The separate group of sights of this paradise corner are the places connected with names of great cultural figures: only Picasso's works on the Riviera are scattered omnipresent.
An itinerary along the Côte d'Azur in the footsteps of the greatest artists of the 19th century
In general, lovers and connoisseurs of painting can draw up their own route to the Cote d'Azur, focusing exclusively on the "footprints" of the greatest painters of the 19th century. This list is sure to include:
- The fishing village of L'Estac, where Georges Braque and Paul Cézanne loved to work
- Saint-Paul-de-Vence, where Marc Chagall lived for over 35 years
- Saint-Tropez, Vence and Nice, where traces of Henri Matisse are still visible
- Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where Edward Munch rented a villa
- Le Cannet, where Pierre Bonnard died
- Cagnes-sur-Mer, where Auguste Renoir acquired a farm in the hills (now a museum).
Claude Monet's trail will be most tortuous: on the Côte d'Azur the artist travelled to Menton, Bordinières, Juan-les-Pins, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Cannes, Beaulieu and Villefranche. His most famous landscapes painted here depict Cap Martin, near Menton, and Cap d'Antibes.
The sights of the Côte d'Azur for the most discerning traveller
Of course, the gems of the Riviera, such as glamorous Saint-Tropez, Antibes, Monaco or Cannes, are on everyone's lips without reference to the masterpieces of world art. The Côte d'Azur, however, has many less popular destinations whose attractions appeal to even the most discerning traveller.
- The secluded villages of Eze and Gourdon
- The perfume factories of Grasse
- Glassworks in Biot and Vallbonne
- The ceramics hamlet of Vallauris.
And places like the Loop Valley with its beautiful waterfalls offer seclusion even in August, when the French Riviera is overrun with tourists.
The Côte d'Azur's most interesting places to visit
The official borders of the coastal area of the French Riviera have never been set and the foothills of the Alps are often included. But even if these areas were formally part of a neighbouring region, what difference would it make?
The important thing is that a mere half hour or an hour's drive from the beach should take you to some of the most beautiful mountain scenery and atmospheric small towns with unparalleled panoramic views.
For instance in Sospel, just 18 km from the coastal town of Mentona. There are architectural remains dating from Roman to Renaissance times and the immediate surroundings are ideal for mountain walking, horse riding, mountain biking, paragliding and canoeing.
Another seaside town, Mougins is only a 30-minute drive from Cannes. It is well worth the drive for the picturesque old town in the heart of Mougins. Situated on a hilltop, it offers stunning views of Cannes, Grasse, the foothills of the Alps, and the forest of Valmask. Much more, Mougins is well worth a visit for the exquisite cuisine it is renowned for.
A favourite destination for international celebrities, politicians, and cultural figures
Celebrities who frequently visited and lived in Mougins: Fernand Léger, Jean Cocteau, Yves Saint Laurent, Winston Churchill, Edith Piaf, Catherine Deneuve and lastly Picasso, who spent the last 12 years of his life here.
The French Riviera: where to stay?
The luxury and expensive resorts of the Côte d'Azur resemble each other. For example, the buzz, fun and sophistication are no different in Nice than in Cannes.
The younger crowd prefers Juan les Pins or Saint-Tropez, the gamblers choose Monaco, the more relaxed ones go for Antibes, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer or Menton.
What can you see on the Côte d'Azur?
- The fortified city of Saint-Paul-de-Vence
- Medieval Eze
- The narrow cobbled streets and Provencal houses of Beaulieu-sur-Mer
- St Jean Cap Ferrat mansions
We also recommend a walking route through photogenic Saint-Tropez where Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman, Louis de Funès' oddball gendarme, and Pierre Richard's occasional hitman with the 'dangerous' umbrella are all featured.
The bustling port city of Marseille, the European capital of culture 2004 Genoa, and San Remo, the favourite of the 19th century Russian aristocracy, are also worth a visit.
Finally, you can visit the diminutive and very excitable state of Monaco, the city of palaces and festivals. Be sure to visit Cannes and Nice, rich in art museums and aristocracy.
Discover the French Riviera on a sailing catamaran cruise
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Discover the splendour of the French Riviera with the Signature Sailing Charter and ask our manager for more information.