French Riviera

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Saint Tropez, French Riviera

The Mediterranean coastline of France, the Côte d’Azur, ranges from Monaco to Saint Tropez. Better known in English as the French Riviera, the warm dry temperate area attracts luxury travelers from around the world with its exquisite beaches, exciting nightlife, exclusive shopping and exemplary dining and accommodations.

Nice is the most charming and largest city along the French Riviera. The mix of French promenades, sparkling blue waters along the pebbled beaches and long summer season makes Nice a popular destination. The beaches in Nice are covered in smooth sea worn pebbles, so be sure to wear sandals or beach shoes on the way to your destination. Better still, reserve a sun lounger in order to soak up the sun in comfort. When you tire of sunbathing, stroll along the brilliant promenades and squares in Nice. The main Promenade des Anglais follows the Mediterranean bay and features fine museums, dining and shopping. Other highlights include the Lascaris Palace, built in 1648; St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, mixing Russian and Mediterranean architecture; and the Nice Observatory designed in part by Gustave Eiffel.

Cannes Film Festival, French Riviera

Cannes is best known for the Cannes Film Festival, which takes place every year in May. While tickets to films are invite only, stargazing is free. The Film Festival attracts A-list Hollywood celebrities to this influential event in the French Riviera. To catch a glimpse of a celebrity, plan on arriving early. Outside of this festival, Cannes offers year round luxury, from yacht expeditions to tanning on your own private beach. Consider staying at the Majestic Barriere, with sun beds and water sports at their private pier.

Saint Tropez is the jewel of the French Riviera, sporting it all. White sandy beaches, windsurfing, sailing, yachts, and fashionable nightclubs are abundant in Saint Tropez. The most recognizable names in fashion often travel to Saint Tropez to showcase the latest trends. Enjoy the glamorous life in Les Caves du Roy club or see the cabaret in Le Quai.

Monte Carlo Casino, French Riviera

Monaco is actually a sovereign state surrounded by France on all sides, though maintaining a separate government. However, many travelers to the French Riviera include a trip to the famed Monte Carlo casinos or the Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco. The most famous of the casinos in Monte Carlo is the Grand Casino. This opulent casino is decorated with marble, onyx, frescos, and sculptures, making it more than a place to play the slots. This is a high-rollers haven, and most visitors here dress the part in tuxedos, suits, and ball gowns. Across the way, stop by the Café Paris to watch the gamblers come and go from the Grand Casino. One of the most exciting and famed car races, the Monaco Grand Prix takes place annually here in May.

From Monte Carlo to Saint Tropez, beautiful beaches line the coastline of the French Riviera and each offer something unique. Saint Tropez offers the most miles of white sand along the shore. These beaches are fun, stylish, and a place to see and be seen. As with most beaches along the Riviera, some of the best beaches in Nice are private, belonging to the hotels along the shoreline. Other private beaches offer half or full day passes, allowing you to enjoy the waters without the crowds in the public beaches. Indulge in further luxury renting a chaise and have food and drink delivered to your seat. Many beaches along the Côte d’Azur, are topless and Nice is no exception, though full nudity is not permitted. In Cannes, most hotels offer private beaches where you may just see your favorite celebrity enjoying the sun on the white sand coastline. If you are not staying in one of the resorts here, there are public beaches, which are just as gorgeous on the west end of town. In Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Laravotto Beach is small yet glamorous; however, most of the coastline here belongs to marinas and billion dollar yachts.

Pampelonne Beach Saint Tropez, French Riviera

Unparalleled shopping can be found all along the Mediterranean coast. The areas are known for upscale luxury and trend setting fashions. For shopping in Cannes, check out palm tree lined Boulevard de la Croisette, home to Dior, Chanel, and Cartier. Moreover, fashionistas will want to find the latest designs from the world’s top designers scattered in Saint Tropez. Find Armani, Saint-Laurent, and Prada among the luxury brands along Saint Tropez’s Place de la Garonne, Rue Allard, and Rue Gambetta. Shopping in Nice ranges from open-air markets to high-fashion collections. The Cours Saleya is the most famous outdoor market in Nice, filled with fresh flowers and produce. Even if you don’t make a purchase, visiting the market is worth the incredible sights and smells. Luxury boutiques Hermes, Faconnable, and Armand Theiry are nearby along the Avenue de Verdun and Rue de Suede in Nice.

Dining in the French Riviera mixes fine French cuisine with lighter Mediterranean touches. Many of the cafés along the Riviera offer seaside views, local olive oils, and Herbes de Provence, a regional mixture of herbs that typically contain savory, basil, thyme, and lavender. In the markets, enjoy fresh peaches, apricots, tomatoes, and asparagus. The flavors here are crisp and light. Expect more cream sauces in northern France, not here. Enjoy the Nice specialty of Socca, made from chickpea flour with a glass of southern French wine. Along the coast, seafood finds its way into many of the regional specialties, such as bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew with various shellfish, mussels, leeks, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes.

The French Riviera’s Mediterranean climate is sunny over 300 days a year, with warm dry temperatures. Summers tend to be hot and more crowded during July and August. A visit in September is just as comfortable, without as many tourists. A number of luxury accommodations in the French Riviera are available offering the finest in scenery and privacy. To see for yourself the splendor of the French Riviera, contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com.