For centuries, the French Riviera has been a muse for painters and a vacation spot for the world’s wealthiest. It comprises the eastern section of France’s Mediterranean coast, from Toulon to Menton. See its resort villages, islands and an exquisite landscape of the Alps meeting the sea.
Fly into Nice, the region’s largest city and its busiest airport. Stroll along the broad Promenade des Anglais running along the city’s long waterfront. When you’re not spending your hours on Nice’s endless beach, explore the Vieux Nice old town. Here, find fish markets and antique mansions along cobbled streets dating back to the 1700s.
Just east of Nice, the French Alps meet the Mediterranean coast in the rolling hills and cliffs of the Grande Corniche. Drive through the winding roads to Menton or continue on to the sovereign coastal state of Monaco.
Head west to find numerous resort towns, including the most popular, Saint Tropez. Outside the resort hotels and beaches, take a walk on the tree-lined central square of Place des Lices, which was immortalized in the works of many famous impressionist painters.
Several beautiful islands lie just off the coast of the Riviera. Take a boat from Cannes to the Lerins Islands, which feature beaches, forest and an ancient maritime fort. Head farther west along the coast to take a ferry from Hyères to the island of Port Cros to visit its national park. Seeing the bright blue-green color of the bay’s waters is worth the boat ride.
World-class art museums are common across the coast, which has commonly served as a favorite subject for European painters. Matisse often painted the region see many of his Riviera works in Nice’s Musée Matisse. Picasso worked in the French Riviera for some time his works are now on display in the Musée Picasso in Antibes.
Rent a car to navigate between every beach, beach town and island on France’s picturesque Mediterranean coastline.