Guide to exploring the Cote d Azur

Posted by rachel in Living, Uncategorized | November 2nd 2010

Guide to exploring the Cote d’Azur

The Cote d’Azur is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world, attracting the rich and famous all year round. For those wanting to adventure out, we have put together this guide to the region. Everything listed is fully accessible from your accommodation in Cannes with varied costs.

Day Trips

Monaco

The principality of Monaco is located only 30 km from Cannes. Synonymous with glamour and wealth, there is plenty of beautiful things to see in Monaco. Tourists tend to really enjoy some of the attractions below.

–       The Monte-Carlo Casino – World famous, decadent casino with a smart casual dress code. Entry is 10 Euros and you must have your passport to enter.

–       The Royal Palace –  13th century Palace housing one of the oldest royal families in Europe. Watch the changing of the guard at 11:55am.

–       Monaco Cathedral – Visit the remains of beloved Princess Grace of Monaco in the beautiful city cathedral

–       The Grimaldi Forum – This convention center hosts some of the best exhibits and shows on the French Riviera.

Please visit http://www.grimaldiforum.com/en/index for their upcoming events.

–       Exotic Gardens – Spend an afternoon wandering around the vast gardens of Mediterranean plant life with breathtaking panoramic views of Monaco.

–       Visit the Monaco website http://www.visitmonaco.com/us for more information. Be aware that to visit some of the attractions in Monaco you will need to show your passport.

How to get there?

Monaco is very accessible by train, less so by bus but still an option. Visit the SNCF website listed at the bottom of the page for more details.

Nice

Nice is the largest city in the area and is your one stop of contemporary culture. Nice boasts very good high street shopping as well as great nightlife and cultural activities. Please find some examples below.

–       Nice Old Ville – Spend the day wandering through the quaint cobbled streets and stop off in Nice’s famous flower market for an old school French shopping experience.

–       Nice Old Castle – The Old Castle of Nice has been converted into a lovely park that after a short walk, is the perfect site for a picnic. The panoramic views of Nice are superb so don’t forget your camera.

–       Promenade des Anglais – Epitome of the Riviera joie de vie with locals relaxing in chairs and quaint street vendors selling crepes and drinks. Stroll along the seaside Promenade and stop off on one of the beaches for a dip in the Med.

–       Nice Opera House – The Nice Opera House puts on some of the best artistic and cultural events in the regions from ballet to opera.

–       Avenue Jean Medecin – Nice’s main high street has some of the best shopping around with many English high street stores such as Morgan, H&M and Car Phone Warehouse.

Please visit the Nice Tourist Office Website at http://www.nicetourisme.com/GB/index.html for more information.

How to get there?

Nice is very accessible by train and by bus. The 200 bus line runs from Cannes to Nice for 1 Euro!

Grasse

Grasse is a lovely little town perched on the hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean coast.  The Fragonard House explores Grasse as the home of the perfume industry and the Museum de Provence has a great exhibitions on the history of the region.

Please visit http://www.ville-grasse.fr/english for more details.

How to get there?

There are relatively frequent buses running from Cannes to Grasse but the best way to get to Grasse from Cannes is by train. Please consult the transport information below for more information.

Menton

Menton is the last French town before you reach Italy and the influence if obvious. Menton is great for little markets and picturesque walks.

Please visit http://www.tourisme-menton.fr/-Menton-French-Riviera-Cote-d-Azur- for more details.

Gorge de Verdon

This is a beautiful natural marvel around and hour and a half drive from Cannes. Sadly renting a car is the only feasible option for travelling to and from but it is worth the journey and the expense. Rent a canoe or paddle boat and float down the gorge, enjoying the amazing views and superb weather.

Visit http://www.verdon-en-provence.com/indexa.html for more information.

The Var

There are some wonderful smaller villages hidden up in the Provence hills. The neighboring region, the Var, is full of breathtaking countryside and picturesque villages. One of the charms of the Cote d’Azur are all the charming small villages tucked away in the surrounding hills or on the coast. There are several companies in the area that organize tours out to some of the local points of interest such as the wineries or out to Grasse, the perfume capital of France for example.

For more ideas on what to do in the region and for information on companies who can organize these trips, please see the following website for further details:

http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/77/french-riviera-days-out-trips-and-tours.html

How to get around

If you want to explore the region yourself you can either rent your own mode of transport or make use of the good public transport system in the area.

o    Trains – Visit the http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-train to find out about train times. The SNCF train line is a very quick and easy way of travelling from Cannes to the surrounding areas including Nice and Monaco.

o    Buses – Visit http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/145/french-riviera-public-transport-trains-and-buses.html for information on the bus companies in the area. The bus network in the region covers a large area and can take you to picturesque areas like St Paul de Vence for as little as 1 Euro.

o    Rentals – So for information on rentals please consult: http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/1/french-riviera-cars-bikes-and-driving.html

Out to Sea

Boat trips are also a good option for visiting places like St Tropez and the rest of the Riviera Coast. Also available are fishing trips and whale watching trips depending on the season.

Visit http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/77/french-riviera-days-out-trips-and-tours.html or http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/149/french-riviera-ferries-and-cruises.html for more information.

There is even more information available at the Port of Cannes website on http://www.riviera-ports.com/Display.aspx?p=y&s=y&URL=/UserControls/ucListSubItem.ascx&menuitem=110.

Trips for the kids

If you’re travelling with kids some of the following suggestions would be a lovely trip to give the children a break from the beach.

Antibesland – Open air theme park suitable for all ages. Admission to the theme park is free as you only pay for the attractions/rides you ride, with prices from 1.50 Euros. For more information please visit http://www.azurpark.com/anglais/antibes.html.

The theme park is easy to reach by car and by public transport. Just catch one of the TER trains at the Gare de Cannes from Cannes to Nice and get off at Biot Station. The best way to do this is to go to the station and ask at a desk for tickets and train times to and from Biot Station.

Marineland – Marine life amusement park with shows, restaurants and weird and wonderful animals from penguins to polar bears. Prices start from 32 Euros for a family ticket.

Marineland is located just next to Antibesland so the same directions apply as above.

For more information please visit http://www.marineland.fr/index.php?lang=en#num=0&id=marineland.

AquaSplash – Family centered water park open only from mid-June to early September. Prices are 20 Euros for children and 25 Euros for parents. Great for a fun day away from the hot weather and busy beaches.

For more information please visit http://www.marineland.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=17&Itemid=24&lang=en#num=2&id=marineland

The region has a lot of great attractions and activities for everyone. For more ideas or information please visit http://riviera.angloinfo.com/

Leave a Comment