Destination: French Riviera
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Essence of the French Riviera

Why does the Riviera remain so popular with connoisseurs of the good things in life, and those who could afford to live and holiday anywhere in the world? Some come for the exceptionally mild winters or the grandeur of the rugged coast. Others favour the art treasures, the ancient ruins and the sleepy villages. Many more come simply for the glamour of the seaside resorts. The charms of the Riviera are so varied that most visitors are at a loss to know where to start. First-time visitors soon fall under the region's spell while those who already know it remain enchanted, returning year after year.

The 10 Essentials

If you have only a short time to visit the Riviera, or would like to get a really complete picture of the region, here are the essentials:

Bask in the sun on one of the Riviera's sandy beaches, or relax under the shade of a classic striped parasol.

Visit the cours Saleya market in Nice, and treat yourself to a picnic of goat's cheese, tomatoes, olives and local wine.

Promenade the waterfront at St-Tropez in your finery, admiring its ostentatious yachts and gin palaces (…and don't forget your trendy sunglasses!).

Visit some of France's finest modern art galleries: Fondation Maeght, Musée Matisse, Musée Picasso, Musée Renoir, Musée de l'Annonciade.

Dine in one of Mougins' world-class restaurants, and marvel at the enticing tastes, fragrances and colours of Provençal cuisine.

Try a little gambling at the world-famous Casino de Monte-Carlo.

Join the laid-back locals in a game of boules - this ancient game originated here and, although now played throughout the world, the most fiercely contested games still take place in the shady village squares of the French Riviera.

Spot the rich and famous at the Cannes Film Festival, the glitziest, most glamorous event on the Côte d'Azur.

Escape the frenetic coastal resorts and explore the sleepy surrounding countryside, dotted with villages perchés.

Create your very own scent at one of Grasse's many perfumeries.

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