"My Cote D'Azur" Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur by vivalasteph

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Travel Guide: 6,787 reviews and 17,443 photos

Provence, the Alpes-Maritimes, and the Cote d'Azur all make up this southeastern corner of France. Each is entirely different, yet they share a history dating back to the Bronze Age. Through Roman rule, the Greeks, the Goths, the Lombards, and eventually the Great British Invasion (Oh No!), this area shows every influence in its architecture, food, culture, and love of life.

How to have a bargain holiday on the Cote D'Azur

The Cote D'Azur is a magical place, and is synonymous with the glamorous vacation. What I found was that you don't need a yacht or a bucketload of platinum cards to enjoy this region.

I traveled here off-season, and rented an apartment instead of staying in a hotel and it was one of my least expensive holidays. Really! Transportation costs are low and if you don't eat out every meal, but shop in the markets for your picnics, you will have extra $$$ for those souvenirs.

It is very easy to get around, with frequent bus services, and many trains, and you will be rewarded with such a variety of cities, villages, and countryside that you will hardly believe the coastline extends only about 40 miles and roughly 10 miles inland.

My Travel Philosophy or How We Got to Nice

I started traveling to Europe just 5 years ago, following working year after year saying "I don't have the time" or, mostly, "I don't have the money." After I visited Barcelona in 1999, I vowed to go at least once a year, and spend at least two weeks to see as much as I could see, while having down time to experience more than just the "what can I see in 5 hours" tour.

The internet appeared (poof! like magic!) in my life and the researching, planning and booking became as much a part of my memories as the trip itself. I spend weeks, and sometime months comparing lodging prices, airfares, train schedules, etc. before I finally book.

I want to share what I've learned, starting with this trip to the French Riviera.

So, you ask, why the French Riviera? My travel buddy is Sabine (say hello to Sabine) used to live in Boston until her husband finished his doctorate and accepted a position in Munich. (They are both from northern Germany). They moved in June of 2002, and that fall I hopped on a plane and Sascha handed over his wife to me for a week in Florence, and a drinking partner at Oktoberfest.

We decided that a new habit was taking seed, and we would go somewhere different every fall. So last August I called her and said "Where to? Where to?". Her only priorites were blue skies, near some sort of water, in a city center (so a car wouldn't be necessary)and good food and drink.

Then I took over (she's not on good speaking terms with her computer), went to my favorite apartment rental site and did a search for this: mid-October, studio or 1 bedroom apartment, in a city center anywhere in Europe, for under $500 for a week.

Sound crazy? You would be surprised. My search yielded about 40 properties. After looking at the third listing I called and asked what she thought about Nice. Within a couple of days our apartment was booked.

Please read my travelogue for the rest of the story.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:beautiful villages, delicious food and wine, and warm people
  • Cons:not a one
  • In a nutshell:I want to live here!
  • Intro Updated Apr 12, 2004
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Reviews (13)

Comments (7)

  • Herkbert's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:50 PM

    Stephanie.. Thanks for sharing your tips and pictures from the Cote d'Azur. We are heading there in September and we can't wait. Happy travels.. Tom

  • kucha's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2006 at 5:25 AM

    Just returned from Provence in June and your pages were fun to read!

  • rozehill's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2004 at 4:23 AM

    Fantastic photos and what a wonderful idea to search for an apartment as you did.... and it doesn't need to be expensive as you say! Fab tips.

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2004 at 11:52 AM

    Your page brought back wonderful memories, It is such a beautiful area. Lovely Page, Happy Travels (~_~)

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2004 at 10:54 PM

    A wonderfully nice visit to Nice......it looks like my kind of place really.........and the blue is really blue. Thank you.

  • Dumpymotel's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2004 at 2:31 AM

    The beach at Nice looks very ROCKY.... I remember it being sandy.

  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2004 at 10:47 PM

    Aha! I see you've been busy creating these delightful Cote d'Azur pages for our culinary pleasure! Just lovely! (Where was the apt.?)

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