Where to stay in the French Riviera
Wanting to go to the south of France and have absolutely no idea where to stay? This was us when trying to decide. While we had both passed through the French Riviera in our backpacking days and decided not to stay there (thinking it was all glitz and glamour), it had so much more to offer than that.
Trying to decide where to stay was a really tough choice for us. After reading many blogs, google posts and asking travel communities across the internet, we decided to stay in Aix-en-Provence and Antibes (or Juan Les Pins). We were extremely happy with our choices, and wanted to share with you why you should also head down to this beautiful coastline and where you should visit along the way.
The South of France is much more diverse than we could have ever imagined. Between the rugged coastline to the beautiful villages to the resort beach towns, there is really something for everyone. We wanted to give you a run down on each place to help you choose where to stay on your next visit here.
Where to stay
Cannes is a big resort town for people looking for the glitz and glamour. This heavily populated long sandy beach town is not our cup of tea but great for people who want a resort holiday is the sun with plenty to do. If you have money to burn, it's a perfect place for that, with numerous places to wine and dine.
Nice is a big city with stone beaches. This fancy city along the coast has plenty to do. Restaurants, bars and shops are plentiful and there is much to explore. We only drove through here as big cities like this are not really for us.
This cute little university town is famous for its many fountains. Full of cute windy streets, nice restaurants and cafes, Irish pubs and great shopping, there is plenty to do here for everyone. We stayed here for just one night which we though was enough to walk around in the day and experience the nightlife, but there is plenty to do if you wanted to stay longer. There are also some short day trips from here if you had a car.
This mountainous beach town was more touristic than we expected but more chilled than the more famous, Cannes and Nice. We thought that it was worth driving through but not a whole lot to do here if you were staying overnight.
Antibes is such a beautiful town. With gorgeous alleyways and cute restaurants, it is easy to walk around and get lost in the streets. There are different beaches for everyone, with long more touristic beaches, as well as small quiet beaches. It is more casual here than the other resort towns close by and much more stunning in our eyes. If you are similar to us, this is the pick of the bunch. There are numerous bars and restaurants to eat and drink at. Be sure to move around because there is a lot of venues to pop into for that refreshing drink you deserve.
Juan Les Pins
This small beach town is more popular than we expected but it is great that it is so close to walk to Antibes. You can walk around to the end of the beach and find a nice little quiet beach away from the bustle.
Camping along the coast
The French Riviera has such a beautiful coastline, full of mountains and tiny little beaches along the way. We definitely recommend camping along here, or at the very least driving through. The benefit of driving through is pulling over along the main road and finding extremely picturesque bays and beaches. You will be tempted to dive in by the crisp blue Mediterranean Sea.
If you like a mix of boutique hotels, nice restaurants/bars, and small chilled beaches like we do, stay in Antibes or Juan Les Pins. We stayed in between the two with an easy 10 minute walk to each of them. Take your time and try the hidden away wine and cheese bars. Top the night off with a Crème Brulee.
Eze Village - Quaint little village on top of a hill. Park up the top and get the shuttle in. Parking is 6 euros but in return you will receive one free ticket to the garden lookout. It's worth visiting.
Roadtrip along the coast – From wherever you decide to stay, it is definitely worth jumping in a car and going for a drive along the coast. The rugged coastline is some of the most beautiful we have ever seen. Stop for a swim in the many small bays and grab some lunch in a small town.
Monaco - We know this is not in France, but why not visit this tiny wealthy country when you are so close by. It’s a perfect day trip destination.
We hope this helps you decide where to visit and stay in the French Riviera. What type of trip are you after?