The French Riviera is a place where you can imagine sun-kissed beaches and glamorous harbor towns, where fresh fish is the main dish and the sun shines every day. This is what you will get when you visit the most beautiful part of Southern France. In this ultimate travel guide of French Riviera, we will help you to explore the marble of the Mediterranean to its fullest.
A French Riviera Road trip can be a great way to get immersed in the culture and natural beauty of each town and village. Learn how to visit the French Riviera’s best attractions in 7 days on a road trip.
Why to Visit French Riviera?
You’ll be able to visit the French Riviera in a week, which will give you ample time to view the famous Mediterranean coastline. Also, it will allow you to get a better idea of the highlights. It is also worth taking the time to travel inland. There are many medieval villages high up in the hills that offer different views of a region well-known for its beaches, high-end lifestyle and beautiful scenery. How much time should you spend at each location and how do you get there? This guide will help you make the most out of your trip.
The French Riviera week begins in Nice, Monaco and then continues west to popular resort towns and beaches like Antibes and St-Tropez. You’ll also be visiting some of the most beautiful “perched villages” in the region. The Riviera’s west side is where we finish the week. We visit Cassis, a postcard-worthy town, and Calanques National Park.
While we recommend renting a vehicle to make it as easy and convenient as possible to travel from one point to the next, it is also possible to use taxis and train to get to other points. However, the latter will be more expensive.
Best Time to Visit French Riviera
The French Riviera enjoys a Mediterranean climate that is mild and pleasant. This makes it a great place to visit, no matter when you are planning your French Riviera vacation.
July and August are the peak season on the French Riviera. This means that there is a lot of traffic and attractions, and the temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius (86).
This isn’t the best time to go, so book your trip in the shoulder season from mid-April to mid-May or September-October. You will have fewer people and pleasant temperatures of up 20 degrees Celsius (68F) but it won’t be ideal for everyone.
You can see the French Riviera in just 7 days during winter thanks to the pleasant temperatures, which rarely drop below single figures. It is important to remember that water temperatures are not as pleasant for swimming in the cooler months of November and March. Despite this, the French Riviera remains one of Europe’s best winter sun destinations. If you are planning your getaway to French Riviera, it’s recommended to check out ETIAS website for updated EU travel regulations and requirements. On the website you can also apply for EU visa-waiver application if you are eligible for it.
What to See in French Riviera?
The French Riviera is a place that inspires artists and travelers alike. The coastline is lined with beautiful beaches, amazing views and an interesting mix of cultures. The French Riviera offers a great range of activities for all tastes and moods: from the famous Nice Carnival to hiking in the Alps or exploring the Provençal markets. In this ultimate travel guide of French Riviera we will try to cover the most important sightseeing of the destination.
But what makes it so special? It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing, but if we had to choose one word it would be “romanticism”!
Nice is where you will start your seven-day adventure. It is the most beautiful place in the region, and it is also home to many cultural and historical treasures.
Make sure you have a map on your phone before you set out for your first day. You can plan how you will travel around the city by foot or bus, tram, tram, or tram. The Promenade des Anglais, a 2.5-mile waterfront boardwalk with spectacular views of the Mediterranean and famous buildings such as the Hotel Negresco, is
Enjoy the afternoon exploring Vieux Niçoise (Old Town). You can admire its narrow streets, Cours Saleya and its bustling square. Also, take a look at the warm, Italian-style buildings. Don’t forget to take a look at Henri Matisse’s former home. To reach Colline de la Chateau, take the stairs or elevator at the Quai Des Etats Unis’s end. With its lush greenery and stunning views, this is where you’ll find many people. The ground on which they used to be located has been lost. The spot provides stunning views of the city, port, and Baie des Anges (Angel Bay). It is still a beautiful spot.
A meal at one Nice’s restaurants is the perfect way to end your day, however, if you are traveling there in July, you will need to make a reservation to secure your table.
Begin your day with a visit to the independent principality Monaco. This place is known for its stunning port, casino and gardens, as well as the royal family.
Once in Monaco, you can have it all. You can get accustomed to posh lifestyle and even try your luck in one of the casinos. Once you are done exploring the city by walking around it, make sure to stop for lunch in La Condamine, the vibrant central district. You can then stroll through the Monaco Exotic Garden, which has hundreds of succulents spread out over hilly areas that overlook the ocean.
Afternoon it’s time to head east (about 30 min) towards Menton. The town is rich in cultural and historical influences, including Italian.
Spend the afternoon exploring Menton’s Old Town. You will find beautiful pastel-colored mansions here and an elegant Basilica. The gardens are lush and there is a museum that honors Jean Cocteau the French film director. Menton is home to many renowned restaurants, so you can book dinner there. You can also go back to Monaco and enjoy a drink at the Bar Americain or Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo.
Villefranche-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
These are two places you may not have thought of if it wasn’t for the help of someone who is familiar with the area. These towns are located along the coast of Nice. They are easy to reach by train so you don’t need to rent a car.
Villefranche-sur-Mer, a fishing village located in the middle of a narrow and deep cove that separates two long peninsulas is Villefranche-sur-Mer.
It is peaceful and beautiful, so I visit it every chance I get. There are charming restaurants along the small shoreline, and you will find the most beautiful sandy beach in the area at the end.
The peninsula that forms Villefranche’s bay is Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, making the two easily walkable from each other. Cap Ferrat is akin to the Beverly Hills of France’s Riviera.
This exclusive area is home to large, luxurious villas that line the streets. The views are breathtaking and only add to their value.
Don’t Forget to Explore Marseille
Marseille has many attractions for tourists, such as its beaches and coastline, museums, and foodie scene. This is why we decided to include it in our ultimate travel guide of French Riviera. The city is also home to some of France’s most famous landmarks, including Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica on top of a hill overlooking Marseille, Château d’If on an island in the Bay of Marseilles and the historic Old Port with its 16th century buildings.
The first name given to the city was Massilia, which is believed to have been the name of an indigenous Celtic goddess. The most ancient archaeological remains still standing in Marseille are those of a small Neanderthal man, the Vallon de l’Attila inthe old port insula. According to legend reports of his death reached Emperor Nero shortly after the Roman general, Aulus Plautius, had taken Marseille.
Marseille is a coastal city and so it has some lovely beaches and coastline. For those who want to explore a little further than there are also some great day trips that can be taken from Marseille – such as the famous Chateau d’If or Cassis, which have both been used as filming locations for popular films.
Exploring the French Riviera is always a great idea. The coastline that is rich of its dazzling sunsets, crystal-clear water and ultimate poshness is a heaven for everyone who wants to give themselves something completely different. This is a place of million beauty which might take weeks and months to fully explore. However, in this ultimate travel guide of French Riviera, we tried to bring you the most important cities and destinations where you can start your journey and enjoy your getaway to its fullest.