In the beautiful French Riviera, located in the southern part of France facing the Mediterranean Sea, there is a trait that goes approximately from Mentòn to Martigues, which is fairly renowned worldwide: we’re talking about the Cote d’Azur, an idyllic coastal trait with the typical Mediterranean look, colors, and smells. A paradise for sea lovers and of course, sailing aficionados.
Connected to the Italian coast of the Liguria region, Cote d’Azur includes many charming towns and villages where time seems to have stopped. Old buildings and historical centers are the main attractions in these magical places, and getting lost in the streets becomes a unique experience.
In addition to the most famous and beautiful locations, such as Monaco, Cannes, or Nice, there are some other stunning places that are definitely worth a visit, not only towns but also beaches and coves, perfect to reach with a boat: we gathered a list of the best ones to hype you up and inspire you for your next sailing vacation!
This town is a real gem of the Cote d’Azur, at a short distance from Nice. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is an exclusive location that boasts some of the most beautiful villas on the Riviera, all overlooking the blue waters of the beautiful bay at the front. The luxurious lifestyle that you can breathe in this town is expressed in all its glory by the majestic Ephrussi Villa that the French baroness Béatrice de Rothschild built at the beginning of the 20th century. This pink-colored villa is now open to the public and includes impressive works of art and paintings. We recommend paying a visit to this beautiful building and the surrounding gardens.
The small town of Cap-Ferrat has old origins and some of the buildings, such as the main tower, remind us of its Saracen past. The town is well known among celebrities and members of the royal families, so it’s not unusual to spot some famous faces while walking in the narrow streets. The promenade leads to the town's small port, usually crowded with luxurious yachts.
Plage Paloma Saint-jean-cap-ferrat
Nestled between cliffs with lush vegetation, this beach is a real gem of the Cote d’Azur. The turquoise waters of this bay invite for a swim, and the beach is equipped with a private lido and a restaurant. A must-see corner of heaven!
Antibes France beaches
This small and picturesque sea town is one of the prettiest on the whole coast. A labyrinth of narrow streets leading to antique artisan shops and historical buildings will take you back in time. There are many things to do and see in Antibes, and a visit is very worth it: the town hosts the beautiful Picasso’s Museum, located in the suggestive Château Grimaldi, which was also home to Picasso for a few months during 1946. The painter took a lot of inspiration from this town and spent quite some time walking along its streets.
The historical buildings and villas are also an important part of Antibes: a special mention is reserved for Villa Eilenroc, a private estate initially owned by a rich Dutch gentleman. If you want to go back in history, don’t miss Fort Carré, built upon Roman ruins, where Napoleon was imprisoned during the French Revolution.
Plage de la Gravette
Right outside the old town of Antibes, a door in the walls leads to a white-sanded beach, very dear to locals and tourists that know where to go!
Mentòn south of france
Mentòn is the first town you encounter when coming from Italy, an enchanting and romantic place like no other. The colored houses of the old village create an amazing Mediterranean scenario, which sometimes feels more Italian than French (due to its proximity to Italy!): this Italian touch can be seen as well in the food and the culture, so do not forget to sit at one of the beautiful restaurants on the sea to enjoy some amazing dishes!
The old town of Menton is a real pearl: the grand Baroque buildings, the terracotta roofs, the pastel-colored houses, and the incredible views remind us of the charm of the French Riviera, but in a more affordable and less crowded way. For a dive into the Baroque aesthetic, visit the Basilique of Saint-Michel-Archange and admire the amazing facades and murals.
Plage des Sablettes
If you want to admire the beauties of Menton's buildings from another perspective, visit Plage des Sablettes. A beach of white sand and clear waters where young people and families gather for a day of relaxation or fun.
Cassis France map
30 minutes from Marseille, you will find this charming fishing village, very popular for its stunning beaches. Walking through the streets of the old town is an unforgettable experience: the colored houses, the historical buildings, and the small harbor make the perfect frame for a typical Mediterranean village. Get enchanted by the colors and smells of the central market, where you can buy fresh and locally-produced goods.
Calanques National Park
One of the main attractions of this part of the French Riviera is definitely the Calanques National Park, a paradise of unique landscapes, hiking trails, and hidden beaches. This is the perfect place to visit by private boat, to discover every inch of the coast and get lost in the turquoise waters!
Calanque de Port Pin and Calanque d’En Vau are the two most beautiful inlets you can swim in, reachable after a long hike in the park or by boat if you’re coming from the sea.
Last but not least is the beautiful Ezè, a tiny Medieval-style village a short distance from Nice. The enchanting atmosphere of this town will immediately capture you as soon as you start wandering up and down the narrow cobblestone streets. From there, you can reach many interesting places, such as the main church, the cemetery, or the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix.
The highlight of Ezé is the Jardin Exotique, a beautiful garden that extends along the town’s cliff, full of succulents and amazing views of this trait of the coast. The signs placed all around the garden tell you the story of the views in front of you and the garden itself, so we recommend paying a visit! Get lost in the city and freshen up with a nice gelato with a view of the sea, you won’t regret it.
La plage Ezé-sur-mer
Once you get to the bottom of the town, you can follow the signs that lead to “La Plage” and reach the beautiful pebbled beach located right at the foot of Ezé. This place is beautifully nestled between the cliffs and invites for a swim with crystal clear waters and vegetation.