The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur (The Blue Coast) is the Mediterranean coast of the south of France. This area is known not just for its beauty and sunny skies, but also for its glamorous culture.
For those looking to fit in with the French stylish and elite, a great way to start is by renting a beautiful coastal villa. Check out vacation rentals in France to see the beautiful homes the region has to offer. Rent a home with a pool, and views of the ocean and you’ll soon be on cloud nine.
The Blue Coast has been a hotspot for the rich and famous since the late 1700’s, when the wealthy British would travel to the sunny area to get away from the dreary British winters. By the mid 19th century the area became accessible by railway, making the Côte d’Azur available to wealthy British, Russian and German nobles and other well-to-do folks. Queen Victoria of England, many of the Rothschilds, Pablo Picasso, Somerset Maugham and other high profile individuals vacationed on the beautiful French coastline during this time. Elton John is one of the well-known celebrities who now have homes in the region. Today, trendy beach towns such as St. Tropez, and Cannes remain some of the hottest vacation locations around, so make sure to pack some celeb style shades, and your trendiest clothes for your vist.
Arrive by Air or Land
The region is home to France’s third-busiest airport: Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, coming in only after Paris’ two airports (Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris-Orly). However, the rich and famous mostly arrive to Mandelieu private airport. For those who prefer to arrive by land, or who are starting their vacation in metropolitan Paris, Nice train station is only 5 hours away from Paris by train, and the ride is pleasantly scenic too. European long distance trains often have amenities like power outlets, wifi and onboard cafes, so in many cases taking the train is more comfortable then flying (and cheaper too!).
Yachting and Cruising
The French Riviera is home to some of the world’s most impressive yachts. In fact, ninety percent of all super yachts will visit the region at least once in their lifetime! Not a yacht owner yourself? Plenty of rental agencies will loan you one, and if you wish, full professional crews and chefs can be hired too. Start your yachting trip at beautiful Antibes-Juan les Pins, and sail along St Raphael and St Mandrier out to the gorgeous islands of Iles d’Hyeres which feature white sandy beaches and beautiful well preserved nature. Sail further west to see the breathtaking cliffs of Cassis.
Hit up the Trendy Beach Clubs
The French Riviera is home to some of the worlds trendiest and most exclusive beach clubs. Here you’ll mingle amongst the trendy locals and high profile vacationers as they munch on gourmet snacks and sip champagne. One of the most famous beach clubs on the Côte d’Azur is Z Plage in Cannes. If you visit during the famous Cannes Film Festival this trendy local makes for great celebrity spotting. Z Plage is modern, yet elegant and understated all at once. The cuisine combines classic Mediterranean flavors with an Asian twist.
Club 55 is another famous beach club, and the name probably rings a bell for most. This club is located in glitzy St Topez and has been in existence for over 60 years! Again, here the glamor isn’t debaucherous or in your face, but rather the club features that discreet kind of charm that the French do oh so well. It’s so popular that you’ll probably want to make prior reservations, and if you really want to do it right, arrive by yacht.
Enjoy the Cuisine
French cuisine features some of the best dishes in the world, and the Mediterranean French cuisine is arguably the best of the French cuisine at whole! In Nice, be sure to visit the famous open-air market, located just behind the promenade des Anglais. Inhale the scent of fresh flowers while stocking up on fresh produce.
When you’ve strolled through the market to your hearts content, continue to Place Rossetti to cool down while delighting in some freshly made glace (ice cream). This family run ice cream shop features over ninety flavors! Choose classic vanilla or surprise your taste buds with unique flavors like tomato and basil and lavender.
While in Antibes, don’t miss out on fresh French pastries at Patisserie Cottard. Maitres Patissier Cottard is one of the youngest pastry masters in the country, but he doesn’t let that slow him down! If you’re visiting between the months of December and May, be sure to taste his Tarte au Citron, which is made using freshly picked Menton lemons.
Good food, the best wines, class and glamor…. The French Riviera won’t disappoint. Bon voyage!