Explore The Cote D'Azur- Suggested Itinerary You'll Love!
The Cote D'Azur aka The French Riviera is ICONIC, it's sexy, and a great getaway destination! It is also a bubble of sorts, when you look around you the amount of wealth that surrounds you is hard to grasp at first. I remember my first visit to Saint Tropez; seeing 16-year-olds driving around in Ferraris, only super high-end fashion...It was insane! Ohhh...Seeing how the other half lives, it's quite an experience that's for sure!
I have always loved the South of France and the lifestyle it offers even if it's for a short time, and if you're anything like me, then you'll agree this location ticks all the boxes-
From the breathtaking landscape, the history and the story it tells, to the fashion, chicness and ambiance.
The Mediterranean coast of Southeastern France has attracted the jet setters for decades and it's a glitzy and glamorous setting indeed. From icons such as Karl Lagerfeld to superstars Beyonce and Jay-Z to the Kardashians..A-listers flock to these famously glamorous places; Saint-Tropez, Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, and Monaco.
The beaches in some areas along the coast are not sandy but pebbly.
Getting into a high-end hotspot or making dinner reservations, in general, can be tricky, ask for the concierge at your hotel to assist you with that. And do it well in advance!
Going during the off-season months means the rates are better than during high season and it’s a lot less crowded making it a more pleasant visit.
Where to go & what to do- A proposed itinerary for the beautifully seductive Cote D'Azur:
The Best time to go:
The French Rivera has a Mediterranean climate meaning warm and sunny summers. The summer months of July and August are extremely busy as you can imagine, the beaches are absolutely packed, seeing the sights, getting into to the trendy hotspots and even making dinner reservations are way harder during this period. Keep in mind the Cote D'Azur is on the small side with cliffside narrow roads and small city centers so it can be too crowded to enjoy. Consider going during the months of September-October just after the high season or between April to June. I traveled during springtime (at the end of April) which was just perfect.
Where to start and how to get around: Fly into Nice, the biggest city on the Riviera and a great starting point. From here the best way to get around is by renting a car.
Nice is the capital of the French Riviera located right on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. Aim to stay between two to three days.
We stayed in two hotels while in Nice, both were in great locations, offering incredible views and the facilities and room comfort were excellent.
These two hotels offer great value for money:
Radisson Blu Hotel is located on the Promenade des Anglais with great sea views, a rooftop pool and bar, and easy access anywhere in the city. For information click: https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/radisson-sas-nice.nl.html
Hotel Aston La Scala is more at the heart of the city and closer to the old city. It offers dinners on rooftops as well as a gorgeous swimming pool and breathtaking views of the Promenade and the sea. Being closer to the old city offers a different type of atmosphere. For information click: https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/grand-aston.nl.html
Top 7 things to do in Nice:
Walk the Promenade des Anglais all the way past the old city to the top of the hill where you'll find the best and most stunning panoramic viewing point.
Enjoy time on the beach. I admit that pebbly beaches are not my favorite however, rent a sunbed, wear beach sandals and you're good to go!
Wander around Place Masséna, the old city: This is my favorite thing to do when in Nice! Packed with restaurants, boutiques, and bars. The main attraction here is, of course, the Cours Saleya market. Here you can find anything from food, flowers and souvenirs to art and jewelry. Don't forget to stop by one the crêperies on one of the squares in the old city, so delicious!
Visit the Musée Masséna: This building was donated by Duke of Rivoli in 1919 on the condition it stays open to the public as a museum of local history. Seeing such a mansion from the inside is quite a treat! Some of the treasures you can find here are Napoleon’s death mask and a tiara belonging to Empress Joséphine.
Visit the city's Cathedrale: It was built in the 17th century in a lavish baroque design. It has no less than ten chapels decorated with sculptures, and paintings.
Visit an art museum: For example Musée Marc Chagall.
Visit Cap-Ferrat, where Riviera luxury and old money meet: This is a short 20 minutes ride from Nice, on the panoramic Boulevard Napoléon III. Prepare to be DAZZLED! Absolutely sensational mansions.
Best attraction for you to choose from:
From Nice, you have two options: Going left towards Monaco and Monte Carlo or turning right towards Cannes and Saint Tropez.
We chose to start with Cannes and Saint Tropez and end with Monaco and Monte Carlo.
Cannes is about 45-minute drive from Nice, it's famous for the International Film Festival held here each year. Walk on the Boulevard de la Croisette, enjoy the beachfront and here you will find sandy beaches so well worth taking some time for sunbathing.
Stop by Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, it might take you by surprise as it is a modern building and not as beautiful as one might expect nevertheless, it features a red carpet and showcases Cannes walk of fame!
It does have a small center so spending a day here is enough to soak it all in before continuing to Saint Tropes, a place that for me held all the magic!
From Cannes to Saint Tropez it's about an hour and a half drive, and ST is absolutely FABULOUS!
The chicest little town on the Cote D'Azur with incredible sea views, pretty little streets and boutiques, beautiful restaurants and clubs and let us not forget the harbor with glorious & gigantic yachts! Just by writing this I want to go back immediately!
ST is so picturesque! Perfect for enjoying the beach or the swimming pool, going out on the water, exploring the town's center, shopping (but of course), afternoon drinks while watching the sunset in the harbor and dinner and partying later on.
Where to stay:
We chose to stay at the Le Mouillage, it's just 10 minutes walk from the harbor and city center. It’s cozy, small and offers privacy, it also has free parking which is a must when driving down and is not as easy to find. Aim to stay at least three days in this magical place. For information click: https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/le-mouillage.nl.html
Don't miss out on these activities:
Get serious breakfast treats at La Tarte! Their pastries are too delish for words!
Spend the day at Plage Le Club 55: It is the beach club to see and be seen in! Views, super vibes, food and sunbathing. What more can we ask for right?
Have dinner at Senequier in the harbor.
Did you know this very spot was the late Karl Lagerfeld's favorite hang out? He was and still is one of my favorite fashion designers and icon and while I was having dinner in Senequier, I was lucky enough to see him enter and sit down not far from me. It was quite an evening!
Best attraction for you to choose from:
Spending 1 perfect day in Monaco & Monte Carlo:
From here start the two-hour drive to Monaco. You will be driving the most beautiful and scenic cliff roads with pretty viewpoints to stop along the way to take the perfect photo.
Did you know this is the second smallest country after Vatican City?
This tiny monarchy has supplied fairy tale stories, much gossip, and scandals too over the years however there's something special about this place and their royal family. Monaco; it's about luxury, yacht-filled ports, the old town, Monaco Villa and of course the very swanky Monte Carlo Casino.
5 places to visit in Monaco:
Start at the top by visiting Palace Monaco and watch the guards change at midday.
Wander the beautiful streets going downhill, follow the Grace Kelly route where you can find landmarks while learning more about this iconic woman who started as an Oscar-winning actress and became a loved and admired princess.
Visit the Cathedral where Grace Kelly is buried. It's a very touching and sad place however not to be missed.
Check out the main marina where the Grand Prix formula 1 is also held.
Go into Place du Casino in Monte Carlo. It's quite a unique experience, it is possibly the most glamours spot in all of Europe! Even if you're not a gambler this place is so much more!
Have a drink and a bite at the iconic Cafe de Paris. It's the perfect spot to watch the comings and goings out of the Casino, just checking out the cars and people walking into the casino was amazing!
If it's a chi-chi lunch or dinner you're looking for make a reservation at Nobu, located in the 4-star Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel, the trendiest restaurant you'll ever try on for size.
Did you know The Monte Carlo Casino was featured in James Bond movies such as Never Say Never Again & GoldenEye? Have I mentioned this tiny hilltop is legendary?
Good to know:
Entrance to the casino is 10 Euros.
You need to be over 18 so no children allowed in, not even for a peek.
You will need to show ID.
Jackets are recommended for the men when visiting after 7 p.m. and the ladies are expected to be dressed to a T, that is if you don't want your outfit to scream tourist.
An easy daytrip from Nice to San Remo, Italy ~ Visit La Pigna in the oldest part of the city, the Madonna della Costa Sanctuary, the Corso Dell’Imperatrice and of course the market
Enjoy all the glitz and beauty this place has to offer!
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