Tourist information for the Cote d'Azur
The French Riviera boasts a combination of fine weather and sparkling blue seas,
making this area one of the most magnetic in the world. Its mountain backdrop, exquisite
light and sheer chic have drawn a diversity of adherents, not least some of the
twentieth century's most famous artists. Travel here for smart resorts, wonderful
beaches and warm seas or escape to the quieter hinterlands and the excellent art
museums. This area is usually associated with sun, sea and sand and there's plenty
of that. But the Cote d'Azur also has gorgeous mountain scenery only a short drive
from the bustling resorts. Medieval hilltop villages host art and craft festivals
and beautiful walks abound in the scented countryside.
Map of the Cote d'Azur
A useful website about the
Activities on the Cote d'Azur:
Anything to do with the sea and water sports, shopping, promenade strolling.
Special Attractions on the Cote d'Azur:
Cannes film festival, Picasso museum at Antibes, Fondation Maeght (outstanding collection
of twentieth century art), Matisse and Chagall museums at Nice.
Towns and places of interest on the Cote d'Azur:
Antibes. Wealthy old town with Chateau Grimaldi and the Picasso museum. Has
a popular market, private and public beaches and a wealth of restaurants. Less showy
than Cannes and less busy than Nice it is a good centre for visiting some of the
best art museums.
Biot. Pretty village and home to the excellent Fernand Leger museum. Fernand
Leger was a colleague of Picasso with a strong commitment to art celebrating the
working man and the skill of turning huge art pieces into ceramic mosaics.
Cannes. Busy, flashy harbour and marina. Famous for its film festival and
smart beaches. Boat trips can be taken to the nearby Iles de Lerin, which are small,
quiet havens of pine-scented woods and shores.
Cassis. Surrounded by spectacular cliffs.
Frejus. Roman remains, medieval centre and Aquatica aquapark.
Grasse. Centre of the world famous perfume industry.
Hyere. Quieter old summer resort
Juan-les-Pins. Antibes' neighbour is known for its jazz festival at the end
of July and its tiny remnant of the ancient pine forests that once covered this
La Ciotat. Surrounded by excellent beaches.
Marseilles. This is still a thriving port and cosmopolitan city with a thriving
nightlife and a reputation for hot tempers. In town are several interesting museums,
ceramics, contemporary and twentieth century art and around are several beaches
and smaller coves to explore.
Menton. Last stop before the Italian Riviera, this town has a strong Italian
influence and has probably the best climate on the coast being sheltered by the
surrounding hills. It has a pebble beach and many public gardens and is a somewhat
calmer place to stay especially out of season when its weather is often warmer than
the other towns of the area.
Monaco/Monte Carlo. The fairy-tale Principality whose Prince captivated the
heart of Grace Kelly. The castle and surrounding gardens are spectacularly situated
on a promontory with breathtaking views over the harbour of Monte Carlo with yachts
the size of tennis courts. Perhaps the most famous, and certainly the most picturesque,
Formula One motor race takes place through the streets of Monte Carlo.
Nice. This is a busy, crowded, Italianate city. Old Nice, filled with the
perfume of the flower market, has tiny streets and numerous chapels whilst the new
town has good shopping and art museums (modern and contemporary art, Matisse and
Chagall). The famous Promenade des Anglais with its elegant hotels and casino runs
alongside the pebble beach and the Phoenix Floral Park with theme rides and animals.
St. Paul de Vence. Very pretty fortified village full of art galleries and
near the Fondation Maeght which houses the most extraordinary collection of art
works collected by the Maeghts. They were art dealers and friends with artists such
as Giocometti, Miro, Chagall, Picasso, Braque and many others.
St. Raphael. This is an expensive resort with good beaches, watersports and
St. Tropez. Not to be missed for the sheer extravagant show of wealth but
probably best visited in spring and autumn to avoid the crowds and the most excessive
Vence. Ancient city with good exhibition of twentieth century French art
and a chapel decorated by Matisse who lived here. Smart shops and restaurants.