Places to visit in Europe

French Riviera - Cote d'Azur


Beach between Villefranche sur Mer and St Jean Cap Ferrat

The French Riviera is the part of french Mediterranean coastline that stretches from Hyères or Cassis to Menton, near the Italian border. The French Riviera therefore covers a part of the department of Var, the department of Alpes-Maritimes as a whole, and the territory of the Principality of Monaco. We forget that generally the French Riviera has not only its coastline, but also a very interesting hinterland to offer and which extends to the Southern Alps at an altitude of nearly 3 000 metres.

The expression Côte d'Azur (AZUR is a heraldic term which means "blue") is due to Stephen Liégeard writer and his book The French Riviera (published in 1887). In the spirit of the author, the name COTE d'AZUR (Riviera) encompassed the Mediterranean coast from Marseilles to Genoa. The French Riviera is a literary name which became a tourist designation. Soon, the region was highly urbanized on the seafront to meet tourist demand, the hinterland still more unknown and therefore preserved. The French Riviera has a mild and sunny climate. Nice is the largest city with nearly 350 000 inhabitants. Nice has an International Airport, the second of France by its traffic.