Beach Hopping on the French Riviera, Episode 468

Categories: Family Travel, Provence

Jessica Osborne, accompanied by her five-year-old daughter and husband, embarked on a month-long trip to the French Riviera from Arizona, primarily to escape the intense summer heat. In a podcast episode with Annie Sargent, Jessica detailed this journey, emphasizing the logistical aspects and experiences encountered during their stay.

Beach Hopping on the French Riviera

The travel itinerary included a train ride from Florence to Nice, notable for its efficiency and minimal stops, characteristic of European train services. In Nice, their accommodation was strategically located close to the beach, train station, and Rue de France, a pedestrian zone with various cafes and shops. This location served as a base for daily excursions to different towns and beaches along the Riviera, beginning with Cannes.

Enjoying Cannes

In Cannes, they visited the Carlton Beach Club, where Jessica highlighted the available amenities, including lounge chairs and food service. They also attended the Festival Pyrotechnic in Cannes, a fireworks event synchronized with music.

Visiting Antibes

While in Antibes, a town 25 minutes from Nice, they observed its distinct Provençal charm, stone architecture, and a daily market. The family spent time at a local beach below the ramparts, characterized by its gravelly sand and ideal for swimming rather than beach activities. Jessica also explored historical aspects of the town, including connections to Napoleon Bonaparte and visiting the Picasso Museum.

Staying in Nice with a Child

In the segment about Nice, Jessica described the city as walkable and family-friendly, with notable Art Deco architecture. A significant activity was hiking up to Castle Hill Park, offering panoramic city views. The family engaged in evening activities in the old town and enjoyed local gelato.

Villefranche, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Menton

In Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small fishing village accessible by a six-minute train ride from Nice, the family visited a popular public beach. Jessica noted a medieval tunnel in the village used historically for storage. They also explored Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, likening the former to a smaller version of Monaco and visiting the Villa Rothschild for its gardens.

Things to Know About Monaco

Menton, near the Italian border, was their final destination, known for its shallow water and picturesque views. They discussed the Fête du Citron, a local citrus festival, and a pirate ship-themed playground which was particularly enjoyable for Jessica's daughter.

Regarding Monaco, Jessica expressed that it did not embody the essence of the Riviera, describing it as a densely built-up area with high-rises and a challenging terrain for walking. She recommended a brief visit rather than an extended stay.

Tips for Families

For families planning similar trips, Jessica advised packing essentials like water shoes and sunscreen, and purchasing sunscreen locally in France. She found the food options in the region to be family-friendly, with plenty of cafes offering Italian-influenced cuisine.

In conclusion, Jessica characterized the vacation as cost-effective, attributing this to their choice of accommodation and utilization of public beaches. She recommended the Riviera as a family-friendly destination, particularly outside the peak tourist season. The podcast episode concluded with a discussion about the challenges of air travel and Jessica's appreciation for the insights gained from the podcast.

More episodes about Provence and the Riviera

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Discussed in this Episode

  • Cannes
  • Antibes
  • Nice
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • Beaulieu-sur-Mer
  • Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
  • Menton
  • Monaco
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Jessica's husband and his daughter, Beach Hopping on the French Riviera episode
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Categories: Family Travel, Provence