French Riviera - The Best Roadtrip itinerary along the Cote D'Azur
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
I still believe that the best summers are to be experienced in Europe. France, Italy, Greece and many other European countries just have the best beaches and cutest towns on this planet.
We were fortunate enough to do the iconic French Riviera road trip three times and each time we discovered new stunning places. So here it comes, my 10 favourite stops along the Cote D'Azur: Follow my Instagram hashtag #ooocotedazur to learn more.
Some general advice:
Ideally plan your trip to fly to Marseille and back from Nice (or vice versa). This way you'll save time. Rent a car in between.
Contrary to Google Maps' suggestion don't take the faster route, the highway. Take the free and much more scenic road along the coast which will take you through many cute towns and you can stop at any beach you want. It will take longer but is definitely more fun.
Always have a pair of camping chairs and towels in your trunk, ideally also an umbrella. That's the easiest and cost effective way to enjoy the beaches.
If you don't want to rent a car you can also do the same itinerary by train. Check SNCF website for more info
The 10 best stops along the French Riviera
1 - Monaco
Of course you have to stop in Monaco, one of the most glamorous places you can see on this planet. It is not everyones taste and definitely super expensive but you should at least spent a day or so here and just observe the vibe :)
2 - Eze
Eze is just amazing and you have to stop here. The moment you set foot here you feel you have traveled back in time. Cars are not allowed in. Book a table at Chateau Eza for sunset. You can also head to lower Eze to explore the stunning beaches.
3 - Nice
Nice is probably the biggest city along the Cote D'Azur and probably also your port of arrival/departure. It is a good base to explore the surroundings and you should at least spend 1-2 nights here. The beach is also super nice and very turquoise.
4 - St. Paul de Vence
If there is a place that beats Eze, that is St. Paul de Vence. Can't believe how pretty and cute this little town is. If you are into arts you will love this place even more since you fill find a lot of art galleries here. If you are up for some shopping also stop at the nearby open air mal Polygone Riviera.
5 - Antibes
Probably my favourite town along the coast is Antibes. Picasso must have thought so too, since he spent a while here back in the day. day the city hosts the Picasso museum. Great beaches and great food are for sure. Head to Bistro de Jules to try the Pan Bagnat (local Tuna sandwich).
6 - Cannes
The most iconic stop is Cannes. This city known for it's many festivals has a whole different vibe and atmosphere. We were there during the Cannes Lions festival and loved the whole beach festival concept. The beach clubs are usually quite expensive and there is definitely clearer water in the neighbouring towns but Cannes is the place to be to have great food, party on the beach or just stroll along the Croisette. My favourite food spots in Cannes: Da Laura, Federal (paninis), Il Vesuvio (Pizza), Le palais des pains (raspberry tart), Steak n' Shake (hamburger), Happiness share café (coffee), Le Maschou, Baoli beach. Also make sure to hike up to the Cannes Fort and enjoy the sunset from the top.
7 - Agay
Probably a less known place. We discovered this stunning beach on our way from Cannes to Saint Tropez and decided to stop for a dip and some lunch on the beach. Club Agathos is a great place for that.
8 - Saint Tropez
Famous for it's beach parties and jet set clientele, Saint Tropez is also something for the average men. The narrow streets and pastel tones make you instantly love this place. Head to Le Tarte Tropizienne for some sweet fun.
9 - Cassis
Calanques National Park is what brought us to this small village. Here you can rent a boat or book one of the group trips to the Calanques. Best views ever.
10 - Aix-en-Provence
This place is mainly famous for it's lavender fields around. But it is also a very beautiful city and deserves some attention of it's own.