Known in French as the Cote d’Azur, there are few activities that are more satisfying than finding great places to visit in the French Riviera. When you are looking to book the best cruise trip available, here are five of the gems where you can stop on your journey.
1. Monaco, the Princely
Monaco is one of the most beautiful Mediterranean cruise destinations, bordered by France on three sides, with the other border facing the Mediterranean Sea. When you visit Monaco by sea, it becomes instantly clear why this is one of the popular destinations in the world. The beautiful waterfront view afforded by Monaco is matched only by the wonder of its soaring skyscrapers.
Monaco is separated into four quarters: Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo and Fontvieille. Each of these quarters offers its own appeal, depending on what your agenda may be. For example, La Condamine and Frontvieille hold beautiful harbors that you are likely to see upon your arrival.
Though gambling is not legal for the citizens, the largest attractions for tourists in Monaco are the casinos. Most famous of these casinos is Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo, which has been around since 1858. In addition to this, visitors can also enjoy seeing a game of football, rugby, or, if the season is right, get the chance to see the Monaco Grand Prix.
2. Nice, the Splendid
After Paris, Nice is the second most popular French city for tourists to visit. For this reason, it makes sense that anyone traveling by sea would be interested in stopping in this beautiful city. To start the journey, the harbor of Nice has a beautiful old town feel, with plenty to see and do. Much of the old town remains, leaving a place to visit for anyone interested in historical sites.
Some sites that are a must-see for anyone visiting are the Garibaldi’ monument, the La Fontaine du Soleil on Place Massena, the Church of St. Martin and Notre Dame de Nice. These and other beautiful sites are just some of the beauty that Nice has to offer, which are complemented by the many shopping malls in the city.
For those looking for more natural beauty, Nice has some of the most gorgeous and inspiring seascapes, which have influenced a number of artists over the ages. Some of the artwork produced is even featured in the various museums located throughout the city. Of course, if art is not something of interest to you, the seascape itself is still a beautiful choice.
3. Cannes, the Radiant
Cannes can be separated into a few distinct areas, each offering their own appeal to different groups of tourists. Off the shore of Cannes, Île Sainte-Marguerite is the famous site where the events of “The Man in the Iron Mask” took place. La Croisette sits along the waterfront and offers picturesque beaches, boutique shops and restaurants to its visitors. Le Suquet, the old town of Cannes, holds some very quaint and historically stimulating buildings, including the Chapel of St. Anne and the Musée de la Castre.
In addition to this, there are other museums found on this gorgeous stop, as well as famous villas that have been a longstanding part of Cannes’s charm. With part of the city changing with the times, much of the area has become quite technologically advanced, and though traditional theater may not be a strong point of Cannes, it does offer many modern performances and holds a variety of festivals throughout the year.
Whether looking to sit out on the beautiful beaches, visit some of the famous historical sites or simply check out the old town, Cannes offers tourists a unique and attractive getaway spot.
4. Saint-Tropez, the Glorious
Originally used as a military stronghold and with its major income provided by fishing, Saint-Tropez is now a well-known tourist destination. The largest allure for those travelling to this stop is the beautiful and scenic beaches, which are divided into three areas.
The major beach area that people consider visiting is the Pampelonne Beach, which is a long and sandy area that stretches out through the waterfront. Along this beach, visitors can find not only a beautiful view, but also opportunities for waterfront activities and a wide array of facilities for use. This beach also includes some of the famous clubs of the area.
For the other two areas, there are the beaches that are “in-town” and those that are “near town.” These may not be as well known as the Pampelonne Beach, but still offer their own allure. Finally, Saint-Tropez has been very influential in the world of modern art, and offers a variety of locations to view some of the contributions that have been made from this beautiful area.
5. Villefranche, the Picturesque
Though this may not be the most famous of Cote d’Azur attractions, Villefranche is certainly worthy of mention. Ships will not be docking at Villefranche port, but many will anchor nearby so that tourists can visit this beautiful city. Like most coastal vacation spots, this gorgeous destination offers visitors the chance to go fishing, sailing, deep sea diving or participate in a variety of other sea-related activities.
Due to the age of Villefranche, the harbor and dockyard area offers some very historic sites, with many of the structures registered as historical landmarks. Those who visit also have the privilege of seeing other historical buildings throughout the city, such as Saint Michael’s Church, Saint Peter’s Chapel and the Villa Leopolda, which has been called “the most expensive house in the world.”
If you get tired of visiting Villefranche, one of the unique advantages offered is that other locations are quickly accessibly by train. Areas such as Monaco, Nice and Cannes can all be reached relatively soon after departing Villefranche by train, making it a perfect central location. Overall, this could be an exciting way to view the picturesque coast of the Riviera by travelling along the railroad.
Don’t Delay to Explore the Cote d’Azur attractions
Of course, there are plenty of other places to visit in the French Riviera. Rather than sit on the sidelines and dream of your getaway, contact your cruise provider today and take the plunge. A trip here is one to remember.
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