The French Riviera is on many people’s travel bucket lists, and with one quick Google search, it’s incredibly easy to see why! Frequently lauded as one of the most beautiful places in the world, this region benefits from both pleasant temperatures and an abundance of relaxing, cultural and gastronomical experiences. The French Riviera provides the perfect escape; whether you’re honeymooning, having a family holiday, or just in need of a short break! Read on for the very best travel tips for this magical region, in our concise French Riviera travel guide.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA AND WHEN TO GO
View of the Prealps from Le Mas Candille's suites
Known locally as the Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera is comprised of numerous cities and villages stretching from Menton to Theoule-sur-Mer and into the southern Alps. Each individual town undoubtedly has a charm of its own, which can make figuring out where to stay in the French Riviera a tad overwhelming! Regular favourites, however, include St. Tropez, Nice, and, of course, Cannes. Located a 16-minute drive from the chic and unmissable sites of Cannes, 36 minutes from Nice, and just over an hour from St. Tropez, the beautiful commune of Mougins is our top location for those wishing to explore different parts of the French Riveria from a comforting and calm base.
Now, for the second big question; when to visit? With roughly 300 days of sunshine a year, the Côte d’Azur is a year-round destination, although rain is most likely to make an appearance in early spring and late autumn. Summer boasts more open beaches, and with average temperatures of 28-35 degrees Celsius, makes for ideal sunbathing and days spent golfing in Mougins.
However, visiting the Côte d’Azur in winter definitely has its own benefits; think lower tourist volumes, more economical prices, and comfortable temperatures ideal for walking around and exploring. This is thanks to the Côte d’Azur’s microclimate, which makes lunching outside in February or taking Christmas walks in just a t-shirt not unlikely. Why not book a Free Walking Tour of Antibes with a local guide?
WHAT TO DO IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA
The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a short drive from Nice
When planning your trip to the Côte d’Azur, make sure to include the following not-to-be-missed excursions.
Cultural experiences: from breath-taking religious and historical buildings to world-class Museums, you won’t be short of cultural experiences in the French Riviera. Nice’s Castle Hill, the stunning Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, and Antibe’s Fort Carre are particular standouts. The National Picasso Museum and Mougins Museum of Classical Art are also well worth a visit, particularly with Mougins being home to the famed painter in his later years. Make sure to pencil in time for wandering around the old towns too.
Markets: the French love their markets. These occur year-round and are definitely worth checking out if you want to experience some authentic French cuisine and culture. In the winter months, alongside festivals and carnivals, local Christmas markets also pop up seemingly everywhere (complete with mulled wine!).
Wine tasting: when wondering what to do in the French Riviera, visiting a vineyard should definitely be at the top of your list. Read our blog post to familiarise yourself with the French wine regions, and browse Azur Wine Tours to find a vineyard close to your location.
Skiing: the French Riviera holds easy access to a range of world-class ski slopes, all located within driving distance. This handy guide provides more information on the best ski resorts in the region.
Day trips: not content being filled to the brim with their own activities, there’s also day-trips aplenty easily accessible from the Côte d’Azur. Visit Verdon Gorge river canyon, the Lerins Islands and even Italy- all in a day! What’s more, most can be accessed via public transport, perfect if you’re wanting to see more of the surrounding area and maximize your exploration time.
Relax: whilst the Côte d’Azur is certainly jam-packed with excursions, its tranquil atmosphere is also perfect for relaxing. So amidst your exploring, make sure to take the time to visit a spa. Spas have proven to provide numerous benefits, and let’s face it; if you can’t relax in the French Riviera, when can you?
QUICKFIRE TOP TIPS
Cannes' stunning architecture
What French Riviera Travel Guide would be complete without the following handy tips? Read on for the essential pint-sized info you need to know.
Getting around: towns on the Côte d’Azur are incredibly pedestrian-friendly, meaning you can visit most places either on foot or via public transit. Uber also operates throughout the Côte d’Azur, offering another easy transportation option. From the airport, a new tram has recently opened, taking passengers direct to Nice for only 1.50€, and which runs up to every 3 minutes! At Le Mas we’re happy to look after our guests’ bags, leaving you to explore the city luggage-free before flying home.
Closing times: most small shops and boutiques, and many restaurants, are closed on Sundays, whereas museums typically close Mondays-Tuesdays. It’s common for restaurants to close on Mondays also; make sure to keep all this in mind when planning ahead for meals and activities!
Côte d’Azur Card: this card gives the user access to 180 attractions, including museums, for just 45 euros for a 3-day adult pass, and 72 euros for a 6-day pass. If you’re planning for your trip to be more on the adventurous side, the Côte d’Azur card may well save you some pennies!
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our team to discuss your next stay at our luxury hotel, located in the picturesque village of Mougins, and start planning your trip to the Côte d’Azur; we promise you won’t regret it!