While you are figuring out how to get back your summer body, you start wondering what your holidays’ destination would be this summer. There are places you cannot go to, other location that you do not want to go to (especially this year), and then there are holidays ideas that you would not think about. More than never, we want our summer holidays to be successful, and our photo album needs desperately some good moments spent with friends, family and beloved ones. Take your best swimwear with you, your sunscreen protection and enjoy.
Based on what we know, there is one top destination for you this summer: The French riviera. While most people know cities like Cannes, Nice or St Tropez, hidden gems await you to be discovered, and because you deserve it, here are our top five destinations in the french riviera.
The French Riviera: Between Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot, nostalgia awakes.
There is something special about the French Riviera. It is a perfect blend of nostalgia, beauty and timeless elegance. The weather conditions, especially over summer, is perfect, and the natural scenery is purely breathtaking. The word “French Riviera” is commonly used in English. It was named after the Italian Riviera, located east of the French Riviera (from Ventimiglia to La Spezia). The British referred to the region as the Riviera or the French Riviera as early as the 19th century, mainly referring to the eastern half of the coast, between Monaco and the Italian border.
The French Riviera is usually called France “Côte d’Azur”, which is literally the Blue Coast. The modern myth of this region was set by the movie “Et Dieu Crea la Femme” with Brigitte Bardot. This is a 1956 French romantic drama film directed by Roger Vadim and starring Brigitte Bardot. Though not her first film, it is widely recognized as the vehicle that launched Bardot into the public spotlight and immediately created her “sex kitten” persona, making her an overnight sensation. The film takes place in the South of France and pictures an elegant and vibrant landscape.
The Cannes Film Festival was created after Second World War in 1947, and with the Brigitte Bardot film presented at the festival in 1956, the French Riviera myth was born. Four years later, another film will set up for eternity the legend of this region. Called Purple Noon, “Plein Soleil, ” released in 1960 and directed by Réné Clement, features a young sexy Alain Delon. He is beautiful, powerful and above all, super elegant. Another Alain Delon film contributed to the timeless legend of the Riviera. In 1969, “La Piscine”, featuring Alain Delon and another superstar Romy Schneider, closes the imaginary universe of the Riviera as a place for escapism, seduction and eternal youth.
These legends created timeless images in our minds, and more than never, we all want to find ourselves as Alain Delon or Romy Schneider in La Piscine. While cities like Cannes, Nice and Monte-Carlo became preferred destinations in the area, there are for sure hidden treasures to be discovered, away from the mass-crowds.
1- Saint Jean Cap Ferrat – A Jewel
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a commune in Alpes-Maritimes, which is part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southern France. It has a population of 1,573 people in 2017. It extends out to Cap Ferrat and is situated on a peninsula between Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Its tranquillity and mild temperature make it a popular vacation spot for European aristocrats and foreign billionaires. This peaceful fishing community, known as one of the gems of the French Riviera, is recognized across the globe for its peninsula of lush greenery and rocky beaches, which is adjacent to other prominent destinations like the Nice, Principality of Monaco, and Cannes.
Paloma Beach is located southeast of the harbour on a tiny peninsula to the north (St Hospice). Being on a northeasterly facing beach and at the base of some cliffs. The harbour is just a 5- to 10-minute walk away. The main peninsula’s Passable beach is on the northwest side, beyond the tourism office and the zoo. It faces west and has a view of the Rade de Villefranche.
The largest beach is Cro de Peï Pin, located about north of the port in the Anse Lilong (the bay between the main peninsula and the smaller Ste Hospice peninsula) and faces eastward into the Baie des Fourmis and the Tete de Chene. Along the shore, there is a public parking area.
With its Light House, city Zoo and natural landscapes, St Jean Cap Ferrat represents the very best of the French Riviera. Let’s highlight as well the Grand-Hotel du Cap Ferrat. Built-in 1908, this stately white palace, hosted many worldwide personalities since it was erected, such as Paul Deschanel, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Queen Victoria’s daughter, who remained a guest for many seasons and was often visited by her brother Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, who lived for twenty years on Cap Ferrat.
2- Cassis, Simply Beautiful
Cassis is a commune situated east of Marseille in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, whose coastline is known in English as the French Riviera, in Southern France. It is a renowned tourist site known for its cliffs (falaises) and Calanques (sheltered inlets). The one who loves the sea will find it in Cassis through welcoming beaches, an invigorating sea, with all of its secrets of the underwater world. Or more simply, a sea for bathing, fishing, water sports and boating.
A one-hour stroll from the city centre will take you to the Calanque Port Pin. It’s the tiniest and most intimate of the three popular Calanques, with a swath of Aleppo pines growing immediately out of the rock face. It features a little cove with a gentle slant.
The town core is a two-hour walk from the Calanque en Vau. The descent to the beach is not easy, but the beauty is well worth the effort. It is the most well-known and stunning of the Calanques and a genuine postcard image. If you prefer climbing, the high, jagged white cliffs will appeal to you. At the end of the journey, everyone will take a swim in the turquoise seas.
3- Cavalaire sur Mer, Sandy Beaches
Cavalaire-sur-Mer is a commune in the Var department in France’s Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The city is probably derived from an ancient Phoenician colony of the name of Heracles Caccabaria. Cavalaire’s beachside location on the Mediterranean coasts provides for robust tourism growth. The town features a designated nautical resort, which offers various sports like diving, sailing, jet-skiing, sea excursions, and 4 kilometres of excellent sandy beaches. The city also reaps the benefits of nearby cities like Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle, and Grimaud.
In Cavalaire, we have a tiny paradise named “La plage de Bonporteau.” The beach has a diverse array of natural vegetation, including eucalyptus, tamarisk, and Washingtonia palm trees, as well as a broad fine, sandy, rocky entrance. The water is extremely pure and crystallized, and the underwater life and plants are exceptional.
4- Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Timeless Beauty
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, located between Menton and Monaco, is one of Riviera’s hidden beauties. It has a very moderate temperature and extremely productive soil, as it is protected from the wind by the massive Mount Agel. Cap Martin Park, which is separated into various gardens, is proof of this. Some are traditional French gardens, while others are wilder, and they are notable for their symmetrical lines or, on the other hand, for their chaotic vegetation. Take a stroll around the olive grove, smelling the delicious fragrances and admiring the sculptures strewn throughout this green setting.
Then take a tour of the old medieval settlement, set on a high ridge and overshadowed by an antique 10th-century castle keep. Its sloping lanes, little squares, protected doorways, and vaulted tunnels are all worth exploring. The Le Corbusier stroll, named after the famed architect who had a seaside home, is a great way to get a tour of Cap Martin. It will take you through some gorgeous, hidden beaches and gardens full of flowers, notably mimosas in February, as well as down rugged coasts plunging into clear seas. Keep a lookout for a magnificent 19th-century home nestled away in the surrounding area. Here are some things to see and do:
- The old town with its castle, the church of Sainte-Marguerite, and the maze of alleys and passages.
- The olive millennium on the path to the chapel of La Pausa.
- The castle of the 10th century, a rare example of architecture from the Carolingian era, with breathtaking views of the waterfront, from Italy to Monaco.
- The hut of the architect Le Corbusier.
- The tomb of Le Corbusier, in the village cemetery overlooking the blue waters.
- Many trips, especially to the village of Gorbio, with breathtaking views.
- The Cape Martin, with the coastal path. Lush vegetation and gorgeous coves.
- Many steps gourmet warm welcome.
5- Bandol, Farniente & Nature
Bandol is a tiny Provencal village located 45 kilometres east of Marseille and 15 kilometres west of Toulon in the Var region. This modest beachfront resort is ideal for a relaxing vacation or a relaxing weekend in the sun. It has a Mediterranean climate, pleasant summer and winter temperatures and little rainfall, thanks to its fortunate geographical location.
Marcel Pagnol and Thomas Mann once walked the city’s streets, which has since become a renowned tourist attraction. In addition to providing a spectacular view of the Mediterranean, this city is packed with activities for both adults and children.
What better place to unwind than Anse de Renécros, with the sound of the waves breaking against the rocks? It has become a must-see in the city during the summer, but it is just as attractive during the rest of the year. This fine sand beach, located in the city centre, is wind-protected, and the two dikes surrounding it make a natural swimming pool ideal for a family dip.
Meet at Capelan Beach, a beach that is more characteristic of the region. This delightful tiny pebble cove provides serenity and authenticity. The lack of fine sand ensures crystal clear water, and a manicured walk makes it simple to access deep water. To avoid foot damage, it is advisable to wear “aqua shoes,” though swimming is worthwhile.
It is now the best timing to start booking your holidays. I hope you got some inspiration here above, and for sure, you deserve a relaxing and great vacation to reboot your energy levels. The South of France is a unique area in the world. Its geographic location reveals a luxurious landscape between the sea and the land, all sun-kissed with the warmth of summer sun. The elegance of certain places will provide a very qualitative experience, especially if you have high-standards expectations. Enjoy!
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