By Cyrielle du Lac and Léa le Ray
ENDLESS COASTLINE BORDERING THE MEDITERRANEAN
You’ve probably heard of the Côte d’Azur at least once in your life with endless kilometers of coastline bordering the Mediterranean Basin from Marseille to Menton that offers most magical landscapes. Wild beaches and creeks, majestic palm trees, luxury hotels, and sumptuous panoramas on the azure blue Mediterranean Sea. Côte d’Azur is one of the most beautiful parts of France that seems to always be bathed in radiant sun. We’ve selected for you the “Must see” destinations on the coast.
1. CASSIS CALANQUES
Have you ever dreamed of turquoise water with deep green reflection enclosed by cliffs? The Calanques offer a breathtaking show day in and day out. It is the perfect place to sunbathe, relax, explore the seabed, or enjoy kayaking/ paddling. These natural treasures of Cassis are accessible by boat or by hike.
The National park of Calanques is made up to 15 different treasures and here are our top 5:
1. Calanque d’En vau, our favourite and without any doubt the most beautiful.
2. Calanque du Mugel, famous for its turquoise water and botanical garden.
3. Calanque de Sormiou, the largest one with a sand beach.
4. Calanque de Port Miou, the little marina.
5. Calanque de Port Pin, surrounded by pines in a magical setting.
2. PORQUEROLLES ISLAND
This small island of Hyeres is full of surprises, it offers stunning landscapes and paradisiac beaches with fine sand. Explore the island by bike and make a stop at the famous Argent beach and Notre Dame beach. Admire the crystalline water surrounded by the pine trees and listen to the sound of cicadas. This wild island is also a cultural destination with the foundation Carmignac where you can enjoy contemporary art.
3. SAINT TROPEZ
Vibrate to the rhythm of this mythical and timeless village. Saint-Tropez is an oasis of peaceful, rustic French charm where you can wander cobbled lanes, dash into the mythic Pampelonne beach, party whenever you feel like it in a famous beach clubs, chartering yachts or watch games of pétanque in the Place des Lices while eating a tropezienne tarte.
4. MASSIF OF ESTEREL
This natural gem of the South of France will take your breath away. Its red steep coves plunging into the turquoise Mediterranean water offer a surprising and contrasting landscape. Drive along la Corniche d’Or the scenic seaside road that connects Saint-Raphael to Mandelieu la Napoule and admire the view on the most pristine waters in the region.
5. CAP D’ANTIBES
Take the sentier du littoral for a spectacular walk on Cap d’Antibes peninsula and admire the deep blue Mediterranean mingling with millionaire villas. Stop by these two enchanting coves: Bay of Billionaires and Argent Faux Beach.
6. LÉRINS ISLANDS
20 min away from Cannes by boat, the Lérins Island are the perfect getaway. You’ll be seduced by the natural beauty of the islands : creaking pines, rocky coves, and clear water make these places so idyllic. Enjoy a pleasant moment in the majestic Abbaye de Lérins at Saint Honorat Island, relax and bathe in the sublime coves at Sainte Marguerite Island, and discover the new underwater ecomuseum where the sculptures of Jason de Caires Taylor are unveiled.
7. ST. JEAN DE CAP FERRAT
Legendary for its natural beauty, stunning villa and history, St Jean de Cap Ferrat is one of the most famed headlands. To appreciate the beauty of the peninsula stop by Passable and Paloma beach. Visit the elegant villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and get lost in its seven incredible gardens. Drive along the Corne d’Or boulevard for an exceptional panorama on the Mediterranean sea and coast. The scenery is really out of this world.
8. EZE VILLAGE
Also described as an “eagle nest” because of its location overlooking a high cliff above the sea, Eze will surprise you. The panorama from the Exotic Garden offers a magnificent view of the French Riviera. While exploring through the old town you’ll notice that every crack and cave was turned into a shop, a restaurant, a home and you’ll quickly find yourself into a medieval fairy tale. Take the Nietzsche path to go to Eze Mer and fall in love with the seaside
9. CAP D’AIL
Luxurious Mediterranean vegetation, magical beaches and opulent mansions make the reputation of the Cap d’Ail. Go to Mala beach which represents the essence of Côte d’Azur. This precious treasure nestled in a creek is one of the prettiest beaches on the coast. By walking all the way up the hill you’ll stumble upon Tête de Chien viewpoint, giving you the best view of Monaco.
Casinos, luxurious hotels, stores and cars, it’s not surprising that Monaco is one of the most expensive addresses on the French Riviera, but it’s worth the trip. Explore the district of Montecarlo, take a walk at Fontvieille Port, relax on Larvotto beach, and admire the Prince’s Palace and famous rock. If you want to gamble you could always test your luck at the casino.