Nice seafront – Image courtesy of Loan Sameli/Wikimedia Commons
Introducing the Côte d'Azur
The fabled French Riviera (known in France as the Côte d'Azur) is world renowned for its glamorous nightlife, exposed beaches and the chic resorts of Cannes, St Tropez, Cap d'Antibes and St-Jean-Cap-Ferra – the perfect destination for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Along with neighbouring Monaco, the 160km-long Côte d'Azur attracts the rich and famous as well as artists drawn by the inspiration of its hillside beauty and sultry climate.
What to do and see on the Côte d'Azur
Head to La Croisette in Cannes to see the beautiful people at play and to the hillside village of Cimiez to visit the Matisse Museum. Take lunch in the lively Place aux Herbes in fashionable St Tropez and pop into Antibes to ogle the huge luxury yachts.
In Monaco, try your luck in the elegant gold and marble Le Grande Casino and check out the home of Monaco’s royal family in the 13th century Palais du Prince.
Must-see attractions on the Côte d'Azur, include:
Stroll the narrow lanes along the waterfront to the oldest part of St Tropez, one of the French Riviera’s liveliest towns, where twisting narrow streets open on to tiny squares and fountains. Climb the 16th century Citadel for great views then join the locals at the beach.
Read more about St Tropez . . .
La Foundation Maeght
Inside one of the world’s most famous small museums of modern art, discover a fabulous collection of art works by Picasso, Rouault, Léger, Miro, Braque, Kandinsky and Matisse. Located in the charming village of St-Paul-de-Venice.
Experience a 20km stretch of narrow, deep fjord-like inlets that lie beneath limestone cliffs. These rocky promontories can be explored by boat or along several hiking trails leading to isolated coves sheltered by pine trees and are perfect for sunbathing and swimming – especially at En Vau and Port Pin.
Note: The underwater Cosquer Cave at Morgiou contains some of the oldest cave paintings in the world – unfortunately the entrance is 35m under water and access is prohibited.
This small island has hosted a monastery since 410 AD and is famous for a bishop’s seminary, which trained St Patrick before he set sail for Ireland. Visit the present church, see the 11th century fortified monastery and stroll along the shore amid the vineyards, olive and eucalyptus trees and wild honeysuckle.
Explore the fairytale kingdom of Monte Carlo. Glittering with opulence and jet-set glamour, the action of Monte Carlo often centres around the ornate Belle Epoque Casino de Monte Carlo.
Elsewhere in Monte Carlo, discover the 13th century Palais du Prince, from where the Grimaldi dynasty has ruled since 1297 AD, the cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier and the Rock of Monaco, where colourful gardens cascade to the sea.
Read more about Monte Carlo . . .
More about the French Riviera . . .