The Côte d’Azur… this is an ideal holiday destination for so many holidaymakers, and for good reason!
Whether for its beaches and its sun, its ports and its luxury yachts, its nightclubs, its cities renowned throughout the world, or its beautiful villages, the Côte d’Azur is a destination site that every traveler must visit at least once in their life.
Read our guide to the best places – some famous and others more off the beaten track as well as local specialties to tempt you. There is something for everyone.
What You Must See and Visit in The Côte d’Azur
The Glamour of St. Tropez
The city frequented by the rich, Saint-Tropez, is famous for its cafes, luxury hotels, and port. It is the ideal place to stroll on the quays and admire superyachts. You can also shop for designer brands to your hearts’ content.
If you find the bling-bling side on the quays of the old port with the many yachts and in the very trendy nightclubs, you can easily get away from it all while strolling in the charming alleys of the old Saint-Tropez.
If Saint Tropez welcomes many visitors in summer, this village is comparatively tranquil in winter!
Star villas, legendary hotels, and luxurious addresses: the glitter never really leaves Cannes. Known for the promenade of the Croisette and its world-famous film festival, exploring the old town is always appealing.
We recommend walking in the old town, visiting its castle and going for a sea trip on a jet ski in the summer and by boat in the winter.
Also worth exploring are the islands of Lerins, renowned for the monastery (island of Saint Honorat) and the beauty of the wild landscapes, and the Fort (island of Sainte Marguerite).
You can also discover the famous Corniche d’Or from June to September as part of a small cruise: A cruise around the Corniche d’Or departing from Cannes.
Discover the Beauty of Nice
The French Riviera is the chic destination par excellence. Nice is world-famous for its famous 8km long Promenade des Anglais.
It’s a perfect summer destination – the weather is superb, but there are also magnificent beaches, activities for young and old, and people to meet.
While there, trying the famous Niçoise salad is a must. But is also the pissaladière, the pistou soup, the Pan Bagnat and many other Provençal delicacies!
Heading away from the cities, the Cote d’Azur is filled with natural beauty.
The Estérel Massif
The Estérel massif is a little corner of heaven that will appeal to lovers of beautiful panoramas. It is made up of red rocks, which contrasts with the azure blue sky and the clear water sea, which is very different from the rest of the coastline.
Cap Roux and the Corniche d’Or are essential crossing points when discovering the Estérel.
The mountain range marks the border between the Var and the Alpes Maritimes and extends from Fréjus to Théoule sur Mer.
Pretty hikes offering panoramic views are possible, but it is quite possible to plan a relaxing program: beach and discovery of the Corniche d’Or by car.
Théoule-sur-mer is located near Saint-Raphaël Valescure. This resort has unusual appearances and has one of the most beautiful beaches on the Côte d’Azur: the Trayas beach.
As you swim to the pontoon, you can admire the magnificent red cliffs. This place is particularly popular with diving enthusiasts and professional divers due to the coves with their varied fauna.
Leaving from Théoule-sur-mer, an interesting hike is the Aiguille circuit (from the Charles De Gaulle esplanade). An easy hike to do with the family, over a distance of fewer than 4 kilometers, with a drop of 160 meters.
The Coves of Marseille
No one can help to fall in love with these pretty isolated coves of great beauty. The creeks of Marseille are among the must-see places to discover on the Côte d’Azur.
The ideal is to visit the creeks of Marseille by boat to access the calmest and most authentic landscapes and beaches. In the direction of Cassis, it allows you to discover: the Château d’If, the passage of the Croisette, and the Maïre island.
Discover the Îles d’Or : Porquerolles and Port-Cros
Off Hyères, the Îles d’Or are real little paradises on the Côte d’Azur. Each of the three islands has its own particularity, but they have the same treasure: sandy beaches, coves in the heart of the cliffs, and turquoise waters.
Porquerolles is the largest, the most family-friendly, and above all, the busiest. We recommend renting a bike to go around the island because there is still a lot to see and if you also want to enjoy the beautiful beaches, a single day may not be enough.
Port-Cros: wilder than the first and intended for lovers of hiking, it is located in the heart of the first marine national park in the Mediterranean and Europe. Its 7km2 can only be discovered on foot.
Visit Cap d’Ail
Cap d’Ail is located next to Monaco. It is basically one street and is very popular due to the beauty of its Mala beach, where you can still find enough space to spend the day there.
There are many hikes around Cap d’Ail: Eze and Mont Bastide via the Frédéric Nietzsche Trail, the tour of Cap Martin from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, and the tour of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
It is still possible to find treasures of nature, a few steps from the major resorts of the Côte d’Azur, little frequented by tourists, and off the beaten track. Ideally, park your car, put on your walking shoes, and let yourself be surprised by the Mediterranean landscapes!
Located in the heart of the Côte d’Azur, between Nice and Cannes, just five minutes from the sea, Biot is pretty much off the tourist trail.
However, the city conceals a past rich in historical events and offers an exceptional cultural and artistic heritage.
Things to Try in the Cote d’Azur
It’s not just the title of a Disney movie but a delicious dish of cooked vegetables often served as an accompaniment to delicious grilled fish. Ratatouille niçoise is undoubtedly the main star of the locality, and the cuisine is one hundred percent, French.
For street food lovers, pan bagnat is the ideal food to eat on the city’s streets. It’s a baguette filled with all kinds of delicacies: niçoise salad, tuna, and onions, accompanied by a hundred percent Mediterranean vinaigrette: garlic, vinegar, and olive oil.
Tradition and taste come together in this typical dish of Nice cuisine. So how can you resist this meat-based delicacy with thyme and red wine?
It’s a bit like a really delicious pizza! Pissaladiere is a dish enriched with pissalat (salty cream with sardines and anchovies), which also gives its name to the dish.
If you now can’t wait to discover the Cote d’Azur for yourself; the good news is that it is very well-connected.
Several airports including Nice, Toulon, Marseille, and Montpellier, offer regular flights to the Côte d’Azur. Flying from London to Nice takes no more than an hour and a half.
After driving, you can easily reach your destination, especially if you have booked accommodation in a popular resort, such as Angeles or Hyères. Depending on your itinerary, you can treat yourself to a break in neighboring countries such as Italy or Spain.
We hope this guide will help inspire you to visit the Côte d’Azur and its many beautiful cities! If you’re looking for more romantic cities in France, check out our travel guide!