Best Lively beaches
1. Juan Les Pins, near Antibes
Best deep sandy beach in the Alpes Maritimes, close to Nice, with lots bars and clubs in town.
2. Pampelonne, Ramatuelle near St Tropez
Longest sandy beach, 5km with dozens chic restaurants and clubs. The best is to get here by boat to avoid traffic on the St Tropez road.
3. Plage Notre Dame on the island of Porquerolle in the Var
Voted best beach in Europe 2 years ago, ahead of beaches in Greece and Croatia ! Crystal clear water, and no need to fly as far as the Maldives or Mauritius.
4. Plage de l'estagnol, near Fort Bregancon in the Var
Superb friendly bay, in an unspoilt coastline and surounded with Pine trees for shade.
Best Sea outings
5. Gulf of St Tropez from the port of Ste Maxime
Navigate to Port Grimaud, "the Provencal Venice", watch the spectacle of glamorous yachts or anchor off the bay of Canoubiers near St Tropez for a swim, all this with the best local guide.
6. Island of Lerins from the old habour of Cannes
Head out between the 2 islands of Ste Marguerite and St Honorat, and swim ashore to discover little inlets and the preserved natural enviroment. You can also see the fort where the man with iron mask was kept, and on the furthest island, the abbey of Lerins.
7. Croisette in Cannes
Glamorous hotels that have survived since the Belle Epoque era line the Croisette along with palm trees and beach restaurants, where you can relax and sip Mojitos.
8. St Tropez or Ste Maxime ?
Two villages and two styles opposite the bay from each other: for night life and fun St Tropez is the place to be, but the old town in Ste Maxime full of restaurants and free concerts buzzes with life every evening.
Open top car excursions
The spectacular mountain route between Nice and Monaco, filmed by Hitchcocks in "To catch a thief" with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, has plunging views overlooking the sea.
Best time to follow the coastal route between Cannes and St Raphael is at sunset, as the Esterel mountains turn red, with an open top car and your favorite music.