Nice Vacation. Literally. Early Summer on the French Riviera

By Lily Hodges

NICE, FRANCE (Herald de Paris) – Ah, the French Riviera in early Summer. It’s sunny and warm, but not too hot, and busy enough to bring some life to the boardwalk without hoards of tourists crowding it. Over the horizon you can watch yachts drift from the Cannes Film Festival to the Monaco Grand Prix. Add in the topless beaches, a bit of faire-ing de crepe du soleil (sunbathing) and a sip of Pastis and voilĂ , the definition of carefree.

The South of France, six hours from Paris by train, has its own style and way of life. A popular getaway for many Europeans, the attitude is always relaxed and friendly, which isn’t much of a surprise considering the miles and miles of beaches and clear water that’s blue enough to give justice to its title as the Blue Coast in French.

The French Riviera is also home to its infamous rocky beaches, and while sandy beaches are not too hard to find, the pebbled ones give the shoreline some character. They may be tough on the feet, but they’re smooth enough to skip on the gentle ocean and as the waves retreat they produce a special crackling sound as they are pulled over the rocks.

Taking a break from the sun, old buildings sweeten cities such as Nice and Monte Carlo like pastel candy, trimmed with white deco décor.  Even older, forts and castles rouse thoughts of ancient life. They have the feel of being strictly European, an aesthetic mix of French and Italian design. Yet for a region which seems to be lost in its own charm, daily cruise ships from the Bahamas or cargo ships from Panama remind vacationers that it’s not just an idyllic part of the world but also an international place of activity.

The Riviera is a great chance for a breath of fresh air, and is the only place I’ve been to so far that makes Paris seem like a hectic and inhumane place to live. But whether it’s the city life or beach life for you, its impossible not to say that France has it all.

Ginger July 5, 2009

yo lil, I can’t log in to facebook or hotmail btu I am in Paris. My number is +xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

nanci November 22, 2010

We are going in July 2011–where do we stay for a family of 4?
How far can we travel to via car along the Riviera?

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