The coastline of the Côte d'Azur was named after the colour of the sea, azure blue. However, it could have easily been named after its pearly white beaches, or the dark red mountains of the Massis des Maures. Gold could be another good name when you consider living on the Côte d'Azur.
Wealth has been linked to this region since the beginning of the 19th century when the first tourist arrived. It was quiet and serene until St Tropez was used as a film set in the 1950's. The mix of luxurious chic with a pleasant climate has enticed both holidaymakers and celebrities to the 'Côte' for many years. In addition, there is the breathtaking countryside of the Esterel mountains behind St.Raphael, not far from the coast.
The Loup river basin, near the artist's village of St.Paul de Vence, is beautiful. Another lovely area is the 'corniches'. These coastal roads run at different altitudes between Nice and Monaco over the rocky coast line and provide great views out to sea.
Facts about the Côte d'Azur
The small state of Monaco is made up almost entirely by the city of Monte Carlo. Although independent, Monaco actually belongs to the French Côte d'Azur. When the casino was constructed in 1856, the economy of Monaco boomed and has thrived ever since. As the game of roulette was prohibited in France, Monaco became the gambling centre of the entire region and its success and ambience filtered with wealth into the nearby French cities like Nice and Cannes. It may be expensive to buy a drink on the boulevards but it's definitley the place to people watch.
Côte d'Azur in short
Currency and language: Euro, French
July August Average temperature 28 28 Hours of sun 11 10
Distances: Marseille - Menton (Italian border): 235km, Cannes - Castellane: 82km, Lyon - Marseille: 316km
Recommended (low cost) airport: Toulon, Nice, Nimes, Marseille.
The best beaches are the smaller ones in the intimate bays between Ste.Maxime and St.Aygulf. Cities like Cannes, Nice, Antibes and Monte Carlo are great places to visit and the magnificent 'corniche' drives are unforgettable. Children will love Fréjus zoo and the many water parks. The Col de Vence is a fabulous drive either by car or motorbike.
All taxes are subject to change until the fare is paid in full.