The Very Best Places to Holiday on the Côte d'Azur

Posted 2017-08-31 in RealEstate

Planning to holiday on the French Riviera this season? The good news is that you’re guaranteed endless sunshine and beautiful scenery whenever you decide to visit. However, there are so many stunning villages and towns along the coast that when it comes to deciding where to stay, you’ll be spoilt for choice. To help you decide between a city break, a beachside vacation or a getaway in the hills, we’ve put together a quick guide to the best of the French Riviera. Check out our list of glamorous destinations below and get ready for the best summer of your life here in the South of France.

Heavenly Hillside Villages

The beach resorts along the coastline are stunning, but if you’re looking to get away from the crowds, the French Riviera hinterland might be more to your taste. Nestled in the hills around Cannes and Grasse you’ll find dozens of peaceful hilltop villages overlooking the Mediterranean. Drive up from the coast through olive groves and fields full of flowers to check out this little slice of Provence for yourself.  From the cobbled streets of Valbonne with its traditional market to the gourmet restaurants of Mougins, this part of the French Riviera is a gorgeous setting for a relaxing break. 
Pop into Grasse and create your very own signature scent in one of the many perfumeries, take a tour of the glass-blowing factory in Biot or visit the breathtaking Matisse chapel in the pretty village of Vence. Once evening falls, sit on a sunny terrace with a glass of local rosé and enjoy the peace and tranquility of life in the hills. With endless festivals and processions held throughout the year plus some fantastic live music events during the summer, the French Riviera hinterland is the ideal spot to recharge your batteries for a few weeks.

Don’t miss:

  • The chance to take a one day cooking course in one of the gourmet restaurants in Mougins. Pick up hints and tips from top chefs before tasting your handiwork
  • A trip to the traditional Moulin d’Opio to discover how olive oil is made and to take a couple of bottles home as a souvenir 
  • Sunday lunch at the Colombe d’Or in St Paul de Vence. This must be the only restaurant in the world where you can dine under original artworks by Picasso, Matisse, Miro and Chagall
  • Playing a round on the 18-hole golf course in Roquebrune. With breathtaking views over the Bay of Cannes, there’s no better way to get in some gentle exercise while you’re on holiday
  • Spending a few hours exploring the fascinating art museum in the 15th century  Chateau de Mouans
How to get to the hinterland:

  • Leave the coast behind you and head up into the hills. The easiest way to make your way to the hinterland is to fly into either Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport or Cannes-Mandelieu Airport and then hire a car or a private driver to take you to your holiday accommodation.
  • Alternatively, you can take a train to the railway station in Grasse, Antibes or Cannes and take a taxi or hire car to your village of choice

Where to stay:
French Riviera Hillside Accommodation

Sensational St Tropez

Perhaps the best-known beach resort on the French Riviera, St Tropez has been a playground for the international jet-set since the 1950s. Famous for its stretches of golden sand and its lively nightlife, a visit to St Tropez is always in style. Packed with fantastic restaurants, high-end boutiques and fashionable nightclubs, St Tropez might be small but it certainly knows how to put on a good party. 
Stroll through the cobbled streets of the village and stop to watch the locals play boules in the Place de Lice. Visit the weekly market to pick up some local produce or grab a delicious artisanal ice cream down on the port. Shop til you drop in the exclusive stores in the centre of town or simply enjoy an aperitif in one of the many bars and bistros along the harbour.  From the vineyards in the hills around the town to the chic beach clubs on Pampelonne, St Tropez is the perfect choice for an unforgettable summer break.

Don’t miss:

  • The chance to try a delicious slice of local speciality Tarte Tropézienne in the Place de Lice    
  • A relaxing day spent topping up your tan on a sunlounger in the iconic Club 55
  • The incredible range of Michelin-starred restaurants all over town
  • A visit to one of the many wineries in the hills around nearby Ramatuelle and Gassin 
  • Watching the sun set over the Bay and the nearby mountains from the Môle Jean-Réveille jetty in the harbour
How to get to St Tropez:

  • St Tropez is popular. Very, very popular. So during the summer season, getting in and out of town can be a bit of a headache. We recommend flying into La Môle-St Tropez airport, the Toulon-Hyères Airport or the Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport then transferring by helicopter to beat the crowds
  • Alternatively, you could take the train to Saint-Raphaël then transfer to St Tropez by hire car or taxi
  • There are also regular boats to St Tropez from Cannes and Nice
  • If you’re coming by yacht, cruise into town and then reserve a berth in the port for your stay

Where to stay: 

Luxury Villa Rentals in St Tropez


Perfect Provence

Just to the west of the St Tropez, you’ll find the picturesque Provence region. Filled with dramatic scenery, beautiful landscapes and historical towns and villages, life here moves at a slower pace than over on the glittering French Riviera. France’s most popular tourist region, Provence is known for its ancient olive groves, fragrant flowers and rolling fields of lavender. From the Var right down to the Bouches du Rhône, this area is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of life on the coast. 
Spend your summer visiting Roman remains in St Remy de Provence, explore the Calanques National Park with its rocky inlets in Marseille, go wine tasting in the domaines around Frejus or simply relax with a glass of wine as the cicadas serenade you in Uzès. With breathtaking natural gorges to explore, endless historical monuments to discover and incredible restaurants to enjoy everywhere you go, you’ll love spending a summer in Provence.

Don’t miss:

  • The chance to try Provence’s favourite dish, the delicious Soupe de Poissons
  • A drive down the lavender roads near Avignon to see the fragrant fields in full bloom
  • A visit to Le Castellet, a picture-perfect hilltop village just outside Bandol
  • Spending the day canyoning, kayaking or walking in the Gorges du Verdon
  • Taking home a piece of brightly-coloured Provençal pottery as the ultimate holiday souvenir 

How to get to Provence:

  • Depending on your village of choice, there are several airports close to Provence. Fly into Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport, Marseille Provence Airport, or Toulon Hyères Airport and then hire a car to make the most of all that luscious scenery
  • Alternatively you could take a high-speed TGV train to Nice, Marseille or Toulon and then jump on a local train straight to the villages of Provence
  •  If you plan on sailing, why not reserve a berth in one of the many ports along the coast and then transfer by helicopter or private car to your holiday accommodation

Where to stay:

Luxury Holiday Rentals French Riviera