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 exquisite!
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!
Carnivals and festivals in France are spectacular occasions! The French are proud of their culture and love their traditions. As a visitor, it is a wonderful way to come together and celebrate life in France. Festivals and carnivals come alive all over France throughout the year. You can attend amazing carnivals, grueling sporting competitions and see beautiful art. Surely, you will never forget the thrill of it all in France!
Menton Lemon Festival
Battle of the Flowers – Villefranche sur Mer
Berck sur Mer Kite Festival
Canne Film Festival
Tour de France
Festival of Avignon
Every summer, under the sun, the city turns into a gigantic live performance stage . In the street or in theaters, art is everywhere! The city center of Avignon (inside the ramparts) offers a large number of theaters in which the OFF shows are scheduled (mostly creations). The shows of the IN festival take place in places of representation inside and outside the walls. The types of shows offered are very varied: humor, young audiences, all audiences, etc.
Lyon Festival of Lights
This is a wonderful festival with lights everywhere. Every year, on December 8, the residents of Lyon put candles on their windowsills in colored glasses. Moreover, there are light shows on historic buildings and throughout the city. The Festival of Lights is a community event which is rooted in Lyon’s history. The Festival of Lights was born from tradition going back to 8 December 1852. in order to celebrate the installation of the Virgin Mary statue on Fourvière Hill.
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.
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.
This spectacular country has famous and beautiful Mediterranean beaches, medieval and alpine villages, and chic cities. Paris, the capital of France is famous for its art and fashion houses. In fact, France is the birthplace of Monet, Matisse, Dior, Chanel and Vuitton. Not to mention that Paris is also home to the world famous Eiffel Tower. Moreover, this country is also known for the fine wines and cheeses they produce. France is one of the most visited countries in the world.
I have explored the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur) several times. St. Tropez and Villefranche-sur-Mer are my favorite spots on the Mediterranean sea. Eze and St. Paul de Vence are amazing medieval, mountaintop villages that are absolutely worth visiting. I find the cuisine on the French Riviera to be exceptional – on par or exceeding the culinary delights in Italy! Here, the delicious preferred wine is a chilled bottle of Rosé. The beaches are beautiful, not to mention that they are also renowned hot spots. All things considered, France is a must-see country! So raise a glass of Rosé and let’s say – à votre santé! (to your health) while I tell you about some of my favorite destinations.