The French Riviera - seaside & back country

The legendary French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, has always been a hotspot for travellers in France. Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh and Picasso all found inspiration in the staggering landscapes and sun-drenched stone villages that bless this region.

Make the most of the bustling cities of Menton, Nice and Monte Carlo before making your way to the Riviera back country. Here, you will find a world of natural beauty that is bound to captivate your heart and soul.

As you journey through the little towns that sit among the rocky hills, let your troubles and cares evaporate. All that matters now is the smell of jasmine and the sight of blossoming fruit trees. Welcome to the French Riviera.

 

5.0
Lawrence
Staying in B&B’s is a great way to see the country and meet the people who live there in their normal environment. And, “France Just for You” provides an excellent way to have this …
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 4230
Region
in Provence & French Riviera

Enjoy the sweet scents, vivid colors, flavorful tastes, sunshine and warm wind of Provence & the Riviera. To save time and energy, we recommend you fly in and out of Marseille (or Nice) International Airport. Otherwise, we can also help with TGV train tickets.

Gourmet Food Tours
Countryside Tours
Art & Museums Tours
Duration
16 days
Price
US$ 3880
Region
in Loire Valley, Dordogne, Carcassonne & French Riviera

Explore French culture and history in three of its most representative regions: the Loire Valley, Dordogne and the Riviera, with a nice stop in Carcassonne.

Wine Tasting Tours
Villages & Markets Tours
Art & Museums Tours
Duration
20 days
Price
US$ 5480
Region
in Paris, Burgundy, Provence & French Riviera

For independent travelers who want to thoroughly explore la belle France - from Paris, through the vineyards of Burgundy, the charming landscapes of Provence, and on to the sunny Riviera!

Gourmet Food Tours
Countryside Tours
Art & Museums Tours
Duration
16 days
Price
US$ 4850
Region
in Paris, Provence & French Riviera

This itinerary will take you from Paris, the city of lights, to Provence in two different locations, and end in the French Riviera. Perfect to relax & get some sun !

Heritage & History Tours
Gourmet Food Tours
Art & Museums Tours
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 4150
Region
in French Riviera, Provence & Paris

From the colors and fragrances of the South-East of France, to the beautiful monuments, restaurants and concerts in Paris, this trip will awaken all your senses.

Countryside Tours
Art & Museums Tours
Duration
10 days
Price
US$ 3280
Region
in French Riviera & Provence

Provence & the French Riviera are famous the world over, but they still have a lot of secrets, ready to be discovered if you are willing to get away from the beaten paths.

Villages & Markets Tours
Gourmet Food Tours
Duration
26 days
Price
US$ 6080
Region
in Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Provence & French Riviera

Spend about a month traveling from Paris to Nice on the French Riviera and get a real feel for the authentic France!

Wine Tasting Tours
Heritage & History Tours
Countryside Tours
French Riviera

How to Get to the French Riviera

Nice Airport is perfectly located for anyone wishing to travel to the French Riviera. The airport is well-served by both international and domestic flights and Nice is in one of the most beautiful cities along the Riviera.

From Nice, you can easily get to Marseille and Provence by car in around 2 hours and a half or you can make the short half an hour journey to Cannes and check out what’s going on there. If you go in late May you might even be able to catch some of the world-famous Cannes Film Festival.

If you are coming from Italy then getting to Nice is simple thanks to the high volume of trains that serve this route.

For those who will be flying in to Paris (CDG or Orly airports), the best way to get to Nice is to take a domestic flight. The flight only takes 1h20 and is usually cheaper than the train, which takes 6h30.

 Nice International Airport

Nice International Airport

Within Nice area

From Nice you can trace the southern coastline of France to Menton – just 30 minutes away by car on the Corniche road. Along the way you will see some of France’s most beautiful scenery as well as some lovely little towns you can explore. You can even pop into Monaco along the way and tick another country off your list.

The beaches along this stretch of coastline are a mixture of pebble and sand, depending on where you go. The one thing they all have in common is the near-certainty of sunshine every day. Don your flip-flops, grab your towel and get ready for a day of relaxing...maybe in La garoupe beach, one of the nicest beaches of France

While there is plenty to do on the beaches along the Riviera, perhaps one of the most exciting activities is taking a peek at some of the luxury villas here. A whole host of celebrities use the French Riviera as their summer getaway destination – and it’s not hard to see why.

Villas on the French Riviera

Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild on Cap Ferrat

Ever since the 19th century, luxury towns and villas have been popping up all over the place and several are today open to visitors.

If the towns and cities become too much, head to the hinterland. Equally gorgeous and much more peaceful, this part of the Riviera offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.

St Paul de Vence and Eze are the most commonly visited towns in this region but we like to show our travellers something a little different. In addition to these hotspots, we visit Vence, Tourrettes, Gourdon and more hidden gems of the Riviera. Some of the finest perfumes come from the flowers that grow here.

The French Riviera offers some of the best self-drive experiences in France.

 

Famous Figures & artists on the Riviera

Nowadays, the Riviera is known to attract celebrities around the world. George Clooney was seen house hunting here and Tina Turner, Angelina Jolie and Elton John already have properties along the Côte d’Azur.

However, before the modern influx of celebrities, the French Riviera was home to world-renowned artists, such as Matisse, Renoir and Chagall. With eyes for beauty, it is easy to see why they loved living here so much.

To this day the Côte d’Azur remains a hotspot for art with the Maeght Foundation in St Paul de Vence and all sorts of gorgeous galleries in Mougins and Biot. We select museums based on what our travellers like in order to create the perfect bespoke itinerary.

art galleries near nice

 Nice & the French Riviera are a paradise to art lovers

 

Events on the French Riviera

By far the most well-known event to take place on the French Riviera is the Cannes Film Festival. This festival draws crowds from across the globe along with hundreds of celebrities, many of whom are competing for the coveted Palme d’Or.

If you happen to be in Cannes while the festival is on then you’re in for a treat. Spend your days spotting celebrities or hanging out at the beach and then hit up the soirées in the evening. This is the definition of living the high life.

Another huge event that takes place along the Riviera is the Monaco Grand Prix. This Formula 1 race consumes the entire country and is one of the most prestigious races. The atmosphere while it is on is truly incredible.

 

Outdoors Activities

Thanks to the eternal sunshine, the French Riviera is one of the best places in the country to get outside and fill your lungs with fresh air. We thoroughly recommend that all our travellers take the time to stroll through some of the gorgeous gardens hanging over the sea.

The views from these gardens are a mixed bag of delights with the turquoise sea on one side and mountains on the other. Get your camera ready because you’re going to want to remember this.

sceneries on the riviera

Gorgeous sceneries from Eze tropical gardens

Alternatively, why not hop in a boat and head out into the open water? There are plenty of boat tour options from Nice that are great fun. Nothing beats soaking up the sun on deck whilst listening to gentle lapping of waves against the side of the boat. What about a stop in the Lérins Islands ?

Gourmet travelers may also enjoy very much a wine & food tour to taste all the local delicacies...a very nice experience ! Let's not forget about wines: from Bandol to Mention a French Riviera Côte d'Azur wine tasting tour is also a memorable time. 

 

Where to Stay on the Côte d’Azur

If you are the kind of traveller who loves the buzz of a thriving city then you’re in luck. We have a variety of accommodations that are just minutes from the beach and the bustling Promenade des Anglais. Here, you will be perfectly located to enjoy the big city.

Of course, there are also travellers who prefer a bit of peace and quiet. If you fall in to this category then you are going to love staying in one of our gorgeous, premium B&Bs.

These quaint properties are situated away from the crowds in the hilltop villages in Nice. They are still centrally located, so you will still be able to explore the region but you can do so in a much quieter setting.

Bed and breakfast on the French riviera

B&B on the hills above Nice

 

The French Riviera is more than just a pretty face. With fantastic cuisine to try, charming villages to explore and plenty of open space to enjoy, there is something for everyone here. 

 

FAQ about the French Riviera

  • How long does it take to drive the French Riviera ?

The French Riviera or Côte d'Azur goes from Cassis (in the creeks near Marseille) to Menton, near the Italian border.  These 2 towns are 140 miles - 230 kms apart. 

Now, the very heart of the Côte d'Azur region is around Nice, Villefranche, Monaco and Menton : which represents only a 20 mile - 30 km coastline.  Self-driving tours from Nice area will be just perfect to discover the gorgeous landscapes and towns.

So basically, you can drive along the French Riviera in only one day.. if you want to enjoy it, then you'll need more time !

Also, during specific times of the year: Cannes Film Festival, Monaco Formula One, the summer vacations.. this area gets extremely crowded and if you cannot come at another time, we will plan your days.. and your French Riviera self-drive itineraries accordingly (recommending specific parking lots, roads, etc). 

We'll be happy to make recommendations based on what you like and dislike, the season you are traveling and your overall road trip itinerary in France. 

 

  • How many days do I need on the French Riviera ?

While French Riviera tours are often made in a day or two, at a minimum we recommend spending 3 days on the Riviera: one day for Nice, one for the Grande Corniche scenic road with the coastline sights (Villefranche, Monaco, Eze, Menton) and one to enjoy the hinterland with Saint-Paul de Vence, Tourrettes and many other less famous towns which really deserve a visit and enjoy dramatic views over the Mediterranean sea.

For travelers who want to take their time, 5 days are great to enjoy the Côte d'Azur region.

Before or after the Riviera, we recommend visiting Provence which is just West from Nice region. 

 

  • Is it hard to drive in the South of France ?

The South-East of France has a few traps you don't want to fall into while taking a road trip to Provence or the Riviera.

Roads may be narrower than in the rest of the country, so you need to drive slowly and take your time - you will be ok. 

The locals may be hot-blooded drivers but if you keep calm, you'll be ok. We recommend pulling over on the side of the road when possible to let the locals pass you (as they drive faster) and everything will work well.

Some parking spaces may be narrow in the cities or by the beach: no worries about that, we include the full insurance package to our trips with 0 deductible or excess fees if you scratch the car you won't pay one euro...just relax. 

 

 

Visit other French regions

Alsace

North

Lyon

Somme

Champagne

Verdun

Normandy

Provence

Dordogne

Loire Valley

Paris

Bordeaux

Our Travelers’ Reviews

Naomi
My boyfriend and I spent a week in Paris last month and we decided that we would do a couple of day-tours outside of the city during our trip. We really wanted to avoid the typical tour-bus day-tour and the crowds that come along with these kinds of tours – we wanted something more personalized that would allow us to go at our own pace. I found the …
Phil & Pat
Just a quick word of admiration and thanks for well planned and executed vacation for us. Every hotel, Chateau, B&B was clever, different and fun. Guides were outstanding and your recommendations without a flaw. I know we would enjoyed this vacation more because of your efforts Our time in France ends tomorrow and we have memories to carry us to …
Robert & Karen
Anyone planning a trip to France, whether for the first time or for the twelfth (like me), will benefit from the fabulous itinerary that Emilie can craft for you. My husband and I just returned from 2 1/2 weeks in the Medoc and the Loire Valley that Emilie planned for us: top-notch historic B&Bs with character, charming friendly hosts and sumptuous …

Our Travelers’ Photos

Dina & Jim
from the US
Who just received their travel pack at home
Kelsey
from the US
With her hosts at the B&B in the Loire Valley
Ann & Jim
From the US
In Amboise castle by the Loire river
Tracey & Sandra
From the US
In Provence...
Scott
From Australia
Making "chou" buns in the Loire Valley
Sheena & Anna
From the US
In Provence
Harry & Caroline
From Australia
Wine & Cheese Tasting
Carole & Paul
from the US
Wine Tasting...
Dan & Kim
From the US
Romantic time in Paris...
Lis, Mervyn & Stephen
from Australia
On the Riviera
Shirley
from Canada
In lavender fields in Provence
Jane & Ron
From Canada
Visiting the Opéra Garnier, in Paris