The French Riviera is a little, glamorous corner of the world nestled on the beautiful Cote d’Azur in the South of France. The French Riviera stretches from Cannes to Monaco, and there are several towns along the way that are worth checking out, whether you’re on a budget or if you’re a millionaire. This area is absolutely drenched in wealth and you can almost smell money as you walk around the tiny streets of St. Tropez or Antibes and especially when you walk past the Monte Carlo casino in Monaco. But nevertheless, this area is gorgeous. It’s flocked to every summer by the rich and the beautiful for the summer season which typically starts at the end of May. The beginning of the summer season starts with a bang, literally, at the start of the Grand Prix race.
Everyone who has the money and the time will come for the Grand Prix. It’s busy and it’s pricey but it’s worth checking out if you happen to be in the area during that time of the year. With that said, the best time of the year to check out the South of France (in my opinion) is at the end of May to mid-June. You can see the Grand Prix, go to the Cannes Film Festival, explore all of the towns and then hit the beach.
By the way, the best beach in the South of France is in Juan Les Pins. JLP is a little city nestled between Cannes and Antibes with a long stretch of beautiful sandy beaches (as opposed to the rocky beaches in Nice) and a lovely boardwalk too. It’s typically less busy here than in Nice and only about 30 minutes away by train!
Here’s a list of some other towns you should check out while in the South of France:
This town needs no introduction. It hosts the world’s biggest International Film Festival and has all the luxury of Fifth Avenue squeezed into quaint Mediterranean seaside streets. If you’re on a budget, there’s still lots to do: visit the Old Town, walk around the marina, go to see the Man in the Iron Mask (up the hill towards the old Castle) and cruise the markets. There is also amazing nightlife in this city, and my favourite nightclub to frequent is called Baoli. There is never any cover to get it, but you’ll need to dress to impress.
This city is easily overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. The streets are tiny and winding and this place has the biggest yachts on the Riviera. If you visit the marina in Antibes there is this one area called “the row of Billionaires” because, well, it’s where all of the Billionaires park their yachts. The reason for this is the fact that the Bay in Antibes has the least harshest waves apparently. Little factoid for you. These yachts are impressive and grand, typically ranging from 3-4 storeys high and even boast helicopters. In Antibes, there is also the Picasso Museum – worth checking out!
The biggest city on the Riviera. And Nice is…nice. There’s alot to do here. Fantastic restaurants, nightlife and beaches. You can also catch the ferry to Corsica from here or walk along the Promenade des Anglais. For a spectacular view of the whole city, hike up the Caste Hill…the view will take your breath away! Also, for a fun English speaking pub you should check out Wayne’s, just saying.
4) Eze Village
This village is easy to overlook too, but it’s perhaps the most stunning village on the Riviera. If you take the train towards Monaco, get off at Eze sur Mer and then connect to the local bus #83 to take it up the side of the mountain. Eze village is perched up on top of this mountain, 1400 feet above sea level and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Riviera. This village is widely known for it’s medieval streets and tiny courtyards.
Again, this country/city/place needs no introduction. Check out my blog post about things to do in Monaco! https://emilysjourneysabroad.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/top-5-things-to-do-in-monaco/
Well, this isn’t technically France…it’s Italy. But only about 15 minutes more on the Cote d’Azur train passed Monaco. Ventimiglia has a fantastic food market and really cheap products! I used to go here every Friday when I lived in Antibes to do my groceries. Every Friday they also have the biggest Black Market in all of Europe. Worth checking out!
This is where they invented perfume. You can go and make your own or see how it’s made. It’s a little bit out of the way so it’s best to rent a car or take the train North.
8)Saint-Paul de Vence
Another beautiful village. You can go by bus from Nice or rent a car. It’s yet another glamorous destination, so bring your euros!
9) Saint Tropez
This place is exquisite. They have amazing beaches and you will more than likely see a celebrity or two. Worth checking out if you have the time!