Today I’m going to share photos from our second stop in Europe – the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) in the South of France! People keep asking me what my favorite part of the trip was and while every single place we went was really unique and special, something about our time here felt extra magical. So right now, this might be my favorite! It felt truly like a vacation – very relaxing with nothing in particular to do or anywhere to go.
We flew into Nice from London and rented a car. We decided to stay in Antibes, which was a short drive from Nice. When getting recommendations from people about the South of France, it seemed like we really couldn’t go wrong in terms of what town to have as our “home base.” We ended up picking Antibes because it seemed fairly centrally located on the coast between Nice and Cannes. The town was fairly small (much smaller than places like Nice or Marseille) and peaceful and our Airbnb was right on the water.
Every day near the French Riviera was a little different, but strung together by some common themes: making expresso at home and sitting on our balcony, walking to the boulangerie (bakery) for croissants or quiche, wandering around Antibes or driving to a nearby town to wander around, exploring markets (my very favorite thing to do!) and local shops, finding a beach to read and lounge and swim at, taking a looooong lunch along the water (our go-to lunch as always mussels – so yummy! and rosé) and relaxing more along the water. In the evenings, we would watch the sunset on our balcony, drinking (more) rosé and eating cheese we picked up near the house.
One morning, we made the drive to Monaco and wandering around. The town was fancy and filled with casinos, upscale hotels, expensive cars everywhere and HUGE yachts in the harbors. It was fun to see all of the crazy fancy stuff! We kept pretending that someone might invite us onto their yacht to hang out with them, but sadly, didn’t happen. 😉 Another morning, we drove to Cannes and wandered the insanely amazing farmer’s market and through the narrow streets, filled with pastel buildings and greenery. Literally, it was one of those CUTENESS OVERLOAD places.
We spent a looooot of time just lounging by the water. Some beaches we went to were Plage Passable, Plage de la Garoupe and Plage du Mouré Rouge, but honestly, if you’re visiting, no need to remember these specific beaches. Everywhere along the coast is beautiful and incredible so you really can’t go wrong!
I loved this Francis Scott Fitzgerald quote I read at a restaurant: “With our being back in a nice villa on my beloved Riviera (between Cannes and Nice) I’m happier than I’ve been for years. It’s one of those strange, precious, and all too transitory moments when everything in one’s life seems to be going well.” Amen, +1, YAS. I feel ya.
Here’s a few tips in case you’re considering a trip!
Get a rental car – we loved having the rental car because it gave us so much freedom and flexibility to go wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. There’s a train that goes along the coast (here’s more info) but we stuck with transit by car. Plus, our GPS had a weirdly soothly voice, so that was a plus. 😉
Bring a blanket or big towel – I had a Turkish towel that we used literally every day on the entire trip. I used it as a scarf on the plane, but when traveling, we used it as our go-to beach blanket or picnic blanket. It was seriously the best thing I brought! It was great to throw in my bag every day at the different beaches, although some beaches allow you to rent a chair for the day.
Don’t over plan – one reason we loved this part of the trip was because we didn’t feel like we had an agonizing to-do list of things we wanted to see or had recommendations on. We literally had zero plans or specific recommendations from anyone on what to do or where to go and that took a lot of pressure off. We were able to just be spontaneous when we wanted and lazy when we wanted to without feeling bad. It was glorious!
Thanks for reading! A few more pics below.