Beautiful blue sea, golden sandy beaches, a hotspot for the rich and famous, the French Riviera has it all. It’s one of my favourite places in the whole world, with its stunning coastline, beautiful scenery and sumptuous ambience, this magical place captured my heart right from an early age.
Having spent many fabulous holidays in the South of France, my love for this area, with its hot and sunny climate, gets deeper and stronger every year. There are many different holiday options available to suit every budget and requirement, whether you like to be located on the coast in an elegant hotel, or further inland in a stylish villa, there is literally something for everyone.
As we have a touring caravan, my family and I enjoy staying on the many different and varied campsites around this region, most offering excellent facilities and superb locations. We always like to choose a campsite with a fairly big pool, activity areas, shops or a supermarket and a nice restaurant is also good for those warm evenings of dining out. After a delicious meal, it’s always lovely to have an evening stroll by the sea and check out all the local promenade stalls. Some of the campsites that we have stayed at are within walking distance to the beach too, others have not been quite so near, but it’s never a problem, as we just hop in the car and take the short drive to the coast.
We have holidayed in both the Côte d’Azur and the Languedoc-Roussillon area many times during the months of July and August, however going around Easter time is one of our favourite times to go. It’s a lot less crowded than going in the summer and the weather is still lovely and warm.
There are many different places to visit on the French Riviera once you arrive and the following towns and cities are just a few of my favourite holiday hotspots.
Fashionable Cannes is well known for its famous Film Festival event, which takes place annually in May. Luxury shops are in abundance and there are plenty of gorgeous pavement cafés and restaurants to entice you, not to mention the wonderfully extravagant hotels.
The once quiet fishing village of Saint-Tropez is now an impressive and popular holiday destination, home to the rich and famous and boasting a gorgeous marina, housing stunning yachts and pleasure cruises. Picture-postcard houses line the marina and there are many charming eateries, all serving delicious local cuisine. Eating out in this gorgeous town can be quite expensive, but it is Saint-Tropez after all!
I absolutely love Saint-Raphael, with its stunning harbour, fabulous beach and appetising restaurants. In the evening, it’s a perfect place to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade and have a browse at all the gorgeous products on the quaint stalls.
Fréjus is an old, pretty town, dating back to pre-Roman times. The port and beach are great places to visit and there are plenty of restaurants and cafés, all offering good quality food with the perfect ambience.
You could also take a trip to glamorous Monaco and take in the sights and sounds of the famous resort of Monte Carlo, yet another fabulous and luxurious place to visit. Sitting at a gorgeous café is the perfect place to do a spot of people watching.
Although not on the French Riviera, I have included Aix-en-Provence in my list, as it’s such a fabulous city to visit.
Aix-en-Provence is one of my favourite places to explore, with its bustling city vibe, numerous streets lined with cafés and restaurants and inspirational architecture. Often referred to as the City of a Thousand Fountains, there is literally a different fountain to see around every corner!
The French Riviera is home to an array of delightful foods, from the local markets offering fresh, local produce to gourmet masterpieces in flamboyant restaurants. A particular favourite of mine are mussels cooked in various sauces, accompanied by crispy French fries and warm crusty bread, all washed down with a nice cold glass of sweet rosé wine. Delicious! The large supermarkets are excellent also and they all have a wide range of foods available. We particularly love the wine, as there is so much choice and it’s all at a great price too!
The affordability of staying in the South of France does vary to some degree. If you want to stay on the coast and have panoramic views of the Med, then you can expect to pay high-end prices. Alternatively, if there is a group of you, then renting a gîte or villa could be a cheaper option. If you have your own caravan, then you’ll be spoilt for choice with the amount of gorgeous campsites available, with reasonably priced pitches, most offering electric hook-up and in many cases, offering super-pitches. These are larger pitches with the constant availability of running water to and from your caravan, eliminating the need to constantly fill the aquaroll!
Of course, if you don’t have your own caravan or tent, you could always rent a mobile home, chalet or tent on the campsite, still at affordable rates. So there are many different options available to suit all budgets. Whichever type of accommodation and area you choose, I’m sure the French Riviera, with its magical and captivating presence, will have something to offer everyone, making your stay one of the most memorable experiences of your life and it may just capture your heart too.
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