The French Riviera evokes images of glitz and glamour. Still, you can also balance a trip with authentic experiences like making your own perfume, learning how to choose the best products at the market, and sipping wine in vineyards set against medieval villages. Then, of course, there's always the history of Monaco and the Monte Carlo to tempt you, plus sailing excursions and visits to the popular coastal hotspots of Antibes and Cannes.

Getting Oriented

The rocky coast of the French Riviera.

The French Riviera, known as the Côte d'Azur, stretches from the Italian border along the Mediterranean coast. Although there's no official boundary, many consider the area near Toulon as the western endpoint. However, you can still get those buzzy Mediterranean vibes in Marseille and beyond. And with such a long coastline, a trip to the French Riviera offers various excursions. There's much to see and do in the region, from glitzy Saint Tropez and Monaco to humble inland villages like Grasse and Vence

Because of its mild climate, the best time of year to visit the French Riviera is any time! Naturally, the autumn months are the rainiest, but otherwise, you can bet on sunny days to fill a good portion of your trip. And even the winter months are filled with fun activities, such as the Christmas markets and Carnaval.  

Food & Culture

To get a true sense of the French Riviera, spend some time diving into the region's culture and unique gastronomy. Nice has some of the most famous markets in France, plus a distinct perfume culture and a countryside dotted with medieval villages and vineyards.

Discover Perfume in Nice

Find floral and spice aromas from local markets as you discover perfume scents.

The French Riviera is the birthplace of perfume, and you can learn about some of its unique origins with a perfume tour in Nice. You'll start at the one-and-only Chanel perfume collection, where you'll discover the process behind one of the world's favorite scents. Visit Chanel's perfume museum, then head to Nice's famous spice and flower market, Cours Saleya Market, to learn more about how professionals create these celebrated scents. Read More

Food & Market Tour of Nice

Explore the smells, tastes, and sounds of Nice's famed markets.

Known as Nissa la Bella ("Nice the Beautiful"), Nice's historical and picturesque city offers a unique culinary experience with its own signature Niçois cuisine. Take a gourmet food tour through the local markets, food shops, and restaurants as you learn a bit more about the city's gastronomical traditions. Stroll through Vieille Ville, the city's Old Town, or discover more off-the-beaten places like Liberation Market. Along the way, learn about the city's culinary heritage and history while tasting local delicacies and regional wine. Read More

Wine Tour in Bellet & Saint Paul de Vence

Taste the wines of Bellet and Saint Paul de Vence.

Leave the beaches behind and head inland to enjoy some of the area's famed wine. Although the tiny winemaking regions of Bellet is one of the smallest AoP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) of France, it's known and loved by locals. And because it's so small, it creates limited wines used nearly exclusively for the French Riviera's finest restaurants. Spend the day meeting wine growers, learning the process behind Bellet's varietals, tasting the wines, and exploring the charming village of Saint Paul de Vence. Read More

Plan your trip to France
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Enjoy a Day Trip

Because the French Riviera is so diverse both culturally and ecologically, a day trip or two is a must. Some of the most popular coastal towns include Cannes, Antibes, the micronation of Monaco, and the Lérins Islands. If you want some inland medieval vibes, check out Saint-Paul de Vence and Eze

Explore the Coast: Cannes, Antibes, & Saint-Paul de Vence

Visit beaches, coastal towns, and hilltop hamlets in the Riviera.

Explore a few of the French Riviera's favorite coastal cities and inland villages, including Cannes, Antibes, Provence, and Saint Paul de Vence. Start in Cannes with its old and new ports, plus the historic Suquet quarter with medieval streets. Then head to Antibes to enjoy the beaches and Picasso Museum, which chronicles the artist's stay at Château Grimaldi. Finally, go inland to explore Provence and the village of Saint Paul de Vence, known for unique Provençal cuisine, wine, and architecture. Read More

Visit Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze 

The quaint streets of medieval Eze.

Nice is neighbors with the micronation of Monaco, known for its glitz and glamour, plus the famous Monte Carlo Casino and Prince Rainier's car collection. Visit it all and then make your way to a quieter side of the coastal nation, in its hills to the medieval village of Eze. This small hamlet is beloved by artists, especially painters. Explore the Chapelle Sainte-Croix and the ruins of the ancient castle and stroll along Monaco's sparkling port. Read More

Sail the Lérins Islands

Sail to the Lérins Islands just off the coast of Cannes.

Visit two of the scenic Lérins Islands on a leisurely sailboat adventure. You'll stop in Marguerite and Saint-Honorat, the two largest of this group of four emerald islets. Both offer picturesque beaches and crystalline waters, plus several historical sites. Visit the 17th-century Fort Royal, whose claim to fame is prisoning of the infamous Man in the Iron Mask, and the expansive Lérins-Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that dates to the 11th century. Relax on board the boat, enjoying a delicious lunch, swimming, and practicing your sailing skills behind the wheel. Read More

How to Craft the Perfect French Riviera Itinerary

Enjoy the beautiful sunsets of the French Riviera.

With so much to see and do, crafting your Côte d'Azur itinerary is no easy feat! When deciding how many days to spend in the French Riviera, consider what you'd like to experience. You can tackle the entirety of Nice in just a few days and easily add other cities and towns to a 3- or 5-day itinerary. But if you really want to see it all, give yourself the luxury of at least one week

The French Riviera is also an excellent addition to other French itineraries. Many visitors opt to explore both Paris and Nice to get a sense of France's diverse culture. You can also add the lavender fields of Provence, the gastronomical haven of Lyon, the wine region of the Rhône Valley, and the towering French Alps to a French Riviera excursion.

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences in the French Riviera: