The Blue Coast really does deserve its name – water couldn’t possibly look bluer than this no matter where you are. This is one of the most fantastic drives you can take this summer; only about 300 km long, it’s just filled with French Riviera goodies to explore.
You’re custom trip planner is going to have you fly in at Nice, because that’s the most accessible flight into the region. When there, you’re going to find yourself a car. This is where trying a group road trip becomes fun. Alone, traveling by car might become an option almost as expensive as a rail, but shared with three other people, your trip transport costs will be cheaper than a bus. When renting a car, see if you can find a slightly beaten up one (any scratches you accidentally add can then be overlooked).
You can plan your trip with Europe trip planner .
A word of warning, this is the French Riviera Road – also known as the A8 highway. The hordes of tourists that descend here are some of the craziest drivers on the planet and may well constitute the greatest danger to your life on this trip. Beware, and drive safe.Have a great road trip to Europe..
So, here you are in Nice… hit that Old Town! The picturesque Vieux Nice, the flower market at the Cours Saleya and the steep cliff walk are calling you to enjoy the sights! Check out the pretty Patch Phoenix and the intriguing Asian Museum too if you want. Want to see a beach? No, you don’t. You really don’t. The beaches of Nice are pebbly and uncomfortable; you’ll get much nicer beaches later on in your trip.
So, you’re going to have to head east from Nice rather than west, because Monaco is the one stop in that direction first. Actually, on the way, you can even check out a small village called Eze for its fantastic cactus garden, and the Fragonard Perfume Factory. Now, obviously, you’re in the state for Monte-Carlo – that means the Casino and the Grand Prix. But if it’s the spirit of the place you’re seeking, you’re better off looking for the Monaco-Ville, an almost medieval village, the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum and the Prince’s Garden. The next day, head west again, but for Cannes this time.
So what if the film festival isn’t happening? You’ll still fill two whole days here. The Promenade is a glamorous stroll; St. Marguerite and St. Honorat are two mystic islands dying to have you visit them; you’ll never see as yummy and drool-inducing a collection of streets as in Le Suquet, the Covered Market (Marche Forville) and Rue Meynadir; La Croisette, Rue d’Antibes and Rue Meynadir is ALL the shopping you’ll want to do on this trip; and the views from the castle ruins and the Notre-Dame d’Esperance above Le Suquet merit a thousand pictures. Palais Des festivals is really great one. Onwards to St. Tropez.
This is a tiny place! Make use of the large parking space at the border of the town and then walk in to the center of the town – it’ll take you ten minutes. It’s charming collection of cafes and shops, and you might want to check out the Musee de l’Annonciade. The main thing to hunt down here though is the Tropezienne, a pastry creme famous in the region (it was named by Brigitte Bardot). Also try the Chateau Minuty Rose Cuvee De L’Oratoire, a very popular regional rose wine.You won’t be spending more than three hours here, so be prepared to reach Toulon at night and sleep there.
Toulon history is nearly 3000 years old; it has a rich naval history. You’re here to see the historical Old Town, the promenade, the morning markets at Cours Lafayette, the Liberty Plaza, the Navy Museum and the Museum of Tour Royal and the pretty beaches a few kilometers off Toulon: La Capte (15km east) and St. Cyr (20 km west). The beaches slope very gently indeed. Toulon is very standard fare.
The last stop on this coastal tour, Marseille is another place where you want to leave the car in a nice, safe parking spot; traffic is a nightmare. You’ll also probably spend more time here than anywhere else on this trip. Use public transport to get around. Go to the Vieux Port to see the Fisher mans’ market; the views from the Notre-Dame de la Garde; the charming and bookish CoursJulien; the calanques outside of town; and of course, take a bot to the Chateau d’If, the prison made famous by the novel The Count Of Monte Cristo.
I do believe you’re done with your trip plan. Hope it was fun, and that you’re richer by a few thousand memories, a few thousand photographs, a sun-tan, and some souvenirs you’ll have no idea what to do with.