Perhaps the best known and most exciting destination on the Côte d'Azur, Monaco is a sovereign municipality bordering France. Plan to tour the many museums, the lush and exotic gardens and the historic monuments. Monaco is also an ideal home base for exploring surrounding towns in the south of France, such as Eze, La Turbie or Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Dine at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the famed Belle Epoque hotel where you can gaze at super yachts in the harbor and take in extraordinary views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The capital of the French Riviera, Nice is one of the most recognized and liveliest cities on the Côte d'Azur. Take a stroll on the Promenade des Anglais and spend time wandering the historic Old Town, then head to Castle Hill for impressive views overlooking the city, harbor and the mountains. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Chagall and Matisse museums and, of course, there's no limit to the luxury shopping, nightlife and world-class dining. .
Just a short distance from Nice, Eze is not to be missed. This quaint, cobblestone street-filled village is perched overlooking a cliff thousands of feet above the Mediterranean. While here, visit the Jardin Botanique d'Èze, which is housed in a former medieval fortress, to experience incredible panoramas of the French Riviera. For a top-notch meal with a view, dine at Château Eza. Then, stay at the historic La Chèvre d'Or, where the balconies of the seaside rooms appear to sit suspended over the Mediterranean.
The colorful harbor of this picturesque village, with its brilliant coral hues and gold-toned buildings, is one of the most beautiful Niçoise fishing villages on the French Riviera. Villefranche sits on a hillside and the town's buildings seem to cascade down to the harbor. Wander through the narrow alleyways and cobblestone stairways comprising the village's old town (dating back to 130 B.C.) before visiting the 16th-century Saint-Elme Citadel, which offers views overlooking the Mediterranean. Afterward, enjoy people- and yacht-watching with an aperitif in hand at an outdoor cafe along the pier and harbour.
This famous resort destination, located between Nice and Cannes, is surrounded by fortified walls overlooking the sea. Visitors can stroll through the streets of the historic old town, then peruse the daily Marche Provencal. Shop for seasonal fresh produce, meats, seafood, olives and cheeses, and stick around for the craft market that features clothing, artwork and other handcrafted items. Antibes was also once home to Napoleon Bonaparte (he was imprisoned briefly here during the French Revolution at the star-shaped Fort Carré).
Famed for its annual Cannes Film Festival, this swanky destination is synonymous with the rich and famous. Travelers can stroll along the main promenade, La Croisette, to soak in the local essence, sights and spectacular views of the coastline. Then, head one block north to Rue d'Antibes for an afternoon of shopping at the variety of boutiques. Cannes is also the perfect place to sip Champagne and enjoy lunch at an outdoor cafe. As for mixing with the stars, try the iconic Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic, where you can enjoy a dip in the pool or relax on the private beach.
This iconic seaside resort town, once known for its jet-set atmosphere, remains a tourism hot spot today. Walk along Vieux Port to get an eyeful of the extravagant yachts, and if you wake up early enough, you can catch the fishmongers at the daily fish market. And you won't want to miss the town's central square, Place des Lices for a step back in time. Watch as the locals play boule or pétanque, then sip a pastis at Les Café, one of the oldest restaurants in St-Tropez.