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GETAWAY: A Journey on the French Riviera

Travelling through the French Riviera is a life-changing experience. Thirty-seven towns show themselves along the 300 kilometres of littoral between Marseille and Menton.

The jaunt begins in Marseille, in the famous area of Panier, then at the brand-new MuCEM before discovering the Vieux Port and its traditional Pointus. The waterfront trip goes on along the President Kennedy coast road. Just below, the Villa Valmer, the Vallon des Auffes, famous for its Pescadou from Un de la Canebière and the Prado Beach can be seen, before the coast unveils the most beautiful landscapes it has to offer, Cassis and its immaculate white inlets.

Farther, la Ciotat, Bandol, Sanary and Six-Fours proudly display their night markets, their Provençal jousts, the Embiez archipelago and the Gaou peninsula which hosts its own pop-rock electro festival.

A brief visit to Toulon, famous for its naval base and its Rugby club, before heading to Hyères and the relaxing beach of Almanarre and its Route du Sel until the Giens peninsula, which leads to the Porquerolles island and its silver coastline or to the National Park of Port-Cros and the island of Levant.

The golden beaches of Lavandou are not far from Bormes-les-Mimosas. Here, the Fort de Brégançon overlooks the sea. The former presidential residence has been revealed to the public only recently. Struck by luxury and delight wishes, it is time to give in to the call of Saint-Tropez, the Gendarmes’ city and celebrities rallying point, and of Port Grimaud, the Provencal Venice.

Next, the epic to Italy follows the Corniche d’Or between Sainte-Maxime and Fréjus, before reaching Cannes, la Croisette and its International Film Festival. Heading for Antibes and Juan-les-Pins to explore the Sentier du Littoral, the Picasso Museum, the Port Vauban…

The Baie des Anges guides to the next big city on the map of this sunny journey: Nice. The Promenade des Anglais leads to the visitor in the old Nice, the park of the Colline du Château and toward the port and its seafood specialities.

The Principality of Monaco hides just behind the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula. The visit includes the Monaco Oceanographic Museum, a walk on the Rochet and the changing of the Guard of the Principality, every day before noon. The Monte-Carlo Casino could pleasantly end this Monegasque day.

Finally, the high point of the trip is located in Menton. A few kilometres from the Italian border, this small village became famous for the Lemon Festival. With its richly decorated town centre and an outstanding view of the port and the sea, the journey ends here in an explosion of Provencal colours.

Translated by S. Muller – (July 2014).

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