Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Yes we are talking about La Côte d’Azur, an experience no one should miss...
Which girl hasn’t seen handsome Cary Grant steel away Grace Kelly in “To catch a thief” and wants to be swept off her feet in Nice ever since?
The big promenade and the white stoned beach make you want to dive straight into the ocean and tan all day, looking around for beautiful people. You can wander around town, finding treasures on the beautiful antique flee market, go to the Musée Matisse or look at the modern greek Villa Kérylos. For Renaissance-lovers the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild will satisfy all your needs- an every girl’s pink dream house, surrounded by beautiful flowers.
Surely la Côte d’Azur will never be as glamorous as it was in the 50’s, but I assure you: of all of the party places THIS is where elegance was born and will live FOREVER. Beach clubs are catwalks and money just exists. The homes of millionaires at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat or the villas of Cap d’Ail blow your mind even more than the gorgeous yachts at every port. This definitely IS a different world.
Keeping up at this coast is not easy, but no one wants to miss it. Find a glimpse of beauty behind this superficial world and realise that glamour and lifestyle rule La French Riviera.
No wonder this is THE location for the famous Film Festival. This is the place to glam, to shine and to watch! Shopping at La Croisette, your personal heaven along the beach, the pier and the most expensive hotels. One beach club lined up after the other: la Môme, Mademoiselle Gray.. you can choose whatever suits you best!
One night in The Carlton- who will say “No” to that?!
Behind the facade, a walk through “Le Suquet”, a small labyrinth-like old town, will bring you down to earth. It will direct you up hill to the small chapel called Église Notre Dame d’Esperance, where Cannes’ “Hollywood sign” lights the city view from the top.
You want to party like the rich and the famous? No Problem- then go straight to Baôli and ride a boat to Île Sainte-Marguerite to party through the day at La Guérite.
A classy romantic evening with live bands at your table will be at La Petite Maison, serving you absolute French vibes. Afterwards you’ll go straight next door to Medusa to enjoy some juicy cabaret!
The little streets around Le Palais Princier de Monaco, which you should definitely visit, remind you of a small artificial film set. Walking up that hill you will find Le Musée Océanographique de Monaco, where you can learn all about the Royals oceanic programme and take a look at sharks, a whales’s skeleton and find Nemo.
The fast kids will love riding a kart at the port and the grown ups can feel like children again in Monte Carlo’s Casino! The peace and quiet vibe you experienced in the afternoon at the Palais will not be guaranteed here. The blinding lights and flashing cars, illuminating the atmosphere, will question your money’s worth instantly.
Have a grand Mousse au Chocolat and a cocktail at Le Café de Paris right in front of the casino, overseeing all, or enjoy a great dinner at Salon Rose inside of the casino. Or much better- stay in the Hôtel de Paris for a complete luxury retreat after your big win!
You need a little break? Then take your time out strolling through Le Jardin Exotique.
Which girl didn’t imagine herself wearing Grace Kelly’s beautiful head scarf driving along the coast of the French Riviera?
Les plages de la CÔTE D’AZUR sont formidables! New day. New beach! Thats’s the way to go!
Tan in La Fossette, Aiguebelle, St. Maxime or my absolute favourite relaxing spot is that little bay in Rayole Cannadel, where privacy is guaranteed. Cavalière’s magic means having white sand between your toes and peak at Sarkozy and Carla Bruni’s mansion at the Cap Nègre.
If you prefer crowded beaches, then don’t miss out on Le Lavandou’s port, where you’ll find a sandy walk into the water on one side or a deep, stony, but clear ocean on the other side. This public beach offers cute little straw umbrellas and “Le Lavandou chairs” with adorable little changing cabins in different colours, sending you straight back to the 50’s!!
Don’t miss out on one night in Bormes le Mimosa. Enjoy the best pizza place ever: Il Teatro Della Pizza where Fabrice has a “pizza surprise pour les enfants”! An animal shaped pizza for kids and him tossing the dough through the air, will excite you more than ever! Afterwards you can take a walk through the little boutiques and buy some olive oil, soap or lavender and end the night stargazing.
Drive to Cassis and adore a rocky beach with a great view at La Plage du Bestouan or feel nature at its best in the Parc National des Calanques. Here you can hike up the Massif des Calanques and bath in turquoise water at Calanque d'En-Vau and rent a kayak. Don’t worry, you can also go by boat from Marseille’s port, if you’re in a lazy mode.
Then there’s Les Gorges du Verdon! The beautiful Grand Canyon of France, surounded by the Lac de Sainte-Croix, offers you every sport activity you can think of. If you love the power of nature that’s your place to go!
Yes the French Riviera is THE place of the rich and the famous, but let’s PLEASE not forget about its exciting culture! Artists didn’t just come here for fun but to be inspired by it all!
The Home of Artists- a little village, influenced by Matisse, Sartre and Picasso, is called Saint-Paul de Vence. Explore La Fondation Maeght with exquisite architecture and Matisse’s beautiful sculptures all over the garden!
On your way to the museum, you will have to stop at the village Eze, which you will already see from far away. A cute little village, with an adorable old town on the hill, overlooking the ocean.
Don’t miss out on the beautiful villas of Cap d’Ail! Take a walk through the sweet Parc Sacha Guitry and end up straight at the beach, where your “promenade”, along the walls of the beach, will continue with breathing in salty air.
You would rather smell perfume? Then Grasse is your destination! Make a tour at Fragonard’s little fabric and learn all about scents. Be charmed by perfume‘s beauty.
The old port looks like it’s straight out of a romance novel. Take a walk along the beach wall, look through the little windows, be surprised by the cute little beach and arrive at Jaume Plensa’s iron statue Le Nomade overlooking the sea in Saint-Jaume.
The cute little village is not at all touristy, the market hall and the little streets give you the authentic French vibe you are looking for. No wonder Picasso chose to live here for some time before turning back to Spain. Now you can find his work at the Musée Picasso in the Grimaldi castle, which was dedicated in his honour.
To end the day glamorously you will have to go to Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the PLACE TO BE and have an exquisite dinner, relax at the piano bar, but most importantly view the sunset reflecting on the ocean at the champagne bar.
FOR KIDS Marineland will be a must! Divers swimming with orcas, dolphin and seals. Exquisite shows for the whole family! You want some action yourself? Then head to Aquasplash and enjoy the waterpark with all its slides. Antibes promises fun around every corner!
This is propably the biggest port you have ever seen! This city has so many sights and castles. You have the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, you can see from anywhere. Or go back in time and visit the beautiful Palais Longchamp, where you can experience Le Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Le Vieux Port has two sides:
One side has all the touristy restaurants, the Hôtel de Ville, Le Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (MuCEM) and La Cathédrale la Major. Here you can sit by the ocean and view the Palais du Pharo on the other side of the port. Definitely visit this side during the day, as it gets a bit dangerous by night.
For dinner you should check out the other side of the port and go into old town. Make your way to Les Cours Honoré-d'Estienne-d'Orves. Here you will find youth and life. Have an authentic french dinner with a galette and some cidre and a crêpe for desert at La Crêpe au Carré.
You’re mood is all about being a sexy bombshell looking like Brigitte Bardot or vibing like Jane Birkin? You can have it all at the small, but powerful port in St. Tropez!
A perfect day would start avec le petit déjeuner at Café Dior des Lices, followed by a shopping spree through the boutiques and a new extravagant outfit from Dede Concept Store.
Enjoy the special moments at the small art galleries like Galerie Saint-Martin, chat to the artists and don’t forget to visit the fish market. Hôtel de Paris is surrounded by the little boutiques and statues right at the center of the city. Check out the beautiful people on the yachts and take a pit stop at SENEQUIER for people watching. Be enchanted by a dancing show at LE QUAI at night or feel cozy at L’italien, which offers you the cutest venue.
You adore the Maroccan style? Then enjoy Salama’s cool vibe! Also don’t miss out on Casa Amor or Byblos, which will make your stay worth while!
Finally it’s time for a Cipiriani to open in St. Tropez! Don’t expect the classic one, it Is not comparable to the others. But the French charme and romantic garden setting will convince you anyways!
The classical beach clubs, where the parties are as good as the food, are happening in Ramatuelle. Loulou Ramatuelle and Le club 55, Verde Beach or the classic Nikki Beach. Here sunbeds, yummy lunch and champagne showers are at your service.
New to the club with more class and elegance than ever is Gigi: beautiful design details, delicious food and dancing on the tables WON’T be missed!
What would St. Tropez be without Places de Lices, the boutiques and the cute little boule place? Le Café persuading with authentic French singers and Pablõ ’s electronical dance floor next door, will convince anyone.
And of course the French won’t leave out an exquisite show! A tiger at Le TIGRR or cabaret at L’Opera will satisfy your needs. For dancing you should check out Les Caves du Roy and for the last one’s standing: VIP ROOM is the last place to go.
You are intrigued and don’t know what to do or where to go?
Don’t get me wrong, relaxing at the beach without the drama is more than possible!
Monday to Friday driving along the coast, tanning at the beach and on the weekends you shall sip your cocktails at the beach! This way you can try to keep up your healthy lifestyle and heal your soul.
I would say fly to Marseille, rent a car and drive up the coast all the way to Monaco. Three weeks for an ultimate Côte d’Azur feeling and then fly back from Nice!
À bientôt et gros bisous!