You’ve worked hard this year and now it’s time to enjoy some well-earned summer vacation, and where better to do it than the French Riviera? This gorgeous Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, including the state of Monaco, extends from the Italian border (Italian Riviera) in the east all the way to Saint-Tropez in the West and includes major cities like Nice and Cannes. Since the end of the 18th Century it has been the summer playground of aristocrats, royalty, artists and writers, not to mention a plethora of A-list celebrities who come to see and be seen on its many sandy beaches. The annual Cannes film festival, launched in September 1946, has become a must attend event for movie stars and socialites alike, as has the Monaco Grand Prix on the annual social calendar. Plus, with all the money you’ve just saved on your new Oceaner 41, you can really splash out and celebrate the summer in style.
EXPERIENCES TO ENJOY
The French Riviera offers a myriad of cool experiences to enjoy, although surprisingly not all of them revolve around lying on the beach (although there is plenty of that too.) For example, there are many beautiful vineyards in the area, often with wine tours (and free samples!). This can be a fun change of pace and a way to learn more about the wines in the area. Many of the tours can pick you up directly from your hotel and tailor the experience specifically to your tastes or you can try a full-day tour with strangers and make some new friends.
Daluis and Verdon Gorges are about two hours’ drive inland, but well worth the effort. You will see many sheer sided cliffs, beautiful blue rivers, and more. You can hike around, rent a kayak, or just take a scenic driving route to enjoy the peace and relaxation of the area.
If you prefer to keep your adventures closer to the beach however, then a drive down the Mediterranean coastline from Monaco to St. Tropez is a must do. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous in St. Tropez as you enjoy tanning on one of its famous “clothing optional” beaches, sip on an espresso at Cafe Sénéquier, or enjoy a long lazy lunch at the famous Club 55. Shop for chic bargains in Nice, and then try and win back everything you’ve spent gambling at the famous Monte Carlo Casino. However you choose to spend your time, the drive is beautiful and will definitely inspire the creative parts of your brain.
For a completely different experience again, you can bicycle through the Luberon lavender fields. This is a beautiful place to visit and a perfect location for some cool selfies. The fields are in bloom from late June to early August and if you go toward the end of the season, you’ll see sunflowers in bloom, as well. When you’re done, be sure to stop for some delicious ice cream at Glaces Scaramouche.
Of course, no trip to the French Riviera would be complete without a visit the Boulevard de La Croisette in Cannes. It runs along the coast and offers stunning ocean views as you walk along shopping at the high-end designer boutiques that line the street. Venture off up one of its side streets and you just be rewarded with a cool little coffee shop where you can stop in to refuel with some caffeine and a fresh made French pastry.
It’s just about impossible to have a bad holiday on the French Riviera but make sure you plan ahead, avoid the crowds where possible and don’t forget to pack your new Oceaner 41.