Côte d'Azur


01 St. Tropez

St. Tropez was my favorite of the trip. Although the city is known as a place for the super-rich and celebrities, it has somehow managed to retain its fishing village charm. Some of the houses are much less glamorous than in Nice and Cannes, but the boutiques and yachts are all the more impressive. The mix gives the city something very special.

If you are in St. Tropez, you must of course make a stop at the marina. Here you will immediately see why St. Tropez is known for luxury. But the picturesque house facades along the harbor give it a different ambience. Of course, you can also sit down in one of the many restaurants and cafés on the harbor and take it all in (just plan a little extra money for the coffee). Or you can make your way from the harbor to the citadel via Pinder Michel. Not only is the Musée National de la Marine located there, but you can also get a great view of the rooftops of St. Tropez from its roof. The 16th century Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption de Saint-Tropez church is also one of the town's landmarks.

As the town of 5,000 inhabitants is not very big, you'll be done sightseeing in no time. Afterwards, you should take a stroll through the many narrow streets and have a look in one of the boutiques. Or you can head to the beach, the Plage de Pampelonne. It is lined with several beach bars that have made a name for themselves all over the world, such as Club 55 or the Tiki Club. But you can also simply lie on the sand with your own towel (free of charge) and enjoy the sun. If you prefer things a little quieter, head to the small sandy beach on Chemin des Graniers or to the Canabiers or L'Escalet beaches.

With a bit of luck, you can also experience one of the numerous festivals that regularly take place in St. Tropez. Or you can stop by the traditional weekly market on Place des Lices, which takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Of course, you can also hire a boat in St. Tropez (even with staff) and feel like the super-rich for once. However, we didn't have the necessary change for this. A kayak tour or the good old pedal boat is probably a bit cheaper.

02 Cannes

I also really enjoyed Cannes. There was a lot going on in the film festival city and yet it was more relaxed than I expected. I found it particularly nice to simply stroll through the beautiful streets and pop into a boutique here and there. Rue d'Antibes was perfect for this!

Of course, a walk along the Promenade de la Croisette was also a must. It was impressive to see how impressive hotels, luxury boutiques and expensive restaurants are lined up along the 2 km long promenade. Especially during the film festival, there is a hustle and bustle here that you can only imagine.

While we're on the subject of walks: You should definitely also explore the historic Le Suquet district on foot. You can't get through there by car and the winding cobbled streets are better explored on foot anyway. As the old town is situated on a hillside, you also have a magnificent view over Cannes. This is particularly good from the Notre-Dame de l'Espérance parish church or the Musée de la Castre. On the way back, you should definitely make a detour to the Vieux Port.

An absolute must on your trip to Cannes is a visit to the Marché Forville. The large market hall is located in the center of the city. Here you can buy all kinds of delicacies, flowers and more from Tuesdays to Sundays from 7 am to 1:30 pm. There is also a flea market on Mondays.

In addition, you should definitely visit the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès with its legendary red carpet and the Walk of Fame in the city of the film festival.

Another popular excursion is to Île Sainte-Marguerite, which lies around 2 km south-east of Cannes. You can reach the island in 15 minutes by ferry. Once there, you can explore the beautiful wooded island on foot and visit the Fort Royal with the prison cell of the man in the iron mask.

For a special experience in Cannes, you can actually book a helicopter flight via Uber. However, this is of course not cheap...

03 Nice

Nice is one of the most magnificent cities along the Côte d'Azur. We reached the city via the Promenade des Anglais, which gives Nice its face. The 5 km long promenade is lined with large, beautiful old buildings overlooking the sea. Here you can really experience Nice alongside walkers, joggers, cyclists, inline skaters, beach volleyball players and more. The best thing to do is sit down for a moment in one of the many bars along the promenade and soak up the atmosphere!

Afterwards, you can make your way to the old town of Nice, which is very impressive. Stroll along the cobbled streets, past pastel-colored houses with red roofs. You will pass the Opéra de Nice, the Palais Lascaris, Nice Town Hall and the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate. It's best to make a short stop at the famous Fenocchio ice cream parlor, which sells “the best ice cream in town”. You must also stop by the Cours Saleya, where the market is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6 am to 5:30 pm and Sundays from 6:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Nice also has plenty to offer active vacationers. The Parc Forestier du Mont Boron offers 11 km of hiking trails, a 1.5 km running track and pétanque courts. Particularly worth seeing here is the Fort du Mont Alban or - rather - the view from up there, which you shouldn't miss!

But the view from the Colline du Château is even better. You can easily reach the castle hill (the highest point in the city!) on foot from the promenade. Once at the top, you can admire the ruins of the old fortress, the historic cemetery and a large artificial waterfall as well as the beautiful view.

The Avenue Jean Médecin shopping street is a little less strenuous, but much busier. Boutiques and large fashion chains invite you to spend money on the 900-metre-long street. You will pass magnificent houses and beautiful green spaces.

If you feel like some peace and quiet afterwards, then you should simply relax on the popular Plage des Marinières in Villefranche-sur-Mer. The best way to end the evening is in one of the many restaurants in Nice's old town!

04 Monaco

Our trip to Monaco went a little differently than planned. Before we entered the country, we were unfortunately not aware that, due to the (then) corona regulations, we were only allowed to eat in the city-state's restaurants and cafés if we were residents of the city, worked there or were staying in a hotel in the city (none of which we did). Therefore, we couldn't do much more than explore Monte-Carlo a little on foot.

And to be honest, in the end we didn't know what to make of Monaco. Somehow you have to see it, but it's also a strange place. I can't really describe what I mean, so I can only tell you: Experience it for yourself!

A bit of sightseeing was also on the agenda in Monaco. We walked through the Jardine de la Petite Afrique to the magnificent Casino de Monte Carlo. Our route was lined with stores from luxury fashion chains. We also walked along the Formula 1 track to the Port de Hercule. We were always able to catch a glimpse of the Palais Princier.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't so good, so we didn't make it to the Parc de la Roseraie. We also skipped beaches such as the Plage du Larvotto. If you travel to Monaco, maybe you can tell me what it's like there!

05 Marseille

Marseille is very different from the cities on the Côte d'Azur. It is more industrial, which is not to say that Marseille is not a beautiful city! Quite the opposite - Marseille also has some beautiful corners. It is also multicultural and therefore very interesting!

We started our tour with the imposing Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, which sits enthroned on a hill above the rooftops of the city. Not only the church, but also the view of the city and the sea from up here is magnificent! Afterwards, it even accompanied us on our way through the city. As we walked through Marseille, we always had a view of it. My favorite was the view of the Vieux Port with the basilica in the background.

From the port, we continued on to Fort Saint-Jean and the Promenade Robert Laffont, from where you also have a nice view of Marseille and the sea. And just a little further on is the beautiful Nouvelle Cathedral De La Major. We also really liked the Le Panier district. There we bought souvenirs for our loved ones at home in a small soap store and there are small restaurants that are less touristy.

We ended our day with a visit to Plage Bonneveine. Although everything is a bit touristy there, the locals in particular spent their evenings on the beach. It made me wish we had the sea and beach at home so that we could spend equally great evenings with friends...

06 Toulon

Toulon was the closest city to our Airbnb. However, we hardly visited the city itself, preferring instead to explore the beaches. Because Toulon has some beautiful beaches to offer.

The two most beautiful beaches are probably Plage de Magaud and Plage Mejan. The beaches are located in small bays surrounded by green hills. They were also less crowded, so it was totally idyllic. The largest beach is the Plage(s) de Mourillon. However, we didn't like it that much.

In the city itself, we only really looked at the marina in the Port de Toulon, as it is very impressive. I've rarely seen such big ships!

But there is definitely more to see in Toulon. For example, you can take a cable car up to Mont Faron and experience a great panorama from there. Sainte-Marie Cathedral is also a popular attraction. And if you are looking for a bit of old town flair, then Place de la Liberté is the place for you.

07 Villages

Otherwise, I can recommend exploring the many small villages in Provence just outside Toulon. They all have a lot of charm. We stayed in Néoules, which we found to be a particularly beautiful village! But we also really liked Garéoult and the really small Méounes-lès-Montrieux.

The villages all have a traditional, French charm away from the tourist hustle and bustle, which makes them much more authentic. Everything here is not designed for luxury, but is very genuine. The boulangeries and restaurants in the countryside are also good. There are also countless wineries that invite you to a little wine tasting with delicious food! And where does wine taste better than on the vineyard itself?

I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.