How to Spend 1 Week on the French Riviera
Comprising cosmopolitan cities, hilltop retreats, golden beaches, and fruitful vineyards, the French Riviera is, for many, shorthand for “paradise.” Given the region’s abundance of sightseeing offerings and leisure opportunities, one week offers just the right amount of time to see it all. Here’s how to plan your Côte d’Azur stay.
Days 1 and 2: Nice
The de facto capital of the French Riviera and its largest city, rarefied Nice is the perfect home base for your excursions. Two days in town means you have enough time for culture, sightseeing, and leisure. Drop by the Marc Chagall Museum or the Matisse Museum, stroll the length of the splendid Promenade des Anglais, soak up the ambiance in the city’s old town (Vieux Nice), cruise the Baie des Anges, and indulge in glamorous, terrace dinners.
Day 3: Monaco
While it’s technically its own principality, tiny Monaco is ringed on three sides by France and on one side by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Travel 30 minutes from Nice to drive the famed Monaco Formula 1 circuit in a supercar and scope out the Prince’s Palace and Monaco Cathedral. In the evening, dress up in your finery and join the high rollers at Monte Carlo Casino.
Day 4: Cannes
It may seem that every destination along the French Riviera is more glamorous than the last, and Cannes is no exception. The world-famous Cannes Film Festival welcomes A-listers and movie stars to the coastal city each May. Follow in their footsteps along the Boulevard de la Croisette, duck into designer boutiques, and finish with a lavish dinner within splashing distance of the beach.
Day 5: St-Tropez
For such a petite retreat, St-Tropez is celebrated far and wide for the beauty of its beaches and its voluptuary lifestyle. One day is just the right amount of time to discover this bijou beauty. Sunbathing is less a pastime and more a competitive sport here; soak up the rays along the Plage de Pampelonne, and indulge in fresh seafood once the sun sets.
Days 6 and 7: Hills, Vines, and Villas
Explore beyond the French Riviera's major enclaves on your sixth day, venturing inland to destinations such as Grasse, famed for its perfume production; Èze, a medieval beauty; and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, once frequented by artists. Finish with a vineyard visit: The Côtes de Provence region excels in rosé. On your final day, seek out the Riviera’s other coastal splendors, from elegant villas such as the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and the Villa Kerylos to lovely resorts including Antibes and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.