Cote d Azur Travel Guide

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Cote d Azur

Cote D Azur © William M. Connolley
The French Riviera is renowned the world over for its glamorous nightlife, glorious beaches and gigantic gin-palaces. The chic resorts of Cannes and St Tropez have long attracted Europe's most affluent, from Russian Tsars to Hollywood stars. Along with neighbouring Monaco, the Côte d'Azur retains its reputation as the playground of the rich and remains one of the most desirable Mediterranean destinations.

The beauty of the hills and the lively towns has inspired several great artists and the area has wonderful museums displaying their works. The quaint Provence hill villages abutting the coast, that once attracted Picasso and Matisse, now draw French and international tourists by the planeload.

The centre of the Riviera is the pleasant city of Nice. Like all the resort towns that run into each other along this over-developed coastal strip it is packed with holidaymakers jamming its restaurants, bars and beaches during July and August. Visitors are drawn just as much by the wish to see and be seen in this desirable location as by the sultry sunshine, bright blue sea and luxurious facilities. However, there are a few villages and sights tucked away in less fashionable areas of the Côte d'Azur that are worth visiting for those looking for a quiet and authentic holiday.




Attractions

Eze © Roman Prykhodchenko

Èze

Perched on a mountain 1,400 feet (427m) above sea level, the medieval town of Èze is a popular stop on the route between the French Riviera and Monaco. The winding cobblestone streets lead visitors to the ruins of a 12th-century castle, and also...  see full details



Biot © crabchick

Biot

The village of Biot is more than 2,500 years old, and retains much of its medieval charm in the 15th-century architecture and narrow, winding streets. The town's old walls and gate can still be seen, as well as a number of other small,...  see full details



Plage de la Courtade © Baptiste Rossi

Côte d'Azur Beaches

The Cote d'Azur beaches range from intimate rocky coves to long swathes of golden sands packed with sun worshipers. Some are highly developed and will hire out loungers and the like but others are still fairly secluded; there should be something for everyone...  see full details



Cannes © Gilbert Bochenek

Cannes

Today it is hard to imagine that the quintessential, glamorous French Riviera holiday resort of Cannes was for centuries a simple, sleepy fishing village whose only visitors were the monks and wealthy pilgrims who came to visit the monastery on the nearby Island...  see full details



Lerins Abbey © Tim Gage

Ile St Honorat & Ile St Marguerite

The two islands of Lerins, Ile St Marguerite and Ile St Honorat, lie a 20-minute boat ride from Cannes. Ile St Honorat is a tiny forested island, the smallest and most southern of the Iles de Lerins. It has been the site of...  see full details



La Croisette © Tim Gage

La Croisette

The long, shop-studded promenade of La Croisette, and its seven miles (11km) of beach, is Cannes' major attraction. Palatial hotels line this strip, each with their own private beach, and this is where visitors are most likely to spot a familiar face, or...  see full details



St Tropez

St Tropez

St Tropez has long held the reputation of being the 'black sheep' of the renowned French Riviera holiday resort towns. Sexy starlets were flaunting themselves topless here back in the 1930s, long before the beautiful people dared disrobe elsewhere. St Tropez' reputation as...  see full details



Events

Palme d'Or Award © Karel Leermans

Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most renowned film festivals in the world. Each year a selection of the finest filmmakers from the international scene judge entries from across the globe. Hollywood often chooses to screen blockbuster films on opening night and...  see full details



Nice Carnival © Dhinal Chheda

Nice Carnival

The main winter event on the French Riviera and one of the major carnivals in the world, the Nice Carnival brings the city to life with a series of flower parades, float processions, fireworks and concerts every year. The float procession is one...  see full details


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