How to Spend 3 Days on the French Riviera
With its turquoise sea, golden beaches, elegant resorts, and wealth of history, the French Riviera is one of the most enchanting stretches of the Mediterranean. Three days along the coast offers enough time to visit cosmopolitan cities, tucked-away wineries, hilltop villages, and more. Here’s how to plan the perfect getaway.
Day 1: A Cultural Day in Nice
The largest city on the French Riviera, Nice is the perfect place to begin your adventures. In the morning, acquaint yourself with its main highlights when you embark on a hop-on-hop-off-bus ride; find a seat on the top deck to soak in the sea breezes and copious sunshine. In the afternoon, indulge in a dose of culture, visiting the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Matisse Museum, or the Marc Chagall Museum. Alternatively, stroll the city’s old town, Vieux Nice, to soak up its ineffable atmosphere. At sunset, enjoy dinner on one of the elegant terraces that overlook the water, and then stroll the crescent-shaped Promenade des Anglais.
Day 2: Discover Glamorous Monaco
Today, embark on a private or small-group tour of Monaco, a glittering highlight of the Côte d’Azur half an hour from Nice. Begin with a sightseeing excursion: The Prince’s Palace, home to generations of Monégasque royalty, is as glamorous as you’d expect, while Monaco Cathedral, where Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly wed, is another top stop. In the afternoon, sun yourself on Monaco’s Larvotto Beach, order fresh seafood and drinks at a beach club, or, if adrenaline is more your style, go for a thrilling ride around the city’s Formula 1 circuit. Wind down the day with a trip to Monaco’s gilded hub: Monte Carlo. Dine at the famed Café de Paris before following in James Bond’s (fictional) footsteps when you discover the Monte Carlo Casino.
Day 3: Multipart Riviera Explorations
Spend your final day taking in regional highlights on a guided, full-day tour of the Côte d’Azur. In the space of just one day, you can visit numerous scenic stops, from Èze (renowned for its medieval architecture) and Grasse (the spiritual homeland of the French perfume industry) to Saint-Paul-de-Vence (famed for its hilltop beauty) and Antibes (a seaside retreat frequented by superyachts). Depending on your interests, other itineraries focus on additional regional highlights, such as cinematic Cannes, ultraluxurious St-Tropez, and the vineyards of the Côtes de Provence wine region. Cap off your Riviera retreat with one last seaside stroll, dinner en plein air, and flutes of bubbly.