French Riviera - Côte d' Azur
France stretches 1,000km (600mi) from north to south and the same from east to west, covering an area of 551,500km² (213,000mi²) which rises to 675,417km² (254,000mi.²) with overseas territories. It is the third largest country in Europe after Russia and Ukraine (second if you count the overseas included). Metropolitan France has four coastlines: the North Sea, English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The total length of its coastline reaches 3427 km. With the exception of its northeastern border, the country is bounded mainly by seas and oceans and natural borders: the Rhine and the Jura, Alps, Pyrénées mountains.
Land of contrasts
At the heart of Europe, between the Southern Alps and the Mediterranean, come be amazed by the Côte d' Azur, or French Riviera. Embark on a sea excursion to the Lérins Islands, or visit the pebble beach resorts of Mandelieu-la-Napoule in Menton. The Mercantour National Park, together with the 13 other natural parks in the Côte d' Azur department, make up a vast playground for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, canyoning, climbing, and caving. This region also houses 15 ski resorts with over 700km of slopes.
The Mimosa Festival, The Lemon Festival in Menton, the Nice Carnival, all these summer pyrotechnics lend a festive colour to your stay on the Riviera. The Cannes International Film Festival opens the season with a series of prestigious cultural and artistic events, followed by the Nice Jazz Festival andJazz in Juan. For children, there is Marineland and the Phoenix Floral Park which made ideal desinations for family outings. The French Riviera enjoys exceptionally sunny weather with a great many treasures on offer: an outstanding cultural heritage, sublime landscapes that served to inspire the greatest artists, munificent and well preserved countryside, tranquil hilltop villages, sun-soaked Mediterranean cuisine, a generous lifestyle, and many important international events.
France has a temperate and pleasant climate. Continental France is divided into four distinct climatic areas: Oceanic climate (western France): average rainfall is spread over many days and modest annual temperature variations. Continental climate (central and eastern France): cold winters and hot summers. Mediterranean climate (south eastern France): warm and dry summers, rainfall from October to April (damp but mild weather), ample sunshine all year round. Mountain climate (above 600-800m altitudes): high rainfall, snows three to six months per year.
Capital of the French Riviera, Nice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Its assets are unique and numerous. Nice has an ideal location right between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains, just a few kilometers from the Italian border. It boasts a mild climate, bright sun, diverse landscapes, and of course beautiful beaches with blue azure waters. A city of history, culture, art, creation, events, leisure, nature, and culinary flavors, Nice combines an authentic charm with the conviviality of the Mediterranean by offering a host of activities and sites to visits. Take an opportunity to visit the 20th-century collections in Nice' s great museums and galleries, which house prestigious collections with contributions from Matisse, Chagall or even the famous School of Nice. Thanks to the French Riviera Pass, you can receive discounts on some of the city' s top guided tours and museums. Discover or rediscover Nice, a city of scents and flavors, through visiting the some of the many markets, boasting fresh flowers, vegetables, fruit and fish. Also don' t miss the old town with its many narrow streets - its "Piazzetta" offers many other treasures. Urban, cultural, seaside and culinary explorations are all awaiting you.
Nice-Côte d’Azur International Airport: links to 30 countries, 54 airlines and more than 100 direct flights SNCF railway station: connected to all major cities Motorway A 8: links to European capitals Port used as starting point for many cruises, also NGV links to Corsica
Cannes enjoys an international reputation. It has welcomed the great and good of this world for nearly two centuries. It is also home to the most famous film festival. But what do we really know about the city? It’s not all frivolity - an obsession with red carpets and evening gowns. It has a more serious side too – busy with business events for a large portion of the year. It has a reputation for being modern, cosmopolitan, fashion trend setter which is undoubtedly true! But it has also lovingly preserved its roots and its traditions, an authenticity that can be enjoyed by the visitors that slip away from the Croisette to savour the picturesque charm of a Mediterranean city. We think of it as timeless, with its palace hotels from the last century, its chic districts, its tranquil bay and its islands where time has stood still. But there’s more to it than meets the eye! Inventive, audacious, responsive, dynamic, Cannes constantly reinvents itself. Each new season brings a crop of new features: charming hotels, cultural trips… So, like Socrates, it’s best to come here with an open mind: “The only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing”. You are cordially invited to stroll around and explore our lovely city with new eyes. Read about it too. Our press kit obviously. With its twelve continuously updated themes we like to think that it is a faithful reflection of the rich attractions of our destination – a stunning “world village”.
Mythical Saint-Tropez is an enchanted village which remains "The" place to go to for famous people, sea lovers, art history, and Heritage addicts. Discover the village as you stroll along the tiny alleys of the old town, the dainty little squares, and the world famous harbour. Let yourself be swept off by a taste of Provence, as you walk amidst the Provençal market, with its cuisine, and local specialities, which are the pride of the village. Saint-Tropez is also a higly cultural and historical destination, which you will discover through the various buildings and monuments: the Annonciade Museum, one of the most beautiful paintings and sculpture Museums from the beginning of the 20th Century, the 17th Century Citadel, or the House of Butterflies. With its naturally protected environment, the Saint-Tropez Peninsula will delight those who long for walks along its beautiful coastal path, hilltop villages, and magnificient wine domains. You will find exclusive and highly diversified accommodation in Saint-Tropez, from palaces, to quaint hotels and guest houses. Saint-Tropez has become the capital of shopping on the Côte d' Azur, with its boutiques open all day long during the season, offering all the best brands in fashion, as well as their world famous crafts and specialities. Last but not least, Saint-Tropez and the Peninsula offers a large array of top quality dining options, giving connoisseurs a refined, luscious, and subtle yet innovating Provençal cuisine, using a blend of southern flavours with worldwide influence.
If you like the sun and the sea, then you won’t be disappointed! Its 6 km of sandy beaches invite you to relax and to enjoy water sports in a warm and familial atmosphere. Why don’t you embark on a cruise ship to one of the numerous destinations that we offer? Sainte-Maxime is also a paradise for water activities. Sailing enthusiasts are sure to find their thrills out on the water! Challenge the winds on a catamaran or on a windsurf, caress the waves on water ski or jet ski. Take off parasailing or discover the flora and the fauna of the Mediterranean sea.
Beyond palm trees and sea-side umbrella pines, Sainte-Maxime offers a natural and protected environment that exudes the Provence”. By strolling through trails and hills, you will discover a full range of colors, from the olive tree’s silver-grey to the mimosas’ powder-gold. Numerous hiking and mountain biking are possible starting from Sainte-Maxime. Overlooking the bay of Saint Tropez and beyond the hillsides, venture into the kingdom of Cicadas ...
Just 20 minutes from Cannes by boat, the Lérins islands feel a whole world away from the buzz of the mainland. Visitors are seduced by their idyllic natural beauty with quiet sandy paths, rocky coves to explore and swim in, and a fascinating history combining the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask and the spirituality of Cistercian monks.   The archipelago separates the Gulf of Napoule to the west from Golfe Juan to the east, and is composed of two main islands: Sainte-Marguerite and Saint Honorat, just a kilometre from each other.   They are not accessible to cars, bicycles or scooters and make wonderful, peaceful getaways for walks, swimming, games of pétanque and long lazy lunches. Oaks and creaking pines cover both islands, as well as a fragrant scrubland of myrtle, cistus, honeysuckle and wild clematis – and there’s plenty of wildlife here too.
Lying 200 kilometres from the French Riviera, Corsica is almost in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Its landscapes, monuments and beautiful beaches, make this island an ideal destination for walking on the GR20, relaxing, and discovering the age-old heritage and traditions associated with the Corsican way of life. The Corsican coastlines, at a total length of over 1 000km, are the most varied of French coastlines. Cap Corse, passing by the Lavezzi Islands and the great beaches (Ricanto, Ostriconi, Palombaggia, Santa Giula…), the capes of Porto and Girolata, as well as the Calanches of Piana (classified by UNESCO), come discover the many places of character in this coastal region! This diverse landscape is conducive to all activities (hiking with the famous GR 20, strolls for discovering the Desert of Agriates, the Castaggniccia, and the Forest of Ospédale, as well as Golfing (in Spérone) and water sports. The Natural Regional Park of Corsica covers two thirds of the surface of this beautifully preserved region, which also boasts 5 nature reserves and marine parks. All the natural splendours of Corsica are revealed at the Gorges Restonica, the Monte Stello and the Bonifacio Cliffs. The Bonifacio Marina invites you to relax beside the Mediterranean.
Read more at: http://ee.france.fr/en/discover/french-riviera-cote-azur