A sea of deepest blue - Côte d'Azur

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Cannes - living and breathing luxury

Think of Cannes, and many people will think first of the famous film festival. Every May the movie world descends on the Boulevard de la Croisette, which is also host to all the major luxury hotels. The construction of the beachside strip in 1868 marked the beginning of the former fishing village’s transformation in one of European aristocracy’s favorite haunts.

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Cassis and the Calanques

The Côte d'Azur - named after the deep blue color of its sea - is part of France’s Mediterranean coast. It stretches from Cassis in the West to Menton in the East. The fishing port of Cassis has a pretty spectacular back garden - the Calanques National Park, with its fjord-like inlets framed by towering jagged cliffs. You can also take a boat trip there from Cassis.

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It's getting there that's the good part

Those setting out along the coastal road can look forward to around 250 kilometers of stunning rock formations and sandy beaches between Cassis and Menton. You can enjoy a dip in one of the countless little bays, or immerse yourself in French joie de vivre in local towns and villages. A typical example is here in Le Lavandou - where former French First Lady Carla Bruni happens to own a house.

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The magic of Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez beach was the backdrop for a legendary scene in "And God Created Woman". The 1955 movie was the launching pad for Brigitte Bardot’s career, and also for Saint Tropez’s rapid evolution from a sleepy small town to a hang-out for the international jet set. In the summer the place bursts at the seams - with celebrities, their fans, and vacationing sun-worshippers.

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Worth dropping anchor - Saint-Raphaël

The hugely varied coast with its fairytale coves is also a popular destination among watersports enthusiasts. You can only see the entire Côte d'Azur from a distance, i.e. out at sea. If you fancy that spectacle, you can book a day trip starting in one of the ports. That said: the harbors and marinas by the Côte d'Azur are themselves a feast for the eyes. This one here belongs to Saint-Raphaël.

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Antibes - Viva Picasso!

In 1946, Pablo Picasso spent three months in an old, run-down château in Antibes. The Spanish artist turned out a range of works in that period - paintings, sketches, tapestries and ceramics - that he would later donate to the city. They formed the basis for a museum opened in the château in 1966. Visitors can appreciate who and what were the chief inspirations for the pioneering painter.

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Nice – beautiful beachfront

The 5-kilometer-long beach and the Promenade des Anglais that runs along it are the chief landmark of Nice. It was built in the 19th century for wealthy winter vacationers from Britain - hence the name. For a fantastic view of the old town of Nice together with beach and promenade, try the Colline du Château observation point.

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Curves ahead! - the Corniche

Roads that run along and around cliffs are called “corniches” - and the Corniche d'Or between Fréjus and Mandelieu is considered one of the most beautiful routes in the whole Côte d'Azur. It is named after the golden color of the cliffs in the sunlight. But beware: the captivating views cause a lot of drivers to suddenly slam on the brakes.

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Playground for the fast and furious - Monaco

What sits pretty on the French Riviera but is at the same time an independent entity? Monaco, the glamorous city-state between Nice and Menton, is the second smallest country on the planet. It is also a stop on the annual Formula One calendar. The Monaco Grand Prix sees regular city streets temporarily converted into a devilishly challenging racetrack.

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The finale - Menton

Menton has a high proportion of French and Italian holidaymakers. A world away from the hustle and bustle of Cannes or Nice, Menton is authentic and distinctly down-beat. In the winter the picturesque town is the warmest place on the Côte d'Azur. Citrus fruits flourish particularly well in these climes - which is celebrated every February with a Lemon Festival.

The sea, the sky and the golden sands in between. Secluded coves, hidden beaches, and gorgeous little towns. The Côte d'Azur or French Riviera has all you need for a perfect vacation.