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Things To Do In The French Riviera

Updated on May 13, 2016

Cannes In The French Riviera

Cannes, France Along The French Riviera Coast
Cannes, France Along The French Riviera Coast | Source

There are many things to do in the French Riviera besides just visiting the world famous beaches that grace the region. France is the third-largest country by land area in Europe, and offers a wide variety of terrain and scenery. From the famous urban landscapes of Paris to the hot beaches of the French Riviera to the cold alpine climate of the French Alps to the natural beauty of the rural areas of southern France. While there are many places within France that draw tourists and are worth touring and experiencing, the French Riviera is a destination that many Europeans and travelers from around the world put on their itinerary to take in the world famous beaches and attractions that make the French Riviera the most desirable destination on the Mediterranean Sea.

Learn about things to do while visiting the French Riviera. Not just the typical tourist destinations. Consider visiting some of the not so highly trafficked parts of the French Riviera to gain the full experience of this unique region within Europe.

Fayence Provides A Respite From The Busy French Riviera

Fayence, France Is One Of Many Small Villages That Overlook The French Riviera
Fayence, France Is One Of Many Small Villages That Overlook The French Riviera | Source

Things To Do In The French Riviera | Playground For The Rich and Not So Rich

The French Riviera is the premiere destination for the wealthy elite in Europe, which adds a flavor of opulence to the region that attracts travelers of all backgrounds. Situated on the eastern side of France, along the Mediterranean Sea from the Italian border to Toulon, the French Riviera has some of the finest warm water beaches in Europe. During the late spring, summer, and early fall months, the beaches and nightspots in the French Riviera are crowded with tourists.

While many travelers to the French Riviera prefer to spend time on the beaches and in the historic towns, there are a number of points of interest throughout the French Riviera and surrounding area that attract travelers looking to gain the full French Riviera experience. Some of these points of interest include:

Promenade Des Anglais – Nice’s historic promenade with its extravagant hotels have been a focal point of the French Riviera since the days when wealthy British tourists started frequenting the area.

The Nice Markets – A walk through Nice markets in the old town section of Nice is a great way to get a feel for life on the French Riviera and perhaps pick up an item or two.

Eze – A medieval village in the French Riviera perched on a high cliff that offers spectacular views, picturesque scenes, and interesting architecture.

Musée Ephrussi de Rothschild – For those looking for a taste of how the super-rich enjoy their time on the French Riviera, this Italianate villa that is surrounded by spectacular gardens provides a peek.

Musée Picasso – An art museum in Antibes that features over 200 of Picasso’s pieces of artwork, and works by a number of other artists.

Fondation Maeght – Located in St-Paul-de-Vence, this contemporary art museum is worthy of a visit for those who appreciate contemporary art.

La Croisette Boulevard In Cannes – A famous boulevard in Cannes that hosts of number of luxury hotels and is lined with palm trees.

Grasse – The perfume capital of the world, which may interest those who like perfumes.

Iles D’or – Four islands located east of Hyères, also known as Îles d'Hyères. These Mediterranean islands offer a chance to escape the crowds of the mainland French Riviera.

St-Tropez – The area of the French Riviera known as the “playground for the rich and famous”. Crowded during the high season, but worth a trip during slower times of the year.

Port-Grimaud – A taste of Venice on the French Riviera. The town is an artificial marina town that is both unique and picturesque.

Grand Canyon Du Verdon – The Verdon river offers a breathtaking 2,300 feet (700 meter) gorge, known as Grand Canyon Du Verdon that is carved out of rock.

Train Des Pignes – A steam train trip that travels from Nice to Digne and provides beautiful views of the French Riviera, as it winds through the hillsides.

Monaco – Monaco is a small independent country that lies within the French Riviera. Known for its opulence and scenery, Monaco offers a few spots worth visiting.

Monte Carlo Casino – The Monte Carlo Casino offers an extravagant gambling experience and entertainment.

Museé Océanographique – The Museé Océanographique museum hosts exhibitions and collections of various species of sea life.

Promenade Des Anglais In Nice

Promenade Des Anglais in Nice is a Beautiful Place to Visit Along The French Riviera
Promenade Des Anglais in Nice is a Beautiful Place to Visit Along The French Riviera | Source

The Inland Part of the French Riviera | Fayence

The French Riviera not only offers some of the finest warm water beaches in Europe, it also includes a number of historic sites and scenic vistas in the hills that overlook the beaches. Many of the villages in the French Riviera have historic buildings and restaurants that attract visitors who are looking for a break from the crowded beach areas and want to explore the rustic inland areas.

One of the most noteworthy inland villages is Fayence, a small village with approximately 4,000 residents that is situated in the hills above the French Riviera in the Var region of France. Fayence has a picturesque historic section and 12th century castle. In addition to its historic charm, Fayence is home to a plane gliding center that is one of Europe's largest. Fayence also has three hiking trails that lead to nearby villages along small roads and off-road trail-ways.

Featured Restaurant In Fayence, France: Le France

Le France restaurant is located in the center of Fayence at 1, Grande rue du Chateau. The restaurant serves traditional French cuisine and features an outdoor terrace that overlooks the main street in Fayence. Trip Advisor says Le France is good for being: child-friendly, romantic, business, local cuisine, special occasion dining, and entertaining clients. The food is considered very good and moderately priced, with the fish dishes being especially praiseworthy. The atmosphere is described as lively, with a friendly waitstaff.

How To Get To And Around The French Riviera

The airport in Nice, France, which is in the French Riviera, is the third busiest airport in France. Many travelers reach the French Riviera through this airport. Other options to reach the French Riviera include the extensive European passenger train and bus network, and the automobile highway system.

Having a car while visiting the French Riviera is convenient for making day trips to the historic villages in the hills overlooking the region and to travel along the coast; however, it is not necessary. Plentiful public transit and taxi options are available in the French Riviera and surrounding regions to take tourists wherever they want to go. Having a car is nice to visit small villages and vistas that may not be accessible via public transit, but for most tourists a car is an expense that they do not need to incur while visiting the French Riviera.

Rick Steves The French Riviera: Villefranche and Villas

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