"The French Riviera" France Things to Do Tip by traveldave

France Things to Do: 1,479 reviews and 1,983 photos


The French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur (Azure Coast) in French, is a section of Mediterranean coastline in southeast France that includes the independent nation of Monaco. Although it has no official boundaries, the general consensus is that it stretches from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, or Cassis in the west. (There is a wide difference of opinion as to how far to the west the French Riviera extends).

The French Riviera is characterized by pine-clad mountains, picturesque villages, narrow and winding roads, subtropical vegetation, azure waters, and rocky beaches. The area's Mediterranean climate is warm, mild, and sunny, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year.

The French Riviera was one of the first modern resort areas in the world. It was "discovered" by the British upper class in the late eighteenth century. Many visited southern France as a prescription for health problems. At the time, it was believed that a warm, mild climate helped cure any number of illnesses, but especially tuberculosis. Prior to its becoming a resort area, the French Riviera was an impoverished region where fishing, olive groves, and the growing of flowers for the perfume industry were the bases of its economy.

In 1864, a railroad was constructed to Nice, the largest city on the French Riviera. This opened up the region to visitors from throughout Europe, and it became a playground for the continent's wealthy and powerful, as well as royalty. During this time, magnificent casinos were constructed, and expensive villas dotted the hillsides. In the early twentieth century, many notable artists and writers were attracted to the French Riviera, and the trend continues to this day, as movie stars often have homes along the coast. The French Riviera is also one of the premier yachting areas in the world. At least half of the world's super yacht fleet visits the waters of southern France every year.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jul 12, 2012
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


traveldave Visits Here Frequently!


“"....For I must be traveling on now, 'cause there's too many places I've got to see...." (Lynyrd Skynyrd).”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 9 2

Have you been to France?

  Share Your Travels