A stunning stretch of Mediterranean coastline, The French Riviera looks like a playground for the rich and famous if an artist drew it. And many of famous painters such as Henri Matisse and Claude actually did.
The month of August is when many French locals leave their cities, towns, and villages and head out on a holiday vacation. This is the also the best month to visit Cote d’Azur or the French Riviera. But even the seasons of spring, fall, and even the off-season can be a good month to visit the Riviera, especially for those who want to avoid the crowds and traffic.
Enjoy everything Cote d’Azur has to offer, from the Italianate pastel charms of Nice and Menton to the sophisticated, sybaritic lure of St-Tropez and Cannes, French Riviera home rentals in Monaco, sun-splashed Cote d’Azur has it all. Here are some ways to experience it, no matter when you go.
Go strolling in style
Take advantage of this lovely seaside and hillside cities and towns, as Cote’ d’Azur loves to show its natural beauty. One of the recommended and mosst rewarding routes is the miles-long stretch alongside beaches and Le Negresco hotel of Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais. Another route is the stunning allure of the walk between the French Riviera’s villages Beaulieu Sur Mer and Villefranche Sur Mer.
Party like a rock star
The French Riviera is a never-ending playground for popular celebrities such as Rihanna (who recently seen in the streets of St-Tropez), Adrien Brody, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West.
But you can also party like the celebrities. Visit Cannes in May for the annual film festival or party at Le Baoli nightclub where Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio have dropped in.
Not like the giant casino in Las Vegas, where gamblers can wear just flip-flops and shorts, the grand ones in Monaco are more refined. Even though men are asked to wear long pants and shoes at the Casino de Monte Carlo, they can channel their inner James Bond at night in the Salons Prives.
Casino Croisette in Cannes and Casino Ruhl in Nice are few of the many modern-day resort concept mixing luxury hotels, sports facilities and casinos on the same site. The casino inside the Art Deco-inspired Palais de la Mediterranee and Ruh, both have beautiful addresses, facing the Promenade des Anglais and the sea.
Soak up the scents
French Riviera is home to some fantastic smells because of its hillside towns of Eze and Grasse, which send fragrances to the world and gives an idea to the world about the perfume production. 26 miles west of Nice is where Grasse located, a home to legends Fragonard, whose 18th-century factory can visit by tourists; Molinard, which also operates a store in Nice central; and Galimard, open also to the public that offers free guided tour inside the factory and museum all year round.
Take an artistic approach
Of course, great painters were surely into something when they decided to live along the French Riviera, inspired by its crystal clear blue waters and blue skies and villages high in the sky. The famous painter, Pablo Picasso, is one of those who called this stretch home and eventually created world-class works that filled modern-day museums along the Cote d’Azur. He also owned the chateau turned museum in Antibes, which houses hundreds of his paintings, ceramics and more.
Musee Matisse in Nice perched on a hill in the tony Cimiez neighborhood and contains a collection the artist and his heirs left to the city. Musee National Marc Chagall housing the 19th-century work with the theme of biblical – Old and New Testament. Foundation Maeght, a modern art museum that pays homage to Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, and Chagall which you can find in Saint Paul de Vence.
Take in the scene
Tourist will never get bored on the Cote d’Azur, as there are year-round festivals that keep locals and tourists well entertained. One of the major festivals is the Nice Jazz Festival with international artist headliners each July and with different performances staged in an ancient Roman amphitheater in Cimiez. Followed by the top flight and Jazz a Juan in lively and watersports-friendly Juan-les-Pins just days later.
During the annual International Fireworks Festival, Cannes lights up the sky each summer, which starts July and continues until August. You should never miss out also the Monte Carlo International Fireworks Festivals happening July and August and its competition happening mid-August. You can also watch the Grand Prix of Monaco races through the streets for several days each May.
Dine like the locals
Cuisine in the French Riviera takes advantage of the Provencal region’s rich natural bounty. Experience the colorful ratatouille, a side dish made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini. Other must-try dishes are the bouillabaisse and socca.
Since Nice belonged to Italy for many years, Italian cuisine feels about as locals as salad Nicoise. Enjoy your dining experience across the French Riviera, but tiny Oliviera in Vieux (Old) Nice can do more than just serving delicious dishes.
The Cote d’Azur may be all about summer days, but the good times keep rolling at night. The perfect climate let tourists and locals dine and sip aperitifs outdoors most of the year, with terrace tables at restaurants and cafes just like Villefranche’s Le Cosmo and those along the town quai are always full of people even in cooler months.