The French Riviera, the Cote d'Azur, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Located along France's beautiful southeastern coastline, where the majestic Alps visibly plunge into the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, it's regarded as a luxurious, sophisticated, and trendy retreat for the rich and famous.
Popular Destinations along the French Riviera
Some of the most popular tourist destinations along the French Riviera include
- Menton, a city of gardens that's located in the extreme southeast of France, near the Italian border, and has a warm climate that's favourable to its tangerine, orange, and lemon groves
- Antibes, a traditional Mediterranean Seaport city, with a medieval castle and narrow shopping streets, and conveniently located just 15 km. from the airport and 10 km. from Cannes
- Cannes, where, at the heart of the town, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, between Old Cannes and the renowned Promenade of La Croisette, is the Palais des Fesivals et des Congres, and this popular tourist destination is also the home of the renowned Cannes Film Festival each May - where the Palme d'Or is awarded
- Nice, which stretches along the Bay of Angels and is the beautiful capital city of the French Riviera, where strollers enjoy a seaside walk along the renowned Promenade des Anglais
- the Principality of Monaco, site of the Palais de Monaco and the annual Monaco Grand Prix
- Monte Carlo, a visually stunning city that sits on a rock within the Principality of Monaco and attracts many high-rollers to its plethora of gambling casinos
- Port Grimaud, bordering the Gulf of St. Tropez, it's nicknamed "Little Venice" because of its canals and quays
- St. Tropez, once a sleepy little fishing village, it's the only north-facing town on the French Riviera, and it's located on one of the most beautiful harbours on the Mediterranean.
Scenic and Intriguing
The French Riviera is a rugged coastline of magnificent beaches and sheer cliffs. It's dotted with many mansions, luxury homes, and grand hotels - and it's definitely worth a visit. And while in the area, check out some of the other worthwhile, intriguing, but perhaps less known places to be found here.
The medieval town of Grasse, for example, is slightly off the beaten track (about 50 km. inland from Nice), but is renowned for its perfume industry (which dates back to the early Renaissance); the house of Fragonard, for example, a local perfumery, includes a museum and offers tours.
Saint Maxime is located at the northern end of the Gulf of St. Tropez (it's a 10-minute ferry ride from St. Tropez); it's sheltered from the winds by the Maures Mountains and boasts of a temperate climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year.
Le Trayas is a village located high above the Mediterranean Sea. From here you'll view the stunning red rocks of Esterel. Nearby is the Comiche de l'Esterel, one of the most beautiful roads and coastline drives found in the south of France.
And looking out to sea from the beach in Cannes, you can see the island of Marguerite (accessible via a 20-minute boat ride); this virtually uninhabited island has several scenic walking paths; the Man in the Iron Mask was incarcerated here.
Getting to the French Riviera
It's very easy to access the French Riviera. The International Nice-Riviera Airport (located in Nice) is the second largest airport in all of France - and a major international hub. And helicopter service links this airport with both Cannes and Monaco. Road and rail links are also excellent (with, for example, about 150 trains leaving the Nice station on a daily basis).