The Côte d'Azur is one of the most visited summer destinations in France and after seeing the sparkling water and the landscape of the French Riviera, you will feel like you're dreaming! Need any more convincing? No? Great... rent a car and follow along our road trip itinerary to experience the majestic South of France and to organize your French Riviera trip.
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FRENCH RIVIERA TRAVEL
If you are planning on driving to the Côte d'Azur from Paris, your journey will take you about 1-2 days depending on which route you take. So therefore if you are not planning on visiting Paris on your trip, the easiest travel route is to fly directly into Marseille or Nice and then begin your itineraries, such as a Provence itinerary, there!
However if you plan on making your way down south from Paris or other cities in Northern France, this can be possible through various train routes from Calais or Lille as well as by driving from Eastern France such as from Burgundy.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA
If you only have a few days in the French Riviera and are overwhelmed by the number of cities to visit... read on to simplify your travels!
Depending on how much time you plan on spending in the South of France along the coast, you will be able to check off between 5-11 cities. Here is a quick breakdown of where to visit in the French Riviera while staying staying centrally located in either Nice or Cannes, based on how many vacation days you have:
One Day: Drive along the famous Côte d'Azur: Nice, Cannes, the fortified medieval village in Eze, Monaco and Antibes
Two Days: Visit Saint Tropez and Sainte Maxime
Three Days: Hike the limestone cliffs in Marseille and Cassis
Four Days: Visit both the world's capital of perfume, Grasse, and the jaw-dropping lavendar fields in Aix-en-Provence
Should you want to see more of Provence and neighboring towns, you can also extend your trip and stay around Provence, following a Provence itinerary for 7 days.
Where to stay in Provence? It is best to book a small apartment on a booking site such as Airbnb so you can enjoy the fresh produce and ingredients of Provence in your own kitchen!
TOP ACTIVITIES IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA
The South of France is known for their beautiful fresh markets and outdoor activities, which you should definitely not miss out on!
Make the most of your time under the Southern French sunshine and do as many outdoor activities as you can, even if you don't want to leave your gorgeous French Riviera hotel! Some of the activities that are popular in the South include:
Waterfront music festivals
Sunbathing or scuba diving (particularly appealing to those on a French Riviera honeymoon!)
Many restaurants in the South will serve you seasonal produce and fresh ingredients. A traditional dish that is often served is called bouillabaisse (a traditional Provençal fish stew). It originates from the fishing ports of Marseille and is usually made with clam, lobster and fish. A second regional dish you should try is called magret de canard (seared duck breast) from the South-West of France. It is a duck breast with sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce or even honey.
Going west: Arles, Avignon and Nîmes
Avignon was Vincent Van Gogh's home and artistic inspiration for many years. There is also a 3-week long outdoor Theatre Festival every July in Avignon which is always a lot of fun and brings a lot of international travelers to the town.
Going towards the Spanish boarder: Montpellier, Sète and Narbonne
Sète is truly a coastal paradise where a lot of French spend their own holidays. Additionally, Narbonne is a more off-the-beaten-path town with local wine, food and beautiful landscapes.
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