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Exploring the French Riviera


Exploring the French Riviera

Emma Bates

A few weeks back Finn and I embarked on a 5 day exploration of the French Riviera having been invited by a couple of friends to join them on a boat. We set off bright and early to Gatwick for a flight to Nice and then hopped in a cab to find the boat. 

Neither of us had ever experienced a trip like it, so it was quite exciting and very interesting to see what it was like, certainly not the trip we're used to. I felt very lucky to be joining everyone on board! The next couple of days consisted of us floating around the French Riviera visiting various different towns along the coastline. 

Antibes, South of France


Antibes is a beautiful coastal town with cobbled streets and plenty of restaurants to be discovered. You'll be charmed by the old town which is behind stone walls. We went for a very hot, morning run along the coast line and it was the most beautiful view. There's also a series of lights that beam onto the town walls and you see adults and children playing with them making awesome shadows against the wall, it's pretty funny to watch!


The old town in Cannes is gorgeous, the very top brandishes an old church with views out to sea and all the little winding alleys make you feel like you've travelled back in time. Exquisite colours and quaint little alleys to explore, take an hour to venture into the old town one morning before the heat of a summers day rolls in! You can go and find the location of Cannes film festival if you walk along the promenade away from the Old Town, this is where you'll find all the designer shops and fancy hotels that don't have nearly the charm as what you'll find at the other end of town.

Monte Carlo, Monaco


This is by far the strangest city I've visited. Monte Carlo is defined solely by the wealth that runs through the pockets of it's residents and it's most common tourist. It is a fascinating and cool place to visit but it's not really my type of city. It is interesting to see for a short amount of time though. If you are visiting then definitely check out all the ginormous boats in the harbour and look up the Formula 1 Grand Prix track and go on a morning run or walk around it. It's fun to do and it's a great way to see the whole city. 

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat


This piece of coastline is stunning, huge mountains and cliffs line the sea and it feels a lot more like the Italian Riviera than the French, most probably due to it's proximity to the country! It's gorgeous, the town is also very pretty but my favourite place is most definitely the Villa Rothschild which you'll find has panoramic views over two bays and the most exquisite, enchanted gardens including a rose and Japanese garden. When we visited there was the most incredible evening wedding being set up, with the background of the pale pink villa and I slightly fell in love with the idea of being married there. Ticket prices are around €13+ take a stroll around and fall in love. 

The French Riviera

St Paul de Vence

On our way to the airport we made a short stop here. This is one of the most beautiful little French towns I think I've been to. Set upon a hill in a fort, it's completely charming. The tiny alleys are cobbled stairways with secret passages leading to enticing coloured doors or hidden cafes. We found a bright white, open brick art studio owned and run by a husband and wife who paint in tandem and sell their artwork in their shop below. They were ex-New Yorkers who moved to the South of France to pursue their art work 15 years ago, they indulged in story's of New York's past and told us all about their work. Incredible couple and beautiful work. This is definitely somewhere I'd love to come back to.

Cannes Old Town

Let me know your favourite places in the South of France!