The Cote d’ Azur, which literally means Azure (or blue) Coast, is a Mediterranean coastline stretching along the southeast corner of France. In English, it is more commonly known as the French Riviera. The coastline offers everything for everyone: modern and state-of-the-art resorts, picture perfect views of the hills, the pristine and blue water and a taste of the French culture. It is a must visit destination and evolved from starting as a winter health resort for the 18th century British upper class to becoming the top travel destination that it is today.
Nice is the capital of the Cote d’Azur and is the fifth largest city in France. The city is also referred to as Nice la Belle which means Nice the Beautiful. It is no wonder that it is a favorite destination for tourists since it is accessible through Nice-The Cote d’Azur Airport and the Port of Nice. It must also be the reason why it ranked second after Paris as the most popular French city among tourists. Promenade des Anglais or Promenade of the English is a celebrated promenade just along the Baie de Anges or Bay of the Angels. Locally known as the Promenade, it is a favorite spot for locals and tourists where they can sit and relax and watch bicyclists, skateboarders and in-line skaters while admiring the blue water of the bay. Another area for tourists is the Zone Pietonne or Pedestrian Zone. As the name implies, cars are not allowed within the zone, making it a well-known walkway for tourists. It has numerous restaurants and cafes where visitors can enjoy French and other cuisines such as Japanese, Italian, Spanish and others. Other notable squares you must visit are Place Massena, just a two-minute walk from Promenade des Anglais and the main Mediterranean square of the city, Place Garibaldi, named after Guiseppe Garibaldi and known for its outstanding architecture such as the statue of Garibaldi at its center, and Place Rossetti, a real must-see with the Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate, a fountain and the finest ice-cream makers.
Saint-Tropez is a former fishing village that was liberated during World War II and became an internationally renowned resort. Tropezien beaches are some of the reasons visitors flock the town. They offer windsurfing, sailing, water skiing and scuba diving. A regatta is being held annually which provides entertainment and stunning views of yachts for the anticipating spectators.
Another busy tourist spot is Cannes, famous for its annual Cannes Film Festival and Lions International Advertising Festival. Along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea lies the Promenade de la Croisette, a 2-km prominent waterfront avenue known for exhilarating beaches, cozy restaurants and cafes and palm trees. 19th century villas of grandeur can still be seen in Cannes such as the Italianate Villa Eleonore Louise.
Menton, once a famous destination for people suffering from tuberculosis because of its warm climate, is another favorite tourist spot on the Cote d’Azur. Nowadays, the "Pearl of France" is known for its many gorgeous gardens such as Jardin botanique exotique de Menton, Jardin Serre de la Madone, Maria Serena garden and Fontana Rosa. Another interesting landmark is the Bastion Museum in the harbor of Menton. The stunning structure holds an exhibition of Jean Cocteau’s works every year. He was the one who restored and decorated the bastion with his mosaics.
Visitors to the Cote d’Azur will surely not run out of interesting places to see, exciting activities to do and new adventures to experience. Guests will realize that one of the best ways to immerse themselves into their Cote d’Azur travel experience is to do as the locals do and mingle with the town folk sitting and walking about. Well known for being a major yachting destination, any traveler ought to try one of the many romantic cruises offered by numerous boat companies found at the marina. Another thing worthy of your time is a visit to Pont Du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features a well preserved Roman aqueduct that was once part of a 50 kilometer water channel system believed to have been built in the 1st century AD. The Heritage site offers a beautiful view of both banks of the River Gard, where tourists can see people swimming during hot summer days.