Explore the French Riviera on a short break

Thursday, 19 January 2012 1:15 PM

A short break on the French Riviera can be as action-packed or relaxing as you would like, with a host of beautiful places to visit and exciting things to do dotted along this stretch of coastline. Here are just a few of the options open to you.

Of course, one of the reasons why people book villa holidays on the Cote d'Azur is to enjoy a taste of the glitz and glamour associated with destinations such as Cannes and St Tropez.

Both cities are fascinating and regardless of what time of year you visit, you may well spot a celebrity or two out and about in the area.

Cannes really comes alive during its annual film festival, but if you cannot visit the city when the event is on, don't worry, as there will still be lots to keep you occupied.

The Le Suquet district of Cannes is well worth a visit, as this is the oldest part of the settlement, with the harbour here dating back to the ninth century.

If you're keen to learn more about the various influences on the city's development, pop into the Museum of La Castre, located in the vestiges of the medieval castle in Le Suquet.

Nice is another city on the French Riviera you may be keen to visit, not least because of its impressive stretch of golden sand.

If you want to spend a day at the beach, you won't find a better spot, with all the amenities you will need close at hand.

Should you wish to escape the crowds, however, you could hire a car and drive to the pretty perched village of Eze. Although the settlement itself is over 400 m above the sea below, the beach at the bottom of the cliff is one of the most peaceful you are likely to come across.

You should combine your day lounging in the sun with a spot of sightseeing in the village, too, as you will discover an 18th century baroque church and two perfume factories are among its attractions.

If this has piqued your interest in the region's perched villages, you may want to seek out Grasse, which is regarded as the world's perfume capital.

Here, you will find over 30 perfumeries each making tempting scents, with guided tours available at some of the facilities.

An excellent way to round off your stay in holiday rentals in France would be to take a trip to Monaco.

This is another destination that has developed a reputation as being a playground for the rich and famous, so you may be keen to explore the principality for yourself.

The capital of Monte Carlo is a fascinating city to visit, with landmarks such as the Monaco Cathedral and the 11th century Sainte-Devote Church not to be missed.

Meanwhile, the Monte Carlo Casino and Opera House is the place to go if you want to see an example of real opulence. Constructed in the late 19th century by Charles Garnier, it features a marble-paved atrium with 28 pillars made out of onyx.

Should you want to enjoy one of the sporting events hosted by the city, make sure you plan your holiday well in advance. The exhilarating experience of watching the Monaco Grand Prix is just one option, while the capital also plays host to an international tennis tournament and a show jumping competition each year.

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Enjoy the history and beauty of the French Riviera's perched villages

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