The Cote d'Azur, or as it is known in English the French Riviera, is synonymous with glitz and glamour. The stretch of the Mediterranean coastline in the southeast corner of France that also including the of sovereign state of Monaco has long attracted artists, writers, royals and jetsetters. However, you do not need to have a yacht and an off-shore bank account to enjoy the glorious sunshine, sparkling-blue sea and stunning landscapes of this picturesque part of France. Here is a brief list of places to see on the French Riviera that, we hope, will send you packing your suitcase.
The old elegant city of Nice is a great place to start your tour of the Cote d'Azur. The bustling colourful local market at the Cours Saleya, breathtaking vistas from the Castle Hill (La Colline du Château), relaxing walks on the promenades, the refined architecture of The Old Town, numerous bars and restaurants serving delicious fare will make you dizzy with happiness. And don’t forget the famous exuberant Nice Carnival that has been celebrated in the city since the 13th century.
One of the largest ports in the Mediterranean, Antibes is abuzz all year unlike many other resorts of the French Riviera. Its perfect sandy beaches, daily markets, magnificent historic ruins and excellent restaurants will keep you busy. For the culturally minded there is the Museum of History and Archaeology with Greek, Roman, and Etruscan artefacts as well as the Picasso Museum with an exceptional collection of paintings, sketches, and ceramics.
Brigitte Bardot and her husband Roger Vadim loved frolicking here and it still attracts the rich and famous in droves. A trip to Saint Tropez would not be complete without some celebrity spotting, however, should you get tired of that, check out the Musée de l’Annonciade with its superb collection of Impressionist paintings, the imposing Citadelle and, naturally, the towns excellent beaches.
Do not forget, there is more to the French Rivera than just the sea. The old villages of Èze and Grasse, hill towns of St. Paul and Vence offer an exciting break from the beaches.
Photos via Flickr by: Kurt Bauschardt, Dhinal Chheda, Jakob Montrasio