The French Riviera is a long line of coastal area located in the South of France. Temperatures are usually warmer than the northern parts of Europe, possibly because the cold winds are blocked by the Alps and mountainous areas. It is unlikely that the temperatures will drop to negative figures. Nice and Monaco happen to be part of this French Riviera, and people also call it the Cote d’Azur which means Blue Coast in French.
With that said, I was lucky enough to visit a few places in this region. Namely, Eze (pronounced as Eh-z) and Villefranche, which are small towns and villages in the larger city of Nice. If you want a ‘chillax’, ‘chill’, ‘relac’ kind of place then this place is made for you. I remember when I was there, I really appreciated the silence and calmness you could never get from Singapore. Nice was another place which I really wanted to go, but I did not have enough time, so please explore Nice as well!!!
The best mode of transport in exploring the French Riviera is really by car. Car rental services are readily available from the Nice International Airport, and it is really a worthy investment, because some of the places of interest could be quite high up the slope, and you could drive a good 40km to Italy! Very worthwhile!
This town is really small, here you could visit a perfume factory, and maybe you could even make your own perfume/scent. Usually big tour groups come to this place, you wouldn’t miss it on your way here. As usual, I wouldn’t particularly specify the names of these places unless they are public properties. But the name starts with an F!
Another interesting place will be the old chateau or castle here in Eze, Chateau Eza. People actually still live in these places, so do be considerate with your noise level! This place looks straight out of some Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings films. It’s very well preserved and you could have a very good view of the coastline from atop. Very very pretty. You could also go up to the garden, but you will have to pay 4 Euros to enter. Maybe not a good idea, you should be able to see the beautiful views without paying. Entry to the chateau is free of course.
This place is just absolutely gorgeous. Buildings have been quite well preserved since the 14th century, no joke. There is always some magic about the sea, which calms the souls of the people. They like to chill by the beach/sea/coffeeshop and just laze the day away. How you wish you could do that right? This village directly faces the sea, and buildings are painted with bright colours which is just absolutely breath-taking.
I recommend to stay in one of their houses, and if you want, pay a little more to have a good sea view in one of their apartments, I’m sure you can find one on Airbnb! This place is the epitome of chill, so really, let go of all those problems you have back in Singapore, and immerse yourself in the tranquil environment.
Weekend bazaars selling vintage stuffs and antiques will also be located here. Very good to check it out since… there’s nothing much to do here.
Have your meal here in any of the restaurants along the pier! The restaurant with first letter G is one that has been recommended by Tripadvisor and perhaps you could try. But it is a bit pricey. Suggest to sit outside so that you have the whole pier/harbour view. Tick off your bucket list seriously.
You could also take a stroll along the coastline here in Villefranche and cover as much as you possibly can. It is a good 13km stroll towards Cap Ferrat but it’s very worth it! I can’t really pinpoint it on the map but follow the locals, because people usually do jog and hike along this famous path.
One thing that I find very interesting is that the locals love to have dogs as pets and that these dogs do not bark and make a hell of noise. They are very obedient and well-mannered. And another thing which you might want to take note is that, dog poo is everywhere on the pathway!!! Please look out for your steps, you don’t want to clean them all the way!
In all, I can’t specify how beautiful this place is. It’s a good mind cleanser and helps you to find your inner peace. For all my angst and stressed friends, this place is a must-go!