Vibrant arty towns, sparkling blue sea and hilltop villages with panoramic views: the Cote d’Azur dazzles with a plethora of visual delights, well into the autumn.
Art and culture
Numerous painters were captivated by the light on the Côte d’Azur – and after a bright summer, it now takes on a magical autumn glow that illuminates buildings and reflects off the sea. The areas of Le Suquet in Cannes, La Ponche in St-Tropez, Plage des Sablettes in Menton and Place Rossetti in Nice are especially photogenic at this time of year, and guided tours are available well into the late season.
The Côte d’Azur boasts the largest collection of museums in France after the Paris region. Picasso is in the spotlight this year, with a series of exhibitions including ‘The Holidays of Mr Pablo’ at Musée Picasso in Antibes (28 September–13 January 2019), and his world-renowned War and Peace on show at the Musée National Pablo Picasso in Vallauris (until 15 October).
Other must-sees for the art lovers:
- ‘Cocteau Le Méditerranéen’ at the Musée Cocteau in Menton (until 12 November)
- Jean Fabre’s sculptures at the contemporary Fondation Maeght, up in the hills in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (until 11 November)
- Max Ernst at the Centre d’Art La Malmaison in Cannes (until 28 October)
- Bernar Venet’s conceptual art at MAMAC in Nice (12 October–13 January 2019).
Find out more on traditional events and not-to-be-missed exhibitions on the Côte d'Azur.
Your must-have sightseeing accessory is the COTEDAZUR-CARD®, allowing you to experience all the best of the area’s cultural sights on one pass. Over 100 attractions and activities are included, for all ages – including museums, city bus tours and island boat trips – and it really streamlines your holiday planning. A three-day pass is available from €25 (€34 including Marineland) and can be purchased online through Easyjet.
Walk along the coast
Enjoy the continued dazzle of the sea with one of our favourite waterside walks: follow in the footsteps of Nietzche and Le Corbusier around Cap Martin; take the magnificent path linking Plage de la Mala and Plage Marquet at Cap d’Ail; wander the millionaires’ peninsula of Cap Ferrat with its 11km of paths; or enjoy an exhilarating coastal walk on rugged Cap d’Antibes.
Main towns: Nice, Cannes and Antibes
Unofficial capital of the Côte d'Azur, Nice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It only became part of France in 1860 and boasts an elegant tree-lined seafront (the Promenade des Anglais) looking out across sparkling turquoise water in the Baie des Anges. Away from the shore is a quaint, ramshackle old town, a busy food and flower market on the Cours Saleya, and bustling restaurants, bars and shops.
Glamorous Cannes is home to the famous film festival every May and lined with designer boutiques, expensive cars and yachts – but it’s also preserved its heritage and traditions, most evident in the old quarter of Le Suquet. Picasso’s favourite town of Antibes is another popular holiday destination, twinned with the neighbourhood of Juan-Les-Pins.
Medieval perched villages
The Côte d'Azur is made for explorers – so when you’ve had enough of the coastal buzz, head inland to see some of the area’s 120 breathtaking hilltop villages. The mountain roads that wind from one perched village to the next are a dream for drivers. Coaraze has narrow cobbled streets, numerous vaulted passages and old stone houses; Èze is a magnificent eagle’s-nest village with a renowned tropical garden stuffed with rare plants; Gourdon dominates the valley of the Loup river and is the place for panoramic views over 80km of the Riviera coast. Saint-Paul-de-Vence leans against the southern Alps and is a must-see for art lovers with its galleries.
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If you’re after a bit of glitz and glamour then the beautiful Côte d'Azur should do the trick. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Nice is in every way the capital of the Côte d’Azur.
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