THE FRENCH RIVIERA
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,
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.
MentonOld 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
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.
Eze perches on its hill nearby Villefranche Sur Mer which still retains charm visible from old postcards
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
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.
Nice 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)
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
Cannes beyond, the delightful small beach at La Napoule
which is the gateway to the region dominated by huge red rocks, known as the L'Esterel
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
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.
RIVIERA PROPERTY RENTALS AND SALES
Riviera holidays and Vacation rentals
- French Riviera Central Cannes: charming 3 bedroom apartment to rent beautiful and bright, totally refurbished three bedroomed apartment on the first floor of a lovely old building, very close to Rue d'Antibes, the Croisette and the Palais de Festival, with balcony over wonderful pedestrianised street with many chic shops and restaurants.
- French Riviera Villefranche Old town rental appartments with sea views. Two one bedroom apartments beautifully renovated and decorated with original art, great lighting. Each apartment has an office or desk area with wireless broadband if you need to catch-up with some work, do some writing or find out about local events on the Internet.
- French Riviera Nice: Charming garden apartment in Art Deco villa Ideally located for exploring Nice and the whole Riviera this apartment is only 20 minutes away from the airport. It features a complete separate sit-in kitchen. You will also enjoy a peaceful lunch or a sunbath in your private garden. We also offer free WiFi DSL internet access. - sleeps 2
- French Riviera Antibes Old Town: studio apartment rental in old town within the Ramparts
- French Riviera Tip - Cannes Antibes and Nice beaches permit topless tanning which is why so many film stars and model girls love the French Riviera.
- French Riviera Nice: 2 bedroom apartment for rental in luxury Palais de la Mediterranee. The appartment has direct access to the Promenade des Anglais and is ideally located for a city break or beach holiday in Nice on the French Riviera.
- French Riviera Mandelieu river front: Apartment with its own mooring in gated Marina Parc. Drive down with your own boat and enjoy water sports in the warm waters of the Mediterranean to the East of Cannes. 1 bedrooms, sleeps 4 + cot.
- French Riviera Antibes Port Vauban: studio apartment to rent in new building with view over the Port
- French Riviera holiday apartment Apartments for rent in exquisite old villa in the Old Port district of Nice. These suites sleep 2 and are perfect for visits to Nice and for exploring the French Riviera with nearby Villefranche, Monaco and Menton on the Italian border.
- French Riviera Cote d'azur: Cagnes-Sur-Mer Studio apartment to rent one minute from the beach with terrace and spacious living area.
- French Riviera holiday apartment Apartments for rent in exquisite old villa in the Old Port district of Nice. Our spacious apartments sleep 2 to 4 and are perfect for exploring Nice and the French Riviera with easy access to Villefranche and Monaco and going further to Menton on the Italian border. A good bus service from here facilitates visiting or working in Monte Carlo.
- French Riviera Central Cannes Palais des Festivals conference and holiday accommodation in large 1 bedroom appartment that sleeps up to 6. Just 200m from the conference halls in Rue Hoche. This second floor appartment has traditional French elegance with light and shutters, and is located behind the 5 star Gray D'Albion hotel in exclusive central Cannes.
- French Riviera Croisette Cannes: 1 bedroom rental apartment with balcony, sleeps 2-4 Ideal location for the Croisette and Palais des Festivals. This air conditioned apartment is served by a lift on the second floor. The East facing balcony gets the morning sun and has table and chairs.
Aerial photos by David Pinnegar, Heritage Consultant
- French Riviera Cote d'Azur: House to rent at La Napoule between Cannes and l'Esterel, 3 bedrooms with swimming pool, tennis courts and Boules courts. Sleeps six. Currently long-term unavailable.