The most iconic and must-see towns of the French Riviera are Nice, Monaco, Saint-Tropez and Cannes with a lively and glamorous night scene, however there are also many hidden gems to discover during the holidays in this picturesque region.
Situated in the East of the French Riviera, Nice is a truly cosmopolitan and vibrant city where you can hear languages and try cuisines from the furthest corners of the Earth. Even though Nice is full of French charm, France took formal possession of the city in 1860 when the County of Nice was annexed by the provisions of the Treaty of Turin. Its turbulent history is filled with violence, wars and battles. When visiting Nice you cannot miss enchanting narrow streets and bazaars in the Old Town, Promenade of the English (The Promenade des Anglais), which is a favourite place of locals and tourists to have walks, the Castle Hill with panoramic views and the old port area with the Garibaldi Square. The city boasts a beach; however a pebbly one, so you’d better purchase special beach shoes in the shops nearby.
Monaco is just a stone’s throw distance from Nice, but the moment you leave the train station, which is in the rocks, you will discover a completely different world. This is where famous actress and the duchess Grace Kelly lived. Even though Monaco is tiny, it has a lot to offer to tourists. Undoubtedly one day might be enough to visit it, but it is definitely worth staying longer. You cannot miss famous spots such as Monte Carlo district and the casino, the port area with the world’s most luxurious yachts, the Rocher de Monaco where the Prince’s Palace is located, the Old Town and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
The host city of the annual world’s famous film festival and a former fishing settlement – Cannes – is located further to the West from Nice. Every year it attracts celebrities from the film industry during the Cannes Film Festival hosting Hollywood actors, film directors and producers. Just next to the Palace of Festivals and Conferences, where the Cannes Film Festival takes place, is the centre of Cannes’ glamorous and lively activity – the Promenade de la Croisette. It stretches along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and fully complements the luxury atmosphere of the city. Located on the other side of the harbour, the stunning Medieval district of Le Suquet is also worth paying a visit for its fascinating history and glittering views of the city. On the top of the hill and in the ruins of the Medieval castle from the 12th century built by monks is the Castre Museum (Musée de la Castre), which is visible from the harbour and the Promenade de la Croisette. It offers a wide range of beautifully presented art and ethnographic collections, such as paintings, sculptures and musical instruments. You can also climb to the top of the tower to admire a scenic panorama over the Napoule Bay.
A trip to the French Riviera wouldn’t be complete without visiting iconic and picturesque seaside resort Saint-Tropez. Do not miss The Old Town, the port, where colourful tenement houses line the coast and the path heading to the hill with a citadel on the top. It is worth climbing up as the view of Saint-Tropez and the bay is breathtaking. This is a spot where people take photos with a famous church tower in the background, which is so well-known from the postcards. This town has a Mediterranean charm with an upscale vibe.