Voilà, the French Riviera France. Also know as the Côte d’azur, this Mediterranean coast is one of the most fabulous in the entire world. Yes, the French Riviera is made up of glamorous beach resorts, cobbled old towns, and beautiful coastal villages.
Getting to the French Riviera is very easy by flying into the Nice airport. Once there, all of the coastal towns, including Monaco’s Monte Carlo are connected by train, except St. Tropez. See my St. Tropez post for easy travel directions.
Best Towns in the French Riviera
The French Riviera contains many seaside resorts such as Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Furthermore you can find beautiful medieval villages perched on the hilltops, such as Eze and St. Paul de Vence. Please explore my other posts for in-depth information on these towns.
The best beaches can be found in the south of France! All are ready to serve you a delicious lunch between lounging on the beach and swimming in the sea. Visit my posts to discover the French Riviera France beaches.
St Paul de Vence is one of the most beautiful destinations in France. This charming town is a feast for the eyes. What’s more, it is a medieval, romantic village with cobbled walkways and beautiful scenery. Among it’s narrow streets, fountains and staircases, it is a village abundant with flowers and vines covering the walkways and buildings. Entirely pedestrian, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is one of those perched villages where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the sweeping views below.
It enjoys a privileged location, located fifteen minutes from the sea and twenty-five minutes from the Nice airport. Definitely an easy destination to get to. We spent one night on our way from Villefranche sur Mer to St. Tropez. I found that one night was perfect for us, since the village is small although exquisiste!
This small town, dating back to the 14th century, has been a land of artists since the dawn of time. Artist Mark Chegall made this his home for 30 years until his death at 97 in 1985. St. Paul de Vence is a place where many painters and artisans live today. It is full of art galleries, studios and artisan shops. In fact, there are 60!
Hotel Le St Paul
I highly recomment Hotel Le St. Paul as it was excellent. First, the room was amazing! It had a living area upstairs and then a bedroom downstairs! Secondly, the lobby and outdoor terrace were to perfection. We loved this hotel! Overall it was in a perfect spot and everything you would want for an authentic experience with excellent service!
St. Paul de Vence in Photos
To summarize, I am so glad that I decided to explore this gorgeous village. It was a totally pedestrian town which is a direct 10 minute walk from one end to the other. But expect that walk to turn into a few hours since there is so much to see. It was well worth the visit!
Eze is perched high up on a mountain top with stunning views of the sea in the French Riviera. It is one of the most beautiful medieval villages I’ve ever visited. There are narrow cobblestone streets that twist and turn among stone houses. The only way to access this village is by foot as there are no roads or cars. You’ll find hot pink bougainvillea, ivy and flowers growing everywhere. Browse or shop in the boutiques, art galleries and jewelry stores along the winding walkways. The twelfth century church dominates one aspect of the unique hilltop village, and is classified as an historical monument.
In addition, let me say a word about the food here – excellent!!! Really amazing, fresh, delicious French food. Everything – fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc. are all carried up to the restaurants by foot, as the village is totally pedestrian. Eze is well worth a visit if you are in the French Riviera.
Luxury: This is a one of a kind luxury hotel perched on a hilltop in the village of Eze. The views are stunning and the rooms are scattered throughout a portion of the medieval streets. Take in the magnificent scenery as you are in a very special area. The accommodations, service and staff are amazing, as well as the beauty of the entire property. In addition, there is a gym and small pool. Please be aware that this is quite an expensive hotel, however, you will feel like you’re in paradise.
This B&B owns two properties. The first is a XVI century charming guesthouse in a quiet, relaxing area only a 5 minute drive from Eze Village. It has an amazing sea view, pool and beautiful garden.
Next, they have the Village Suite, which is tucked away in Eze Village. I highly recommend the Village Suite for a wonderful experience because you are right in the heart of the medieval village. The rooftop terrace has stunning views of the coast. You really feel like you are walking back in time. Address: 23 C route de l’Adret,
Fine Dining: Upscale gourmet restaurant and bar with stunning views and delicious food. Expensive but worth the splurge. Amazing food that matches the incredible views of the French Riviera. World class food and service. Note – Elegant attire required. Address: Rue du Barri, Eze
Moderately Priced: Delicious fresh food with a beautiful view set on the top of the mountain. Great salads, pizzas and omelettes. Dining is available on the outdoor terrace and the view from the indoor dining room is fantastic. A terrific regional wine list. Address: 1 rue du Chateau, Eze
Casual Dining: This is a great little place for lunch. The food is absolutely delicious. Deli is a small cozy outdoor space in beautiful surroundings. The freshest ingredients are used. The tomatoes were so perfectly ripe and the cheeses were amazing!!! The salads and foods are so flavorful! They bake their own bread and use infused olive oils and balsamic. They also sell items in a little olive oil shop. I wish I could go back to eat again! Very kind and friendly staff/ family. You cannot be disappointed! Address: 5 rue du Chateau, Eze
La Plage d’Eze
Eze has one beach located at the bottom of the mountain in Eze-sur-Mer. It is a great beach for swimming. You will find two beach clubs; posh Papaya and casual Anjuna Bay. Both clubs rent beds and umbrellas for about 20 euros. Access the beach from the Eze-sur-Mer train station’s underpass. Make a right and walk along the beach to reach the restaurants/clubs. Enjoy your day in the French sunshine!
These beautiful gardens have species of plants from all around the world. The garden offers spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean as it perched on the highest point of Eze. Admission is 6 euros.
These historical ruins were built in 6 BC in honor of emperor Augustus. It sits at the highest point on the mountain. Take in the breathtaking views of the entire French Riviera and the beauty of the architecture of this amazing historical monument.
Do you like exercise and the great outdoors? Then this activity is for you! Hike down from Eze Village or up from Eze-sur-Mer (aka Eze-Bord-de-Mer) and enjoy the magnificent scenery. First of all, get an early start before the sun gets hot. In addition, take water and wear sneakers not flip flops. Most of the trail is stone and pebbles – you don’t want to slip. Depending upon your personal pace, this is about a 45-60 minute vertical hike, about 1650 feet, therefore expect a strenuous workout on the way up. Of course, you can always take it slower.
Hiking up the trail, I use the Eze-Bord-de-Mer train station as a landmark. At street level, with your back to the train station, make a right. Continue 5 minutes and on your left you will see a little sign ‘Sentier Nietzsche’. Follow ramp to the left and enjoy a healthy hike up to amazingly beautiful Eze Village.
The hike down from Eze Village gives you full views of the Mediterranean, so have your camera ready! When you finish the hike down, visit the lovely Eze-sur-Mer beach. Access to the descending trail from Eze village, is located at the bottom of the village (where the car parks are) on the cliffside. You will see a sign that says ‘EZE/MER – Gare Plage’. Enjoy the amazing scenic beauty on the way down.
Enjoy a fabulous day of sightseeing, shopping or the beach in this charming French old town. There is so much to see and do in this fantastic village! Villefranche-sur-Mer is definitely one of my favorite places on the French Riviera. Visit myVillefranche-sur-mer blog post to read more about this wonderful, charming town.
Monte Carlo, the land of the ultra rich and famous, is a mere 9 minute train ride from Eze. Visit the renowned Casino and if you get lucky, go shopping in the ultra high end stores! If not, enjoy sitting at a cafe in Casino Square and watch the people and exotic cars go by.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The 2018 Monaco Grand Prix will begin on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and end on Sunday, May 27, 2018. For tickets and packages, click HERE for the official Formula 1 Monaco site.
The capital of the French Riviera, Nice, hosts the area’s first winter event. This is amazing, world famous event attracts millions each year. The weather is mild even in the winter. In 2018, this carnival will be held from February 17th to March 3rd. Since this carnival spans a two week period, there are numerous festivities. Therefore, join in the fun!
Click HERE to see the Carnival’s official program and prices for grandstand or promenade tickets.
Nice to Eze – Take bus 82 about a 30 minute ride.
Monte Carlo to Eze – Take bus 112 about a 30 minute ride
Villefranche-sur-Mer to Eze – walk to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and take bus 83. About a 15 minute ride. Or you can take the Neitzsche Path and hike up to Eze.
Eze is easily accessible by buses that run regularly. Most noteworthy, for your return trip, please make sure to check the bus schedules. Once you are in Eze, taxis are hard to find. Therefore, they will be an expensive option when you find one.
Certainly one of the most charming villages on the French Riviera – actually it’s my favorite!
Villefranche sur Mer is positioned on a beautiful bay between Monaco and Nice. Alongside its attractive harbor are cafes, restaurants and boats bobbing in the Mediterranean. If you are looking for a classic old town village with class and beauty, this is for you. This charming old town winds its way up narrow cobblestone streets with colorful buildings. Moreover, flowers, plants and ivy adorn the walkways, balconies and buildings. There are boutiques and cafes scattered all around. This town is a feast for your eyes and joy for your soul. Moreover, the restaurants here are incredibly delicious! I have been lucky enough to travel here 5 times and each and every visit just outdoes the last with the amazing food – just superb! Villefranche is a wonderful summer vacation spot, sometimes more busy than others due to cruise ships visit.
are some of the best in the world. Welcome to St. Tropez! Here are my recommendations on the best luxury and moderately priced hotels in fabulous St. Tropez.
Hotel Byblos St Tropez
Luxury with pool: The Hotel Byblos is an iconic hotspot for international jet-setters and is spectacular in many ways. It is in a perfect location in the heart of the village. From the moment you arrive, you will be in the lap of luxury and treated like royalty. Byblos is one of the best in St. Tropez if not in all the Cote d’azur! Brand new luxury suites were added last year as well as the Cucina Byblos and Arcadia Restaurants. Not only is staying here fabulous, but it is one of the best hot spots in St. Tropez. With a nighttime summer party around the pool and the famous Cave du Roy Club, Hotel Byblos is a destination for all who want to party and stay the St. Tropez way! Address: 20 Avenue Paul Signac, St. Tropez
Pan Dei Palais
Luxury with Pool – This elegant hotel is located in the center of the village, although when you step inside it is an oasis of zen and calmness. With an excellent staff, beautiful gardens and superior rooms this is for the traveler who wants calm after the hustle and bustle of St. Tropez Address: 52 rue Gambetta, St. Tropez
Luxury with Pool – Le Yaca is a charming 18th-century residence with excellent service in a superb atmosphere. The rooms have been fully renovated in the best taste. In addition to the luxurious comfortable rooms, Le Yaca has a pool and a beautiful garden. This 5* hotel is also in an excellent location in the center of everything. Address: 1 Boulevard D’Aumale, St. Tropez
Hotel La Ponche
Luxury – Hotel La Ponche is fantastically situated in the old town of Saint Tropez, with views over the bay, and an excellently situated restaurant terrace. In addition, there is a small local beach at their doorstep. Address: 5 rue des Remparts, St. Tropez
Moderately Priced: Hotel Subeis a 3-star hotel in a fantastic location directly on the port. The rooms are simply decorated but lovely. Rooms with balconies will catch an amazing sunset and all the happenings of the yachts and people below. It is great value by St. Tropez standards. Enjoy! Address: 23 Quai du Bailli du Suffren
Discover the best restaurants in St. Tropez with me. St. Tropezwill dazzle you with an array of amazing restaurants, delicious food and unique dining experiences. You will savor the freshest seafood and the very best of traditional culinary delights, not to mention the creamiest tarts. Of course, food plays an amazing part in the culture and daily life of Saint Tropez, which is certainly a place for foodies. All my suggestions are within walking distance from the port. Remember that Rose wine is the life blood of St. Tropez! While you are there, forget the reds and whites – drink the pinks! Santé! (to your health)
We all have priorities in restaurants. For some it’s strictly the food – others require ambiance or a chic scene and for yet another service is tops. My recipe is to mix all these ingredients and suggest the very best to you! Bon appétit!
L’Auberge des Maures
Romantic, Fine Dining – Since, L’Auberge des Maureswas recommended by our hotel we decided to go. It certainly did more than impress us! As a matter of fact, it is an oasis of culinary excellence which serves traditional provencal cuisine at its best. In addition, delicious wine, incredible service and a charming atmosphere definitely makes this one of the best restaurants in St. Tropez. Address: Château de La Messardière, 2 route de Tahiti , St. Tropez
Restaurant Le G’ envie
Moderately Priced – Not only does L’e G’envie have superb food, but it is combined with excellent service. The menu of French/Mediterranean cuisine is beautifully plated and tastes divine. Furthermore, you will enjoy the view of the beautifully domed Chapel of Mercy (la Chapelle de la Miséricorde). Since it is a small, cozy place, I suggest making a reservation. Address: 67 rue de Portail Neuf, St. Tropez
RIVEA at Byblos
Romantic, Fine Dining – Perfectly located in the beautiful Byblos Hotel Rivea offers delicious Mediterranean cuisine in a gorgeous atmosphere. Enjoy a charming terrace, lounge music and a casual chic vibe. After dinner head over to the pool area and enjoy one of the best lounge scenes in St. Tropez. I love it here! Address: 24 Avenue Foch, St. Tropez
Romantic, Fine Dining – Enjoy delicious Italian cusine in a beautiful poolside garden under the stars. One of my favorite restaurants is Le Patio located in Le Yaca Hotel. The menu is refined Italian cuisine. Excellent food and great service in a beautiful atmosphere! Surely try the tagliatelle with lobster – it is delicious! One of my favorite of St. Tropez restaurants. Address: 1 Boulevard D Aumale, St. Tropez
Lively, Fine Dining – In the first place, this is the best restaurant/club I have ever been to in the world! My favorite nights out in St Tropez are always spent at L’Opera. The food is delicious and service is excellent. That is only the beginning – together with unbeatable atmosphere and entertainment so amazing – you won’t want to leave! Try the truffle gnocchi, it was superb! If you are looking to really party, book the 10 PM seating. It turns into a club. By all means, don’t miss it! I think it may be the best restaurant in St. Tropez. Address: Residence du Port, St. Tropez
Moderately Priced – Le Sénéquier is in a prime location on the port. Not only is its red awning an iconic part of St. Tropez, but the entrees are excellent. Enjoy dining al fresco while looking at the harbor under the stars. Also, Sénéquier is a perfect sunny daytime spot to have coffee or lunch on the harbor. Great for people watching and celebrity spotting! Address: Quai Jean Jauras, St. Tropez
Moderately Priced – If you would like a change from French cuisine try BanH-Hoi. This restaurant offers the best authentic Thai and Vietnamese food on the French Riviera. Inside you will find a plush, sexy and intimate atmosphere. You can also dine outside under the stars. It is one of the most exclusive restaurants in St. Tropez. Address: 12 rue Petit Saint Jean, St. Tropez
La Villa Romana
Lively, Fine Dining –La Villa Romana offers great food with an Italian Mediterranean flair. There is entertainment, fun bar and dancing. Address: Chemin des Conquetes, St. Tropez.
The Best Restaurants in St. Tropez
Writing about St. Tropez restaurants happens to be a difficult task since there are an abundance of excellent ones! Although French cuisine is one of the most excellent in the world, St. Tropez is a small cosmopolitan city with foods from different countries. My wish for you is to savor the culinary delights of this marvelous city and country. While you are there, enjoy dining at the best restaurants in St. Tropez!
Saint Tropez, France is truly one of the chicest and sexiest places on our planet. The most glamorous town on the French Riviera has sunny weather, white sandy shores and the sparkling Mediterranean to play in. This is just the beginning of the magic. For one thing, St. Tropez has the most spectacular, amazing nightlife and the most glamorus beach clubs. There is an abundance of hot spots with entertainment that only St. Tropez can offer. On the other hand, you can get off the beaten path, finding serene and romantic places to spend your time. Additionally, let’s not forget first classdiningwith amazing local cuisine. There is so much to discover in this picturesque, vibrant village.St. Tropez boasts a charming old town with excellent restaurants. Furthermore, there are exceptional hotels in St. Tropez. As you roam the narrow cobblestone streets you will discover unique and beautiful places that will inspire you. Saint Tropez is filled with fabulous restaurants, cafes, galleries and boutiques. Of course, there are many luxury shops also, such as Channel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, etc. Furthermore, there is a fantastic open air market on Place des Lices every Tuesday and Saturday. The market has delicious food products as well as an array of merchandise from fashion to antiques.
The Harbor – The Gathering Spot
St. Tropez is also known for its bustling port. Not to mention that it is the focal point of town. You can grab a cocktail or coffee in one of the many open-air restaurants and watch the crowd go by. The harbor is a busy area lined with restaurants, cafes, and stores. Not only is the harbor a magnet for people, but also for the incredible mega yachts that are docked. Part of the allure is walking along the dock and browsing at all the yachts – any Below Deck fans?
The Best St. Tropez Beaches
Not only is the weather beautiful in Saint Tropez, but the beaches are beautiful as well. Furthermore, the beach clubs are insane! Crazy mad with great food, a great vibe and then voila – a thumping dance club that doesn’t stop till dusk!
Charming Old Town
In St. Tropez you can have it all from a romantic relaxing vibe to a non-stop party vibe. All wrapped up in a gorgeous Saint Tropezian bow! Oh yes, it is still the home of Brigitte Bardot, who put St. Tropez on the map. Thank goodness!
You will be sure to raise a glass of Rosé when you’re in Saint Tropez. This is just a small selection of Rosé that the French Riviera has to offer! Raise a glass and say “santé”
Getting to St. Tropez
Of course, taking a private transfer is always the best, although the most expensive way to go, about 180 euros in 2022. A good, easy option is train to ferry. From the Nice Airport or other coastal towns, take the train to Sainte-Maxime. Next board the Sainte-Maxime to Saint-Tropez ferry which takes about 15 min. If you have light luggage, you can walk to the ferry station in 10 minutes. However with heavy luggage taxis are available. You are able to purchase tickets at the ferry station and there are constant shuttles daily.
St. Tropez is a village with winding alleys and colorful façades – a picturesque and characterful maze of pastel homes and cobbled lanes. You will find a picturesque site at every turn.
Honestly, you will be in foodie heaven when eating in Villefranche restaurants. The chefs take pride in their dishes and the cuisine is absolutely delicious! These restaurants are consistent – they have been open for years and every time I have been here, which is often, it surpasses my last visit. Looking for the best restaurants in Villefranche sur Mer?Here are some of my favorites
Tip: Make reservations. Restaurants in Villefranche-sur-Mer are extremely busy in summer season
Les Garcons is a must go restaurant for foodies – do not miss it. The BEST burrata ever! You will be served absolutely delicious French cuisine. They have a lovely outdoor courtyard as well as inside dining. You will enjoy a delicious meal with wonderful ambiance and great service.
This photo of L’Aparte is courtesy of TripAdvisor
L’Aparte is another restaurant with amazing local cuisine. It is run by two French women, and the food is excellent! The menu is creative and prepared with local fresh ingredients. L’Aparte is located at the entrance of the rue Obscure, a very old-world pedestrian street in Villefranche. Outdoor dining is limited, so make a reservation if you would like to sit outside.
La Belle Etoile
Another exceptional restaurant is La Belle Etoile. The menu choice, quality and food presentation is exceptional. In addition, the atmosphere is lovely, as it is located at the top of the pedestrian staircase with plenty of outdoor seating. The inside is also very nice.
L’oursin Bleu is a harbor front restaurant the serves delicious, perfectly plated food. There are indoor or outdoor tables right on the harbor side dock. If you like to dine waterside, this is a great choice.
Villefranche sur Mer beaches have a beauty and charm all their own. You can go to the local beach, Plage de Marinieres, a few steps away from town. There you can get cozy with the locals and a handful of tourists alike. Furthermore, you can visit some beautiful and chic beaches in the area.My favorite beaches near Villefranche sur Mer are Passable Beach and Paloma Beach. These are are car ride or boat shuttle away. If you decide to walk, as I have done many times, you can enjoy the beautiful sights along the coast. The walk has some very picturesque areas, therefore, don’t forget to bring your camera. In addition you will see some very special homes during your walk. When you visit beaches in the French Riviera (Cote d’Azure), it is typical to have a delicious lunch and then go back to swimming and having fun in the sun!
Tip:Umbrellas, beds and towels are available at all the beach clubs. It is a good idea to have your hotel reserve them for you in advance, as they fill up quickly. In addition, let your hotel make lunch reservations for you. If not, you will wait for a table as lunch is part of the highlight of the beach. Enjoy the wonderful day you will have!
Les Bains de la plage
Plage de Marinieres is a busy local beach which is a quick five minute walk from the center of town. The water is beautiful and calm. The beach club, Les Bains de la Plage is a little piece of casual paradise in Villefranche-Sur-Mer. It welcomes you in a bohemian-chic décor. Deckchairs, umbrellas, tables and beach towels are available. Enjoy a fresh menu by the sea at Restaurant Les Bains de la Plage. You can order lunch/dinner with a bottle of Rose to have table side or at your lounge chair.
Passable Beach is a wonderful beach club with a terrific restaurant and delicious food! I highly suggest visiting Plage de Passable. The swimming is wonderful and there are also paddle boards to rent. It has amazing views of Villefranche-sur-Mer. To get here, it is a quick 15 minute taxi ride. In addition, I also suggest a lovely a 35 minute walk from town to this beach. You will pass Ville Nellcote, a 16 room mansion where Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones lived for a year. Exile on Main Street recordings took place in Ville Nellcote during 1971. If you decide to walk, you will enjoy beautiful views along the water. Enjoy!
Paloma Beach or Plage de la Paloma is a little paradise on the exclusive and chic Cape Jean Ferrat peninsula. It is hidden in a beautiful cove at the bottom of a cliff. There are steps to descend unless of course you arrive by yacht. At Paloma Beach you will find crystal clear water and beautiful views of the mountains. In addition, there is an elegant and delicious restaurant. The menu consists of grilled fish, mussels, amazing salads and a wine list of excellent Côte de Provence Rosé. Reservations are highly recommended for the restaurant. Of course there are sunbed and umbrella rentals and a variety of water sports to indulge in. Interested in walking? It is a beautiful 50 minute walk from Villefranche to chic Paloma Beach. On the way, you will pass movie star, David Niven’s, beautiful house.
Fun Fact: Honeymoon beach scenes in Fifty Shades Freed were filmed at Paloma Beach.
Anao Plage in Beaulieu sur Mer is an excellent option for a beach day. It is a short 15-20 minute walk from the beach of Villefranche and has a chic first class beach club. The food and atmosphere are excellent! Bathe in the heart of a unique heritage on a preserved shore, and enjoy a menu of regional specialties. You will definitely be pampered and love your day! Of course, everything you need is at your fingertips here. I highly recommend Anao! Anao Plage: Av. Fernand Dunan, 06310 Beaulieu-sur-Mer Telephone: +33 04 93 54 07 89
It is only a six minute train ride from Villefranche sur Mer to Eze sur Mer if you would like to explore Eze Beaches. Check out my Eze Beaches post to read more about them.
In addition, I highly suggest a visit to the clifftop Midieval village of Eze. You can visit this beautiful village and the beach in the same day, especially if you hike down the mountain. Read all about it in my Eze post.
Beaches on a Budget
If you are traveling on a budget or prefer to spend your hard earned cash in a delicious restaurant instead of beach rentals, all the above mentioned beaches have a public section. Remember to bring an umbrella and towel to lay on. Check with your hotel to see if they offer complimentary towels or umbrellas. If not, there is a little variety store on the walkway leading to the local beach which sells umbrellas and towels as well as floats and sunscreen. Have a great day at the beach!