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French Riviera and Monaco Travel guide

Porquerolles Island Baskets of olives Saint Tropez Citadel
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French Riviera and Monaco : Michelin's recommendations

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From Bandol and its famous vineyards overlooking the sea to Menton, known for its lemons and warm climate, the French Riviera at the dawn of the 21st century is still a place that people dream about.
In the 19th century the Riviera was the favoured destination of Europe’s crowned heads (Napoleon III, Queen Victoria and the Tsar) who flocked to Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo in winter. They were captivated by the mild weather and special light there, as well as the mimosa trees, imported from Australia in 1839, which add splashes of colour to the landscape in the Tanneron and Esterel massifs near Cannes.
Much later, starting with the advent of paid holidays in1936, the Riviera became a fashionable summer destination, symbolised by the famous little port of Saint-Tropez! This ‘‘piece of Provence’’ facing Italy was immortalized by great photographers such as Robert Doisneau, not to mention great painters including Matisse, Signac, Bonnard, Picasso and Chagall. Later, Brigitte Bardot and the Cannes Film Festival (inaugurated in 1962) garnered more media coverage for the Riviera than any other destination on the planet! But there are still plenty of areas that have been preserved, like the dreamy Hyères Islands (Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Ile du Levant), far from the cement marinas. The Grande Corniche between Nice and Menton offers breathtaking views.

French Riviera and Monaco - See all cities and regions

French Riviera and Monaco : Must-see towns and regions

  • Nice

    Standing in a magnificent bay, the capital of the Côte d’Azur stretches along the famous Promenade des Anglais facing the Mediterranean. It is laid out around two vast squares, Place Masséna and Place...

  • Antibes

    The town, built between two indentations in the coastline, the Bay of Salis and the Bay of Roch, is opposite Nice on the other side of the Bay of the Angels. While the area is one of the main European...

  • Menton

    A pleasant winter resort, Menton is said to be the warmest town on the French Riviera, which was the reason for its popularity during the Belle Époque when British visitors and Russian princes flocked...

  • Saint-Tropez

    On the bank of the deepest gulf on the Cote d'Azur, the small port of St Tropez, dominated by its citadel, is a spa town which became popular as a stopover for artists during their summer European soj...

  • Toulon

    Located between the sea and the mountains, Toulon benefits from the site of one of the most beautiful natural harbours in Europe, with free-running creeks, and a chain of limestone massifs, of which M...

  • Monaco

    The Principality of Monaco, independent since 1861, is careful to nurture its reputation as a playground for the rich and famous, with its world-famous casino, luxury hotels and numerous beaches, gard...

  • Cannes

    With its world-famous Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes is one of the most glamorous resorts on the French Riviera. The red cliffs of Esterel rise steeply to the west, while the Lérins islands are loc...

  • Saint-Raphaël

    A spa resort at the time of the Romans, it suffered during the barbarian invasions. Many years later the town centre was rebuilt in the 3rd Republic urban style and Saint-Raphaël recovered its long fo...

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