Tourist information on the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region in France
Even though this region has a full name of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur due to the fact that it encompasses the Provence area and the Cote d’Azur, most people think of this region for the chic resorts of the French Riviera with places like Cannes and St Tropez that have become famous for celebrity spotting, the luxury hotels, boutiques, etc. But there is so much more to be discovered.
Information, tourist attractions and places to visit in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region
Located in the southern part of France with a Mediterranean climate, to the North you have the Rhone Alpes region, to the East is the Italian Border, to the South is the Mediterranean Sea and to the West is the Languedoc Roussillon region. However, you also have the independent state of Monaco with Monte Carlo, which is famous for its casino plus of course its race track, and this is only around 15km from Nice in the Cote d’Azur area of France.
The big plus with the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region is that it has a mild climate that very rarely ever sees frosts or snow along the coastline with its long beaches, as well as being protected from harsh winds by the Alpes, so is great for a family camping holiday from Spring through to Autumn. However, you will find snow in the mountain areas during winter, but of course this means that you can choose the type of holiday that most suits you, whether it be a skiing holiday, or just soaking up the sun and trying to do some celebrity spotting!
Marseille is the capital city of the region and has always had a very important harbour, even before the conquest of the Gaul by Julius Caesar, however, it is the chic resorts of St Tropez and Cannes where the annual film festival is held, that most people think of when they think of the French Riviera.
But lets look quickly at the two parts of the region.. Provence itself has a very long history and in fact was in existence even before France was formed and there was a seaport established by the Greeks, then the area was ruled by Romans who called it Provincia, hence the similar name that it has today. So this is an area that you will be able to discover Roman remains along with other historical monuments from the Middle Ages and beyond.
Also this particular region of France is where you will find hills, mountains, valleys, rivers and gorges that are ideal for adventure sports such as rock climbing, paragliding, hang-gliding, etc, plus with the high peaks of the Alpes near the Italian border, this is also the place that people go for winter skiing holidays in France.
Yet most people will think of this region in France because of the Cote d’Azur area, but up until the 18th century it was mainly quaint fishing villages, however, this soon changed, especially when the British started to arrive here for the climate, its beaches and atmosphere.
In fact, the Cote d’Azur, which is known as the French Riviera by many, has become one of the worlds most famous coastlines and there is even a promenade at the large city of Nice that is called La Promenade des Anglais from when the British tourists started coming here more and more frequently in the 19th century.
However, you will find one part of the coastline that is less developed having only small resorts, plus is very popular for hiking and walking, with one particular route called the Corniche de l’Esterel you can enjoy, which is a coastal route that has fabulous views out to sea, and you can also get to many of the little coves that are normally very peaceful and idyllic.
Just some tourist attractions and places to visit in the Provence Alpes cote d’Azur region
Lets start with some of the well known places
St Tropez, which is an old Mediterranean seaport has become a chic resort that is frequented by the rich and famous and is a popular place for the jet set and those normally residing in Paris. But apart from its sheltered bay and port, there is a very historical centre along with numerous shops, bars and restaurants.
Cannes, as we mentioned before, has become famous for the Cannes film festival, which was original founded back in the 1930s and is held every year around May time, but this is also the place for trade fairs and there is an annual music fair that takes place in January.
But we would like to point out that if you are thinking about one of the French campsites in the Cote d’Azur or even booking a hotel during one of the major events, which, by the way, also includes the Monaco Grand Prix, then you may want to consider booking your accommodation at least four to five months in advance, as you can appreciate, it does get very busy.
Anyway, getting back to some places to visit and tourist attractions in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region.. Just inland from Cannes you have the town of Grasse that is known as the capital of the French perfume industry and it is here that you will find the famous Fragonard perfume factory that has guided tours available. There is also a Fragonard museum you can visit, yet this famous perfumery also has another perfume museum in Paris as well.
Antibes has an old town, a marina and no less than forty beaches and has become one of the classic French Riviera resorts, but it is also home to some incredible museums including the Musee Picasso that has one of the best collections of Picasso paintings in the whole of France.
Nice itself is a large city and is also the largest resort in the region, which is where the English promenade is, but there is also much more to experience here such as the Russian Basilica, the historical old quarter, the famous flower market, plenty of museums, boutiques and restaurants to enjoy.
If you want to see the high life and how some of the rich people live, then you cannot miss going to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, which is reportedly one of the most experience areas to own property in France. And it is here that you can visit the sumptuous villa and gardens of the late Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Yet if you fancy trying your luck and see if you end up a millionaire or a few penny less in your pocket, then there are several casinos to experience just like the one at San Raphael, however taking a boat trip, sailing and many other water based activities are also available along the coast such as from the large marina at Frejus. But this is also a very historical city that dates back to before Roman times, so there is much to be discovered, whilst wandering the quaint streets.
But if you fancy visiting a natural park, then you could take a boat trip from Lavandou to one of the islands called Port Cros and here you will be able to experience the only Maritime National Natural Park in France, which is ideal for those of you that like snorkelling or diving.
In addition to this, this paradise island has five old fortresses, with two of these that are open to the general public for tours etc. plus you have different nature trails where you can discover more about the flora and fauna of this unique island nature reserve.
So no matter what type of holiday in France you are looking for, whether it be a family camping holiday at one of the French campsites, or a trip for just the two of you staying in a luxury hotel so that you can experience the casinos, nightlife and fine French food, then you can be sure to find many different tourist attractions and places to visit that will keep you enthralled.