury boutiques and magnificent palm-fringed sandy beaches, La Croisette is a favourite promenade for all visitors. Other not-to-be-missed sites include the Marché Forville and the Botanical Gardens of Cannes, the Tour du Suquet and the Musée de la Castre.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: a peaceful paradise
Located halfway between Nice and Monaco, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is an exceptionally charming little coastal village. Known for its spectacular houses, lush gardens and peaceful beaches, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is an ideal destination for couples and families looking for a little peace and quiet.
Key attractions include the Grand Jardin Botanique, which boasts over 3,000 species of plants and flowers, and the Cap Ferrat Lighthouse. Nature lovers will also find plenty of interesting activities to do on the island, including boat trips, bike rides and hikes through the pine forests. If you’re looking to take in the superb views over the Mediterranean, then a boat trip around the island is definitely a must!
The Îles d’Hyères: a wild jewel
The Îles d’Hyères are an archipelago made up of a dozen islands near Toulon, most of which are uninhabited, wild and accessible only by boat. These islands offer visitors incomparable panoramas, an abundance of wildlife and a wide range of water-based activities.
The most popular islands to visit are Porquerolles, Port Cros and Le Levant. Each is rich in wildlife and offers a variety of outdoor experiences, including scuba diving, canoeing and hiking. The islands are also known for their quiet, uncrowded beaches, which offer visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.
The French Riviera offers a variety of attractive and picturesque towns and villages to explore. From Nice to Monaco, via Cannes and Cap Ferrat, the region is packed with places to see and visit. From chic seaside resorts to wild beaches and secluded islands, the region offers visitors the chance to choose exactly the type of holiday they want to enjoy.
Given the richness of the region, choosing the exact destinations to visit can seem difficult. Fortunately, the towns mentioned here are the ideal starting point for discovering the French Riviera and enjoying all it has to offer.