The Sun-Soaked French Riviera: Where to Visit this Summer

The French Riviera is every bit as glamorous and exciting as you think. A visit this summer is truly a feast for the senses. Let’s explore Nice, Cannes & Antibes, home to some the best food, shopping and nightlife in the Mediterranean.

Souvenir shopping in Antibes.


The Best of Antibes

  1. The oceanside Picasso Museum in the Chateaux Grimaldi
  2. Plage du Ponteil—this beach has it all
  3. The Provençal market at the Cours Massena

Antibes is one of the most inspiring settings on the entire French Riviera. Matisse, Picasso and Renoir worked extensively in the this town, drawing great inspiration during their sojourns here.

The Picasso Museum, housed in a 12th-century seaside castle, is an excellent way to spend some free time. Beyond art, Antibes has a lively, year-round Old Town, and is a celebrity mecca and a major port of call for private yachts. Happily, this means the young crews of these vessels (known as “yachties”) give Antibes one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes on the entire Cote d’Azur. Nearly 50 daily trains connect Antibes with nearby places like Nice (13 minutes) and Monaco (25 minutes). Our favorite beaches include the Plage du Ponteil and the Old City Beach. For great local shopping, the Provençal market at the Cours Massena can’t be missed.

Beachside in Cannes.

The Best of Cannes

  1. La Croisette Beach
  2. Explore the Old Town and walk La Suquet

Since 1834, Cannes has been the favored destination of the world’s aristocracy; it grabbed the world’s imagination and never let go. It’s not just the star-studded annual Cannes Film Festival—where one lucky filmmaker each year grabs the coveted Palme d’Or award for best film—drawing attention. It’s the palm trees, luxury gardens and chic boutique shops that keep visitors’ attention year round.

Beaches abound, but if you aren’t out enjoying the sand and sun at La Croisette, some of our favorite shopping stops here are the extensive stores dedicated to local Provença products, like perfume, paper products, soap and local liqueurs. Walk the La Suquet and you’ll be overwhelmed with food and dining options. Local train connections are superb, with Antibes (11 minutes), Nice (34 minutes) and Monaco (45 minutes) close by to this seaside paradise.

The Matisse Museum in Nice.


The Best of Nice

  1. People watch on the famous promenade
  2. Grab a glass of local rosé at a restaurant on the beach
  3. Explore the Matisse Museum

The light, the warmth, the sea and the amazing elegance of Nice drew Henri Matisse here for the last 37 years of his life. Today, the Matisse Museum is one of the city’s treasures.

The world-famous flower market is a must-see, as is the equally famous Promenade des Anglaises, perhaps the most celebrated oceanfront walk in the world. Any summertime trip to Nice is complete with a promenade stroll at night, hopping from beach bar to casino all the way down the beach.




Get there with EF College Break

EF College Break offers several trips that stay on the French Rivera. For starters, check out our 25-day adventure, Highlights of Europe or our shorter Spain, France & Italy trip.