The French Riviera

The French Riviera (or the Côte d'Azur) is located on the Mediterranean coast between Marseille and Menton and covers three departments : the Var , the Alpes Maritimes and the Bouches du Rhone. Officially, the French Riviera is said to start in the west near Bandol , in the Var department. We see it a little broader, and let it start from Marseille, so that we can also include the Calanques and the GR51 .

The French Riviera exerts a special attraction on many people and has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in France. First and foremost because of the special micro-climate, which is a guarantee for a sunny climate in all seasons. But also because of cities like Saint-Tropez , Sainte-Maxime, Cannes , Nice, Monaco or because of famous movie stars as Brigitte Bardot , Louis de Funes or Grace Kelly, which are associated with the Riviera.

We are attracted by the coastal path, which runs along the western part of the French Riviera. There are some natural parks and, except Marseille and Touloun, no big cities. The coastline has preserved its natural beauty, even in the most touristic area around Saint-Tropez.

The natural parks on the eastern part are

The eastern part of the French Riviera is highly urbanised and less interesting for hiking.  Although this is made up by a hinterland where numerous hiking and cycling tours can be made in the hills, the eastern part of the Riviera is still missing on our site. But some day, we'll get back to discover Nice, Monaco, Cannes, ...

Two Long Distance Trails make ​​our discovery easier :

  • The Sentier du Littoral (Coastal Path) : more than 200 kilometers of walking between Saint-Cyr and Frèjus along the coast of the Var, including some trails on the islands Porquerolles , Port Cros and Levant. The Sentier du Littoral is indicated by the yellow lines on the map opposite. 

  • The GR51 runs between Marseille and Frèjus , mostly through the hills behind the French Riviera, over a total distance of 290 kilometers. But between Marseille and Cassis, the GR51 runs through the Calanques, along  an extremely beautiful, unspoiled coast. On the maps (to the right and above), the GR51 is indicated by the white line.

As said, our stay was too short to cover the French Riviera completely. As usual, we publish on our site only what we have seen with our own eyes. If only one of our recommendations can contribute to improve your holiday, we are happy. And we are sure you will find a lot.

We wish you a pleasant holiday.

Els & Frank