Synonymous with luxury, the French Riviera attracts all types of people from international royalty and Hollywood’s elite to travelers on holiday, artists, writers and people who love living the good life. Bathed in sunshine, this beautiful area has near-perfect climate year-round, making it the ideal location for a full-time residence or a getaway home. Whether you’ll be in the French Riviera permanently or temporarily, you’ll want to know which events and attractions to add to your itinerary.
The Marché aux Fleurs in Cours Saleya
While the Cote d’Azur is a great place to live or visit, the old town is just as attractive, with Cours Saleya at the center. At the Marché aux Fleurs in Cours Saleya, you can purchase fruit, vegetables, olive oil and flowers. Nice is a town revered by foodies and aspiring cooks can take a class or street food tour with Les Petites Farcis.
Three islands located between Toulon and Saint-Tropez make up Iles d’Hyères, and each island has its own unique offerings. The first island, Ile du Levant, is best known for its circa 1930 nudist colony in the Heliopolis Naturist Resort. The second island, Port-Cros National Park, is exhilarating for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. During the day, explore the forest via pathways or go swimming and have a guide educate you about local plant and sea life. In the evening, dine at one of the many restaurants and cafes on the harbor. Porquerolles, the third and largest island, is refreshingly car-free, providing the opportunity to view the island’s natural beauty by bicycle or on foot. While the north part of Porquerolles has beaches, the south coast is more rugged, and there are vineyards and forest in between. This may the biggest island of the three, but it’s still small enough to thoroughly explore.
The Casino de Monte-Carlo
As certainly one of the most well-known casinos in the world, people travel from all over the world to play at the The Casino de Monte-Carlo, where the opulent and decadent decor is indicative of the area’s lavishness. Built in 1863 by Charles Garnier (the architect who also designed the Palais Garnier, the esteemed opera house in Paris), the casino has blackjack, roulette, poker and high stakes games, as well as modern, Las Vegas-style slot machines. Outside, there are gorgeous flower gardens and ponds that lead to a posh shopping area.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin can give you a taste of both the old and the new French Riviera. Located between Monaco and Menton, the medieval village of old Roquebrune is set on a hilltop, along with a 10th-century castle, cobbled streets and skinny, winding alleys. Make sure to stroll along the Promenade Le Corbusier, which offers remarkable views.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, this luxurious villa was built for Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild in 1905 as a place to store her growing art collection. People once assembled here to talk, listen to music, have literary gatherings and meet with art collectors; it was used as a way to escape the faster entertainment of the French Riviera, like the casino. Today, there are exhibits of china, porcelain and drawings by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Visitors also enjoy picturesque views of the hillside, along with Japanese gardens. The villa may be grand, but it has a welcoming air that will make you feel at home.
5 More Things to Do in the French Riviera
- Looking over the entirety of Nice, the Bay of Angels is the ultimate spot for watching the sunrise or sunset. Go for a stroll around this picturesque region, which boasts unmatched coastal views.
- Grasse is one of the most popular perfume-making areas of the world, with multiple parfumeries to choose from that will help you create an original scent.
- Visit Monaco for the day! Known for Formula One racing, Monaco is a hot spot with the rich and famous, and it has enough parks and museums to fill up an afternoon.
- Located in Antibes in the Chateau Grimaldi, Musée Picasso has a great collection of the artist’s works.
- Port Vauban is one of the French Riviera’s most stunning harbors, with yachts to swoon over or to charter for yourself. Alternatively, you can opt to hire a sailboat for the day, then stop for lunch at one of the many harbor restaurants.
Spend a Day at the Beach
One of the most popular things to do in the French Riviera is simply lounge on the beach and watch the world go by. Make your reclining more decadent by booking a luxury beach bed. These comfortable double beds are located right on the sand and they even come with waiter service.