Top Things to do on the Cote d’Azur
If you’re off to the Cote d’Azur this summer, firstly: lucky you! The Cote d’Azur is one of the most beautiful regions in France, and is a real hit with tourists as a result of its stunning stretches of beach and the famous azure blue waters from which the region derives its name. There is a fantastic range of things to do and see in this area – as well as a range of beautiful holiday villas; so whether it’s culture, countryside, shopping or stretching out on the beach you want, the Cote d’Azur will have it.
Food fanatics will love the fact that each of the villages in the Cote d’Azur hosts its own market day, selling a vast range of local fare. If you’re staying in your own villa in the Cote d’Azur, head to one of these to pick up some meat or fish, the freshest fruit and vegetables and the most amazingly soft, fluffy bread. Even if you’re not cooking for yourself, enjoy the full sensory experience of a traditional French market and soak up the sights, sounds, scents and tastes.
Saint-Tropez is a seaside beauty frequented by the rich and famous. Whether it’s the millionaires’ yachts in the marina or the ultra-trendy (and ultra-pricey) boutiques, everything in the town looks expensive. Even if you can’t match their bank balance, it’s still a lot of fun to walk around take in the ambiance.
Wander a few streets away from the coast and the restaurants become noticeably less costly but stay a very high quality. If you’re lucky enough to catch Saint-Tropez on a quiet day and you might be surprised to find a quaint and charming town centre that still retains some of the aesthetics from its roots as a sleepy fishing village.
This region might well be best seen on two wheels, as it allows you the freedom to move seamlessly between the picturesque countryside and the postcard perfection of the towns. Check out the stunning purple lavender fields of the area, or the endless stretches of coastline by a leisurely cycle along the promenade. An afternoon spent cycling along the riverbanks is one of the finest ways to follow a casual lunch in the region.
Parks and gardens
Tired of the beach? It happens – so why not head to one of the many beautiful green spaces spread out across the Cote d’Azur. Nice is a particular hotspot for beautiful outdoor spaces. The Parc du Chateau offers panoramic views over Old Nice, and the gardens are the perfect place to spend a morning wandering before it gets too hot. The 12th century castle is quite a sight to behold in itself, although one of the real highlights is the Cascade Donjon, a gorgeous 18th century waterfall.
The best museum is the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and features works by the fine French artists such as Monet, Fragonard and Rodin. However, culture vultures will be in their element with a vast range of museums and galleries, so whether you’re into Mediterranean history or you’re strictly into art, sculptures and photography, there will be something for you in one of the bigger cities on the immaculate French coast. Spend a day soaking up the culture, before enjoying a delicious meal facing the divine beaches of the French Riviera.
Head to Monaco
Not technically a part of the Cote d’Azur (or even France, for that matter), Monaco is well worth visiting as a day trip. With a range of interesting historical sites to take in including the Monaco Cathedral and the Prince’s Palace, you also shouldn’t miss a little flutter at the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo, if only to see the stunning interior. Monaco is also an amazing destination for car lovers. There’s the opportunity to drive around the Grand Prix circuit and you can also visit the Prince’s car collection – a beautiful array of cars with everything from true classics to Formula 1 race cars.