Cote d Azur Travel Guide

Globally associated with glamour, celebrities, a vibrant nightlife and stunning beaches, the Cote d'Azur is a sun-drenched paradise that never ceases to captivate the imagination. Renowned as the playground of the rich and famous, it also boasts splendid shopping and restaurants, as well as some wonderful art galleries and museums.

The resort towns of Cannes and St Tropez are synonymous with the French high-life and never go out of fashion, while the charming city of Nice is full of pretty parks and gardens, along with opportunities for historical sightseeing. Marseille, just beyond the French Riviera, is a vibrant port city rapidly transforming into a centre for culture and entertainment. In between, the Cote d'Azur has some picturesque medieval villages to investigate and a pleasantly sleepy countryside that often goes unexplored by the throngs who visit its beaches and resorts.

Best time to visit Cote d'Azur

The French Riviera has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Summer is the peak tourist season in the Cote d'Azur and the beaches can get extremely crowded at this time. Traffic congestion can also be a hindrance to getting around in the busy summer months and during the famous festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival. Many prefer to avoid the busy summer months, though anyone travelling to the Cote d'Azur to enjoy the stunning beaches will find that summer is the best time to visit.

What to see in Cote d'Azur

-Go celebrity-spotting in glamorous Cannes.

-Visit the hillside village of Gassin for a taste of provincial Cote d'Azur.

-While away the time in a seafront cafe in St Tropez.

-Stroll along the shop-studded promenade of La Croisette.

What to do in Cote d'Azur

-Bask on one of the many famous beaches of the Cote d'Azur.

-Shop for traditional crafts in the medieval village of Biot.

-Take a boat trip to the islands of St Honorat and St Marguerite.

-Hike up to the botanical gardens in the dramatically situated village of Eze.

Getting there

Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is situated four miles (6km) west of the city. Buses leave regularly from the airport for hundreds of destinations all along Cote d'Azur. Flights to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport come from destinations all over Europe.

Did you know?

-The Cannes Film Festival was inaugurated in the 1930s in reaction to the interference of the fascist Italian and German governments in the selection of movies for the Venice film festival.

-About three quarters of the world's essences for perfumes are produced from the gardens of the French Riviera.

-In the peak summer months St Tropez welcomes up to 100,000 visitors a day.