A beginner’s guide to the Cote d’Azur

« Back to Articles - Date Posted: 21/04/2017 1:53pm by Alison Cummings

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Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. View of the bay of Villefranche

With over twelve million tourists in 2006 alone, the Côte d’Azur – or the French Riviera – is one of the most popular stretches of coastline in France. However, for first-time visitors to the region it can be a little overwhelming to decide the best way to spend your time there, working out whether you can do everything you want. Here we’ll provide a beginner’s guide to the Côte d’Azur and we’ll be focusing on Nice in particular. As the city is within fifty kilometres of both Cannes and the Italian border, there’s a much wider area to consider travelling, and you’re sure to find something to your liking.

Where to visit

The Cote d'Azur is the perfect place to go if your dream holiday involves sun, sand and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. The beaches in Nice are particularly renowned given that they start from the moment you land at the airport and the Promenade des Anglais is a great seaside walk through town. Should you prefer a more cultural trip away, you could visit the Parc de la Colline du Chateau. Accessible by both stairs and a lift, it’s the perfect place to go if you want to get away from the city and indulge in nature at its finest; the greenery is interwoven with the chateau’s structure and the park even has its own waterfall for visitors to view.

Where to eat

As always, the French cuisine is one to die for and fortunately there are plenty of eateries places along this stretch of coastline. Restaurants such as Le Séjour Café are great venues for traditional French food in elegant surroundings, and if you want to dine out with all the family then Bistro Saint Louis provides a warm and friendly atmosphere – the staff will even translate the menu into English if your French is a little rusty. However, there are also other types of cuisine available, and the Tandoori Flames Indian restaurant can provide something for the palates that like a little spice in their lives.

Where to drink

The thought of a cocktail or two as you watch the sun setting across the horizon is not merely a figment of the imagination in Nice. Le Ghost is an eclectic scene where a black and red vibe means that you’ll be drinking in style the moment you enter. La Suite, on the other hand, is a high-flying beachfront bar where the rich and the beautiful can enjoy themselves every night. Although expensive, it’s worth booking a table as you can arrange to have a bottle of Dom Perignon waiting for you when you arrive.

Cannes, France

Where to dance

Don’t be surprised to learn that the Côte d’Azur has a bustling nightlife waiting in the wings. Whilst the French Riviera is renowned for classy cuisine and even classier yachts, the region becomes a different beast when the sun goes down. Many tourists find that July and August are the best times to go and party in Cannes, with the Palais and Palm Beach nightclubs playing host to the biggest DJs in the world. However, if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, a visit to the High Club in Nice could be the perfect match. The club is primarily aimed at younger clubbers, but a separate room plays the classics for the slightly older ravers.