The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, the azure coast, is the Mediterranean coast of south eastern France. While there’s no official border, the region extends from Cassis in the west to the Italian border, joining up with the equally famous Italian Riviera and including the exclusive principality of Monaco.
If you’re searching for luxury, you’ve found it. If you’re looking for somewhere super-stylish to explore, it’s perfect. This is home to celebrities and glittering stars, incredibly rich people, astonishingly beautiful people, a place so lush and gorgeous you’ll adore every golden second of the experience. Welcome to the Côte d’Azur, one of the world’s most desirable yacht destinations and home to a particularly fine yacht share franchise opportunity.
A potted history of the Côte d’Azur
Modern resort holidays were born here, in a place that began life as a quiet, low-key winter health resort for wealthy Brits at the end of the 1700s. When the railways arrived in the mid 1800s the region fast became the playground of the world’s aristocrats, including royalty. Writers and artists also frequented the place, people like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, and Aldous Huxley, between them creating a unique international ‘jet set’ scene like no other. And the entire region still has that unmistakeable air of privilege, that air of wealth.
What to see and do on the Côte d’Azur
The French Riviera is packed with fabulous things to do and see. You can visit the spectacular Lérins Islands, a 15 minute voyage from Cannes. The islands are famously tranquil, two emerald green islands offering all the pleasures of the great outdoors – secret beaches, natural wonders plus particularly fine wines grown and made by Cistercian monks, the only humans who live there. There’s also an ancient island fortress to explore.
The lovely pebble beach resorts of Mandelieu-la-Napoule in Menton are an absolute treat to visit, as is the Mercantour National Park and the region’s 13 other natural parks, all of which create a vast, stunningly lovely setting for horseback riding, mountain biking, canyoning, climbing, caving, hiking and more. And don’t forget the skiing. There are 15 ski resorts in the region offering a total of more than 700km of icy winter thrills.
The painters Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Dufy and more adored this place, with its legendary light and vivid vibrancy. Antibes is quite simply heavenly. The National Picasso Museum is fascinating. If you love ancient history there’s the ancient Greek Villa of Kerylos to discover, plus the Cimiez Arenas and Tropaeum Alpium. Italian style influences some of the architecture, including the magnificent Villa Ephrussi Rothschild and the Chapelle Notre-Dame des Fontaines. The Chagall Museum in Nice is a popular destination, as is the Jean Cocteau Museum in Menton.
Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais to La Croisette. Enjoy Grasse and its famous perfume shops, St. Paul of Vence, and the ridiculously scenic N85 road, the so-called Napoleon Route linking Golfe-Juan with Grenoble. Plus there’s a collection of brilliant festivals including the Mimosa Festival, Menton’s Lemon Festival, the Nice Carnival, Cannes International Film Festival, the Nice Jazz Festival and, of course, Jazz in Juan.
The weather in the French Riviera
The playground of the privileged, the French Riviera boasts marvellous weather. It is exceptionally sunny and warm, and the sun glitters off the the deep blue seas in the most magical way. The climate of the Côte d’Azur is typically Mediterranean, with mild and relatively wet winters and warm, sunny summers. Atlantic frontal systems come your way from October to April, getting rarer as you approach July and August. In winter there are cold spells, with snow on the coast and frost inland. When it gets very hot in summer, often reaching 35 °C, 95 °F, the heat is often cooled by fresh sea breezes.
In the west, between Marseilles and Toulon, the winter is generally chillier thanks to the cold, strong Mistral wind, which blows in from the Rhone Valley 100 days of the year. In summer it gets incredibly hot there, sometimes as high as 40 °C, 104 °F. The area to the east, bordering the Ligurian Riviera in Italy, is the mildest of all, a place where snow and frosts are very rare. The summer heat there is less intense than Marseilles, too.
The sea itself? It never gets very warm because it is cooled by the Mistral. The maximum sea temperature is around 22 °C, 72 °F, and the waters are at their warmest during August.
Yacht share French Riviera – Let’s talk!
If you’d like to enjoy the yacht share experience to the full in this dazzlingly lovely part of the world, the ultimate in exotica within easy reach, let’s talk about making your boat share dreams come true. We’ll be delighted to discuss the options with you.