The French Riviera has been the backdrop to numerous movies and romances for almost a hundred years. Tourists flock to this area each summer to enjoy the European glamour, the decadent French Riviera mansions and more. Whether it’s a first-time trip or a return visit, these are a few reasons why now is the best time to visit the French Riviera.
The Casino at Monte Carlo
This world-famous destination is amazingly well known and it attracts the very rich as well as anyone who wants to experience a little luxury. Monaco is a small city-state along the French Riviera, but the casino is magnificent. It was built in 1863 by Charles Garnier. First coming upon the building, enjoy the huge entrance hall flanked by Ionic columns. The interior rooms are magnificent and offer opportunities to gamble and be entertained. High rollers can enjoy private gaming in the Salles Privées. If you have the time, view the flower gardens as well.
Enjoy the Art History
The French Riviera has inspired artists for over a hundred years and with good reason. The sunlight in this region bounces off the Mediterranean and sets the buildings aglow. Picasso, Renoir, Monet, and others were drawn here and their work has been captured at many of the nearby museums. The Picasso Museum in the Chateau Grimaldi is dedicated to works that were painted in the region by this artist. The Fondation Maeght located in Saint-Paul de Vence is also worth the trip. Visitors can also view works by Chagall, Calder, and Giacometti.
Experience the Architecture
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The Cote d’Azur is known for its ornamented villas and mansions. This place of luxury is well-known and valued. Celebrities flock here every year and you may even experience your own celebrity sighting when in the area. You can stay in one of these spots yourself to live the true Riviera dream, even if for a short time. To get a better view of the area, take a tour around the Villa Ephrussi. This Edwardian home is perched above the sea and was built by a daughter of the Rothschild family. It has been restored to the glory of its earlier years and is well worth the trip.
Take Time for Shopping
Of course, any trip to France would be incomplete without a shopping trip. If your wardrobe needs an update, then shopping along the Cote d’Azur is a must. If you want to shop high-end fashion, then take a trip to the Cercle d’Or in Monte Carlo where you’ll find brands such as Cartier and Dior. However, it’s well worth the extra effort to get off the beaten path and enjoy the winding streets of the old town. You’ll find unique gems and local treasures. Shoe lovers should especially take note of K Jacques for handmade leather sandals located in Saint Tropez.
Stay Out with the Nightlife
If you haven’t gotten to experience the nightlife near the French Riviera, then you haven’t truly lived. Of course, the Monte Carlo Casino is probably one of the hottest tickets in town for nighttime activities. However, after dinner, you may also find yourself at the chic Le Baoli in Cannes. This spot creates magical moments with its fairy-light covered palm trees. Younger people prefer to visit Z Plage which has a fast-paced atmosphere.
Enjoy International Cuisine
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Eating on the Riviera is a once-in-a-lifetime experience although you can expect to pay a little more as well. Dinner at Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo can come at a high price although your taste buds will thank you. The Chateau de la Chevre d’Or in Eze is also a culinary delight. During the day, take a trip to Nice and try out the more casual Chez Theresa. Nice is a well-known town for foodies and the Cours Saleya hosts a market where you can try and purchase fresh foods or even try your hand at gourmet cooking.
Take in the Views
The luxury of the French Riviera doesn’t end at the shops, hotels, and casinos. In fact, it can be found in the views for as long as the eye can see. This stretch along France’s southeast coast is home to some of Europe’s most popular beaches, backed by coastal villages and overlooking the aquamarine Mediterranean Sea. It’s no wonder the natural beauty is what made this coastline one of the region’s first true modern resort areas, with lavish resorts dating back to the 18th century.
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Visitors can choose from trendy beaches, like the area’s longest and arguably most popular, Pampelonne beach, or dig their toes in the sand just steps from city life at Larvotto Beach of Monte Carlo, within the principality of Monaco. Or, if you prefer your beach days with few tourists in site and crystal clear waters, Cap Taillat on the Saint-Tropez Peninsula is a place for those who are seeking rustic, wild scenery in the heart of the French Riviera.
No matter where you travel on the French Riviera, you’ll feel like you’re on the set of a movie. From romance to comedy, this region has been filmed in a huge variety of films. To truly experience all that this region has to offer, make sure to plan your trip to enjoy the art, culture, nightlife, and architecture of the area. You’ll quickly fall in love with the region.