France has always enjoyed great demand from travelers and the French Riviera has attracted tens of millions of visitors for many years. This post is about the most interesting things to do on a visit to the Cote d’Azur.
See Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and enjoy the two faces of the place: Set between Menton and Monaco, old Roquebrune is a pretty medieval hilltop village while Cap Martin is one of the most stylish resorts on the Mediterranean. The narrow winding alleys and cobbled streets of old Roquebrune cluster around the tower of the former powerful 10th-century castle, the oldest feudal castle in France….
Gamble at the Casino at Monte-Carlo world-wide known for its casino. Monaco is small, but in possesses huge glamor and attracts stars from all over the world. The Casino is magnificent, a true reflection of luxury and good living. Built in 1863 by Charles GARNIER, architect of the Paris opera house, the belle époque building stands high up looking out over Monaco and the sea.
Visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in St Jean Cap Ferrat. This is a sprectacular villa almost a small palace built on the hills at St Jean Cap Ferrat for Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild from a famous family, in 1905. It was planned as house for a wide art collection, music and conversation is known for its gardens and impressive pink-washed, neo-classical façade. One can wander through formal sections planted with fragrant roses and other flowers. Inside the villa, rooms run off the main covered courtyard, all decorated with antiques, furniture and art.
Enjoy the Flavors and Scents of the Cours Saleya market in Nice: Nice is an ancient city at the heart of the French Riviera… The Cote d’Azur capital is large and lively, but it’s the old town where a market from Tuesdays to Saturdays is open at the main square with the vivid colors and seductive scents of the fruit, vegetables and flowers for sale, that attracts both locals and visitors..
Stroll through the Old Town and Port of Antibes: Antibes is the largest pleasure port on Cote d’Azur as well as the Mediterranean. It is suitable for a visit any time of the year as it is also a working town and not a seasonal resort. You can see dollar yachts at port Vauban and take a walk through the arched gateway in the walls into the old town for a stroll through the fruit and vegetable market. Little streets full of tempting shops run off to one side. The delightful Musée Picasso which is located in the Château Grimaldi has a very good collection of his art and his famous ceramics.
Marvel at the Art in the Fondation Maeght in St-Paul-de-Vence: The Fondation Maeght is a must for visitors to the Cote d’Azur. It’s housed in an impressive modern building set among pine-filled gardens in the hills just a few minutes walk from the picturesque hilltop village of St-Paul-de-Vence.
Go Back to Nature on the Iles d’Hyeres: Three gorgeous islands make up the Iles d’Hyeres which lie just off the coast between St Tropez and Toulon. The largest is Porquerolles which is blessedly car free for visitors. The island is just 7 kilometers long and 2.5 km wide, so it’s the place to hire a bike or just walk around it. The north part has sandy beaches backed by pine trees; the south coast is more rugged. In between there are vineyards and pine forests.
Drive along the Corniche de l’Esterel: The Corniche de l’Esterel, running from St-Raphael to La Napoule, makes a spectacular drive. On one side you see the great rocks of the Esterel rising on the hillside; on the other the Mediterranean sparkles in the sun, the coastline punctuated with tiny rocky inlets and bays, the blue sea broken up by the white sails of yachts.
Be a star in Saint Tropez: Saint Tropez is a place you either love or walk away from quite happily. It’s glitzy, can be pretentious or endlessly exciting according to your attitude and possibly, on your wallet. It was made famous by Brigitte Bardot and her husband Roger Vadim and sees countless stars arrive here to stay at one of the fabulous hotels or on one of the multi-million dollar yachts that fill the deep waters of the harbor. But there’s no doubt that it’s a place everybody should visit at least once in their lives.
See the Chapelle St-Pierre decorated by Jean Cocteau in Villefranche-sur-Mer: The pretty harbor, the small roads and alleys of the old town that climb up the hillside full of tall brightly colored houses, shops and restaurants and the Citadelle are reasons enough to visit the delightful, low-key village of Villefrance-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean coast.