FRENCH RIVIERA: ROUTES AND CURIOSITIES. TRAVEL BETWEEN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES ON THE FRENCH COAST.
FRENCH RIVIERA: ROUTES AND CURIOSITIES. TRAVEL BETWEEN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES
You can’t help falling in love with the blue coast …
For me it has become a point of reference in my travels, when I want to escape from the city and I don’t have many days available …
As the departure approaches, I begin to feel its vibrations strong.
You know when you start packing and you feel projected in a French film and you start filling your suitcase with French hats, fluttering clothes, 50’s glasses….
Here is what happens to me every time I prepare for a few days in cote azur.
It will be the sea air, the sun and the mild climate. But also pastel colors, flowers, and its markets that delight the imagination. Or the scent of sweets that is felt between the narrow and romantic streets that you can cross. And then I think of the very long walks along the promenade, the lunches with “pied dans l’eau”, the breathtaking views across the Corniche, the marinas, the well-kept shops, and the brasseries that recall the Parisian charm of the belle époque.
A trip to the French Riviera is always a good choice and the ideal choice whether you decide to go in winter or in summer.
In January and February you can enjoy excellent temperatures hovering around 10 15 degrees and mild climate. This allows structures, for example on the sea, to keep open even in the colder months by offering lunches on the beach and free sun beds for customers who can enjoy relaxing hours by the sea … projecting themselves already in the warmer months …
But the best season is certainly spring and summer when you are immersed in an explosion of colors, tourism and outdoor activities …
Although I must admit that the attention to floral details on the streets, and tourism is always present in every season ..
Our journey will travel the coast from Menton to Cannes … between itineraries and curiosities we will cross the most beautiful places on the French coast.
The first time I arrived in France from Italy .., I stopped at a petrol station on the border .. do I remember the boy who said Italian to me? Where are you going?
I answered Mentone.
He rolls his eyes and replied: Menton is a paradise! You will fall in love with it!
And so it was
The city of Menton, the city of the “Lemon”, immediately appears as a set of brightly colored houses with pastel colored windows that stand on a hill surrounded by palm trees ….
A maze of colorful streets and shady squares, alleys that go down to the sea, the historic heart of the city beats behind the ocher facades, from the shutters that filter the light. Walking in its alleys, you will find restaurants, art shops and local products, vintage markets …
For some years this colorful picture has been filled with a splendid long sandy beach and a pedestrian area that allows you to enjoy an excellent view from the sea …
Corners where you can walk by the sea, relax in the sun and play sports …
Menton celebrates the Festa del Citrone every year, which is why it is called the city of lemon. In February, March you can witness the wonder of this festival that runs through the city and on normal days you can visit the park with a paid entrance to admire the giant compositions made with citrus fruits.
Continuing after Menton you arrive after passing through small seaside towns … The Principality of Monaco …
Monaco is a small city-state on the Mediterranean coast of France known for high-class casinos, ports full of yachts and the prestigious automotive Grand Prix, which crosses the streets of the city once a year.Monte Carlo, the largest neighborhood, houses an elegant Belle Époque-style casino complex and the lavishly decorated Salle Garnier opera house. There are also many luxury hotels, boutiques, nightclubs and restaurants in the neighborhood.
It is possible to visit the old high town, Le rocher, from where you can admire a wonderful view of the city and the sea ..
Discover the Old Town by following the narrow medieval streets that lead to the picturesque Place Saint Nicolas and the Placette Bosio, the Misericordia Chapel, the Palace of Justice and the Cathedral, a Romanesque-Byzantine style building built in 1875.
In a completely natural way, your steps will guide you to the Piazza del Palazzo, where every day, at 11.55 precisely, the changing of the Carabinieri guard takes place, in front of the Palazzo del Principe.
And then go down the path admiring a splendid panorama from its terraces.
The new district of Montecarlo was built alongside the large Casino … Here a pedestrian zone with the biggest luxury fashion brands.
From Menton to Nice
you pass after Monaco, through Eze, and villafranche sur mer through the three main panoramic roads: Le corniche
The corniche inférieure crosses the whole coast and the main coastal towns….
Crossing the moyenne corniche you can enjoy this splendid view of villafranche sur mer, and pass through the village of Eze. On the road, splendid views of the sea will remain forever etched in your memories.
Villafranche sur mer
The splendid inlet of villafranche sur mer hides a splendid jewel, a pretty colorful village and an enchanting fishing port … Very popular in summer, in fact on sunny days, the historic center of Villefranche-sur-Mer, with narrow and colorful streets, it attracts many visitors and comes alive with outdoor restaurants and cafes offering local specialties.
This little corner of paradise along the inlet of villafranche sur mer, called baie de marineres, is a bed of sand where you can lie down to sunbathe in contact with a sea of beautiful shades….
Before arriving in villafranche sur mer, however, always crossing the moyenne corniche, arriving as a monk, you meet the splendid village of Eze and the wonderful views of this area …
This is the Château Eza, a restaurant where you can also make an excellent aperitif with a priceless view, and excellent food.
Eze village is a village perched on a rock. Upon entering you will be dragged by an ancient village with medieval charm, made of stones, steps, arches, wooden doors, narrow streets where you will find restaurants, and contemporary art negotiations. And then the green and the scent of flowers …
As soon as you leave eze village towards nice, a few meters on the road you will find this street food overlooking the sea…. Super recommended! Stop for a sea view lunch in one of the most beautiful frames of the French Riviera at really affordable prices.
If you are a nature lover you cannot miss the Eze parque botanic. This park will also give you splendid views of cacti and all types of plants…
Open only in the summer months.
But now let’s move on to the grand corniche. The latter passes through the turbines … and gives you an unparalleled view of montecarlo and the coast …
La Turbie is a small village that takes its name from the Trophy of Augustus monument, from which you can visit the ruins, the new interactive museum and a beautiful park overlooking the sea. This gigantic monument was built 2000 years ago by the Romans to glorify the emperor Auguste. With his victories, the Romans managed to win over the Ligurians, the Celts, Phoenicians, Greeks, Phoenicians and finally, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the barbarians threw themselves on the area and took the trophy. In the 11th century, the latter turned into a fortress, surrounded by the walls of the first houses of the village. After countless wars of conquest, the trophy was mined by order of Louis XIV. The country continued to suffer many conflicts before being annexed to France in 1860.
Nice the largest city on the French Riviera….
Narrow and winding alleys, colorful houses and a swarm of varied humanity scattered among typical shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques and municipal markets.
For a first approach to the city, I suggest you go up to the top of the Ferris wheel in Piazza Massena. The view from above will allow you to discover it and admire a splendid panorama over the roofs and colors of the city.
Lose yourself in the alleys of the veille ville … here I am in via rossetti where you can admire these imperfect and colorful houses typical of sea ports.
Nice is characterized by a cuisine different from the rest of France, and influenced by the many cultures that have always been present in the city. The specialty of Nice is the socca , a sort of bread / focaccia prepared with chickpea flour, similar to panisse (which closely resembles the Ligurian panissa), always prepared with chickpea flour but fried.
Here is a place that is located in the old part of Nice and where I recommend you stop to eat the socca and many other inviting French dishes … Great price and you can eat outdoors in the benches made available to customers.
The flower market
The most famous nice market is undoubtedly the flower market which takes place from Tuesday to Sunday on Corso Saleya
In Nice, different ethnic groups and restaurants meet. Like this one that exposed these wonderful colored umbrellas outside…
Walking along the Promenade des Anglais is one of the nice things to do, you can rent a bike and cross the long promenade that crosses the whole city from north to south, or sit in one of the benches facing the sea and admire the sky and the sea merge in perfect harmony… with the imposing and luxurious Negresco hotel behind it.
Avenue Jean Medicin is instead the modern part of Nice, which starts from Piazza Massena and continues very long with its shops of the most famous brands and its cafes.
For fifteen days and three weekends in February, Nice stops to celebrate Carnival, one of the greatest in the world; in Europe second only by fame to that of Venice.
From nice you can reach cagnes sur mer through an immense and beautiful cycle path that also passing from the airport connects the two places along the sea …
A map of cycle paths….
Velò bleu is the bike rental service present in nice and cagnes sur mer…
Cagnes sur mer is divided between the lower part with a long promenade, restaurants on the beach and pebble beaches and the upper town, the old part of the city.
Continuing on the sea of cagnes you reach the Bay of Angels in Villeneuve loubet, a port and a sandy beach hidden among these huge buildings …
And then still long pebble beaches accompany the road until you get to Antibes.
Antibes is one of the most popular places for artists and writers. The photos will surely explain why …
A city surrounded by walls, stone walls, flowered balconies, colored shutters surrounded by the sea and many white boats.
Grimaldi Castle is home to the Musée Picasso Antibes
The gravette beach is the beach in the center of the city of Antibes. surrounded by walls, it is a fine sandy beach with a shower.
The streets of the city of Antibes recall the typical atmosphere of Provence …
Do not miss the Provencal marchè with its local products, it is a riot of colors and scents and a perfect stop for a quick lunch.
Visit the port and the monumental sculpture of the “Nomade” by the Catalan artist Jaume Plens ,,,,
A part of land connected to antibes and overlooking the sea characterized by the presence of villas and 5-star hotels …
Plage des ondes
They are small beaches that enjoy the view of the gulf … and surround cap d’antibes ..
Juan les pins
Juan-les-Pins is a suburb of Antibes, overlooking the Juan gulf, which extends between the Cap d’Antibes and the tip of the Croisette towards Cannes. It is a pearl characterized by social clubs, fashion boutiques and luxury beaches that attract millions of tourists from all over the world every year.
The grand plage of juan les pins stretches for kilometers and includes a part full of beach facilities and restaurants on the beach and a completely free part.
But also long stretches of sand and free beaches … with shower …
The journey ends in the city of Cannes….
The city of the film festival and the splendid croisette.
A 2 km long promenade on the seafront and one of the most elegant and exclusive places in Europe: it is in fact the favorite catwalk for celebrities to be immortalized and ordinary people chasing VIPs. Here you will find the stores of the most prestigious fashion brands and the most luxurious hotels in the city such as the Carlton hotel and the Martine hotel. And then the sandy beaches, the restaurants on the beach with the possibility of renting sunbeds to enjoy relaxing days by the sea …
To continue visiting Cannes you must then head to the old part: the suquet . On the highest point that served as a fortress it is possible to visit the Gothic style Notre Dame d’Espérance church, and the Museo de la Castre with a 12th century tower from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city.
In cannes do not miss the numerous murals dedicated to the world of cinema.
So let me know if you enjoyed this trip on the French Riviera and if you’ve ever been there …