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French Riviera

French Riviera

Visit the region

Côte d'Azur towns not to be missed

On the shores of the Mediterranean, the French sunshine that is the Côte d’Azur attracts millions of tourists every year, as well as many celebrities who want to take advantage of this exceptional, resplendent setting to relax.
Through this guide, we’ll show you the must-see places and activities to do during your getaway on the Côte d’Azur.


Let’s begin this presentation of the Côte d’Azur, with beautiful Nice. Considered by many to be the capital of the Côte d’Azur, Nice and its famous Promenade des Anglais lined with blue chairs are a sight to behold. Take a stroll along Place Masséna or Boulevard Jean Médecin to admire the wonders of the heart of the city. However, as with most neighboring towns, the majority of the city’s cultural, architectural and historical treasures are to be found in the old town. Take advantage of the sunshine in the narrow streets of Vieux-Nice to admire the colorful facades, typical restaurants and traditional markets, such as the Cours Saleya flower market.

Panorama de Nice
Panorama de Cannes


A cinema paradise thanks to its annual international festival, Cannes is a beautiful city to visit in depth. We’re all familiar with the Croisette, the beach, the Walk of Fame, the casinos, the boutiques and the luxury hotels overlooking the sea, but when you explore the historic heart of the city, the glitz and glamour give way to local culture and traditions. Take a stroll through the Suquet district to see vestiges of the Middle Ages, visit the town’s castle and climb to the heights for a unique panorama of the bay of Cannes and the Lérins Islands;

This double facet means that Cannes has something for everyone, as you can change mood and atmosphere to suit your desires throughout the day… and night.


Set course for the Principality of Monaco! This legendary location is a must-see during your stay on the French Riviera. What’s more, there’s no shortage of things to do on Le Rocher. To learn more about Monaco’s history, visit the Princely Palace, home to Albert II, or Saint-Nicolas Cathedral. Take a stroll along the mythical Monaco F1 Grand Prix track and head for the Monte-Carlo district. Here you’ll find world-famous landmarks often featured in the seventh art, such as the Hôtel de Paris, the Café de Paris and, above all, the famous Casino and its magnificent luxury cars;

The exotic garden and the oceanographic museum are two must-do activities for the whole family, as they are home to exceptional natural and marine treasures that will amaze young and old alike.

Panorama de Monaco
Panorama de Saint-Raphaël


A popular seaside resort on the French Riviera, Saint-Raphaël is divided into several districts, each with its own unique atmosphere. You can visit the old town and its typical Provencal flower and vegetable market, then head for the old medieval churches and their watchtowers, which offer a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean bay. Finally, you can take a stroll through the streets of the Dramont district, one of the town’s symbols, with its beach offering a unique view of the Ile d’Or, emblematic of Saint-Raphaël’s coastline.


It’s hard not to mention the world’s jet-set hotspot in the heart of the Côte d’Azur. Saint-Tropez is brimming with luxury boutiques, majestic villas and trendy spots where you can enjoy lively nights out with friends. For those who aren’t enchanted by luxury, champagne and yachts, you can venture into the narrow streets that have retained an authentic charm typical of the local culture. The citadel and ruins of Saint-Tropez are a great place to get a view of the whole of the city’s posh bay. On your way back down into town, take a tour of the town’s large port, where small sailing boats mingle with luxury yachts, visit the famous Gendarmerie des Gendarmes in Saint Tropez, or stop off at a restaurant to sample the delicious tarte tropézienne.

Panorama de Saint-Tropez
Panorama de la ville de Menton


On the border with Italy, Menton is one of the true jewels of the Côte d’Azur. The colorful facades lining the narrow streets of Vieux-Menton are sure to impress and charm you. Its typical character and lush gardens provide a unique atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else. Stop off at the Basilique Saint-Michel, the Musée Jean Cocteau or the Val Rahmeh tropical garden to enjoy the town’s main sights;

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to visit Menton in February, enjoy the festivities of the famous Lemon Festival, which showcases local producers for two weeks.


With its impressive historical and cultural heritage, Antibes is one of the Côte d’Azur’s major attractions. Stroll through the narrow streets of the old town to admire its colorful facades and artisanal stores. The Port-Vauban, Europe’s largest marina, is the ideal place to see a wide variety of luxury boats and yachts. Cap d’Antibes is also a must-see, as you can admire the beautiful villas that line the path or castles such as Château Grimaldi, now home to the Picasso Museum;

To enjoy the festive atmosphere, don’t hesitate to stroll along the Juan-les-Pins coastline, which is often very lively during the summer months.

Panorama d'Antibes
Panorama de Grasse


It’s hard to talk about the Côte d’Azur without mentioning the world’s perfume capital, Grasse. This inland town is home to the International Perfumery Museum, as well as the historic factories of the world-famous Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard perfumeries. Here, you’ll discover all the secrets involved in the manufacture and elaboration of a perfume, then take part in workshops to make your own perfume with the help of specialists.

Once you’ve had your fill of intoxicating scents, venture into the city’s pretty alleyways to discover its historic heart, its Roman Catholic cathedral and its street decorated with umbrellas.


This peninsula, which still escapes the hustle and bustle of tourists during the summer months, abounds with pebbly coves where you can enjoy the sea in peace and quiet. However, the main attraction of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the sumptuous Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. This secluded spot in the heart of the Côte d’Azur looks like something out of a fairytale when you admire its various gardens (French, Spanish, Japanese, exotic, etc.), its fountains and, above all, the interior and decoration of this magnificent villa. Let yourself be carried away by this enchanting atmosphere and enjoy an enchanted interlude in one of France’s most beautiful villas during your stay.

Panorama de Mandelieu-la-Napoule sur la Côte d'Azur


Mandelieu-la Napoule is full of wonders. Often overshadowed by its neighbor, Cannes, this port town is home to an ancient medieval fortress that’s a must-see. The Château de Mandelieu, a listed historic monument, hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year and boasts a park classified as a “remarkable garden” and gardens of unsurpassed beauty. Don’t hesitate to venture onto the Château’s beach to bask in the fine sand at the foot of this old building.


Èze is clearly one of the most beautiful villages on the Côte d’Azur. Perched atop a dominant cliff, this village offers a breathtaking panorama of the Mediterranean horizon. Wander through the narrow streets and be seduced by the typical houses, small craft stores, perfume shops and art galleries. At the top of the village, take a tour of its magnificent exotic garden, home to dozens of plants and cacti.

Panorama d'Eze, un des plus beaux villages de la Côte d'Azur
Panorama de Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Saint-Paul de Vence

This small medieval village between Nice and Antibes has a picturesque appearance that will leave no one indifferent. Popular with artists, Saint-Pau-de-Vence is the artistic city of the Côte d’Azur. Let yourself wander through its narrow streets and climb to the top of the ramparts to admire a magnificent panorama of the Côte d’Azur. Don’t miss the Fondation Maeght and its sublime gardens which, as well as being an exhibition space, is a work of art in itself, paying tribute to the many international artists who have left their mark here.


The world capital of ceramics, Vallauris was a favorite with artists such as Picasso and Jean Marais. Vallauris is a small town, home to the sublime Château Robert and surrounded by many hills. We recommend visiting the eight chapels throughout the town, as well as Golfe-Juan, Vallauris’ seaside resort. Golfe-Juan’s beaches are very popular with families, and the coastline is adorned with plants such as mimosa, palm and laurel.

Port de Vallauris

If you’re only visiting the Côte d’Azur for a weekend, come discover the must-sees to visit the French Riviera in two days.

Nature walks and excursions

Vue impressionante du Massif de l'Estérel

Le Massif de l’Estérel

A true emblem of the Var and Alpes-Maritimes regions, the Estérel massif is easily recognizable thanks to its red volcanic rocks. Home to a number of intimate coves with turquoise waters, this area can be explored from the sea by boat, kayak or paddle, but also from the land, with a variety of hiking trails offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the whole of the Côte d’Azur. We recommend the Pic de l’Ours hike, which is affordable and takes less than two hours, or for the more experienced, the Balcons du Cap Roux, which requires more effort and time (between 4 and 5 hours), but at the end of which you’ll be rewarded with exceptional panoramic views. If you’d like to enjoy the different coves, take the Corniche d’Or trail, which runs along the coast from Saint-Raphaël to Mandelieu-la-Napoule.

The Maures Massif

Covered in forests of pine, oak and chestnut, the Massif des Maures offers a delightful backdrop for peaceful family hikes. You’ll pass a number of places to visit, such as the Domaine de Rayol garden, or the villages of Tourtour, Seillans or Bargème, ranked among France’s most beautiful villages.

Le Massif des Maures et ses chemins de randonnée
Le parc du Mercantour et ses beaux lacs

Mercantour Park

This protected natural park, just an hour’s drive from Nice, will delight hiking enthusiasts with its unique setting and wealth of natural treasures. Comprising 7 valleys with peaks over 3,000 m in altitude, this park is home to a large number of marked hiking trails of varying levels, so that everyone can enjoy this natural treasure. Take time to admire the impressive diversity of flora and fauna along the way. You can also enjoy this beauty in winter, as the park is home to several ski resorts, including Valberg and Isola 2000.

The Gorges du Verdon

In the heart of the Verdon Natural Park, the Gorges du Verdon are considered Europe’s largest canyon. Take time to admire this impressive landscape of limestone cliffs and emerald-blue water. You can take a drive to the top of the gorge to admire the panorama from above, and then take part in one of the many activities on offer to relax and enjoy yourself in the midst of this majestic environment. Paddle, pedal-boat, kayak, rafting, canyoning, paragliding or rock-climbing, you’re sure to find something to enjoy with your family or friends.

Vue aérienne des Gorges du Verdon au coeur des Alpes-Maritimes

Sun and sea on the Côte d’Azur

Les îles de Lérins, visite incontournable au large de la Côte d'Azur

The Lérins Islands

If you’re dreaming of a picture-postcard setting off the coast of Cannes, head straight for the magnificent Lérins Islands. Twenty minutes by boat or thirty by kayak from Cannes, you’ll discover the island of Sainte-Marguerite and its little sister, the island of Saint-Honorat. These two lush islands, separated by a turquoise lagoon housing a breathtaking underwater museum, are a must-see excursion during your stay on the Côte d’Azur. Discover the small coves bordering these islands, explore the Fort Royal, home to the legend of the Iron Mask, and admire the impressive Cistercian abbey. You’ll come away with unforgettable memories.

The most beautiful beaches on the French Riviera

The Côte d’Azur is known as one of France’s most beautiful beach regions. Wherever you are, you’ll find an idyllic white-sand beach to bask in the Mediterranean sunshine. All you have to do is choose between popular beaches close to the city center, such as Plage de la Croisette in Cannes or Plage de la Pampelonne in Ramatuelle, or more remote, intimate coves such as Plage du Château in Mandelieu-la-Napoule or Plage de la Mala in Cap d’Ail.

You’ll find full details of the Côte d’Azur’s most beautiful beaches on our dedicated page.

La plage de Notre Dame, à Porquerolles
La magnifique île de Porquerolles, au large de Hyères

The islands of Hyères

Close to Toulon, off the coast of Hyères, you can observe the islands known as the Iles d’Or. This archipelago of three islands includes :

  • The island of Port Cros, small and wild enough to visit on foot
  • Ile du Levant, where beaches are reserved for naturists
  • The island of Porquerolles, famous for its many beaches and coves reminiscent of Caribbean island paradises, such as the famous Notre Dame beach. This island is the largest of the three, so you can rent bicycles to visit it without wasting any time.

You can reach these three beaches by boat from Hyères for a sunny, relaxing day out with the family.

The calanques of Cassis

As you move closer to Marseille, take a day trip to the calanques of Cassis. These cruises, of varying lengths, take you to discover the different calanques, offering a unique setting with cliffs, varied flora and fauna and turquoise-blue water. Even though the area is very popular with tourists in summer, it remains a must-see in the region. You can also choose more sporty alternatives to visit the area, such as hiking, cycling, kayaking or paddle-boarding. These solutions offer you the chance to swim and stop wherever you like in this place cut off from the rest of the world.

Une des sublimes calanques de Cassis, proches de Marseille

What’s more, if you’d like to enjoy a private, sandy beach just a stone’s throw from Mandelieu-la-Napoule, don’t hesitate to visit La Plage Blanche in Théoule-sur-Mer, where you can enjoy luxurious facilities for relaxing in the sun, a wellness area to pamper your body and let the sound of the waves and our prodigious treatments wash over you, or a restaurant right on the beach featuring local marine products to provide you with an exceptional gustatory experience.