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French Riviera Holidays

Heady glamour on the French Riviera

There is perhaps nowhere better known for its glitz and glamour than the French Riviera. Hollywood stars flock to Cannes’ annual film extravaganza, swanky evening dress is the norm at Monaco’s ritzy Monte Carlo casino, and Saint-Tropez attracts a high-fashion set, seemingly straight from the catwalks. But French Riviera holidays are about more than just glitz and glamour – it’s a place for fun and frolics, too. There are 75 miles of beaches in this sun-blasted corner of southeastern France, plenty of biking and hiking trails along the foothills of the Alps and history-rich medieval towns that are perfect for romantic strolls.

While Cannes during the film festival might get all the attention, the French Riviera’s second city – and its gorgeous seaside promenade, La Croisette – is best enjoyed minus the crowds. In February, Nice’s Carnival is a joyous affair, possibly only eclipsed by Rio Carnival. Beach time is an essential part of holidays to the French Riviera, and one of the best sun basking spots is Plage de Pampelonne, near Saint-Tropez. L'Ile de Riou, just outside Marseille, is more of a hidden gem where, after sunset, evenings can be spent hopping between chic waterfront restaurants and lively bars. A glamorous escape to the French Riviera, dressed up to the nines, dining on glorious French cuisine and sipping fine wines, makes for an A-list holiday.

All resorts in French Riviera

Three tips for a top trip

Catch a marvellous train

From Nice Ville station, take the scenic and aptly named Train des Merveilles, which loops into the Alps passing pretty vineyards and dramatic gorges and chugging over viaducts.

Plan your lunch

The region heaves with excellent restaurants but, to fit in with French Riviera dining time, opt for a midday lunch as food isn’t served between 2pm and 7pm.

Learn to jive

One of the world’s best jazz festivals this side of New Orleans is held in Nice every July, with a broad programme encompassing funk, hip-hop and rock – as well as jazz.

Best attractions to see in the French Riviera

Jaw-dropping sunsets

With near non-stop views out to the Mediterranean Sea, the Riviera is perfect for watching spectacular sunsets. The best spots include quaint fishing villages such as Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

Menton’s wild vistas

On the Cote d’Azur near the Italian border, Menton offers tranquil beaches, spectacular public gardens and an extraordinary museum dedicated to its favourite son, artist and poet Jean Cocteau.

Grasse’s flower power

The hillside town of Grasse is home to France’s perfume industry. While its medieval streets and ancient churches are worth seeing, Grasse is at its finest during August’s Jasmine Festival.

Your French Riviera questions, answered

You can, but locals can’t – Monaco’s citizens are forbidden from even entering the principality’s casinos. So you will have to take a flutter for them.
The star of Provençal cuisine has to be ratatouille – a hearty vegetable stew. The traditional dish is usually accompanied by rice, potatoes or French bread.
Summers on the French Riviera are usually hot and dry, making it a popular destination for sunshine and beaches. Temperatures are generally warm, so you'll enjoy visiting all year round. Spring and autumn see many visitors heading to the beach, with weather generally still good for bathing and sports. With attractions open and events running most of the time, there’s never a shortage of things to do whatever season you choose.
Winter is ski season. The French Riviera has 15 ski resorts, including its highest peak, the family-friendly Isola 2000, just an hour and a half from Nice.
This famous stretch of coastline has a string of exceptional beaches, so it would be impossible to pick out just one or two. Cannes is known for its fine, almost white, sand. The area is lined with relaxed public beaches perfect for family day trips and municipal beaches where you can hire a sun lounger and umbrella for a day of soaking up the rays. In Saint Tropez, there’s long been an air of glamour, with the restaurants and bars providing some sophisticated beachside entertainment. You’ll find a mix of sandy expanses and pretty little coves.
If you’re thinking of heading to the French Riviera, there isn’t just one top location; there’s a real choice of idyllic places. Cannes and Saint Tropez are handy for beach days, lively nights out and shopping. Frejus and Toulon offer a relaxed and scenic location that’s useful for exploring the coast and into the hills. Wherever you stay, you’ll find the area is well-served by beaches, restaurants and activities for both adults and children.
There’s no doubt the French Riviera is well-known for its beauty, both natural and man-made, and for the beautiful people it attracts. This is a glamourous coastal getaway where you can relax and gaze at the yacht-filled marinas. The area is known for its sandy beaches, fine cuisine and big festivals. It’s also highly regarded for its charming villages and pretty, old towns. And, with a thriving arts and culture scene, there’s always something interesting going on.
There are many places along the French Riviera that conjure up lifestyles of the rich and famous. The resorts and cities of Nice, Saint Tropez, Cannes and Monaco are perhaps the most famous. All offer something a little different, whether you head to the seafront boulevard at Cannes or the museums at Saint Tropez. The French Riviera has more than just busy city life though. Exploring the old ports, villages and coastal paths will take you to another world. Head into the hills and you’ll find traditional villages with a more gentle pace of life.
Not just a playground for the rich and famous, the French Riviera is a good destination for a family holiday. It has plenty of safe, sandy beaches, family attractions and outdoor activities to keep you amused. Let off steam at theme parks near Frejus or explore some of the historic buildings near Cannes before heading to a local cafe for ice cream. You don’t need to have kids in tow to enjoy this region though. There’s romantic coves, restaurants with sea views and a wealth of shops and bars to visit.