• Post author:
  • Reading time:61 mins read
  • Post last modified:January 26, 2024
  • Post comments:0 Comments
French Riviera itinerary 7 days

The French Riviera is the jewel of France. Everyone wants to experience the luxury, stunning beaches, delicious food, and their luck in the casino of the tax haven – Monaco. If you’re thinking of visiting the French Riviera, you’re right here.

I’ve visited the area many times. First, I came to explore it alone. Afterward, I guided travel groups to the French Riviera and gave them many of my travel tips. I also spent 2 weeks learning French in the Riviera, which was one of the best experiences of my life.

So, I’ve created a full itinerary and would love to give you my travel tips, too. Follow it and explore the highlights of the French Riviera.

Travel Resources For Your Trip

Here are some of my favorite travel resources I use for my travel adventures.

Book your hotel on BOOKING.COM
Best bank account & cards for travel (low fees, free withdrawals)WISE
Get the best travel insurance deals with SAFETY WINGS
Do the best activities with GET YOUR GUIDE
Mobile Data – use this eSIM CARD to stay connected

Overview Of The French Riviera Itinerary For 7 Days

Here is an overview of this 7-day itinerary to French Riviera:

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Nice
2.Nice ⇒ Menton & Cap Ferrat (Day Trip)
3.Nice ⇒ Monaco (Day Trip)
4.Nice ⇒ Cannes
5.Cannes & Day Excursions
6.Cannes ⇒ Saint Tropez
7.Plage d’Escalet or Plage de Gigaro

French Riviera Itinerary Map

Here is a map of all the routes and places I recommend visiting on your road trip itinerary through the Riviera:

How To Get To The French Riviera

You can get to the French Riviera by plane, train, or bus.

Nice is the biggest city on the French Riviera, and the best and fastest way to get there is to fly. It has the second-largest airport in France. So it’ll be easily accessible from any other corner of the world.

Alternatively, you can also take a train to the French Riviera. The train stops in the main cities like Nice, Cannes, or Antibes, and you can reach them by train from major French cities like Paris, Marseilles, or Lyon.

If you’re on a budget, the best way to reach the Riviera is by bus. All the buses travel to Nice, some stop in Cannes.

French Riviera views from the coastal road
French Riviera: Views from the coastal road

How To Get Around The French Riviera & Make This Itinerary

The best way to get around the French Riviera is by car. Even though the roads are curvy and narrow, you’ll have a lot of flexibility and don’t have to base your trip around public transportation. Make up your own schedule, follow this itinerary, and visit all the places on your road trip.

That’s why I’ve also designed this itinerary as a road trip. You can rent a car for 6 days (starting on day 3. of the itinerary).

RENT A CAR FOR YOUR ITINERARY

Rent A Car Via Discover Carsbest prices and big selection of car rentals.
PRO TIP: Check ratings of the company you choose before booking (ratings can be off). Go on Google, see ratings of the car rental company, then book on Discover Cars.

Getting Around French Riviera By Train & Bus

You can also take buses and trains alongside the French Riviera. Note that the train only goes to major cities and countries like Nice, Monaco, Menton, St. Raphael, Cannes, and Antibes.

You can also take buses if the train doesn’t go to a place (e.g., St. Tropez).

Another great way to explore the French Riviera is to join organized excursions. Throughout the itinerary, I’ll recommend excursions with a local guide wherever it’s worth it.

Book your trains in the French Riviera via Trainline.

Book your buses in the French Riviera via Busbud.

NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE? Check out Safety Wings:
Cheap & Flexible Insurance For Travelers

0. DAY: ARRIVE IN NICE

Take your time to arrive in Nice. Check in to your accommodation and head out to the old town for a nice cup of coffee.

Then, walk alongside the English Bay – “Promenade des Anglais,” and get the first glimpse of its atmosphere. Or dip into the sea for a quick swim.

Dinner At Le Frog Restaurant

In the evening, I recommend you eat in the restaurant Le Frog. Try the traditional French frog legs and finish with a delicious dessert. Don’t forget to try ‘escargots’ French snails, which are delicious.

Have a great rest because tomorrow, we’ll explore the city with everything it offers.

Where To Stay In Nice: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

Book your hotel in Nice for 4 nights as you’ll make many day trips. It’ll make the entire trip easier, as you don’t have to pack every other night, and the places you can visit from Nice are close.

HOTEL NAP BY HAPPY CULTUREbudget-friendly hotel
LE CHATEAUapartment for 4 people
WATERFRONT PANORAMIC SEA VIEWapartment
WESTMINSTER HOTEL & SPA mid-range hotel at the beach/English Bay
HOTEL LA PEROUSE NICEluxury hotel/English Bay
HOTEL LE NEGRESCOluxury hotel/English Bay

1. DAY: NICE

We are starting our itinerary in the heart of the French Riviera – Nice.

The city was founded in the 4th century by the Greeks. Its original name is ‘Nike,’ the Greek goddess of Victory. The city used to belong to Italy.

The Italians were beyond grateful for helping them fight against the Austrians. They gained the Victory and gave the city the name ‘Nice.’ Then, they gave the city to the French as a present for helping them in the fight.

Nice traditional food market

Sightseeing in Nice

Today, I highly recommend you explore the following sites in this beautiful city:

🔆 Vieille Ville
🔆 Nice Cathedral
🔆 Nice Castle
🔆 Parc de la Colline du Château
🔆 Musée Marc Chagall
🔆 Promenade des Anglais (English Bay)

Scroll through the streets of the ‘Vieille Ville’ – old town in Nice before you make your way up to the castle. You can walk or take the tourist train to the Castle of Nice. Go to the viewing point for the most stunning views of the Promenade des Anglais and the entire city of Nice. The views are breathtaking.

After, walk down through the Parc de la Colline du Château. You can buy a French baguette with some cheese and eat it as a picnic on the way.

Walk through the Promenade des Anglais in the afternoon and swim in the sea.

🍕 DINNER RECOMMENDATION: La Rossettisserie Restaurant – traditional French cuisine

French Riviera itinerary 7 days Nice Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais – views from Colline du Château

Nice Guided Tours

The best way to explore the city is with a local guide. So I’ve got 3 guided tours in Nice for you. One is a cultural walking tour, where you’ll learn much about the history and get insights from a local guide.

Another is a food tour, where you’ll visit the Nice market and the best food spots. If you want to explore the city on a Segway and have fun, choose the guided tour on Segways below.

In case you want to see Nice and its stunning surroundings from a bus, book a sightseeing tour around the city:

2. DAY: NICE ⇒ MENTON & CAP FERRAT (DAY TRIP)

Today, we’ll make a day trip to one of the most picturesque towns on the French Riviera. It’s already close to the Italian border.

From now on, you’ll need a rental car, so rent one from today for 6 days (until the end of your road trip itinerary).

Distance Nice ⇒ Menton: 32 minutes by car (30 km/19 miles)

Menton

Welcome to Menton, also known to be the Pearl of France. No wonder; it’s one of the most, if not the one, beautiful towns on the French Riviera.

It’s a small town, so don’t expect much to do. Instead, soak up the atmosphere, walk through, and stay on its beaches for a while if you want.

There is a big part of the Russian community, so you can admire the beautiful Russian church’s unique architecture.

Other than that, you can visit the Old Château Cemetery. It’s a resting place for many aristocratic British and Russians, taking holidays in the town and on the French Riviera. Or walk to the Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden for a little piece of paradise.

Menton France
Menton France

Lemon Festival In Menton

Each February, locals organize a big event – the Lemon Festival. Menton is one of the biggest European producers of citrus fruits, and this is the month to celebrate it.

You’ll enjoy statues decorated with citruses, accompanied by musicians and dancers on the street. It’s one of the best times to visit the town.

On the way back to Nice, visit Cap Ferrat. Enjoy the spectacular ride on the coastline with stunning views.

Distance Menton ⇒ Cap Ferrat: 43 minutes by car on the coastal road (26 km16 miles)

French Riviera

Cap Ferrat

Cap Ferrat is famous for its luxury villas, one of which is open to visitors. It’s Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. You can go inside and see beautiful paintings, furniture, and sculptures from one of the richest families in the world.

It also hosts some of the coziest beaches on the French Riviera. Walk on the Promenade du Cap, see its lighthouse, and stop on some beach.

Afterward, return to Nice and have a good rest.

3. DAY: NICE ⇒ MONACO (Day Trip)

Good morning to Nice. I hope you slept well because now, we’re about to visit one of the smallest countries in Europe and the European tax heaven. Monaco is waiting for us.

Distance Nice ⇒ Monaco: 30 minutes by car (20 km/12 miles)

Let’s explore this small country together today. Once you cross the border with Monaco, just follow the sign ‘P’ to find the nearest car park.

Interesting Facts About Monaco

Monaco is famous for many things. Below, I’m giving you some interesting facts about this small European country:

💡 Monaco is a tax heaven
💡 Hosts the Grand Prix event
💡 Monaco is a principality
💡 3x James Bond movies were shot in the Monte-Carlo Casino in Monaco
💡 It’s the second smallest country in the world, after Vatican City
💡 It’s the place of the rich

French Riviera itinerary 7 days Monaco
Monaco

Sightseeing In Monaco

Monaco is best to tour on foot. Leave your car in the car park and set off to explore it. Here are some sightseeing tips for your visit:

🔆 Palais du Prince 
🔆 Stroll through ‘Le Rocher’
🔆 Monte Carlo Casino
🔆 Walk in Jardine Exotique
🔆 Visit the Princess Grace Rose Garden
🔆 Monaco Harbour

🔆 Palais Du Prince & Le Rocher

Explore Palais du Prince, the residence of the Prince of Monaco. It was built back in the 13th century. You can visit it inside when the prince is not in his residence. Enjoy the views of the city from its terrace.

Don’t miss out on the changing of the guards at the Palace.

Le Rocher is the old town of Monaco. It’s worth just walking through its tiny little street. You can stop by and visit Monaco Cathedral and get some local snacks. Look for ‘barbarian,’ which is Monaco’s national snack.

Monaco on the French Riviera itinerary
Me visiting Monaco & guiding travel groups

🔆 Monte Carlo & Official Passport Stamp

What would be a visit to the famous Monte Carlo Casino? Check out its interior, where you can explore the casino itself and admire its operaballet house, and the Grand Theatre de Monte Carlo

It’s a complex of buildings, the main attraction here in Monte Carlo. One interesting fact is that residents of Monaco are not allowed to enter and play in the Monte Carlo casino. But you have the privilege here if you want.

One thing you shouldn’t forget is to get your passport officially stamped. You can do so in the tourism office located just a 2-minute walk from the casino.

If you want to shop for luxury goods, go to the Avenue de Monte-Carlo.

Monaco Monte Carlo
Monaco: Monte Carlo

🔆 Beautiful Gardens In Monaco

Jardine Exotique is a very special place. I loved walking through this garden. It somehow has a very special atmosphere. Rest from Monaco’s hectic atmosphere and enjoy some nature for a while.

The Princess Grace Rose Garden is another highlight, especially for the fans of the American film star Grace Kelly, who married Prince Rainier, the former prince of Monaco.

🔆 Monte Carlo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Another great way to explore Monaco & Monte Carlo is on a bus or a tourist train. Get an unlimited hop-on and hop-off bus ticket.

It’ll show the whole country, and you’ll learn a lot about its history and hear some interesting facts.

Monaco Organized Tour From Nice

If you don’t like planning, join this organized guided tour to Monaco from Nice. It includes a private guide, transportation, and even a visit to Eze town.

4. DAY: NICE ⇒ CANNES

Let’s drive down south to the famous festival city, Cannes. This is my personal favorite on the French Riviera. You can check out from your hotel in Nice today and move to Cannes, where you can stay for now.

It’s just its atmosphere, views, and the city itself that has really captured my attention. And I’m sure it’ll capture yours as well.

Distance Nice ⇒ Cannes: 40 minutes by car (33 km/20 miles)

Quick Facts About Cannes

The first settlement was found here back in the 2nd century BC. Initially, it used to be a fishing village. The city then served as a medical base during WWI.

Have you ever heard about Lord Brougham? He was the man who popularized Cannes, and nowadays, it’s trendy among upper-class British tourists.

Cannes also became popular thanks to Grace Kelly, the Hollywood actress, who chose the city as her wedding venue.

French riviera itinerary 7 days Cannes
Cannes

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes has become famous mainly thanks to its film festival held annually in May. You’ll be able to see famous celebrities walking on the red carpet.

The festival recognizes celebrities’ achievements and rewards them for great movies. And you can be part of it.

I was in Cannes during the festival, and the atmosphere was absolutely crazy.

PRO TIP: So as you can see, it’s worth visiting French Riviera in May as many attractions take place; Cannes Festival, and also Grand Prix in Monaco.

Cannes Film Festival
Me guiding a group at the Cannes Film Festival

Sightseeing In Cannes

Cannes is a typical luxurious destination where you can experience the Holywood atmosphere, sit down on the seaside, and get a cup of coffee. Here are a few things you can do in the city:

🔆 Palace Of Festivals & Congresses
🔆
Le Croisette – celebrity street
🔆
Old Town
🔆
Casino
🔆 Château De La Castre
🔆
Marche Forville – traditional market
🔆
Old Port
🔆
Plage du Midi – beach in Cannes

One of my favorite places in Cannes is Château de la Castre. The castle was built in the 11th century to protect the city and its surroundings. It was also a place where monks lived.

It offers the best views of the city and sea. Although some trees interfere, the view is still stunning. Nowadays, it serves as a museum.

After, walk through the old town and Le Croisette – the celebrity promenade. Don’t forget to check out Marche Forville, a traditional market, another city highlight.

Then, sit at a cafe next to the old port and admire some yachts.

Île Sainte-Marguerite

One of the attractions you shouldn’t miss is the Île Sainte-Marguerite. It’s the island where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. He spent 11 years of his life on this island.

Nowadays, you can see the prison visit a museum with its exhibition.

The excursion itself is amazing as you have to take a boat from Cannes mainland to the island. It takes about 15 minutes. So enjoy the ride and the Mediterranean atmosphere.

Book ferry tickets to Ile Sainte-Marguerite Island here.

Where To Stay In Cannes: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

MONDRIAN CANNESluxury hotel at the old port
RESIDENCE CARLTON RIVIERAluxury apartments at the beach
SEASIDE APARTMENTat the beach (Plage du Midi)
LE PANORAMERapartnet at the beach

5. DAY: CANNES & DAY TRIPS

Good morning to Cannes. I hope you had some time to explore the city yesterday. If not, keep exploring today. For those who need some adventure or more programs, I have some extra things and exciting day trips.

Today, you can choose from the following day trips from Cannes. There is one for every single one of you. So go for it and enjoy.

Day Trips From Cannes

These are the best day trips I recommend making from Cannes:

Grasse & Fragonard Parfumery
Verdon Gorge & French Lavender Fields
Golden Corniche Coastline On A Speed Boat

✅ Grasse & Fragonard Parfumery

The Fragonard perfumery is a place that surprised me a lot. I’m not much into fragrances. However, a visit to the factory where they produce them blew my mind.

The Grasse town alone is charming, with cute cafes, restaurants, and a beautiful setting. So this day trip is for everyone who wants to put on that cute dress, explore a French town, and learn more about perfume making.

Distance Cannes ⇒ Grasse: 35 minutes by car (19 km/12 miles)

Learn how they make fragrances in the world’s most prestigious perfumery, Fragonard.

It’s a historical building where they’ve been producing fragrances since 1926.

💡 FUN FACT: The staff has to first study at the university for around 7 years to become professional fragrance producers.

Grasse Fragonard perfumery on the french riviera itinerary

You’ll smell different flavors, learn how they make it, and even see the whole process. At the end of the tour, the guide will test your nose with different fragrances, playing their free olfactory game.

You can just show up; you don’t have to book a tour in advance as an individual.

After, spend time strolling through Grasse and enjoying its atmosphere.

✅ Verdon Gorge & Lavender Fields

Visit the Grand Canyon of Europe and the beautiful lavender fields in the French countryside.

You’ll see the 700m high Verdon Gorge with stunning views. You can go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, or hiking to enjoy the stunning views.

After that, I recommend visiting two quaint towns in Moustiers, Sainte Marie and Castellane.

If it’s the season, you can also explore the famous French lavender fields during this day trip. The lavender season is from mid May until mid July. So, if you really want to see them, plan your trip accordingly.

Here is the lavender field spot.

Verdon Gorge France
French lavender fields on the french riviera itinerary

Organized Excurion To Verdon Gorge & Lavender Fields

You can also join this organized excursion to see Verdon Gorge and the best lavender fields with a local guide.

✅ Catamaran Cruise

Enjoy a cruise on a catamaran alongside the French Riviera. Sunbath, jump into the sea from the boat, enjoy lunch, snacks, and a glass of wine on board.

You can also go snorkeling, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Have fun on board with your private skipper and hear interesting stories about Cannes and the Riviera from a local.

Catamaran Cruise With Activities

Book this catamaran cruise from Cannes if you want to enjoy the French Riviera from the sea, including lunch and activities.

Enjoy one of these day trips on the French Riviera. In the evening, take some time to walk on the seaside promenade and alongside the harbor in Cannes and have a good dinner.

👉 READ ALSO: Best Of South Of France Itinerary For 14 Days

6. DAY: CANNES ⇒ SAINT TROPEZ

Good morning to Cannes. I hope you had an amazing time and did one of the excursions I recommended.

In the morning, pack your bags and drive further south to Saint-Tropez, another luxury destination.

Distance Cannes ⇒ Saint-Tropez: 1 hour & 30 minutes by car (84 km/52 miles)

Saint-Tropez

Welcome to another nestle of the rich on the French Riviera. Saint-Tropez was a tiny fishing village before it gained popularity thanks to the movie Mystère à Saint-Tropez. It’s a hub for celebrities and has become a wealthy town with expensive shops and luxury yachts.

Sightseeing In Saint-Tropez

Here is what I suggest doing in St. Tropez during your visit:

🔆 St. Tropez Citadel
🔆
Museum Of Maritime History
🔆
Old Port
🔆
Beaches

One of the most exciting things in the town is its citadel on the hill. Visit it and get some of the best views of the town and its seaside promenade. It was built to protect the area from the innovations of Spanish forces.

Later in the 19th century, the citadel couldn’t keep up with the modern artillery shells. So, instead, it was converted into a naval museum. Nowadays, you can visit the Museum of Maritime History.

Other than that, just walk around and feel the atmosphere of the popular celebrity destination.

French riviera itinerary 7 days Saint Tropez
My cousine and I visiting Saint Tropez

Don’t forget to buy the famous Sandales tropéziennes, handmade sandals that celebrities used to wear. They are made from leather that resists saltwater.

Saint Tropez and its surroundings also host some of the most beautiful beaches on the French Riviera. Tomorrow, on the last day of your road trip, you’ll get the chance to visit some of them.

Where To Stay In St. Tropez: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

VILLA COSY, HOTEL & SPA
HOTEL DE PARIS SAINT TROPEZ
HOTEL BYBLOS
RESIDENCE EXCLUSIVE RESORT

7. DAY: PLAGE D’ESCALET / PLAGE DE GIGARO

Finally, take some time to relax on the beach and reflect on your itinerary. I have two of the most beautiful beaches around Saint Tropez for you.

If you are into beaches and want to spend your last day relaxing and swimming, I’ve picked up two beaches around St. Tropez.

Plage d’Escalet

Plage d’Escalet is located 22 minutes drive from Saint Tropez. There is parking at the end of the road, so leave your car there.

After, walk about 5 minutes to the beach. It’s a little hidden beach, so if you want to enjoy a bit more privacy, go for it unless there are many people.

France beaches
French Riviera: Beach

Plage de Gigaro

Plage de Gigaro is situated 25 minutes drive from Saint Tropez. It’s a bigger beach with better views of the sea and a promenade. There are also spots to have lunch.

It’s more equipped than Plage d’Escalet.

👉 READ ALSO: Medieval Castles In France To Perfect Your Itinerary

Practical Tips For Visiting The French Riviera

I’ve also got some tips for visiting to help you plan your trip to the French Riviera even further. See how many days you should spend, what budget you’ll need, and when the best time to go is.

How Many Days Do You Need To See The French Riviera?

4 – 7 days is the perfect time to spend on the French Riviera. 4 days is the minimum time to enjoy its stunning towns, beaches, and delicious food. If you want more excursions to the Provence, spend 7 days on the Riviera.

What Is The Best Month To Go To The French Riviera?

The best times to visit the French Riviera are May, June, and September.

May is great because the weather is pleasant (not too hot), and most of the events are organized this month, such as the Cannes Film Festival or the Grand Prix in Monaco. So if you want to experience them, plan your visit in May.

June is a great month to see the lavender fields in Provence, and it is still slightly less crowded than the peak summer months.

September is another great month to visit the French Riviera as it’s less crowded, prices are lower, and the weather and the sea temperatures are perfect.

French Riviera views tips for visiting

Budget For Your Trip To French Riviera

The budget for a 7-day road trip to French Riviera per person (mid-range traveler) is $1105. This is a very realistic budget for mid-range travelers who want to stay in nice hotels, rent a car and travel conveniently, enjoy the beach, and each location’s activities.

Here is a breakdown of this itinerary budget for each travel category:

Accommodation: $90 per night in a nice mid-range hotel = $630 per person
Car Rental: $220 for 6 days = $110 per person
Gas: approx. $1.5 per liter = approx. $150 for the entire trip = $75 per person
Food & Drinks: $40 per day p.p. = $280 per person
Activities & Attractions: approx $10 per person per day = $70 per person

So the total budget for a 7-day trip to the French Riviera, without restricting yourself too much and enjoying everything it offers, is $1105 per person.

Budget Breakdown For Different Traveler Styles

Here is a quick overview of the budget for every type of traveler:

➡ 7-day itinerary budget for backpackers and travelers on the budget: $550
➡ 7-day itinerary budget for mid-range travelers: $1105
➡ 7-day itinerary budget for luxury travelers: up to $3000

NOTE: This is an approximate budget based on my calculations and spending during my 7-day trip to the Riviera. The budget will vary based on every traveler’s preferences.

Is French Riviera Safe To Visist?

Yes, the French Riviera is safe to visit. There is nothing to be worried about. I didn’t even feel the danger of scams and pickpockets.

According to the Global Residence Index, Monaco is the 4th safest country in the world, and the entire French Riviera reflects it.

FAQs

I’ve also answered some frequently asked questions about the French Riviera. Check my answers below:

What Is The Best Way To Travel Along The French Riviera?

The best way to get around the French Riviera is by car or joining an organized excursion. With a car, you’ll have a lot of flexibility, can get to all the places, and don’t have to rely on public transportation.

Another great way is to book a tour with a local guide if you dislike planning or driving alone.

Where Do You Base Yourself On The French Riviera?

Nice is the best base to explore the French Riviera. The city is in the middle of the Riviera, and everything is easily accessible. It’s the biggest city on the Riviera, so all the tours and excursions are mostly organized from Nice.

Can You Get Around The French Riviera Without A Car?

Yes, you can get around the French Riviera without a car. You can take trains to the major towns or buses to the smaller towns.

The best way to get around if you don’t have a car is to join organized excursions with local guides. This way, you can just enjoy and skip the planning process.

Is There A Train In The French Riviera?

Yes, there is a train in the French Riviera. It goes through the main cities like Toulon, Antibes, Cannes, Nice, and Menton. And you can also reach Monaco by train.

WRAP-UP: French Riviera Road Trip

This is my itinerary for the French Riviera. It’ll show you its highlights, including some of the most beautiful places in Provence. If you want to avoid crowds, I recommend visiting the places in June or September. It gets calmer, and there are fewer people, yet the weather is warm, and you can swim.

It’s also a great spot to learn French in a French school, like I did. So don’t hesitate to make it your base for a few weeks. Learn French and explore the area while practicing your French skills.

If you have any questions or need help planning your trip, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

FRANCE: Interested in more articles for France?
Check out my France Travel Page:

Leave a Reply