The French Riviera is the part of France located between the town called Cassis in the west of the country up to the Italian border. It’s the most popular tourist destination in France and is visited by 10 million people annually. The beginning of tourism in the region dates back to the XIX century, when in the winter time it was visited by wealthy French and British citizens. In the mid-war period the place gained more popularity and welcomed lots of guests in the summer as well. After the Second World War the region started to develop extremely fast providing tourists with the variety of the facilities to choose from. The place in French is called Côte d’Azur, but the British prefer to use the name of the French Riviera.
What makes the place such an exceptional one is the combination of the marvelous weather and sparkling blue seas. Tourists go there to enjoy elegant resorts, wonderful beaches and warm seas. The place is generally associated with lots of sunshine, about 300 days a year and even when it is not so sunny the temperatures are still mild. The French Riviera is also special because it is a place not only for sun-worshippers but for those who like climbing and walking in the mountains also. The gorgeous mountain scenery can be seen only a short drive from the bustling resorts. And they can be appreciated all year long even by amateurs as freezing temperatures are rare in the region.
The French Riviera has a variety of beautiful towns that need to be visited while staying in France. Let’s take a look at the most popular. Antibes is a wealthy old town with the Chateau Grimaldt and the Picasso museum. There’s good shopping here, in the popular market and the chance to try some delicious dishes in the great restaurants. It also offers lots of private and public beaches as well as some art museums. Another place worth mentioning is Biot, which is also a great attraction for art lovers as they can see Fernand Leger’s (Picasso’s colleague) museum there. Cannes is a place which is known worldwide thanks to its film festival but also smart beaches. Tourists can also take a boat trip to the nearby Iles de Lerin, these are magnetic places with pine-scented woods and shores that seem to try to hold one there. Cassis is a place surrounded by incredible cliffs and Frejus is a medieval center and Aquatic aqua park. And if you are mad about perfumes you should definitely visit Grasse, this is the world center of the perfume industry. For those who wish to relax and spend time in a quieter manner Hyere is especially advised. Juan-les-Pins is known for its jazz festival, taking place at the end of July. It also has a small remnant of the ancient pine forest that once covered this area. La Ciotat is famous for its marvelous beaches and Marseilles has a reputation of a cosmopolitan city where you can find several interesting museums, ceramics, art pieces and more beautiful beaches with some seemingly unexplored coves. Another place, further along the track is Menton, this town has a strong Italian influence, it has not only the best climate in the region but also provides unforgettable views as it’s surrounded by hills. The next stop is Monaco/Monte Carlo that is probably the most famous place on the Riviera. It’s a picturesque town with breathtaking gardens, lots of yachts and tennis courts. It’s also a highly popular place among sports fans, because the Formula One motor race takes place through the streets of the city, for one weekend every year the streets are barricaded off and the noise and spectacle is incredible. Nice is a place that is always full of people. It consists of two parts – the old one that is associated with the smell of flowers from the markets and numerous chapels and the new Nice, a place of shopping and the center of art museums with the masterpieces of Matisse and Chagall. St. Paul de Vence is also famous for art galleries that have a variety of pictures of such famous artists as Giocometti, Miro, Chagall, Picasso, Braque in their collection. The last three places that deserve consideration are St. Raphael, St. Tropez and Vence. St. Raphael is a center of water sports but it also provides a casino and some good beaches. St. Tropez is a place that is especially famous among the rich and famous, who give the special character to the place and that’s why it cannot be omitted while visiting the French Riviera. And Vence is an ancient city that’s famous for its art and especially for a chapel decorated by Matisse who lived here.
There are not many places in the world which provide such a great number of magnificent places to visit as the French Riviera. If you decide to go there you can almost be sure of beautiful weather and a variety of attractions, ranging from sunbathing, through admiring the greatest pieces of art, to spending your holiday climbing the mountains and walking in some of the best surroundings in the world.