Five Hidden Gems of French Riviera
La Côte d’Azur is one of the most visited parts of France, famous for its magnificent beaches, atmospheric cities, film festivals and beautiful nature. However, it offers much more than just the most popular towns and casinos: from stunning national parks to architectural treasures, modern art museum, centuries-old villages located high in the hills and more. Find out about the less known, but still worth visiting parts of the French Riviera.
1. Porquerolles Island and National Park:
10 minute boat ride off the coast town of Hyères, Porquerolles Island is a little-populated oasis boasting with amazing sandy beaches and turquoise waters, several hiking trails and dramatic cliffside. Porquerolles was only made public in the 1970s as it was a private island before. It was turned into a national park in recent years, with its unique Mediterranean plant and animal life protected from excess development. Plus, this place gets more than 300 days of sun a year!
If you’re interested in architecture and art, this ancient walled city overlooking the sea is an essential stop for you. Famous for being the one-time home of Pablo Picasso, Antibes lies between Nice and Cannes. Most of its fortifications have been unfortunately destroyed, but you can still see its traces around the old town. This place if perfect for wandering around its charming cobbled streets and enjoying the phenomenal perspectives over the sea. You can also visit the Picasso Museum with impressive collections dedicated to Picasso himself, or you can explore collection of contemporary art here too.
This picturesque medieval village is perched high atop a rocky bluff just eight miles from Nice. Èze village has been inhabited for thousands of years. You can get lost in its steep lanes lined with restaurants and coffee places, botanic gardens, green hillsides and panoramic views over the Mediterranean Sea. Make sure to stop by the 14th-century Chapelle de la Sainte-Croix during your visit here.
This former fishing village has been built on a protected cape near Nice, where the waters are very calm. It features fivemile coastal footpath offering stunning panoramic view along the way. In the village itself you can explore the 11th century Saint-Hospice Chapel and the Old Port. One of its most famous beaches, Paloma Beach is also often visited by celebrities such as Elton John or late Sean Connery.
Located at the far western edge of the Riviera, Cassis is a gem near port city of Marseille. Postcard worthy marina filled with boats, striking blue water with gentle tides and intimate beaches. Local restaurants overlooking the water are adding to the atmosphere of an old fisherman village. Go for a stroll around the port, admire the boats, and then settle in for lunch overlooking the water. Spend some time enjoying local beaches, and explore the breathtaking sea creeks and coves of the nearby Calanques National Park.
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