The French Riviera or Côte d'Azur stretches from the French-Italian border to Saint Tropez. This beautiful part of the Mediterranean coast is beloved by jet-set. Gorgeous coastline, azure sea, charming villas, and astonishing nature allure visitors, especially in summer. However, it also has a reputation as a destination for those with deeper pockets. Yet you can stay in some smaller villages, drive along the coastline and explore. Therefore, we'll prepare you for your sightseeing tour as we talk about the top ten best places you should visit during your stay at the fabulous Côte d'Azur.
Surely you have heard about the famous Film Festival taking place every year in charming Cannes. Hence, this lovely town becomes crowded with international movie stars during it. Moreover, to host it all, palatial hotels are lined up along its main Boulevard de la Croisette, overlooking the gorgeous sandy beach.
In Cannes, everything is bursting with luxury, high-end boutiques, top-notch restaurants offering expensive food, and a fabulous marina with some of the most luxurious yachts. Moreover, its beautiful beach and azure sea allure and enchant visitors to this gorgeous town. So, Cannes is worth visiting for a few days as it's pretty expensive, especially during summer.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is in the heart of the French Riviera, between Monaco and Nice, offering stunning views and a perfect maritime climate. It's known for its yacht-filled harbor, lavish historic villas, and luxurious hotels. This small yet exclusive community has been a favorite healing place for celebrities since the 1800s.
Its status has stayed the same, as many billionaires have properties on the peninsula. This former fisherman's village has charming scenery. The old luxurious villas are surrounded by lush vegetation and impressive rocky beaches.
This small seaside town with a picturesque harbor is as charismatic as the rest of the French Riviera. One of the most gorgeous in the Mediterranean, the harbor is the prettiest part of the Villefranche-sur-Mer, with many cafes and restaurants. However, behind it, there is a fascinating old town worth exploring. Colorful facades, narrow passages, and steep cobbled streets give the town a unique charm.
Luckily, the Villefranche-sur-Mer is less expensive than the rest of the Riviera. Furthermore, it has a beautiful rocky beach with azure waters. Hence, it's an excellent choice when on a budget.
Located west of Antibes, one of the best French Riviera towns boasts many long, sandy beaches ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Juan-Les Pins is also famous for its contiguous pine woodlands, spas, hotels, and buoyant town center with narrow streets. Also, it's well known for its annual jazz festival, which attracts international talent every July.
Moreover, strolling through the old town, you'll find many boutiques and waterside seafood bistros. Be sure to visit the main attraction - the art deco Hôtel Belles Rives. This is where F. Scott Fitzgerald hosted his dazzling parties attended by Hemingway and Rudolph Valentino. Among the famous guests was American mogul Frank Jay Gould, who inspired "The Great Gatsby."
Eze, a charming medieval village on the 1401 ft high cliff, overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. This picturesque place is a favorite for a romantic getaway and is just a short ride away from Nice. Moreover, Eze is cherished among art lovers, as it has many art galleries. The charismatic village is home to family-run fragrance factories. Moreover, you can even see the process up close and buy a fragrance you like.
Furthermore, the Eze village has its own beach on the foothill called Eze-Sur-Mer Beach. However, while getting down the hill is simple, climbing up from the beach to Eze is quite challenging. Hence, it's better to use some transportation.
Nice, the central city on the French Riviera has a long history dating from ancient Greek times. Even though today it's known for its vibrant nightlife, there's much more to it. Hence, you will be enchanted, strolling along with the beautiful Promenade des Anglais, lined up with Belle Époque and baroque buildings.
Once you set foot on Castle Hill overlooking the city and catch a glimpse of the old town and the azure Mediterranean Sea, you'll realize why this was a favorite place for many famous artists. Nice's old town is charming, with small restaurants and cafes on narrow streets, as it's all you can expect from an old-fashioned Mediterranean place and French Riviera tourism. While the best time to visit Nice, France, is summer, you can't really make a mistake.
The best kept secret of Cote d’Azur is Menton. A charming little town between the Italian border and Monaco offers breathtaking gardens and beautiful architecture. Hence, Menton has a perfect climate ideal for growing Mediterranean plants, so you'll find many beautiful flowers on every corner.
This place has a mild climate ideal for growing citrus fruit. Therefore, it's no wonder that Manton hosts the annual Lemon Festival (La Fête du Citron) throughout February and March. During this time, streets become crowded with tourists. In addition to lovely gardens, Menton has an old town established in the 13th century and a fantastic waterfront.
3. Saint Tropez
We can say that Saint Tropez owes its popularity to famous French actress Brigitte Bardot and the movie "And God Created Woman." Today, Saint Tropez is a special place among elite jet-setters. Every summer, its marina is lined up with some of the most luxurious yachts, as all the rich visit it.
This charming town lures visitors with beautiful beaches, exclusive clubs, high-end boutiques, and well-renewed restaurants. However, the old town is quite arresting, with an old Citadel and narrow streets. It's undoubtedly worth a visit!
Antibes, a jewel in the Riviera's sparkling crown, is surrounded by 16th-century fortified walls overlooking the sea. This charming town can be proud of its striking beaches and remarkable scenery. Antibes remains popular due to its large and elegant marina and many shops and art galleries. Moreover, it's worth visiting sights such as the Picasso Museum, formerly the Château Grimaldi, the artist's workshop and home in 1946.
Nowadays, Hotel Belles-Rives, former Villa Saint Louis, is where F. Scott Fitzgerald started writing his novel "Tender is the Night." So, as you can see, Antibes is a lovely place that inspired many great artists and will continue to do so.
Visiting the French Riviera and skipping one of the smallest and wealthiest states in the world would be a mistake! Hence, the Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state known as a "Billionaires' Playground." While it's smaller than New York's Central Park, it has fabulous landscapes and unique architecture, luring visitors.
Also, Monaco hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix every year, attracting many sports fans. Moreover, it's known for its football club, belle époque-style hotels, elite shopping, fabulous restaurants, and cafes. Monte Carlo is a part of Monaco, best known for its famous casinos and for appearing in numerous movies, especially James Bond ones.
This is a playground for the famous and wealthy, and the best time to visit the French Riviera is in the summer. Yet, as it has mild winters with a healing effect, it's popular year-round. Its charming scenery takes the breath away, and the small scenic towns and villages are unique and must-visit.
Have you ever visited some of the places on our top ten list? What did you like the most? Please write your impressions in the comment segment below, as we would like to hear your thoughts.
Cover photo: TopTens.fun/Midjourney