In the event you’ve solely seen the French Riviera in motion pictures and paparazzi images, you’ve seen nothing. Sure, the gorgeous Cote d’Azur—that glamorous, sunbaked coastal strip alongside the south of France named for its glittering turquoise waters—is a playground for Europe’s wealthy and well-known, however even anybody can bask within the generosity of its year-round balmy temperatures and decadent French and Italian influences.
There’s definitely tradition right here (you possibly can go to the Picasso Museum in Antibes, Museé Matisse in Good, and the Fondation Maeght within the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence), but the true enchantment is the power for anybody—not simply these with an AmEx Black and private driver—to seaside hop from one stylish city to the subsequent, with out sacrificing a single photograph opp or glass of rosé.
Higher but, extra constant and environment friendly transportation choices are making it simpler than ever to navigate as a lot of the French Riviera (plus Paris!) in as little time as doable. From the nude seashores of St. Tropez to the Hollywood glamour of Cannes and the high-rolling luxurious of Monte Carlo, an extended weekend is all it’s good to hit the key sizzling spots alongside the Cote d’Azur (with a bit leisure time constructed proper in). Right here’s what to do, the place to remain, the place to eat, and learn how to get round.
Morning: Take a red-eye into Paris so that you don’t miss a second of your already too-short lengthy weekend. You’ll be able to snag a croissant and a café crème just about anyplace (nobody in Paris might mess up these two staples), however as an alternative of wandering round in a post-plane daze, make a reservation forward of time at Café Méricourt. They provide a full brunch menu from 9 a.m. till three p.m. and are well-known for his or her shakshuka, however the candy pancakes made with lemon and honey ricotta may even erase any lingering reminiscences of in-flight fare.
Afternoon: Paris seems intimidating on a map, however at simply 41 sq. miles, it’s doable to hit all the metropolis’s highlights in only a few hours (at the least for images). Obtain the LIME app to snag one of many vibrant white and inexperienced e-scooters laying round city—at one euro per trip plus 0.15 euros per minute, they’re the most cost effective methods to navigate the Metropolis of Mild moreover your personal two toes. And with a velocity of as much as 24 kilometers per hour, they’re perfect for dodging the bumper-to-bumper site visitors that takes over the twisty, slim streets in any respect hours. Begin on the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, then cross the Seine to make your method as much as the Louvre. Then dip into the luxurious Jardin des Tuileries earlier than motoring up the ritzy Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the imposing L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile. The scooters cowl as much as 50 kilometers, so cross the Seine as soon as extra to complete on the Eiffel Tower; you possibly can sit down for a late lunch or early dinner close by at Au Petit Tonneau, which isn’t simply genuine however inexpensive, too.
Night: Head again to the airport to catch a 90-minute flight all the way down to St. Tropez (they go away a couple of times an hour from each the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports). It’s sufficient time for a fast nap, so once you land on this glitzy seaside city you possibly can drop your stuff at Le Sube Hotel—a lately renovated boutique resort minutes from the seaside. Climb as much as the rooftop for sundowners earlier than grabbing a late dinner at L’Auberge des Maures, the oldest restaurant on the town (Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, and Brigitte Bardot have been as soon as regulars). A set three-course menu will price you €49, however you possibly can order a la carte as nicely.
Morning: Spend the a.m. sunning on St. Tropez’s well-known seashores. The Plage de Tahiti, on Pampelonne seaside, is without doubt one of the most well-known sandy stretches on the coast: The Allied forces landed right here in 1944, and since Brigitte Bardot filmed Et Dieu… Créa La Femme right here within the 1950s, it’s been the spot to be seen. It’s additionally been “clothes non-obligatory” because the 1960s, however if you happen to’d choose to skinny dip with a bit extra privateness, attempt Plage de La Layet, Gigaro, or Escalet.
Afternoon: Dine al fresco at one of many many beachfront eating places alongside the Pampelonne, then catch the prepare to Cannes (it takes about 25 minutes, however price range at the least one other 25 minutes for the taxi from the seaside to the station). House to essentially the most well-known movie competition, Cannes is price a stroll however principally for the sake of ogling the numerous couture storefronts and iconic buildings.
Night: Skip the customarily gridlocked, hour-long (minimal) trip from Cannes to Good by calling an UberCOPTER (the choice will pop up in your Uber app once you’re in both metropolis). The seven-minute flight prices $160€ per particular person every method, together with rides to and from the airport (a steal in comparison with what the common Cannes resident is dropping on transportation, judging by the marina). You’ll get priceless views of the azure Mediterranean Sea beneath and a voyeuristic chicken’s-eye view of the billion-dollar properties dotting the coast. Name forward for seats at Le Plongeior, a seafood restaurant perched on two rocks above the Mediterranean Sea; the catch of the day is at all times contemporary and served with a panoramic view. After indulging within the ice chocolate truffle dessert, make your method residence for the evening on the Grand Hôtel Du Cap-Ferrat, an iconic 4 Seasons property.
Morning: If there have been ever a spot to sleep in, the Grand Hôtel Du Cap-Ferrat—with its cloud-like mattresses and secluded spot on the finish of Cap-Ferrat peninsula—can be it. However don’t be mad when the golden Mediterranean gentle beaming by way of the French home windows wakes you; make the most of the early morning with a dip within the seaside infinity pool adopted by a decadent buffet breakfast on the resort’s protected property.
Afternoon: Discover the maze of Vieux Good, filled with cafes, outlets, and ochre-colored buildings within the architectural fashion of La Belle Epoque (it’s straightforward to see why artists like Matisse and Chagall known as Good residence at one level or one other). Then stroll down the four-kilometer Promenade des Anglais, the place you possibly can try landmarks each outdated (the art-deco Palais de la Méditerranée, in-built 1929) and new (native sculptor Sabine Géraudie constructed La Chaise de SAB in 2014). Top off on contemporary produce and snacks like socca (chickpea pancakes) on the Saleya market earlier than catching a 25-minute prepare over to Monaco.
Night: Reside out all of your James Bond fantasies with one final evening in Monte-Carlo. Until you’re a severely high-roller, you’re not going to see the place the true cash will get dropped on the Casino de Monte-Carlo, however you possibly can stroll in and play European Roulette, English Roulette, Trente et Quarante, Blackjack, and Texas Maintain’em poker. The constructing itself is a masterpiece and the shiny automobiles lined up out entrance are sufficient to make you drool whilst you look ahead to seats at one of many two eating places on web site, Le Train Bleu and Le Salon Rose. In the event you’re not into the on line casino scene, you possibly can reserve a spot on the Michelin-starred Le Louis XV for (not low-cost) native delicacies; sip the one craft beer in Monaco at Brasserie de Monaco; or dance and people-watch till the wee hours at Café de Paris.
Morning: Excellent news: Since flying again to the States from Europe is like flying again in time, you don’t must get up on the morning time to catch your flight. Sleep off your hangover, then make your technique to Museum of Antique Automobiles, the place you possibly can gawk at roughly 100 basic automobiles from Prince Rainier III’s personal assortment—together with the Rolls Royce Grace Kelly rode in on her marriage ceremony day, the 2013 Lotus Formulation One race automobile, and lots of extra.