How to Make the Most of A French Riviera Road Trip
Make sure you do it right, because you're worth it
Countless villages, castles and vestiges are spread across the clifftops and valleys of the Côte d’Azur, often providing unforgettable views of the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll feel like a film star from the 1960s as you zoom along this affluent coastal stretch in a convertible. The region has many faces: stop in at Monaco to gamble away all your hard-earned cash (what else are holidays for?), bring the little ones to the water park in Fréjus, and visit the old-world châteaux and ramparts in the quaint and enchanting towns. But really, the region is known for its glitzy beach resorts in Saint-Tropez and Cannes, the latter hosting the world’s most iconic film festival. It’s where all the world’s most affluent and stylish holidaymakers flock to in summer, making it just right for our array of homes that adorn this exclusive stretch. And here at Plum Guide, we've done extensive research to ensure that not only do you have access to the best accommodation, but the best itinerary too, filled with fascinating stops and unforgettable activities. So, with that said, here’s what we’d do on our French Riviera road trip.
Stop by Saint-Tropez
Long popular with international jet setters and artists, this is one of the world’s most elite towns. Its designer shops and top restaurants, such as La Vague d’Or and Les Moulins de Ramatuelle, put the ‘pay’ in Saint-Tropez. Sit out on a bar terrace in the evening to watch illustrious people go by, and spot celebs the next day on the famous Pampelonne Beach. The town’s humble fishing village origins are on display in La Ponche old town, so wander down those cobbled lanes and relax in a café in the Vieux Port.
Take the family to Fréjus
Driving east along the coast, our next stop will be Fréjus, where you’ll find ruins so old that your kids won’t stop comparing them to you. Delve into the crumbling Roman theatre, visit the Museum of Archaeology, and explore the Museum of Local History. Bring your family on a lovely walk around the cobbled town centre, ignoring the impatient complaints from your children: you see, they can sense there are amusement parks in the area. Take them to the Aqualand Fréjus and the Waterworld Lake of Gaudrade. The latter is a lake with inflatables for your little ones to clamber all over. Go for a swim in the water to feel fresh in Fréjus on this part of your French Riviera Road Trip.
Visit Cannes for the film festival
You won’t have to drive far to reach the next stop on this unforgettable coastline, in the form of Cannes. Knowing you (as we don’t), you’re probably stopping in for the Cannes Film Festival in the first few weeks of July. So come and collect your award, then hang out in the sophisticated bars and restaurants around this coastal town. Wander along the affluent La Croisette for its designer boutiques, zipping between palm trees and dropping in at casinos. Relax at one of the beaches, where you’ll be served all sorts of drinks and snacks.
Head to the beaches in Antibes
Almost joined at the hip, Antibes lines the eastern edge of Cannes, with its beautiful beaches that jut out into the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the harbour and pick out your favourites from the deluxe yachts. Buy one or two of them, then hit up the golden sandy beaches. The Plage de la Gravette makes for an unforgettable experience, overlooked as it is by the city ramparts. For something a little more cultural, visit the Musée Picasso, where the artist himself lived in 1946. (It wasn’t a museum back then, it was just a château he inhabited).
Explore the castle in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Next up on your trip around Côte d'Azur is Cagnes-sur-Mer. For something a little different from the sand and sea (which the town also has an abundance of), head up to the Haut de Cagnes medieval village and embark on a tour of the castle. Visit the Musée Renoir to learn all about its namesake artist, and watch horse-racing at the Hippodrome de la Côte d’Azur.
Try your luck at the casinos in Monaco
Sadly, we’ve reached the end of our French Riviera road trip. But we’re going to go out with a bang. Monaco is the famous home of casinos and ritzy entertainment. Visit the impressive Prince’s Palace and see the cathedral. Then, go and spend any money you have left at the Casino of Monte-Carlo, which was built in 1878, and lies on the iconic Casino Square. Who knows, maybe you’ll strike lucky.