Europe

Côte d’Azur, The Stunning French Riviera

cote-dazur-1

Cote d’Azur, or the stunning French Riviera as it is more commonly known, is one of the most exciting vacation locales you could have chosen.

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It has something for everyone,  at any age, and thanks to its Mediterranean climate with lots of sunshine, both the city dweller and the beach bum alike will find a piece of heaven in here. So how about a virtual tour throughout France to visit one of their jewels, the Cote d’Azur?

We’ll start with a bit of walking. You could spend a day visiting Vence, a quaint mountain village in the Alps in Southeastern France. Although just looking at its charming buildings would be enough for the day, your trip should be complete with shopping at fresh produce markets and stands, and having a countryside picnic.

vence-1

vence-2

Next you could be making a splash at the shoreline, taking in some soothing sun and relaxing at one of the resorts near the ultra-luxurious, glittering city of Cannes just before you go to peruse the wares at some of the fabulous designer shops. You could be shopping alongside celebrities or royalty, for both of them frequent the city known for its film festival and the bustling night life.

cannes

cannes

cannes

cannes

If you have purchased fine perfumes in your lifetime, they probably either came from Grasse or were inspired by a scent found there.The perfumes that are made in Grasse have been sought after ever since they began production of them in the seventeenth century. The town itself is small (less than 4,500 people) but thrives thanks to its tourism. More than a wonderful place to sight-see, the tours at the factories are free and shouldn’t be missed.

grasse

If you enjoy tropical plants in full bloom, Menton may be the place for you. Since the 1700’s it has been known for its lush gardens and lemon trees, but it also has great beaches. Another interesting attraction having to do with plant life, Gourdon Castle is located in the town called Bar su Loup. Along with many fine examples of armor and medieval art, it also has extensive hanging gardens that will blow your mind.

menton

menton

menton

Nice, the largest city in Cote d’Azur, is one stop you shouldn’t miss while visiting France. Although it is a decidedly metropolitan area with a large variety of restaurants, museums and exhibits, the biggest attraction in Nice is that it’s located on the shoreline. That means great weather, chic beach with fine sand and lots of fresh markets to purchase sea delicacies.

nice

nice

nice

nice

nice

Our last stop is in Antibes. Long known for the luxurious yachts that cast their anchors, many tourists flock to Antibes as this is where the nightlife can be found. But the city knows how to embrace its history, too. Much of the older portion of Antibes has cobblestone streets, and intimate little shops are located in the market area. It is also where the Picasso museum is located and if you’re into real estate, just outside the city there are some of the most expensive homes on the French Riviera.

antibes

antibes

antibes

antibes

The journey is over and these are just parts of what Cote d’Azur really has to offer. The only difficult choice is where to start from and where to end your trip!

Images courtesy of robinh00d, toprural, rstanek (1 + 2), jonathangill, gruban, jeffwilcox, dbaron, psd, nora_a, krikou (1 + 2), moody75 (1 + 2 + 3), traveleden (1 + 2), kplawver, depone, cjnzja and areta

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