The French Riviera - DuVine Apres Veloby Bike tour guru
I was born and raised in Casablanca and I remember traveling around France a lot in my early years. Eventually, I landed up in the South of France precisely in the region known as PACA Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, where I went to College in Sophia-Antipolis to study Law and Management. This is where I fell in love with the Riviera; it was love at first sight.
Here is a quick résumé on how to enjoy the French Riviera as a part of our DuVine Apres Velo destinations. La Côte d'Azur goes from the Hyeres' palm groves to the 'Pearl of France' the city of Menton. Better known as the French Riviera amongst English speakers, this place represents one of the most beautiful regions in France to me, scattered with palm trees and sandy beaches. It is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountain range of the Maritime Alps.
Menton, the 'Pearl of France': Situated along the Italian border, winter never comes to the city of lemons thanks to its micro-climate. Known for its gardens and architecture, it is an important part of the enchanting Riviera located on the edge of the county of Nice, the Principality of Monaco and the Italian Riviera. The Basilica of Saint-Michel is a treasure of Baroque art. Every year in August it becomes the stage for the festival of classical music of Menton. The pedestrian street is a must-see and prides itself on its municipal market which displays the colors and flavors of Midi, South of France.
Nice and la Baie des Anges: Painters, writers and musicians have always been fascinated by the Côte d'Azur. This captivation is reflected in an astonishing number of art galleries which has contributed to the fame of the city of Nice - like the Musée Matisse located in Villa des Arènes, Here we are in the cradle of Côte d'Azur tourism. The area was first chosen for its warm winter by Englishmen, who were then followed by Russians and Americans. They were able to grow an elegant and luxurious lifestyle in the region.
Antibes-Juan les Pins: Here the pines are green and stand in harmony with the azure blue of the Mediterranean and the sky. Situated between Nice and Cannes, this resort was popular among such famous people as Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Frank Jay Gould who contributed to its international reputation. For the last 50 years the city has been welcoming the festival 'Jazz Juan' paying tribute to the great Sidney Bechet. A promenade runs alongside the old town from the Musée Picasso to the fortifications of port Vauban. It offers a magnificent view on the Baie des Anges. It is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Riviera. The weather is so perfect that one can even manage to perceive the rocher of Monaco.
Porquerolles: The island of Porquerolles is part of the archipelago of Hyères composed of 4 islands d'Or. This unique island is named after the humble village of Porquerolles. The landscape offers hiking trails and VTT -vélo tout terrain- for all abilities. Its climate gives a charm to every season. Three vineyards there enjoy an excellent reputation. Here you can find one of the best wines in the region and the first to get the appellation Côte de Provence.
This is only an overview of my favorite places of the Côte d'Azur. This French region abounds with magnificent spots and little secret marvels, which are for you to discover either before or after a bike tour in France.