Luxury Things To Do on the French Riviera

Luxury Things To Do on the French Riviera

Synonymous with luxury, the French Riviera attracts all types of people, from international royalty and Hollywood’s elite to travellers on holiday, artists, writers, and anyone after the best life has to offer.

Bathed in sunshine, this beautiful area has a 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.

Here are a variety of luxury experiences to consider when you’re in the French Riviera.

Luxury Things To Do on the French Riviera


Unique Shopping Experiences

The French Riviera’s vibrant cities often have the best high-end shopping in the region:

  • Cannes’ has high-end boutiques along the glamorous Boulevard de la Croisette, and the Rue d’Antibes mixes well-known brands with small luxury boutiques.
  • The primary shopping areas in Nice are Avenue Jean Médecin and Rue Paradis, where you’ll find designer brands.
  • People may travel from all over the globe to try their luck at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, but the posh shopping area right nearby is equally enticing. Fine jewellry stores can be found in the Carré d’Or district, and there are designer shops in the Métropole Shopping Center.

Additionally, the French Riviera has bespoke shopping experiences for more personalised services. High-end stores offer personal shopping and stylists, along with tailoring and made-to-measure clothing. Custom shopping tours are also available, giving you the opportunity to visit a number of shops while receiving the VIP treatment.

Gourmet Dining at Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Photo by Andy Butler

The French Riviera has multiple Michelin-starred restaurants run by world-renowned chefs, including the following:

  • Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse in the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco serves Mediterranean cuisine, both traditional and innovative, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients.
  • Le Chantecler in Nice has French cuisine and prioritises the country’s culinary traditions.
  • La Vague d’Or in Saint-Tropez serves French and Mediterranean dishes, with much of the menu inspired by the seaside setting.
  • Mirazur in Menton serves modern, seasonal cuisine with both French and Italian influences, as well as organic ingredients.

Most high-end restaurants in the French Riviera have dining rooms for private gatherings, and personalised menus may also be available.

It’s also possible to have a chef prepare you a custom menu aboard a yacht while you cruise along the coast. For a seaside meal on land, there are several restaurants with terraces where you can be close enough to the Med to feel its sea breeze.

Prestigious Events

The French Riviera has a variety of events year-round that show off the culture, glamour and creativity of the region.

  • The Cannes Film Festival takes place each May, bringing celebrities and filmmakers from all over to the resort town.
  • Listen to classical music at gorgeous venues during the Festival de Musique de Menton.
  • Both well-known and emerging artists perform at the jazz festival in Juan-les-Pins each summer.
  • The Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 race is held on a challenging track through the city-state’s streets.
  • Marvel at elaborate and vibrant festivities during the Nice Carnival.
  • Sailing races and social events for yachting enthusiasts are held during the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez regatta.

Attending the Cannes Film Festival

You don’t need to be an A-list celebrity to take part in the Cannes Film Festival happenings.

Cinema enthusiasts can apply for a badge that will allow them to attend film screenings and other events. Additionally, some screenings are open to the public, and you simply have to purchase tickets in advance to attend.

Making industry connections, networking with industry professionals and staying connected via social media can make it possible to receive an invite to a festival-related gala or party. Additionally, there are side industry events that run at the same time as the festival, and being part of those can help you gain access to more prestigious affairs.

Exclusive Leisure Activities

golf courses in france

Since the French Riviera goes hand-in-hand with exclusivity and luxury, it’s no surprise that there are a number of leisure activities to partake in.

Art Viewings

Local museums, like Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, are able to set up private tours and viewings. This is an ideal way to explore a collection for an art lover. Additionally, the museums are often set in beautiful locations, surrounded by gardens and looking out over the sea.

Golf Clubs

Exclusive golf clubs like the Monte-Carlo Golf Club in Monaco and the Golf Club de Saint-Tropez in Gassin have pristine courses with gorgeous sea and mountain views, along with fine dining, state-of-the-art facilities, tennis courts, and spa services. While some golf clubs are invite-only, others have membership options for residents and non-residents.

Wine Tastings

There are a number of wineries and vineyards in the French Riviera that offer private tastings and tours, such as Château Minuty in Gassin and Château de Bellet in Nice. You can try signature wines made from local grape varieties while also touring estates and vineyards.

Yacht Charters

Whether you want to participate in a regatta or simply explore the Mediterranean coastline, luxury yacht charters can last anywhere from a couple of days to a week. The professional crew and gourmet chef will take care of everything for you, which means all that’s left is enjoying your surroundings and playing in the water — and possibly participating in a competition if you opt for a racing yacht.

Secluded, Private Beaches

Luxury Things To Do on the French Riviera 1
Photo by Mony Misheal

One of the most popular things to do in the French Riviera is lounge on the beach for much-needed rest and relaxation.

You can make your reclining more decadent by booking a luxury beach bed. Many of the beaches in the French Riviera have them, typically right on the sand, and they often come with a server who will attend to you.

Here’s a selection of the best beaches in the French Riviera:

  • The famous Paloma Beach in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is picturesque and exclusive, with private cabanas, boat access and Mediterranean dining.
  • Plage de l’Escalet near Saint-Tropez has natural beauty and is the perfect setting for snorkeling.
  • Plage de la Mala in Cap d’Ail is set in a secluded cove and has two beach clubs with dining, private lounging, and water sports.
  • Plage de Passable in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has gorgeous views and a beach club with umbrellas, sun loungers and a restaurant that specialises in Mediterranean fare.

Many of the beaches of the French Riviera are tranquil and full of natural beauty while offering luxury amenities.

Cultural Richness

There are endless ways to steep yourself in the French Riviera’s rich history and culture:

  • The attractive Cote d’Azur old town has Cours Saleya at the centre, which hosts the Marché aux Fleurs where you can purchase fruit, vegetables, olive oil and flowers.
  • Nice is revered by foodies, where you can take a street food tour or attend a cooking class.
  • The medieval village of old Roquebrune is set on a hilltop, along with a 10th-century castle, cobbled streets and skinny, winding alleys.
  • The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has exhibits of china, porcelain and drawings by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
  • 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.
  • Located in Antibes in the Chateau Grimaldi, Musée Picasso has a great collection of the artist’s works.

Every town and city in the French Riviera will have its own cultural charm to explore.

Luxury Accommodation and Real Estate

Photo of historic villa in cannes

The French Riviera is known for its vast array of luxury property types, including, chateaux, historic estates, modern residences, penthouse apartments, and villas. Features of these homes include stunning architecture, bespoke and high-quality materials, smart technologies, entertainment areas, landscaped outdoor spaces, 24-hour security, and convenient proximity to amenities. It’s also common to find a luxury French Riviera home with private beach access, a helipad or around-the-clock concierge services.

For those looking to buy a second home, the most in-demand locations that have the strongest rental markets are Cannes, Monaco and Saint-Tropez. Alternatively, purchasing a new development in a less-popular area could create a unique investment opportunity with solid returns. Short-term rentals can be especially popular during tourist seasons, and some properties include managed rental services that make it even easier to rent out your home.

Final Thoughts About Maximising Your French Riviera Experience

The French Riviera seemingly has it all — high-end shopping for designer items as well as local goods; dining at some of the best restaurants in the world; distinguished events that take place practically year-round; rare and elite cultural activities; and much more.

Investing in a home in the French Riviera means finally having the lifestyle you’ve always wanted in one of the most beautiful and affluent regions in the world. Our property agents are able to select beautiful, luxury French Riviera property based on your specific search criteria.

Whether you want to live in the middle of a vibrant city or in a more tranquil setting, contact us to find a home that will fit your needs.

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