Last Summer, we spent a week in the French Riviera, and it was just as beautiful as you would imagine! Im sitting here over a year later, writing this, and watching the snow fall outside! So this is going to be a fun trip down memory lane!
We’re so lucky to be living in Vicenza for so many reasons, but a huge one is that it is conveniently located to so many places. We drove from here to Cannes, where we booked our Air B&B and set up home base for the week! (There are sandy beaches here, and not so much in other locations along the Côte d’Azur, so that was a huge selling point for us with kids!) We picked such an amazing location, just a short walk from the beach, a few restaurants, and a bakery and market right around the corner. I won’t even talk about how many baguettes we ate that week! 😉
We broke up our trip a bit between days at the beach and exploring other towns and cities along the coast. Im going to be sharing in the order of our itinerary and Ill link to all the restaurants we truly enjoyed! If you want to see some live footage, I have a whole highlight dedicated to the French Riviera on my Instagram!
The first afternoon we arrived, we dropped off our bags and started walking towards the water, naturally! It was almost time for the sun to go down and I just had to catch the sunset! Plus, after being in the car for quite a few hours, we all needed to stretch our legs and find some grub! We walked down to the beach and found a perfect little place with delicious food and the most amazing views! We ate at Le Duplex, and if you go, request a spot on the top deck overlooking the water and all the incredible yachts docked out there! Amazing spot to watch the sunset and enjoy a crisp white!
The first day we woke up and headed to the beach for the day! We walked down to and along the Promenade de la Croisette, which is a beautiful boardwalk along the water. We parked our butts at the beach for a few hours and soaked up the sun and swam. The color of the water was so out of this world, pictures won’t do it justice, but it’s so beautiful.
We headed out in the afternoon in search of lunch, and ended up getting the most amazing sandwiches, made from whole baguettes, at the food trucks next to the beach, it was amazing! After regrouping at our air b&b for about an hour, we headed back to the public beach right next to us. The boys swam around for a couple hours, my husband and I drank wine in the sand, watching the sunset, it was so beautiful.
For dinner that night, we hopped in the car and drove about 10 minutes to downtown Cannes. We didn’t make reservations that night, and I highly recommend you do that if you’re going, we for sure struggled to find a place that could accommodate all five of us. But we ended up at the tastiest little Irish pub called Ma Nolans, with some seriously delish fish & chips! After dinner, we walked down towards the water, and ended up stopping right where the Cannes Film Festival is held, for one of the most epic fireworks shows Ive seen! It was such a fun and relaxing day!
Day two we hopped in the car and drove about 45 minutes up to a little town called Saint Paul de Vence. This probably isn’t your typical French Riviera stop, but it was one of the oldest medieval towns along the way and our favorite stop! I promise you will love it! Everything from the buildings down to the streets are worth staring at, so beautiful.
We strolled around for a couple hours, stopping for gelato at Dolce Italia, buying some wine at La Petite Cave of St. Paul, and popping in and out of all the little shops. I came home with the most amazing truffle salt!
For lunch we sat down at Restaurant Le Tilleul, because the terrace was so beautiful, and the menu sounded perfect. The food was incredible, the wine cold and crisp, and the atmosphere was beautiful, highly recommend a stop here!
After lunch, we jumped back in the car and drove to Grasse, which is famous for its perfume industry. We parked and did a tour through Parfumerie Fragonard, and walked out with some incredible home scents and perfumes and colognes. It was so cool walking through and seeing perfume through the ages.
At the point we were ready for a snack, so we walked around Old Town, which was so pretty, and stopped for some macaroons and Champagne, which is the perfect treat if you ask me! I popped into a few little shops and went home with the prettiest, flowy white sun dress.
After exploring old town some more, we headed back to Cannes, and sat down on the waterfront for dinner. We went to L’Assiette Provençale, which was very accommodating with the boys, had some really fun views of all the fancy yachts, and had some stellar food! We stayed for dessert and it was the perfect way to end our day!
Day three we headed to Antibes. We drove around a bit, but our ultimate goal was to plop down at a beach club for the day, and just relax. We ended up at La Plague le Vieux Rocher, and it was so perfect! It was a little bit further away from everything, so it wasn’t busy, which we love with the boys, and we were able to get front row chairs, which is pretty important for relaxing and also watching my babies play and swim! We stayed here all day, ordered drinks and snacks to our chairs, and then sat down at a table for lunch. The food was good, the wine was cold, and the sun was hot, it was so perfect!
After a day in the sun, we were all wiped, and opted to pop into a little market, grab some meats, cheeses, and snacks, and do a charcuterie board at our air b&b for dinner with a bottle of wine. It was so beautiful and such a relaxing day after exploring so much the day before.
We’ve really learned how to travel well with the boys so that its enjoyable for all of us. We try really hard to balance out all the walking and exploring with things that they love too, like beaches or playgrounds. We’ve gotten good at recognizing when they’re hitting a wall and to call it quits, and opt to do something for them, that gives them a bit more freedoms! (Like we did the next day when leaving Monaco! 😉 )
The next day, our plan was to drive to Nice, park at the train station and then pop on the train into Monaco. Super easy drive and a quick train ride later, there we were! Monaco was pretty cool to see, we walked along the streets they have the famous race on, there were lots of fancy cars and gorgeous buildings. Our big stop, was of course the Monte Carlo Casino! It was so stunning, every detail of that place was unbelievable.
We sat down at the bar in the lobby and absolutely had to order the James Bond Martini haha It was a total tourist move and Im so okay with it! The kids were able to play in the middle where they had life size gambling chips and other fun things for them to play with! It was such a fun little stop!
Leaving there, we walked all along the waterfront ogling the yachts. They’re seriously unbelievable. We were looking for food at the point and ended up going to Place d’armes, where this is a huge food hall, Marche de la Condamine. We tried a Barbajuan, which is a deep fried pastry, stuffed with ricotta and Swiss chard, it is a Monaco food specialty and they were amazing! We love food halls when traveling, it gives us a lot of options with the boys and its usually pretty quick, which is helpful. This particular market had a playground right outside too, which is fun for the kids to run around a bit!
After lunch we stopped at a Starbuck, which was such a nice treat! Our plan had been to pop back on the train into Nice and go explore that city for the rest of the day, but the boys were pretty tired of walking and we wanted to quit while we were ahead! So we headed to our car and drove right back to Cannes. We immediately changed into our swimsuits, grabbed a bottle of wine, and walked down to the beach for a few hours. We swam, listened to music, and watched the sun set, it was so nice.
For dinner, we didn’t want to go far, and we found a cool little place called La Cabane, that serves amazing burgers, and was just a short walk from our Air B&B. It was so perfect!
The next day was our last, and we headed out early because we really didn’t want to miss Nice, and still had a five hour drive ahead of us. We parked right next to Old Town and started walking and exploring. We hit up Mercado Niza, and walked away with the coolest French bag and all things lavender!
Our destination was Castle Hill. It was SO hot this day, and it was getting kind of miserable walking so much, so we took the elevator up, and explored around a bit. The views were unbelievable, and Im SO happy we put in the effort to get over there. It was stunning. Thankfully there was a little cafe at the top serving all things cold and delicious ha So we stopped for snacks and a couple cold beers while the boys ran around in the shade.
We took the stairs down because there are views for daysss along the way and it was so worth it. The boys were really hungry, so we grabbed them a few slices of pizza once we got back into Old Town, and then hit up Fenocchio for gelato, which came highly recommended, and with good reason. There were so many wild flavors, it was mind boggling and the gelato itself, was HEAVEN.
From there we did a little shopping. We picked up a box of macaroons from LAC Chocolatier, so many good flavor options! We headed to Coté Vin, a wine store, and walked out with a case of Rosè, because when in France, right! We stopped at Lou Kalu for snacks, a drink, and to rest a bit.. it was a great little spot.
At this point it was getting late, and we had to drive five hours back to Vicenza, so we stopped at So Green on the walk back to our car, got smoothies and headed home!
Our week in the French Riviera was seriously SO good. It was the perfect mix of exploring and beach time! It is such a beautiful place to visit, with incredible wine, amazing food, and stunning views. The water was amazing and a week in such a stunning place with all my guys was such a perfect summer vacation spot!