The azure coast is just that - France's southern seaside lapped by the turquoise waters of the warm Mediterranean. The brash bustle of the tourist centres doesn't float everyone's luxury boat, but a more relaxed French holiday can easily be had.


The area is well served by direct flights into Nice and the Eurostar (website: from London links with TGV (website: rail services heading south from Paris or Lille.

Why now?

The prestigious celebration of the movies, the Cannes Film Festival (website:, takes over the chic town from 14 to 25 May and the Monaco Grand Prix (website: roars into the miniscule principality on 24 May.

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See Monaco's marinas with their floating palaces and spot tax-exile racing drivers pacing out the world's most famous street circuit before the big day.

Breath the cool, high air in the Mercantour National Park (website:, a world away from the sultry sun-spots of the coastal resorts and home to eagles, wild boar and wolves.

Strut/rollerblade or drive (in a sports car ideally) along Nice's famed Promenade des Anglais and stop to admire the faded charm of the fin-de-siecle beachfront hotels.


Dodge the holiday hordes and head to Nice's old town then visit the Musée Matisse (website: to see the luminous colours of the Riviera captured by the brush of a master.

Don your best and join the high-rollers at the Monte-Carlo Casino (website: for a night at the gaming tables.

Savour the sweet smell of Grasse (website:, France's capital of perfume since the 16th century and gateway to the Provenςal countryside.


Discover lesser-known destinations like Menton (website: on the French-Italian border, with its subtropical climate and gorgeous public gardens or Eze, 11km (7 miles) from Nice, a fortified, medieval village clinging to precipitous slopes.

Did you know?

Prince Rainier III of Monaco married Hollywood star Grace Kelly in 1956.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.