THE FRENCH RIVIERA – WHY GO?
Ritzy resorts, hedonistic beach life and the famous Mediterranean climate have helped make the French Riviera a playground of the rich and famous. And while the bronzed and beautiful come here to play in their sleek yachts and Belle Epoque villas, you don't need millions to join in all the fun.
Stylish resorts such as Cannes, Nice and Cap d'Antibes jostle with luxury hotels where you can bronze on private beaches with the jeunesse dorée and party all night in glammed-up bars.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Think yachts, watersports and the world’s most famous film festival – that’s Cannes. Schmooze with the starry-eyed on the Cannes Croisette, or join the well-toned bikini set on the beach. Glamorous getaways start here.
Its Riviera climate, lofty palms, cosmopolitan cafes and palatial seafront hotels make Nice a winner for weekend getaways. Do wander round the old town, people watch along the Promenade des Anglais and get a cultural fix at the Musée des Beaux Arts.
Sexy, sultry St Trop remains one of Europe’s most glamorous seaside resorts, with plenty of millionaire yachts, bronzed bodies and chic cafes.
Monaco and Monte Carlo
Whatever you may think of Monaco’s slightly tacky pizazz, this tiny principality packed with tax exiles and high rollers begs to be seen. You can’t be too glammed-up for a night at Monte Carlo’s famous Casino (count the Rollers and Ferraris outside), and have a peep at the palace, whose royal family still call this pint-size pricipality home.
St Paul de Vence
A pretty (if touristy) village packed with bijou little shops and galleries – great for al fresco lunch and a wander.
Bristling with artists and galleries (Picasso lived here at one time), the hilltop village of Mougins is an ideal place to leave the Cannes crush behind. Dine out on a scenic terrace in the old village with the Bay of Cannes spread out below – magic.
You can create your own fragrance at the Fragonard factory in the world’s perfume capital.
MAKE A DATE
Come out of season and get tickets for a show marking the Cannes Dance festival.
Cannes and the Cannois turn on the glitz big time for Europe's glitziest film festival. Come and rub shoulders with the big stars and the wannabees.
Get your ear plugs at the ready – it's the big Monaco Grand Prix.
Lounge on a yacht in your sleekest shades wearing little more than a suntan, or join the after-dark Riviera set in a bar beneath the stars.