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The sparkling French Riviera

Star of the Côte D’Azur

Chic boulevards in the film city of Cannes, impressive castles on cliffs and mouthwatering street food in Nice – all with amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea. The sparkling French Riviera has stars in its eyes and with good reason. Become enchanted by the sunniest coast in France.

The French Riviera

The French Riviera, in the northern part of the Côte D’Azur, spans from the film city of Cannes to the French-Italian border with Nice as its beating heart. This sun-drenched coast is a favourite among the jet-set. But even if you don’t have your own super yacht, you’ll easily feel like royalty in this luxurious setting.

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The famous corniches (coastal routes at various elevations) take you along medieval villages, jagged rock landscapes, delightful flower fields and remote beaches all with a spectacular view of the azure Mediterranean Sea. Add to the mix the Niçoise cuisine, featuring both French and Italian influences, and you have a journey you won’t soon forget.

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A completely different side of Cannes can be found in Le Suquet, the old fisherman’s district flanking the mountainside, where you can wander endlessly through charming streets and have a good meal in quaint cafés without divas.

See and be seen in Cannes

The beau monde loves to moor in the trendy coastal city of Cannes, especially during the film festival in May when the stars shine on luxury sailing yachts, red carpets and fashionable outdoor cafés. Fortunately, the less famous can also enjoy strutting past the high-end fashion shops on La Croisette or lazing away the afternoon in the yellow and white-striped sunbeds of L’Ondine, where they also happen to serve an amazing lobster salad.

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Boat trip to the monastery

Don’t have your own yacht but want to get out on the water? A 15-minute ferry ride from Cannes will take you to the Lérins Islands. On the largest island, Sainte-Marguerite, you’ll find Fort Royal, a former prison where the mysterious ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was once imprisoned. Nowadays, this 17th century fort serves as a youth hostel and maritime museum.

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The second largest island, Saint-Honorat, has been inhabited by monks since the fifth century. It’s wonderful for strolling, admiring old chapels and buying a bottle of monastery wine as a souvenir.

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Ros Drinkwater / Alamy Stock Photo

Chateau Grimaldi

On the very edge of the rocky coast of Antibes, you will find Chateau Grimaldi, a 12th century castle once owned by the powerful Grimaldi family. But its most famous inhabitant did not move in until many years later: Pablo Picasso established his studio here in 1946. Today, you can visit the Musée Picasso to admire works by both Picasso himself and other artists such as Nicolas de Staël, Fernand Léger and Hans Hartung with sculptures by Germaine Richier and Joan Miró in the sculpture garden.

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Niçoise street food

Nice has officially belonged to France since 1860 and has much in common culturally and linguistically with the neighbouring Italian regions of Piemonte and Liguria. This combination of influences is also evident in the local cuisine. And where better to experience it than at the local outdoor market?

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Clearview / Alamy Stock Photo
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Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

At the Cours Saleya in the old city, you’ll find not only fruits, vegetables and flowers but also street food: fresh bread with tapenade, socca chickpea pancakes and pan bagnat salade niçoise on white bread. The best-tasting gelato in town can be found at Fenocchio with flavours like vanilla with pink pepper and honey with pine nuts.

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Eric Nathan / Alamy Stock Photo

Art jungle in the city

Hotel WindsoR is slightly odd – and that makes it so interesting. This unique hotel is located a stone’s throw from the tourist hotspot of Promenade des Anglais, but once you step into the overgrown courtyard with swimming pool and parrots (!), you’ll feel like you’re in the jungle.

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Tim E White / Alamy Stock Photo
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Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

The hotel is an ode to modern art with rooms adorned with frescos. The lobby also functions as an exhibition room and even the lift has futurist artwork complete with rocket launch sound effects.

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Arterra Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Village above the rocks

At an elevation of 400 metres, Èze towers above the Mediterranean Sea like an eagle’s nest. The history of this unique village dates back thousands of years. Its name is said to refer to the Egyptian goddess, Isis, for whom the Phoenicians built a temple. These days, you can climb up and down the stairs of its medieval streets with charming balconies that look like something out of a fairytale.

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Enjoy fantastic views of the Nice coastline from the Jardin Exotique with its curious cacti, aloe vera and other exotic plants.

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Prisma by Dukas Presseagentur GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
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