France
cote d'azur

"The Cote d'Azur is made up of the towns of St.Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monaco", a person answered to my question what the Cote means to him. This is a very reduced view that does not do justice to the rest of the rest of the region. Whether you visit Villefranche sur Mer with its mediaeval town centre and churches, whether you stroll around the Rue Obscure and look over the fishermen´s shoulder while they are mending their nets, or whether you travel through the various exclusive residential districts near Cap Ferrat or Cap d'Antibes, you will be surprised by the wealth of luxury to be found outside the tourist centres. A journey from Menton, which beautifully nestles up at a hill, to San is an unforgettable experience.

This is where you are glaringly reminded of the difference between the Italian and the French Riviera. As you cross the border you will notice that on the one hand the hills are not as densely blocked with buildings, but that the houses and properties are not tended as well either. If you are then on your way back to Nice on one of the three coastal roads you are almost obliged to visit Eze. The town sits on the rock like a cap on a bottle, and it is great fun to stroll through the lanes, if the masses of tourists allow you to do so. Travelling further in the direction of Nice, there is La Turbie with its monumental Roman ruin. But resting here is worth its while because from nowhere else you have a better view of Monaco. From Roquebrune, another mediaeval town, you have a beautiful view over Monaco, too.

Up to now we have introduced only the eastern Cote. Bear in mind, though that the actual French Riviera exceeds almost up to Marseille. The Maures and Esterel mountain ranges are also still hiding many discoverable treasures.