French Riviera view Copyright
Cap d'Antibes South of France Copyright For over a century, ever since the railways made the south of France easily accessible from the north, the French Riviera has been the idyll of Europe for holidays.

British came here, especially to Menton for their health,
old postcard view of Menton Copyright

whilst British and Americans came to Antibes and settled on the now fashionable Cap d'Antibes and the Cap Ferrat on the other side of Nice, enjoying picturesque villages, breathtaking views and weather to envy.

At first sight, compared to the old postcard views on this page, development on Cote d'Azur is rather a shock, particularly to the East of Nice towards region of the airport. For this reason, a bus journey on the ground from the Airport either to Nice or to Antibes can be rather depressing

but this is actually quite a false impression, the topological views from the postcards from a century ago being still recognisable when one starts to know where to look . . . . And in summer, warm water , civilisation and restaurants abound.
Garoupe Beach Restaurant Antibes


Old Menton still exists on the Italian border

although the town has sprawled towards Nice

Head back to Nice along the N98 and the Principality of Monaco offers 7 centuries of culture, not forgetting the botanical gardens, world famous Monte Carlo casino and the Monaco Grand Prix.

Beaulieu sur Mer

Historic view of Beaulieu Copyright
This old postcard photo shows Beaulieu sur Mer with Cap St Jean Ferrat in the distance. Villa Kerylos has to be visited here as does Villa Ephrussi at Cap Ferrat.

There's a fashionable marina at Beaulieu now which is particularly prominent from the air.
Historic view of Eze & Cap Ferrat Copyright
Eze perches on its hill nearby Villefranche Sur Mer which still retains charm visible from old postcards
Historic view of Eze & Cap Ferrat Copyright Historic view of Eze & Cap Ferrat Copyright

Here's a modern view of Cap Ferrat from the other side taken whilst taking off from Nice Airport:

with the bay of Villefranche in the forground where cruise ships harbour and let off tourists for tours of the Riviera

Villefranche sur mer Copyright

In the back country within a few kilometres of the coast, areas remain entirely unspoiled and a trip to the waterfalls along the

Gorges du Loup

behind Villeneuve Loubet followed by lunch in the untouristy hilltop village of Greolieres is really worthwhile and an easy car ride. The D6 follows the Gorges du loup to the hilltop town of Gourdon. It's a spectacular and enoyable place to stay. Alternatively, the D2210 and D6 pass through Tourrette Sur Loup, Vence and St Paul de Vence on the way back to the coast at Cagnes Sur Mer - all delightful stop-offs.
Historic view of Cascades Loup Copyright Historic view of Cascades Loup Copyright Historic view of Gorges du Loup Copyright


nestles surrounded by sheltering hills

and Old Nice

is a gem.

Central Nice is still good for a city break with beaches and good museums (Musee des Beaux Arts particularly to be recommended)
Historic view of Nice Copyright Historic view of Nice Copyright
Along the rather built-up area to the west is one of the most outstanding examples of modern architecture -

the Marina at Baie des Anges, Villeneuf Loubet
On the way to Cannes and l'Esterel is Antibes,

Juan-les-Pins where the Pam Pam bar is a must visit place late on summer evenings, there is the quieter

Golfe Juan

where Napoleon landed
Historic view of Golfe Juan Copyright
Cannes beyond, the delightful small beach at La Napoule

and charming

Theoule sur Mer

which is the gateway to the region dominated by huge red rocks, known as the L'Esterel
Historic view of Théoule Sur Mer Copyright

Le Trayas

Historic view of Le Trayas Copyright
The further you go away from the airport, the more unspoilt and less developed the area remains (with the disadvantage of time and distance to get there . . . ) but there are things to do along the whole of this coast for everyone, not just swimming and beaches,

but golf and even horseracing -

at the Cagnes-Sur-Mer Hippodrome

and a good holiday is to be enjoyed whereever you go along the Cote d'Azur.
Tucked away along the coast are still the remnants of the former grand age when the webmaster's grandparents enjoyed a heyday of fashionability and antiques shops
Antique shop at Biot
abounded such as the one on the road between Biot and Antibes
All along the coast topless bathing is permitted on the beaches and this enables film stars and models to acquire that perfect tan unavailable elsewhere.


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Aerial photos by David Pinnegar, Heritage Consultant