The French Riviera is a fabulous place to vacation. We've put together 12 fun and interesting day trips, for your inspiration. 

1. Visit Cap Ferrat

Walk (or drive) the 10-kilometer D26 around the exclusive residential district of this exclusive limestone peninsula. No other piece of earth is more populated with the rich and famous. Visit Villa Rothchild to see its gardens and art collection.  See Villa Kerylos.  Take lunch in a restaurant along the beach to see the view and the people. Climb the lighthouse for a bird's-eye view.

2. See Beautiful Monaco

Monaco is the world’s oldest independent monarchy. Visit the Palais du Casino and try your luck.  If you have time, you can also visit Menton, near the Italian border. Rue Saint Michel in the old town is a charming pedestrian-only shopping street. Visit the Place aux Herbes market. In addition, there is a colorful harbor, a casino, and the Jardin des Colombières, beautiful gardens located on a hill above town.

3. A Stroll on the Promenade

Stroll along the waterfront on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Stop for a snack of socca, a crêpe that is a local specialty, or stop for lunch at one of the cafés on the beach for a salad Niçoise. Visit the Musée International d’Art Naïf. Be sure to stop at the Hôtel Negresco for a café on the terrace (the French version of tea at Harrods). Explore Nice’s old quarter where there is a flower market every day on the Cours Saleya except on Mondays when there is an antique market instead.  Every morning except Monday is a fish market on Place St François. Visit the area known as Cimiez, home to a Roman amphitheatre, a famous Jazz festival in July, and the Musée Archéologique, the Musée Chagall and the Musée Matisse.

4. Medieval Èze Village

Èze Village, the medieval town, is perched on the hillside, with cobblestone streets overlooking the sea. Èze Bord de la Mer, the modern town, is on the water’s edge. Take the bus to Èze Village and walk down to Èze Bord de la Mer. Or, if you are driving, stop at Èze Village and continue to La Turbie to see the Trophée des Alps, a rock formation that is the highest point along the Grande Corniche. Continue on to Roquebrune, which is divided into two districts, the new town (on the water) and a medieval village on the hillside dating back to Charlemagne. Park on the upper main square and wander its narrow, cobbled streets.

5. Visit Antibes and the Musée Picasso

Visit Antibes in the morning to see the Musée Picasso. There is an artisans market on Thursdays and Fridays, a daily (except Mondays in summer) Provençal market with foods from the region, and clothing markets every Tuesday through Saturday. Drive along the Cap d’Antibes or stroll along the port. Continue towards Grasse, stopping for lunch in Mougins, rumored to have some of the best restaurants on the Riviera. Visit the parfumerie of Grasse, perfume capital of France. The best known factories are Fragonard and Molinard.

6. Take the Train to Ventimiglia

Take the train along the coast into Italy for the Friday morning market in Ventimiglia, where the French go to buy Italian goods at excellent prices. Stay in Italy or return to spend the afternoon on the beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

7. Shopping in Villefranche

Shop at the morning market in the Jardin Binon. Visit the Volti museum in the old citadel and stroll along the Port de la Darse, Villefranche’s marina. Buy handmade soap at the Savonnerie.

8. A Day of Rest

Whew! Take a day of well-earned rest.  Or hire a boat for a day on the sea poking into little harbors that you could not otherwise visit.

9. Enjoy the Local Pottery and Sculpture

Biot, St-Paul-de-Vence and Vence: Get an early start to see the beautiful pottery of Biot, then head to the most famous hill town along the Riviera, St-Paul-de-Vence. Visit the Fondation Maeght, the Riviera’s best gallery of modern art and sculpture (closed 12:30-2:30 for lunch). Splurge for lunch at La Colombe d’Or, where famous artists once traded their works for a night’s lodging. End the day in Vence to see Chapelle du Rosaire, the chapel designed by Henri Matisse (open 2-5:30).

10. Cannes, Film Festivals and Lunch

This chic, sophisticated resort is the site of the famous International Film Festival. Walk along the Promenade de la Croisette and find a waterfront restaurant for lunch. If you want to bask on the beach, try Plage de la Croisette, between Vieux Port and Port Canto. Take a ferry to Ile Ste-Marguerite, where the “Man in the Iron Mask” was held prisoner.

11. Tour Saint-Tropez

Shop its designer boutiques, stroll along its picturesque harbor to see the yachts and sailboats. Have a drink at the chic Café de Paris, for some of the Riviera’s best people watching.

12. The Loop de Loup

The loop de Loup is a gorgeous drive in the canyon of the Loup River. If you like rock climbing, this is for you!  Avoid a rainy day, start near Vence and finish near Grasse following the D2210, D3 and the D2085. Stop along the way, if you like at the charming towns of Tourrettes sur Loup and Gourdon.

Before You Leave

Reflect on all you've done and seen and save the rest for next time. A bientôt !