The French Riviera has it all for that picture perfect holiday. Dotted with towns with their unique personalities, the cosmopolitan feel of the coastal cities, classy designer boutiques, Michelin starred restaurants and not to forget the spectacular blue of the Mediterranean. The allure of old movie glamor still draws the international crowd year in, year out.
Stay at a villa or an apartment
Holiday rentals are very popular with visitors. It’s the ultimate indulgence, a gorgeous villa with a pool that you could share with your friends. Places like Nice have many nice affordable apartments too. And what’s great about renting your own accommodation is you can cook too. The markets have amazing cheeses, seafood, meats et al. for the dinner on your balcony with that perfect setting sun and a bottle of French vino.
Places to visit and tips while in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Every town in Provence has its own glitz and glamour from Monaco (though a separate country) to Marseille and here are a few that you need to visit.
Monte Carlo (Monaco):
Elegant and classy, it’s a place for the well-heeled. While here, visit a casino, have a drink in the terrace of Cafe de Paris then finish up with a dinner at Hotel de Paris.
Not only a place for party animals but also for fancy shopping and brunching, that’s why, you just can’t miss the Dior Café. Indulge in the lap of luxury with a yacht trip to relax under the sun and then show off your moves at the club, Les Caves du Roy at the Byblos Hotel.
For its golden beaches.
For its allure and art, also offers great shopping and beach club options. For a memorable experience, spend a day at Club 55, a wonderful place to soak up the sun for that essential golden skin.
Don’t forget to visit Grasse, the world’s perfume capital and pick up your favorite scent.
If you dream of standing in the middle of lavender fields, it’s a must visit.
Here, you’ll find beautiful sand and stone beaches brushing against the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. Pass by the old town of Nice, enjoy the public beaches and gorge on delicious fare. The city is also perfect for exploring on foot and for awe-inspiring views stop by Place Massena and Castle Hill.
For traditional architecture and an immersive cultural experience, visit the Old Port, the Opéra de Marseille and the Notre Dame de la Garde church.
Personally, my favorite places are Nice and Monaco, they sum up perfectly the natural beauty and the luxurious life of the Côte d’Azur.
This hearty seafood stew is no stranger to the outside world and is a coming together of herbes de Provence, garlic, tomatoes and the traditional accompaniment of rouille, a Provençal sauce added to the stew.
A Mediterranean dish to the core, with fresh ingredients topped off with vinaigrette.
A variant recipe includes olives, capers, anchovies and plenty of olive oil, a winning combination that’s a hit everywhere now.
This chickpea based flatbread is best eaten straight off the oven and is a specialty from this region.
Plateau de fruits de mer
The French Riviera is famous about its fresh saltwater catches , so dive in this divine plate and have plenty of lemon around you.
I had my chicest brunch inspired from the world of Haute Couture at Dior Des Lices , the restaurant in the garden of the House of Dior .
If you have been eyeing that ‘it’ bag for the longest time, now’s the time to get it. France’s top designers are here, from Chanel to Louboutin, along with all the other luxury brands and is a shopper’s dream. But even if you’re looking for something low key, turn your attention to many charming souvenirs to take home like lemon infused anything – ceramics or oils, exotic salts, lavender from Antibes, perfumes and Provencal soaps from the farmer’s market in Nice, the list goes on.
Tip: Also check out the local markets like Place des Lices in St Tropez for beach items and vintage designer finds.
There’s just something about the air of the Mediterranean that beckons you outdoors. From the celebrity rich clubs in Monaco and Cannes, to the more laid back: try getting a table at the Promenade des Anglais or Les Caves at Byblos Hotel and enjoying the night-time scenes.
The Côte d’Azur stays with you long after you’ve left her coastline, she’s like that summer romance you can never forget. Salty sprays that bring sweet memories. I’ll be back before you know it.
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