Grace Kelly and Cary Grant set the scene in the 50s and the French Côte d’Azur would forever be the home of the household names, a high-rolling world of superyachts and motor launches, casinos and film festivals.
Join the jetset and the beautiful people, stroll the Promenade des Anglais, immerse yourself in the glamour, and order a daiquiri beneath the pavement parasols.
This capital of the Cote d’Azur, known as the Queen of the Riviera, is a fantastic, vibrant city. It’s packed with old town charm and the buzz of youthfulness all at once. The Promenade des Anglais, beautifully lined with palm trees, runs along the seafront of the Baie des Anges. This is a great spot for people watching and relaxing with a cool drink in the warm sun. Be careful to memorise some of the many fascinating shops, galleries and cafés in the Old Town (Vieux Nice) so you don’t get lost in the maze of narrow streets. Be sure to visit the city’s museums too. The New Town is a treat for those seeking retail therapy, with oodles of luxury outlets. And there is no shortage of nightlife to while away the evenings.
This historic town is where superyachts are moored in Europe’s biggest yachting marina, and an excellent covered market can be found in the Old Town. Antibes was once home to Picasso and there is now a museum dedicated to him in the Château Grimaldi on the oceanfront.
St Tropez has long been recognised as the playground of the rich and famous. It has the highest concentration of celebrities on the Riviera. In the Old Port, you can while away an enjoyable hour or two sitting at a café just watching the yachts lined up along the quay. You can also sample the best local produce at the market or perhaps hire a set of boules for a game. There are museums and historic buildings to be visited too, but perhaps the biggest attraction is the town’s wonderful beaches and glamourous restaurants.
Without doubt, Cannes is most famous for its annual film festival lasting 10 days each May. The festival began in 1946 and the glamour and glitz is still going strong. Whilst the red-carpeted steps of the Palais des Festival are usually restricted to the movie industry, you may be able to charm your way in, depending on how determined you are… or the easier option is to watch the screenings of some films on the beach, the Cinéma de la Plage.
This is the secret escape of the rich and famous. A lot of it is hidden behind security fences, but it is still worth a visit for the beach, the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, and the nearby St-Jean-Cap Ferrat with its chic harbour.
This magical little principality will leave you thirsting for more. It has everything – glamour, history, sport, a world famous casino and lots more to entertain you. As you stroll around this fascinating place, there are a number of things you mustn’t miss: the legendary Casino, the Café de Paris from which you can people-watch in comfort and style, the Hôtel de Paris, the luxury boutiques, the Grand Prix race track, and the superyachts and cruise liners in the harbour. If it’s the magical story of Princess Grace that you seek, you must visit the Palais Princier, where she lived with Prince Rainier, and the Cathedral where they are both buried.
St Paul de Vence
Art galleries and gift shops abound in this hugely picturesque hilltop village. The narrow, colourful, cobbled little roads are well worth the gentle climb to see the magnificent views from this walled gem of a village. This is easily one of the prettiest hilltop villages you’ll find.