The French Riviera or Côte d’Azur is known for its beaches, stunning views, colorful streets and as a play ground for the rich and famous! The Riviera is located not just along the coast but actually stretches inland as well. There is so much to see and do in the French Riviera that it may be hard to narrow down what to see. This post covers 8 must visit towns on the French Riviera that are specifically along the coast and are easy to get to from Nice.
Nice is the largest town on the French Riviera and easily the best town to use as a base. There’s a lot to see and do in Nice as I’ve covered in my previous post which I will link below. From it’s turquoise blue waters to its charming Old Town, there’s something for everyone here! There’s also a lot of amazing places to wine and dine in Nice. The best part is that although this is the largest town on the Riviera, it’s still walkable and easy to navigate through.
Read my full post on Nice HERE.
Are you in Italy or are you in France? It’s hard to say when in Menton. This town is the last one before the Italian border and the Italian influence is strong here. Menton is a relatively big town but the real charm of Menton is in its Old Town. With it’s narrow alleys, pastel colored houses, and terracotta roofs, Old Town is definitely one of the must explore places in Menton.
Technically the 2nd smallest country in the world and not really France but it’s on the Riviera and definitely worth visiting. Monaco is tiny and can be covered in a few hours or half a day. Visit the casino, watch the changing of the guard at the Prince’s Palace and just wonder at the riches (yachts, cars) of some of the wealthiest people on the face of this earth! Fun fact: Monaco has the highest density of millionaires in Europe!
Read my full post on Monaco HERE.
If you are looking for glitzy Riviera vibes you won’t find it in Villefranche. What it offers though is an easygoing small town feel. With a beautiful shoreline consisting of a white sand beach, colorful houses and a charming harbor offering great views of Cap Ferrat, Villefranche is definitely worth spending time at.
While you find many of the tourists along the beach and harbor, wandering up and down the narrow streets of Villefranche would give you the best feel for this village. I walked in to the local church and there was a small orchestra and soprano practicing for a concert that evening. I listened for a long time and added this experience to one of the best memories on the trip!
5. Cap Ferrat
Cap Ferrat is a small peninsula on the opposite side of Villefranche-sur-Mer. If you were to bump into any rich and famous people anywhere in the Riviera, especially chilling in their homes, this is where you will find them all! This peninsula is full of homes belonging to lots of famous people. It’s also known for its beautiful seaside walks along the coast.
There are two Eze’s on the Riviera. One is the seaside village and the other is on top of a hill. The one I’m recommending is the one on top of the hill. It’s called Eze-le-Village and it’s located between Monaco and Nice. Given it’s hillside location, this village offers some of the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean sea. This was probably one of my favorites on this list of must visit towns of the French Riviera. Eze has a different vibe to the rest of the towns on the Riviera and dates back to the middle ages. The middle age vibe is further evident in the stone architecture and buildings of this village, some of which overflow with flowers on its facades.
Wrapped around in a rampart and protected by twin medieval towers, Antibes is low key but is full of rich history! In fact, Antibes dates back to the times of the ancient Greeks and was founded by Greek traders in the 5th century BC. Today, Antibes is famous for its huge yacht harbor and Picasso Museum.
Along with Nice, Cannes is perhaps one of the best known towns along the Riviera. Cannes’ claim to fame is the annual film festival which brings all the movies stars from around the world! Cannes is also known for its glitz hotels and fancy resturants. While, Cannes was not one of my favorites on this list, I still think it’s a must visit town on the French Riviera.
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