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The crowning jewels of the Cote d'Azur

As the exclusive Cannes Film Festival rolls out its red carpet, the industry's top celebrities will all be there. We take a look at the idyllic sprawl of pebble beaches and picturesque landscapes that the French Riviera has to offer.

May 16, 2012
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From St-Tropez to the Belle Époque aura of Cannes; these seductive locations have always captivated sun lovers and socialites. There are also, of course, those niche spots where the per-capita population of billionaires must be among the highest in the world: Cap d'Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and Monaco.


The stunning views from the Grand Corniche road, which winds its way between the mountains of Nice and Menton at a breathtaking 1640ft above the coast, are an absolute must to visit. Catch a glimpse of Monaco at dusk from an impressive viewing point, with its buildings coloured by the Mediterranean's last rays of sun.Visit the medieval village Eze, and take in breathtaking views at La Turbie. You can ride up to the Rock of Monaco to explore the old town and visit some of its famous places, including the Princess Grace Memorial and the Grand Prix circuit.Head inland for picturesque landscapes, such as the luxury villa in Saint-Jeannet with panoramic views of the Riviera. The road from here takes you to the towns of Le-Bar-sur Loup and Tourrettes-sur-Loup. The old village of Le Bar-sur-Loup is definitely worth a visit. It overlooks the Loup river valley and is lovingly restored, with the old houses clustered around the 13th-century chàteau and church.


Along the Mediterranean coast in Monaco are a host of luxurious places to wine and dine. Le Grill, in the exquisite 19th century Hotel De Paris is a favourite for both tourists and locals. Le Vistamar, in the Hermitage Hotel, is another famous restaurant where the happy vibes of the 1920's still exists.Another must for any traveller to the area is a visit to the old town to see the wall that still surrounds it – the entire town is reminiscent of Grace Kelly's glamorous time in Montecarlo. A visit to the casino is also recommended, not just for gambling but also for the feeling of being in a real-life James Bond film.Catch a boat from Monaco to Nice, a distance of around 113 miles. The French Riviera Cruise organises 1-day excursions or, if you fancy some serious luxury, you can rent a private yacht. Once in the city of sun and glamour, you must visit the famous flower market.


From Nice, head to Cannes, the essential for movie-lovers, glam and glitz. Every year, the world's biggest International film festival is held here, and everyone in the industry makes sure they attend. This year we've seen A-list stars such as George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, Berenice Bejo, never mind those to come.Practical Guide How to get thereFly to Nice. From there you can rent a car at the airport and drive the panoramic Grande Corniche road. Another option is to take a helicopter to Monaco, only 6 minutes from Nice, and land infront of the ocean. Find more information at Heli Air Monaco or Monacair.Where to eat and sleep There is a luxurious five star hotel, the Chateau Saint Jeannet. The Intercontinental Carlton, in Cannes, is a must, and another excellent choice is the Palais de Mediterranee. In Monaco, the Montecarlo Beach resort has a spa and a private beach. All have restaurants with exquisite food options.More informationMonaco Tourist Office, Nice Tourist Office, Cannes Tourist Office, and the Cote d'Azur Tourist Office,

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