Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

French Riviera- Best city to stay after touring in France for 15 days prior

French Riviera- Best city to stay after touring in France for 15 days prior

Jan 13th, 2009, 06:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 20
French Riviera- Best city to stay after touring in France for 15 days prior

Hi! I'm planning a France trip in April. We are traveling all over the place, but will end up our journey with 4 days in the Riviera. I would love to stay in a great, beautiful beach town, but I don't want to be in a place like home. I grew up in San Diego and live in Santa Monica in LA. What would be your ideal location for the Riviera that is centrally located and still has that French charm?
Courtneyb is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 12:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I'm going to tell you something and people are going to scream at me:

I live on the Italian Riviera and the biggest reason I don't live on the French Riviera is because I grew up in Southern California, and I'd already seen enough white-stucco, red-tile roof Mediterranean style condos and houses to last me a lifetime.

So you've got to pick carefully, and if people recommend towns to you and swear they are truly French and nothing like Santa Monica, use Google to get images and see for yourself.

I'll recommend Eze as probably the most distant from anything you have.

zeppole is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 04:30 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,084
I agree with Zeppole in that Eze would be an ideal base on the FR. Although not a beach town, the views of the Riviera are breaktaking.

jdc26 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,138
Eze-sur-mer or Eze up high? The latter is where most tourists go but it's not on the water.

What about Villefranche? It's a small town close to Nice with a good beach. Or, if the OP can stand a city, Nice itself. Not such a good beach but a great town, with a lazy sensual ambiance, curvy Belle-Epoque architecture, some Italian influence.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Assume the actual condition of the beach or promimity to one is not that important in April.

But, if you want to be on the water and central, I would recommend Antibes. Easy to get along the coast by train if you are tired of driving and to my mind bears no resemblance to Santa Monica or SD!

Another option is a hill town such as St. Paul de Vence. I've stayed I think 4 times at a little hotel just outside the village itself, Les Orangers. Loved the place and the village which is walkable from the hotel.

I think you can chill in either place and/or see many of the small museums and galleries in the area--focused primarily on modern artists--Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, etc.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,350
I absolutely second Antibes! It's old, charming, on the water, but still has a beach town vibe (at least in summer, when we were there). Nothing at all like Santa Monica.
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,018
No power in the world would ever get me to visit Antibes again. The first and last time I was there, I ventured out into the water, and was greeted by a large hunk of human excrement. That did it for me. I promptly got myself out of that disgusting place.
Waldo is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 11:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 20
Thanks for all the responses. Like you all said, in April, the beach won't be our main concern. But we'd like to explore the Riviera and all the different cities there but still be able to relax and get a break after a whirlwind trip through the country.

I had been considering Antibes. But I will definitely check out Eze and St. Paul de Vence as well!

Thanks so much!
Courtneyb is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,846
I also grew up in Southern Calif - San Gabriel for 21 years, then Laguna Beach for 5 and worked in Carlsbad. I don't think St Tropez, Nice, Antibes, St Paul, Eze, St Paul, etc remind me of cities/villages on the Calif Coast at all. We've spent 16 weeks vacationing on the Cote, and we've stayed in Nice, an apt plus various hotels in St Tropez, a Gite just outside of Vence, and a gite just outside of Cotignac in the Var.

St Tropez has lots of small village charm, but I believe you'll be there the week after Easter Sunday & it might be crowded - which is OK but you might have to do what we always do & leave St Tropez by 10:30 & don't return till 5pm. Lots of stuff to do & see around St tropez, but I would not spend the entire 4 days there if you also want to hit Nice, Cannes, Antibes, St Paul, Eze, Vence, etc.

IMO, you might get a little bored with Villefranche for 4 nights. It's a cute town cascading down a cliff, but after about 2 hrs, you've probably seen it all.

I think Nice has the most to offer in April. There is a lot more to do & see there than in Antibes or Cannes. If the weather in April gets a little gloomy, I would want to be in Nice instead of in Antibes. I would stay in Antibes if someone said I could not stay in Nice.

You will be in France the week before and the week after Easter Sunday. We've never visited then, but I'm told that hotels in the southeast get booked up quite soon for both weeks.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 20
Great advice. Thank you. I will plan on booking asap!

Thank you everyone!
Courtneyb is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 20
BTW Stu, I grew up in Carlsbad. Funny coincidence.
Courtneyb is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,846
I worked for Burroughs Corp on Palomar Airport Road (or something like that) in the early 70s.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:24 AM.