France's Côte d’Azur aka the French Riviera

France’s Côte d’Azur aka the French Riviera

Côte d’Azur aka the French Riviera

France's Côte d’Azur aka the French Riviera

Travel (MP) Welcome to France’s Côte d’Azur aka the French Rivera. It sits on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France and includes famously glamorous beach resorts; namely Saint-Tropez and Cannes. You ever heard of Princess Grace? This coastline contains the independent sovereign state of Monaco; It was one of the first modern resort areas. The the kind of lavish and luxurious real estate that you’ll usually only find the super rich.

The Riviera polarizes opinion like few places on earth. To many it remains the foremost glamorous among the Mediterranean playgrounds. to others, it’s an overdeveloped victim of its own hype. Yet at its finest – within the gaps amongst the urban sprawl, upon the islands, in the remarkable beauty of the hills, the impossibly blue water after which the coast is named and in the special light that drew so many artists to paint here – it captivates still. Southern France is a vision equally as much as it is a place – of a coast that inspired generations of artists, and stone villages sleeping under the sun. From an artist’s palette of a city in Nice to the earthy scent of truffles inside a Luberon market, take pleasure in the best of the Mediterranean.

Ready to go to Côte d’Azur

Prepared for Côte d’Azur as we caution you to bring your checkbook and credit cards as things can get very expensive here. The French Riviera with its Palm Trees, Rosé Wine, deep blue water, white beaches and attractive people who dressed up to the nines; morning, noon and evening. You can’t help but to swoon over the beauty of this jet set location which changes to a fantastic party affair during July and August. Tourists from all corners of the globe flock here to feel the “Extravagance of France.” It’s also possible to spot celebs from Cameron Diaz to Beyonce and Jay Z, who cruise the Riviera on their Yachts. Beach Clubs along at the Z Plage – Cannes, Club 55 – St Tropez and Eden Plage Mala – Cap d’Ail, are booked out; tables are highly sought after, and if you get one – the night life vibrates to morning hours.

When to go?

The best time to visit the French Riviera is all year round. But seriously, unless you enjoy jacked-up prices, traffic jams, and sardine-style beach crowds, avoid the coast like the plague in July and August. Most of the better restaurants simply close down to avoid the coconut-oil crew, plus the Estérel—the rocky hillside that overlooks the Mediterranean—is closed to hikers within this flash-fire season. Cannes books up early for the upcoming film festival in May, so go after another month (April, June, September, or October). Between Cannes and Menton, the Côte d’Azur gentle microclimate usually provides moderate winters; it’s protected by the Estérel due to the mistral wind that razors through places like St-Raphaël.

France's Côte d’Azur aka the French Riviera
Old medieval town and small harbor with yachts docked in southern France.

Where to go?

Mingle with Picasso and company Because artists have long loved the French Riviera, it’s blessed with superb art museums, which includes Fondation Maeght in St-Paul and the Musée Picasso in Antibes. Digest the scene in St-Tropez Brave the world’s most outlandish fishing port in high summer, but don’t forget the sunglasses and sunblock. Experience “reel life” in CannesGet your film fix during the glitzy Cannes International Film Festival, or place yourself in the picture through a selfie on the Allée des Étoiles (Stars’ Walk). the views from Èze An island in the sky, Èze has some of the most breathtaking views this side of a NASA space capsule.Get a sense of the Old Riviera in Nice With its bonbon-color palaces, blue chair–lined promenade, and time-stained Old Town, this happens to be one of France’s most colorful cities.

Before you go!

The French Riviera is all about the chic and classy look. Leave those Missoni dresses and feather earrings for Ibiza and instead pack some fundamental 5 must haves for a perfect weekend at the French Riviera:

Large pair of Sunglasses (preferably Chanel or Bulgari)

An airy Kaftan (check out Diane Fürstenberg’s latest collection)

Wedges or Espadrilles for the day Stilettos and Louboutines for the nightHervé Léger type dresses in pastel colors

France's Côte d’Azur aka the French Riviera

Where to stay!

Hotel Windsor. A genuine streak runs through this hotel. Rooms are either decorated in frescoes or given over to individual artists to design in bright, contemporary styles. The jungle-like patio garden is a lovely setting to start your day.

Things to know!

Simply say “Côte d’Azur” and it will signify images of the elite, rich, and beautiful of Cannes Film Festival. This lush and wonderful area of France, however, remains as financially available to those on a budget as some of the world’s far less glamorous destinations.  Yes, you can still visit the French Riviera on a budget, and do it with in style and with great enjoyment—especially for Americans whose dollar currently is in close proximity to the euro. No, we cannot promise developing world deals in one of favorite haunts of the rich and famous, but you can find prices that commensurate or are even less than you might pay living in modern industrial countries.

Don Briscoe
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Don Briscoe

Finance educator, advisor, and leading voice in the global financial literacy movement.Founder and editor of MoneyPacers.com.He lives and enjoys life with his family in New York.
Don Briscoe
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