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French Riviera Road Trip
The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur in French) is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Southern France. The coastline between Toulon and Menton is dotted with picturesque towns, world-famous beaches, and pristine coves perfect for one week in France.
The best way to explore the French Riviera is by car. Driving the French Riviera gives you the freedom to explore the best places in the region at your own pace, and you are not restricted to set timetables.
A French Riviera road trip is one of the best road trips in France, with some of France’s most scenic drives. Read more about road tripping in France:
Road Trip French Riviera Overview
- Start: Cannes
- Finish: Menton
- Duration: 7 days
- Suggested Route: Cannes– Antibes – Èze – Montecarlo – Menton
- Total distance: 66 km, 1hrs 15min drive in total
- Regions covered: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
- Best for: sightseeing, beach, landscapes, small towns.
This French Riviera itinerary by car takes 7 days, and it begins in the city of Cannes, but you can spend much longer delving into this stunning area in the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Cannes is easy to reach by train from Paris or Lyon. The journey from Paris to Cannes takes around 5 hrs 30 min while Lyon to Cannes by train is only 4 hrs (some options include a change in Marseille).
French Riviera Road Trip Map
French Riviera Itinerary 7 Days
The starting point for this French Riviera drive is Cannes, one of the must-visit cities in Southern France, where you will spend two nights. For this Côte d’Azur road trip from Cannes, you don’t need the car until day 2, so if you are taking a self-drive French Riviera trip in a hire car, wait until then to pick up your rental car in Cannes.
We recommend booking your car with Discover Cars. This site is great because it takes all major rental companies, such as Hertz, Avis, and more, and compares prices for you. Check out our best tips for renting a car in France.
Day 0 | Arrival in Cannes
As this French Riviera road trip begins in Cannes, take this opportunity to explore this wonderful city before hitting the road. Cannes is a place filled with glitz and glamour, perfect to start your French holiday in style!
For your stay in Cannes, book two nights at the hotel Croisette Beach Cannes Mgallery. This charming 4-star hotel is set just 150 from La Croisette’s beaches, and it comes with a private pool, beachfront bar-restaurant, and access to a private beach at an extra cost.
Day 1 | Visit Cannes
Spend the day in Cannes, soaking up the atmosphere of this chic city on the French Riviera. There are many places where you can relax, but also some interesting cultural attractions.
The list of fun things to see and do in Cannes includes:
- Promenade through Boulevard de la Croisette
- Fourville food market
- La Croix des Gardes Park
- Sunset drink at the Old Port
- Notre Dame d’Espérance Church
- Medieval Castle – Musée de la Castre
Day 2 | Antibes
It’s time to hit the road to explore some of the best places in the French Riviera. Day 2 of this road trip French Riviera takes you to Antibes, where you will spend one night.
Antibes is a popular beach destination in the French Riviera with a picturesque historic center, golden beaches, and the Château Grimaldi, one of our favorite castles in Southern France.
Antibes also encompasses the coastline of Cap d’Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, with pretty sandy beaches surrounded by pine trees.
For your stay in Antibes, book one night at the Hotel Belles Rives. This Art-Deco hotel located right on the waterfront in Juan-les-Pins, has an onsite bar and restaurant, a beautiful terrace with sea views, and a private beach.
The list of fun things to see and do in Antibes includes:
- The Old Town
- Picasso Museum in medieval Château Grimaldi
- Antibes beaches
- Chemin des Douaniers, a 3.7km-seafront walk
- Archaeology Museum in the Bastion Saint-André
Days 3 – 4 | Nice
Next, you’ll drive to Nice, the French Riviera’s capital, where you will spend two nights. For your stay in Nice, book at Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges. This lovely 4-star hotel nestled into the Colline du Château comes with Nice’s best view, over the Baie des Anges and beautiful, comfortable rooms with Mediterranean decor.
Nice is a beautiful Mediterranean city, with ochre-colored Baroque architecture, sunny beaches, and an interesting cultural scene. With two days in Nice, you can spend one day exploring the city’s narrow streets, bustling markets, and main tourist sites and use the second day for a side trip.
The list of fun things to see and do in Nice includes:
- Old Port
- A stroll through the Promenade des Anglais
- The Castle Hill
- Old Nice
- Cimiez Hill
- Matisse Museum
- Chagall Museum
The list of best day trips from Nice includes the oh-so-pretty Villefranche-sur-Mer (on the picture above), Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, or Gorges du Verdon. If you visit the French Riviera in July, you can consider a day trip to Valensole to see some of the best lavender fields in Provence.
Day 5 | Èze
Day 5 of this French Riviera 7-day itinerary leaves the coastline to visit one of the most picturesque hilltop villages in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Èze is a picture-perfect medieval village of winding cobblestone streets, small galleries, and lush gardens. Its dramatic location on a hilltop 400 meters above the sea comes with exceptional views of the coastline.
Take your time to explore the town, and admire the superb stone houses, little squares with refreshing fountains, and the numerous boutiques selling beautiful crafts. If you are in the mood for a walk, the scenic Nietzsche Path down to the beach is perfect.
We recommend spending the night at Èze so you can enjoy this wonderful place when the day crowds are gone. For a night in Eze, the Hotel La Chèvre d’Or is perfect. This top-rated hotel in the heart of the town offers spectacular views of the coast, and it has great facilities like private gardens, a pool, and comfortable air-conditioned rooms.
Day 6 | Monte Carlo
From Èze, drive to Monte Carlo, Monaco’s capital, and also part of the French Riviera. Monte Carlo is home to many worlds’ fortunes, and you can get an idea of the city’s wealth by strolling around the port, dotted with luxurious yachts.
In Monte Carlo, there are also some interesting sites like the world-famous Casino, the Cathedral, and the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium. It is also possible to visit Monaco’s racecourse used for the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix.
In the afternoon, drive to Menton, where you will spend one night. For your night in Menton, book at Hotel Napoléon, located on the seafront. This top-rated hotel offers an outdoor pool, garden and a 24-hour bar, and bright rooms with ocean views.
Day 7 | Menton
The last day of this Côte d’Azur itinerary days visits Menton, France’s sunniest city. Menton is also famous for its citrus and the Lemon Festival and we have it listed as one of our favorite winter destinations in France.
Explore Menton’s old town, with its colorful houses, fabulous staircases, beach stone mosaics, and pretty gardens. The port and the beach resort are perfect for a last lazy day on the French Riviera.
This French Riviera itinerary 7 days ends in Menton. If you have more time available, you can consider crossing the border to explore the Italian Riviera, or you can take this road trip from Nice to Paris to see more of France.
So, what are you waiting for? Book this fun French Riviera road trip today!
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