Postcard from the Riviera in Glorious South

Originally posted on & updated on 25th January, 2024

Today our postcard comes from the French Riviera. Although we’re lovers of everything simple at heart, there is something special about the French Riviera that fills us with excitement and pleasure every time we visit. It’s easy to see why this has been the destination of choice for the rich, famous and royal for almost a century.

Queen Victoria, together with the Fitzgerald’s and of course the world famous Monaco Grand Prix as well as the Cannes Film Festival combine to make this neck of the woods a great place to rub shoulders with the world’s glitterati.

Although there’s more to the Côte d’Azur than dollars and diamonds, it’s on those things we want to concentrate today. What we want to do is give you the lowdown on what we love doing when we visit the French Riviera.

  • People watch - In this part of the world, you never know who you’ll spot, so it’s well worth finding yourself a prime position in one of the street-side cafes and investing in a bit of people watching time. Nice’s Promenade des Anglais is the perfect spot to people watch with a stunning Mediterranean backdrop to boot. Take time out to savour the fashions, the glamour, the bling, the richness and the class of this spot while sipping a glass of champagne or two.
  • Stroll. The likes of Monte-Carlo, which is a hot gambling spot is the perfect size to stroll around and breathe in the glamour and glitz that goes with this haven of wealth and the wealthy. No matter whether you chance your luck at the casino or not, there are plenty of cultural attractions to get your attention. Stop at the Café de Paris on the way to the flower gardens that you’ll find just before Monte-Carlo’s exclusive shopping area. That said, unless you have a pretty hefty limit on your credit card, it might be best to stick to window-shopping!
  • Appreciate the art. There’s no getting away from the fact that artists came in their droves to this corner of France. Attracted by the exquisite light, the blueness of the water and the clarity of the skies touched by the hilltop villages make this place inspirational. These are just a few of the things that drew the likes of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to this area. In Musée National Marc Chagall you’ll find Matisse’s biblical-themed works and in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, you’ll find Fondation Maeght, a modern art museum that pays homage to Chagall, Joan Miró and Alberto Giacometti.
  • Catch a festival. The Nice Jazz Festival and the Jazz à Juan Festival as well as the International Fireworks Festival, the Monte-Carlo International Fireworks Festival, the Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival , the list goes on, all take place here. Whenever you come, you won’t be lost for something to do, but if you can coincide your visit with one of the world-renowned festivals or events that take place here, you truly will be blown away.
  • Eat and drink like a king or queen. No matter whether you plump for a simple “salade niçoise or a typical ratatouille”, you’re sure to be impressed with the depth of flavour of the food around here. Some might be simple, some might be fine dining, but all will be delicious (unless you’re unlucky).
  • Hit the beach for sundown. The sunsets are stunning here and the waterside always offers a host of things to do, day or night. Outdoor living here is taken for granted pretty much year-round and a great way to end a day of strolling and people watching is to enjoy watching the big red ball in the sky disappear under the horizon and then head off to watch a film at the Monaco Open Air Cinema.
  • While these things are all “must do’s” for our visits to the French Riviera, real life here can be pretty impressive too. For English language speakers, this is arguably one of the best places to be able to find work without too great a command of French. Also, if you have children, you’ll find a good choice of international schools so you can keep a foot in both camps from an education point of view.

If you fancy taking more than a trip to the French Riviera and would like to find out more about living there on a full-time basis, or investing in a holiday property here, then please get in touch.

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