The Côte d’Azur—there is something about the very name that conjures up images of luxury and indulgence. It’s a place for the rich and famous, where film stars and billionaires go for relaxation. It is also a coastline of great natural beauty, where every year thousands enjoy the warm sea and the cultural and culinary delights of France. The capital of this beautiful area is Nice, the fifth city of France, the most important city of the French Riviera.The French Riviera is a beautiful place filled with culture and luxury.Learn more to enjoy the best of France’s gastronomic pleasures.
Photo by: Daniel70mi Falciola
Places to See
Nice has long been known as a city of culture. It has enough museums to satisfy the most ardent visitor. Above all, lovers of modern art will enjoy the Marc Chagall museum, the Matisse museum, or the Museum of Contemporary Art.
There are some wonderful churches, including the 17th century Cathedral, the spectacular orthodox cathedral, and (well worth a short walk) the delightful peace and tranquility of Cimiez monastery.
If you simply want to stroll and enjoy the atmosphere you should explore the quaint old town, or climb the Castle Hill. The more energetic can walk beyond the harbor and climb Mount Boron, for astounding views over the city and along the coast.
Places to Eat
You could eat every day in a different restaurant in Nice and never be disappointed. Although prices are bound to be higher than the equivalent elsewhere, there are gastronomic opportunities to suit every pocket.
To experience the height of luxury, Le Chantecler on the Promenade des Anglais will cost you more than you can imagine, but you will never forget it. For a warm atmosphere at a moderate price, L’Acchiardo in the old town is a fourth generation family business. One of the best budget places is reputed to be Voyageur Nissart, serving good traditional food away from the tourist areas.
On the menu you will have to try Salade Niçoise. There are plenty of other local dishes, like Pissaladière (a sort of pizza tart), stockfish (dried cod), and deep-fried zucchini. For meat you should sample the Daube beef stew, and the succulent Sisteron lamb. Wash it down with one of a huge range of local vins de pays.
Places to Go
Although you could happily spend weeks in Nice without needing to venture beyond the city, there is plenty to call you further afield. Italy is only a few miles along the coast, with Monaco on the way, and the steep winding streets of the hilltop village of Eze never fail to charm.
Further afield is a ring of France’s delightful ‘parcs naturels’, from Mercantour in the north to Haut-Languedoc to the west. If you are tempted to make a permanent base away from the immediate pressures of Riviera life, this is a great place to seek out luxury houses for sale in France.
Places to Love
The French Riviera has so many aspects that draw visitors from all over the world. Those who come usually come again, and not a few make their homes here. Nice, as its principal city, is an urban paradise whose charms very few can resist.
Abigail Howell and her husband love to travel and are foodies so where and what to eat is always a big part of their travel planning. Abi writes about travel and food in her articles.