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Nice, the Promenade des Anglais and the hôtel Negresco

Drinking in Nice port

A buffet at the restaurant of the Palais de la Méditerranée

The Royal Pool at the Riviera Hôtel

The restaurant " La Maison de Marie " in Nice

Aerial view of the famous Le Carlton hotel in Cannes

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The beautiful and exclusive French Riviera


Stretching along France’s southeastern coastline on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, the Cote d’Azur, or French Riviera, is around 500 miles of sun-kissed beaches and blue sea. Since at least the 18th Century it has been the playground of the rich, the powerful and the upper classes of many countries. Today nothing has really changed; you still need money to belong here and to join the many celebrities who have homes in the area.

Many of the rich arrive by private yacht, but you can also land at Nice Côte d'Azur Airport before setting off to Nice, St Tropez, Cannes or Monaco, perhaps the best known places to stay, along with Juan-les-Pins and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, although the latter is now so luxurious and private that many of the best beaches are locked away from the public. Even so, Paloma beach southeast of the port, Passable beach on the northwest side of the main peninsula and Cro de Peï Pin north of the port, are still beautiful and accessible.

One of the reasons the Cote d’Azur is so popular is that the weather is never really a problem. In the height of summer it can get very hot indeed, but in the winter the temperature is nearly always pleasant and the skies clear. Anytime but December to February is a good time to go, and even during those months you can still walk and sightsee in relative comfort.

Food means of course seafood in the Cote d’Azur, where the supply is plentiful with superb dishes available in restaurants that are nearly all chic and stylish. So too are the hotels of the area, which have accommodated the rich of the world for many, many years in the style always demanded when money is no object.