One of my favorite articles I will ever write is on Southern France. This holds a special place in my heart as my husband’s family (whose mother is from France), owns a small condo in Antibes. This has allowed him to travel to southern France each summer growing up and show me the beauty of the country throughout the course of our relationship. I thoroughly enjoy exploring new beach clubs, wandering around the old towns, buying fresh fruit and veggies in the open air markets, taking e-bikes all along the cote-d’azur from Cannes to Nice, hearing the bands play music (while popping out of the century old windows) and sipping rose! It’s almost too picture perfect to attempt to do it justice but I will try to give some insider tips here and showcase some of my favorite memories in Southern France. I’ll do separate pieces on the French countryside and Paris, which I also adore. For now, let’s jet off to Antibes, Juan Les Pins and Saint-Tropez! With a pit stop in Monaco, Nice and Cannes while we are touring the region 😀 I can’t wait to help you explore this beautiful region of France & one of my favorite places in the world!
Staying in the Old Town or on the Cap-d’Antibes is the best choice. If you opt for Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, you’ll want to book at least a year out, there’s also the beach friendly Cap D’Antibes Beach Hotel as well. If you want to walk to all the family friendly bars and restaurants in the old town then check out some of the smaller, boutique options (I can assist). You’ll fall in love right away with the massive port. Port Vauban is one of the deepest ports in the world, probably the deepest on the Mediterranean meaning you’ll see lots of yachts. Not just yachts, but mega yachts with helicopters landing and yachts on top of the yachts as their smaller play boats. The rich and
The world is your oyster!
Grab a wildly tropical drink at Pam Pam while enjoying the entertaining dancers (family friendly) and make sure to do some shopping while in Juan-les-Pins. They frequently have fireworks as well in the summer so check the schedule! There’s also no shortage of beach clubs to pop by and reserve a lounge chair for the day, where they’ll deliver you sparkling water and cocktails or reserve a table with your feet in the sand at a beach club restaurant. Slightly more appealing than some boardwalk food options at US beaches 🙂
What trip to France in the summer is complete without heading to Saint-Tropez. There are a few routes you can go that will take you here from Nice, Cannes or Antibes. You can sit in traffic and go along to cote-d’azur (blue coast) OR if you’re daring and a good driver, take the long and scenic- but faster route through the mountains. These pass through some of the tour-de-france routes and let me tell you, it is terrifying! Winding around these tiny narrow roads and coming inches from the edge of a cliff, all while cars are coming whipping at you, is not for the faint at heart. Once you safely arrive in Saint-Tropez and find some parking in one of the main large lots by the water. Check into The Hotel de Paris or La Ponche to be right in the middle of town. The rooftop of Hotel de Paris is perfect for a quick dip to cool off or a beer by the pool, I recommend the belgian tasting beer, Blonde of Saint-Tropez, which is sadly hard to get anywhere else in the world – but one of my all time favs! You will have no shortage of restaurant, bar and cafe options while in town. Book a day at Nikki Beach or one of the other beach clubs for some day partying! I can say from experience, Nikki Beach is magnificent at any age. Bring your babies, kids, honeymooners, bachelor parties, sip on some custom rose while cooling off in the pool. Enjoy some delicious sushi at the restaurant.
We highly recommend a beach day while in Saint-Tropez. You can get here via a car or by boat if you are staying on a yacht. Each weekday as well there is a massive market setup for grabbing anything you could imagine. From lavender soap, to fresh flowers, to a bathing suit coverup and ingredients for cooking they will have it all and it’s always fun to walk through and meet the locals. Of course watching the mega yachts dock while sipping coffee with a croissant at Senequier is a must as well.
Those of you that like to stay active will rest assured knowing there is a path that goes on for miles along the water, designated for biking. Rent bikes one morning (regular or e-bikes to help you go even further) and explore the historic city of Cannes. See the red carpet that celebs walk for the Cannes film festival. I like to go for a few mile runs along the water as well and weave by the big boats. Take a boat off of Cannes over to Ile-Saint-Marguerite and dine at Le Guerite for a wild brunch. If you want to do a day trip over to Monaco to see where the Grand Prix takes place and the infamous James Bond casino (Casino de Monte Carlo), hop a train from Antibes (or another town) and head to Monaco for the day. There’s plenty of cafe’s and a few museums to entertain yourselves while there.You’ll also pass through the ever gorgeou on a cliff, Eze. You can stop for lunch here or maybe even spend a night. Renting a boat for the day is another great option. There are tons of ways to easily book a boat and captain for you and your group to go for an entire day, extending to several days or even just a few hours. See what the Cote-d’Azur is all about from the water! Then of course, checking out Nice, maybe a brief stay at the Four-Seasons is highly recommended for first time goers to Southern France.