If we have to name the most famous part of southern France, we wouldn’t have many doubts. French Riviera has been the vacation area for the wealthiest Europeans for centuries. Business people and aristocrats started visiting the region (and often retiring here) since the 1700s, attracted by the excellent weather and the clean air. During the 20th century, the area attracted many artists, the most famous being Pablo Picasso, who lived in this region during the later part of his life.
The region, as expected, has some of the best facilities in the world. Of course, there are plenty of high-end, extreme luxury hotels and restaurants, always crowded with celebrities and tycoons enjoying the temperate climate. But there is something for every pocket. We lived here during our university studies, and we still managed to have a great experience without spending a fortune!
From Saint-Raphaël to Nice, these are our Delicious Spots in Côte d’Azur 💙
Find every hidden beach in the Corniche d’Or
Corniche d’Or, also called Corniche de l’Estérel, is the name of the coastline between Saint-Raphaël and Mandelieu-la-Napoule. Now, we know that the word “golden” is overused, but when this is associated with a shoreline, and that coast is called Côte d’Azur, we can be sure something important is going on. Corniche d’Or is, simply put, one of the best coastlines in Europe ✨.
There is nothing like this sequence of red beaches in front of the turquoise water of the Mediterranean sea, under the shadow of the massif de l’Estérel. It’s an extraordinary landscape. Drive along the road and stop whenever you can see other cars, or even better look out for places with parking spots but no one around 😉!
The best beach of the Côte d’Azur: La Pointe de l’Aiguille
The Pointe de l’Aiguille Park is situated at the end of the Corniche d’Or, in the village of Théoule-sur-Mer. This is one of the best-hidden secrets of the Côte d’Azur, and we are sure you will love it as much as we did. The most prominent feature of the park is the sequence of small beaches around the cape. The scenery of this place is just amazing, with transparent water reflecting the red cliffs and the lush vegetation.
The path to get to the beaches is not easy and require a steep descent on a small trail. That just improve the quality of the place, as there are relatively few people in comparison to other locations. Come here and check it by yourself, we are sure this is one of our favorite beaches in the world!
Shine like a star, Cannes!
The city of Cannes is one of the most famous cities of the French Riviera. A renowned retirement spot for the wealthiest since the 18th century, the city acquired worldwide fame thanks to the International Film Festival. Walking on Promenade de la Croisette and around The Palais des Festivals is one of the things everybody has to do at least once. In addition, we recommend a climb to the castle. This view from the top of the hill is fantastic, and the old town, sitting on the hillside under the castle it’s a wonderful place where to take suggestive pictures!
Antibes, the beauty of the French Riviera
Antibes, like Cannes, started getting the reputation as a Mediterranean resort for wealthy European around the 19th century. The old town is the most prominent aspect of the city and the reason why we liked Antibes more than Cannes. The Chateau Grimaldi (Grimaldi Castle), now a museum dedicated to Picasso, sits in its center. Small roads crossing each other depart from it, a heritage of the old fishing village. Right in the city center, there is also a beautiful beach. It gets pretty crowded during the day, but it makes a nice way to spend some time before heading to dinner at one of the restaurants next to it!
Delicious tip: Jean-Luc Pelé, one of the most famous pastry chefs in Southern France, opened here his second atelier: apart from the cakes and chocolates on sale (which are the same both in Antibes and Cannes), this shop has an incredible chocolate waterfall and a room entirely covered by chocolate. Yep, a chocolate tunnel!
Bonus Spot: Eat the best Gelato in Côte d’Azur in Antibes!
We are suckers for gelato. It’s really something we can’t control, we always want more of it! Unfortunately, this is hard to find. Most of the places, especially in French Riviera, offer something more similar to ice cream rather than pure, soft, crystallized gelato. BUT luckily for us, there is Gelateria del Porto coming to the rescue! This is the best gelato we found around here, so avoid all the bigger chains and head here for a delicious scoop!
The capital of the French Riviera, Nice
Nice is the principal city of Côte d’Azur. This is an amazing town and it surely deserves a couple of days to be enjoyed at best! Stroll around the Promenade des Anglais, one of the best seaside pedestrian roads of France, dive into the small alleys of Old Nice, visit Chagall National Museum; you will fell in love with it!
Hide among the medieval walls of Èze
Proudly sitting on top of a cliff, 500 meters above the sea, the village of Èze kept its structure since the middle ages. The village is a delicious combination of small labyrinthine roads and small open spaces, with a beautiful view over the coastline. At the bottom of the cliff, Èze-sur-Mer is a less-crowded alternative to the beaches around Nice and Monaco.
Enjoy a breakfast at Villefranche-sur-Mer
Similarly to Èze-sur-Mer, Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the best places near Monaco where to go for a relaxing day at the beach. It’s cheap, it has a cute little city center, and it’s pretty unknown to most of the tourists. Even if you don’t want to spend the whole day here, a quick visit to the city during the morning, enjoying some breakfast at the port it’s a delicious way to start the day. We love it!
Did you have any favourite place in Côte d’Azur? Tell us what’s your perfect day in French Riviera should look like!