Cote d’Azur: Weather, beaches, tourist attractions and interesting places

French Riviera Cote d’Azur is a part of Mediterranean shore stretching from Cassis to the Italian border. It’s part of the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. Every year, more than 10 million tourists visit well-known resorts such as Nice, Cannes, Saint Tropez and Monte Carlo.

The tourist base on the Cote d’Azur has been developing since the beginning of the 19th century, when wealthy French and English spent only winter months here.

However, the real boom on the Cote d’Azur took place after World War II, when many accommodation facilities were built. Since then, the region has been mainly tourism focused. However, the name – Cote d’Azur was first used in 1887 in the book La côte d’azur by the French writer Liegeard.

Map of the Cote d’Azur

See on the map where the Cote d’Azur is located:

Let’s start the tour.

Holidays on the Cote d’Azur

Cote d’Azur is a region in France, strongly associated with the luxury and crème de la crème: the blue sea, sandy beaches, sumptuous towns, ports full of yachts, palm-lined promenades, as well as world-famous festivals and perfect weather are sufficient reasons to come here for a vacation at least once.

Cote d’Azur is a great holiday spot both for families with children and couples in love, as well as for the elderly (especially before and after the season, which can be too burdensome for seniors). There are plenty of tourist attractions, monuments, museums, places to walk, quiet Provencal towns, as well as night entertainment, and even casinos.

Everyone will certainly find something on the French Riviera that will delight them.

Weather on Cote d'Azur
Weather on Cote d’Azur

Weather on Cote d’Azur

Cote d’Azur is located in a typical Mediterranean climate zone, meaning a mild and tourist-friendly weather. Summers are hot and dry, while in winter temperatures do not fall below 10 degrees during the day.

The sun shines on the Cote d’Azur for almost 300 days a year, which promotes tourism.

Temperatures in the summer months reach over 30 degrees, but there may be a wind blowing from the west (mistral), which cools the air a bit. When it comes to rainfall, it’s rare on the French Riviera, mainly in spring and autumn.

When is the best time to spend your holidays on Cote d’Azur?

The best time to come to Cote d’Azur, when it comes to rest is of course July and August. One should only bear in mind the fact that this is the peak of the season and there will be a lot of tourists then. In addition, it can be really hot and simply expensive.

A better option for families with children and the elderly is to arrive in May or June, when it is warm or just after the season in September or early October, when temperatures are still pleasant.

Sea water temperature on the Cote d’Azur

The bathing season begins on the French Riviera at the end of May and lasts practically until the end of September. The water temperature in the Mediterranean Sea on the Cote d’Azur is then in the range of about 20-25 degrees.

What about beaches?

Beaches on Cote d'Azur
Beaches on Cote d’Azur

Beaches on Cote d’Azur

The weather on the Cote d’Azur undoubtedly promotes sunbathing and rest. Almost a third of this area is occupied by beaches, fully prepared for the arrival of tourists. Some of them are paid, and those less popular and located more out of the way are almost always free.

Sometimes entrance to the beach is already included in the price of the hotel day.

On the Cote d’Azur we have pebble and rocky beaches, but there are also sandy ones. Most of them have full infrastructure, with showers, toilets, deckchairs as well as water equipment rentals and diners.

One of the most popular beaches on the French Riviera are: Plage de Pampelonne and Escalet Beach, both located near the famous Saint Tropez.

See on the map where the Plage de Pampelonne and Escalet Beach are located:

For families with children a little less crowded beaches will be better, such as the one between Juan-les-Pins and Golfe-Juan and the beach Plage de la Garoupe next to Antibes. Both are characterized by a gentle entry into the sea and sand ideal for playing. In turn, nature lovers should be delighted by Plage de la Mala beach, which is surrounded by high rocks, but accessing it is a bit tiring.

See on the map where the Plage de la Garoupe beach is located:

Time for accommodation prices on Cote d’Azur!

Accommodation on Cote d’Azur

Practically the entire region of the French Riviera lives mainly on tourism, which is why the accommodation base is very well developed here. On Cote d’Azur, there are plenty of hotels in a full range of different standards, from guesthouses to exclusive facilities for the rich.

Of course, you can rent entire apartments, studios and houses.

You can also sleep at the campsites.

Interestingly, throughout France, the standard of hotels is unified and in every part of the country you can expect conditions at the same level, e.g. by choosing three-star facilities.

This is not so common, especially in Mediterranean countries. In addition, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, you can also find accommodation in agritourism farms. There are maybe not many of them and they are rather located in the interior, but as such agritourism exists in this area.

Cities and resorts on Cote d’Azur

There are many places where you can go on vacation on the Cote d’Azur. From the largest and most popular (read very crowded in the season) cities like Nice or Cannes, through Saint Tropez, Toulon, Antibes or Grasse, to less known cities like Hyeres or Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Larger resorts are unfortunately characterized by the fact that they are not only more crowded, but they can also be deterred by high prices (sometimes even very high).

However, entertainment and night life will certainly not be lacking in them. Therefore, people seeking peace should choose, for example, one of the charming towns like Menton with its southern atmosphere or Cagnes-sur-Mer with a picturesque port and Renoir museum.

However, if someone is interested in fashionable beaches, exclusive boutiques and the opportunity to meet stars, it’s better to choose Nice, Cannes, Saint Tropez or even Monaco for a holiday.

Let’s move to these most popular tourist attractions!

Tourist attractions of Cote d'Azur
Tourist attractions of Cote d’Azur

Tourist attractions of Cote d’Azur

Nice is the largest city of the Cote d’Azur. The Roman baths and amphitheater (Arenes de Cimiez),  Saint Nicholas Orthodox church, Old Town and museums – Matisse and Chagall are worth seeing here. It is also impossible to miss the walk along the Promenade des Anglais and the entrance to the Castle Hill in Nice.

Cannes is another city worth visiting. This is where the famous film festival (Festival Palace with red stairs) takes place, which annually attracts world-class stars. In addition, it is worth walking here along Croisette Avenue, where many great actors have left their handprints. In Cannes, you can also see the Museum de la Castre, the famous Hotel Carlton and the Old Town.

The Saint Tropez Resort is a legendary place mainly associated with Brigitte Bardote and Louis de Funes. After all, many of the famous movies were shot here. In the town, in addition to the famous beach, it is worth visiting the Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum and stroll through the narrow streets, soaking up the atmosphere of luxury.

If you are on vacation on Cote d’Azur, it is worth going to the small principality of Monaco. You can see the Palace of the Prince of Monaco, the Monte Carlo district with casinos and the route that F1 cars race every year on the streets of this country. For lovers of nature, we recommend visiting the botanical garden – Jardin exotique de Monaco with a collection of succulents from different parts of the world and a natural cave.

Antibes is mainly associated with Napoleon and Pablo Picasso, the later having Museum located in the Grimaldi Castle, where about 150 works of Picasso are exhibited. The second must-see when visiting Antibes is Fort Carre from the 16th century, where in addition to the building itself it is worth visiting the park surrounding it with Mediterranean vegetation.

What else is worth seeing and visiting on Cote d’Azur?

Cote d’Azur is not only urban attractions but also nature. First of all, it’s unforgettable landscapes towering over the coast of the Maritime Alps.

Nature lovers will definitely be delighted by a visit to the highest cliff of France, Cap Canaille and the Esterel Massif, from which you can enjoy unforgettable views. However, what attracts the most here is the Verdon canyon (one of the deepest in Europe), the smaller and less known but equally nice Loup canyon and the flooded limestone valleys of Les Calanques.

Cote d'Azur
Cote d’Azur

Interesting places on Cote d’Azur

Of the interesting places on Cote d’Azur one is certainly the town of Grasse, which has been associated with the perfume industry for centuries. Famous perfume factories have their headquarters here: Molinard, Galimard and Fragonard. Each of them houses a perfume art museum, as well as a perfume factory that still operates today, where we will see the process of creating these perfumes. Of course, there are also company stores where you can shop after your visit.

Another interesting place on Cote d’Azur is Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a property built in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, on the Cap Ferrat peninsula. The owner was Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, after her death the property passed into the hands of the state and was made available to visitors. Something that distinguishes this impressive property is as many as 9 gardens that surround it. Each one is decorated in a different style, so that you can admire the flowering vegetation throughout the year. We have, among others, a gardens in Japanese, Provencal, Spanish, French or exotic styles. There are dancing fountain shows every 20 minutes in the garden in front of the villa itself.

Port Grimaud is commonly called the French Venice, a city on Cote d’Azur located on the water. It is a  private housing estate where each house has its own mini marina for mooring the boat. Port Grimaud is best visited by a rented electric boat. On site you can also see a small church with a lookout tower (additional fee).

Cultural events on Cote d’Azur

There is no shortage of events and cultural events on Cote d’Azur. From the Lemon Festival in Menton to the most famous Cannes International Film Festival, which you can read more about at the festival’s website.

Also in Nice there is no shortage of cultural attractions such as: Jazz Festival and above all the carnival taking place in this city.

French Riviera Pass – the power of benefits

Before arriving at the French Riviera, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with this and this site, where you will find all the necessary information on how to prepare for holidays on Cote d’Azur, where to look for information and help and what is the French Riviera Pass.

Details of the card in the video below:

Opinions about Cote d’Azur

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to stay on Cote d’Azur for several days or spent a vacation there, we invite you to share impressions, opinions and reviews about this place. All opinions will be helpful, therefore we welcome comments!

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