The beautiful French Riviera - La belle Côte d’Azur

The famous coastline of the Côte d'Azur is a long succession of elegant resorts with 'mega' yacht filled harbours at Monaco, Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez, and many more. With the pre-Alps tumbling down to meet the sea, the coastal and inland scenery is quite amazing; from cornice hemmed coastlines, through gorges, to ski resorts above. Ancient Medieval walled villages perched on rocky outcrops are scattered all around the region and rise above the sea, where they were built for safety in the Middle Ages. Some famous, like St Paul de Vence, others yet to be discovered by the tourists.

There is a huge Italian influence to the area from the border at Menton as far as Nice and beyond. And this is very much reflected in the food and culture. Inland there are excellent lakes for sporting activities, as well as spectacular gorges, mountains and rivers, providing excellent alternatives to the beach. At Lac St Cassien and Lac Ste Croix, there are lakeside restaurants with canoeing, windsurfing and pedallos for hire. Lac St Cassien is especially world famous for its carp fishing (permit required).

A number of islands sit off the coast, the Isles de Lerins from Cannes and the Iles de Hyères from the Var coastline, so if it's a day on the sea that takes your fancy, there are boat trips from Mandelieu and Cannes to the Iles de Lerins, around the spectacular Esterel coastline or as an alternative way to reach Monaco or St Tropez.

The region hosts many international events including the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film festival, both every May. In July and August there are truly magnificent firework displays set to music, and held at almost every resort along the coast, plus a series of music events including the Nice and Juan les Pins Jazz festivals with many international artists performing.

Cultural events take place all along the Riviera and many famous people have lived in the area such as Cézanne, Chagall, Picasso, there are Picasso museums at Antibes and Cagnes sur Mer, also Renoir, whose museum is just inland at Cagnes old town. Matisse designed and decorated the chapel at Vence. You can visit glass blowing at the factories at Biot, pottery in Vallauris and the famous perfume industry at Grasse.

Nightlife along the Côte d'Azur is second to none in lively resorts such as Antibes and Juan les Pins; there are casinos at most large towns and restaurants at every street corner to match people's tastes and budget. An abundance of seafood, olive oil, garlic and aromatic wild herbs are the key ingredients in this region. Provence wines reflect the warmth and vibrancy of this region, and a visit to a local vineyard is a must, revealing the care and dedication required in producing your glass of wine.

Festivals and fêtes are held in every village throughout the summer with dances and traditional music played on Provencal instruments. Grasse hosts its Rose festival in May and the Fête du Jasmin in August with music and dancing in the streets. All this just goes to add to the unique ambiance that is Provence.

Riviera Radio broadcasts daily in English from Monaco with music, local news, local events, weather forecasts and BBC World Service News on 106.5 FM www.rivieraradio.mc.

To find out much more about what's available in this beautiful region follow the links below to other official tourist websites:

About Hotelair Holidays

Hotelair Holidays has been in existence since 1992, and took its name ‘Hotelair’ from the Village de Vacances (Holiday village) at Mandelieu where I first worked in the holiday industry in 1988. There I dealt with clients from all over Europe and along the way gained some wonderful friends and clients who still return to me for their holidays 25 years later. Some are now owners of apartments themselves, and these are on my website as they trust me to manage them on their behalf.

I also trained and worked as a villa representative for an English villa holiday company and was in charge of 40 villas for 3 years, dealing with the owners, problems and arranging maintenance that was needed.

These days I deal only with apartments and villas in locations from Antibes, which is near to Nice, west to Theoule sur Mer and would be pleased to offer advice on the type of location or area that would suit your requirements the best.

Services offered

Direct booking

When you make your first enquiry by email or telephone, you will be dealing with same person, and often also for your arrival and departure, so there is no contact with a 3rd party.

Your arrival

Please phone when you are en route and you will be met at the apartment with the keys and shown around the property, with time taken to explain how to use the included equipment. You will also be shown an information book listing all you should need to know about the apartment and local area. If required, and booked in advance, a personal pick up can be arranged from and to the airport or train station.

Local information

Please ask for any information you need before you arrive or when you arrive; a comprehensive book is personally made up for each apartment about local facilities, shops, restaurants, trains, buses and places of interest to visit with maps and timetables.

Hire

We can organise the hire of a baby's cot or high chair and if required linen, give tips on where best to hire cars, motorcycles or push bikes. Email us at: info@hotelair-holidays.com for more information, or to book your holiday now!