The French Riviera: It really is all it’s cracked up to be!

By Mary Kay Seales

I’m back in one of my favorite places on earth, the dreamy blue Côte d’Azur in southern France. It’s summer and the tourist season is in full swing. The beaches are packed, and the little narrow streets in the ancient cities along the coast are alive with people sitting at outdoor cafes, sipping wine, gazing at the sea, and just generally enjoying being in Paradise.

My two favorite cities here are Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer, one a small, but sophisticated city with a 7 mile strip of coastline that is a swimmers dream (Nice), and, the other, Villefranche-sur-Mer, an ocher-colored French village built into the rocky hillside, the very epitome of charming.

Old Town Villefranche

The colors are warm and inviting, the light, a painter’s delight, and the salt air is calming.   Everyone looks, and feels, beautiful here.

It’s reputation as a playground for the rich and famous is well-deserved. After all, this is where James Bond comes to cavort, and movie stars gather on red carpets. BUT, my French Riviera is about the sun, the salt air, the colors, and the sea. It’s about walking along rocky coastlines and swimming five times a day. It’s about eating at inexpensive outdoor cafes with views of the Mediterranean that stretch out to forever.

Le Corbusier TRail

At this very moment I’m gazing out to the view at the top of this post and my only real decision for the day is when I will have my first swim.

If you haven’t visited this beautiful, beautiful corner of heaven, you should add it to your must-do list now. And if you would like suggestions for how to visit without breaking the bank, look for my book on Amazon: The Beginner’s Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing


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