The French Riviera, best known as Côte d’Azur, expands on the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France from Menton near the Italian border to about Toulon, past the Maures massif. Within its geographical boundaries and yet not an integral part of it lies the Principality of Monaco, just to the West of Menton.

 

The Côte d’Azur started as a sea resort towards the end of the 18th century. It quickly became popular amongst aristocrats and wealthy families and later went on to attract famous artists and other celebrities. The Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales, Elton John, Matisse, Brigitte Bardot, Picasso, the Rotschild, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie are just a few names in the long list of those who visited, lived or are still living in the area. All have contributed to the Côte d’Azur becoming the “playground for the rich and famous” which it still is today. Thus, the Côte d’Azur certainly has a rather artificial golden image to it, but it’s only when visiting it and reaching beyond its shiny cover that you will find out it is, indeed, a real treasure.

 

Whether you’re after visiting prestigious locations such as Nice, Cannes or Saint-Tropez, or after a more authentic discovery of the hinterland with its mountains and gorgeous villages such as Peillon or Sainte-Agnès, the French Riviera will undoubtedly exceed your expectations. The region is the stage of a great variety of natural features which expand into Provence with a beautiful coastline in the foreground, alpine mountains (with ski resorts) in the close background, and in between canyons, waterfalls, forests, the Mercantour national park etc. Plus, it enjoys a micro-climate which does make everyone else in France envious!

 

If you decide to head to the Côte d’Azur I highly recommend a visit in spring or early autumn for it is not only more peaceful and enjoyable, but also because the temperatures are much more pleasant.


If you like the pictures in this gallery, you might like the pictures of Normandy, on snapi.org :) The pictures in this gallery were shot with a Canon EOS 40D associated with Canon EF 17-40mm f4L USM.

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