Cruising to the French Riviera

St Paul de Vence, French Riviera

St Paul de Vence

 

Ever since I was a child I can remember the French Riviera as being synonymous with luxury and glamor. It was the place where royalty and movie stars went to vacation. It was also the location for numerous films including Hitchcock’s “To Catch A Thief” and several James Bond movies.

 

It wasn’t until I first went there that I realized why this place attracts people who could go anywhere in the world. It is simply a beautiful combination of sea, mountains and charming looking towns. The light is soft, not too harsh. The weather is mild, not too hot and not too cold. A really nice combination.

 

Since it is on the sea, the French Riviera is a good cruise destination. There is no single large port. Rather, the ships now call at several different ports along the Cote d”Azur.

 

From any one of these ports, it is not difficult to explore the attractions of the area.

 

Nice is known as the capital of the French Riviera. It is the largest city. However, it is a pretty town with lots of Belle Epoch architecture from the days when it was the place where European royalty and aristocrats came to spend the winter. And there is its long seaside promenade, Promenade des Anglasis, where everyone goes for some relaxation by the sea. Our photo briefing about Nice is at

http://www.beyondships3.com/nice.html

 

Monaco may be the world’s second smallest country but it is one of the richest per capita. Set by the sea at the base of sheer cliffs, not surprisingly, it looks like all urban centers would like to look. And since it is so compact, it is easy to get around and see the sights and visit the luxury hotels and shops. Our page about Monaco is at http://www.beyondships3.com/monaco.html

 

Not all th attractions of the French Riviera are in big cities. St Paul de Vence is a walled-village perched a top a hill. It looks much the way it has looked for centuries i.e. the way it looks in the paintings done by various masters over the years. The village does attract a lot of tourists but it is still possible to walk its narrow Medieval streets and be entirely charmed. Our photo briefing on St. Paul de Vence is at http://www.beyondships3.com/st-paul-de-vence.html

 

One of the most frequented ports on the Riviera is a small town that does not even have a dock where modern cruise ships can dock. Instead, passengers tender into town from the ships anchored in the bay. But it is a beautiful bay. And the town itself has a small town charm that makes it attractive to wander. Our photo page on cruise port Ville Franche is at http://www.beyondships3.com/cruise-port-villefranche.html

 

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