Cannes. Nice. Monaco.
So much glamour packed into so small an area. Everywhere you turn there are celebrities and stupid-hot model types making this gorgeous little stretch of French coastline even more beautiful.
No matter which city you’re staying in – Cannes (which is where our 2020 Royal Clipper Mediterranean cruise sails from), Nice or the principality of Monte Carlo, day trips are offered to the other two. Viator.com (the tour aggregator website) has inexpensive half and full-day options, which are well worth it, since driving in any of these areas is difficult – traffic can be a nightmare – and available parking spaces are practically nonexistent (and when they ARE available, they’re $25 for an hour).
And all three cities (technically, Monte Carlo is a principality, but it’s essentially a tiny city) are packed with wow moments. Here are some of the best:
Talk a walk along this famed stretch of beach, dotted with charming food kiosks, high-end hotel beachfronts with loungers and butler service, and azure water. The beach is IMMACULATELY kept.
(Photo courtesy Palais des Festivals)
Pose on the steps of the Palais des Festivals and pretend your movie is premiering. (Maybe don’t dress in a tank top and flip flops that day.)
Eze is a super-picturesque village perched precariously on a hilltop high above Nice. This centuries-old walled village looks like a set from Beauty and the Beast, and is beyond charming. Photo ops ABOUND. (You’re definitely advised to take a tour to get here; you can walk, but it’s a difficult uphill climb, and there is very little parking if you drive. Not to mention that the village itself is hilly, so walking TO it and then around it is only for the Olympic medalists among us.)
(Chateau de la Chevre D’or)
Walk into the gorgeous Chateau de la Chevre D’Or hotel inside Eze. A former medieval castle that clings to the side of the hill, it has absolutely stunning views and a two-star Michelin restaurant.
(View from Chateau de la Chevre D’or)
What needs to be said? Its reputation precedes it. Monaco is one of the most expensive real estate cities on earth (a 1,000 square foot condo goes for $6.5 million), and is beautifully maintained and policed (there is virtually no crime in Monaco). It is also very DENSE with high-rise condo buildings, so you want to get out of the middle of the city and either down to the waterfront (where the Casino de Monte Carlo is) or up to the top (the Prince’s Palace).
(Casino Monte Carlo)
You can enter the Casino upon paying a small fee (10-15 Euro), but just walking into the lobby alone gives you a feel for the glamour of the place. (And, of course, photos aren’t allowed inside the casino, anyway).
The Prince’s Palace is not only worth a visit for its history and elegance (it’s the residence from which the Grimaldi family has reigned for hundreds of years – and continues to), but for the hilltop views overlooking Monaco’s famous yachts.
Walk along the stunning oceanfront and admire the deco buildings, reminiscent of South Beach in Miami (but better kept).
Take a driving tour (this will be included if you purchase a day trip tour of any combo of these cities) that takes you along the coastline for the stunning views of mansions on Cap Ferrat and Cap D’Antibes.
(Mansion on Cap D’Antibes)
A trip to the French Riviera is a trip to a world of high glamour and wealth. So, if you’re cruising out of this area, be sure to allow at least a couple extra days to take in these gorgeous sights. After all, we can’t afford to live like billionaires, but for a couple of days, we can pretend!