Think of the French Riviera – even the name is romantic – and you think Love, with a capital L (and a French accent). It’s the seaside playground of the country of amour, how can it not be romantic? So in the name of lurrve I thought I’d put together a little list of some of the things to do and places to go to enjoy romance here in this gorgeous part of France. Here are six romantic things to do on the French Riviera.
Explore ancient hill villages
Whether you prefer to wander the tiny twisting alleys of a deserted hill village or browse the art galleries of one of the more populated places, the hill villages of the Alpes-Maritimes are made for romance. Clinging perilously to cliff tops and fortified to keep attackers at bay, these medieval villages are labyrinths of narrow lanes perfect for exploring and getting lost in. Just when you feel completely disorientated in the dark alleys, catching glimpses into tiny courtyards through low doors you stumble across a dazzling vista – a view over the Mediterranean sea or the southern Alps that takes your breath away. These villages perchés are almost all car-free, silent and magnificently located. My favourites? Gourdon (for its location/views), St Paul de Vence (for its galleries and beautiful renovations), Châteauneuf de Grasse (for its hidden-ness) and Saorge (for its authentic state and lack of any tourist trappings). Read about the 13 best here.
Create your own perfume
What could be more romantic than creating a scent for you or that special person in your life, in the world capital of perfume, the city of Grasse? Guided by experts, you can find your own personal fragrance, a scent that is exclusively yours that distinguishes you from the crowds. You create your very own signature brand using smells and scents that remind you of fond memories, that seduce you and your lover. This magical experience can be had at three of the most well-known perfumeries in Grasse – Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard.
Visit the flower market in Nice
Take a stroll through the famous flower market in Cours Saleya in the heart of old Nice. Shaded by pretty stripy awnings the stalls explode around you in a riot of colour and perfume, for the flower market offers up fruit, vegetables, spices, olives, oils and soaps as well as cut flowers and plants. With the brightly painted buildings surrounding the square and the scent of hundreds of different blooms filling the air it really is an assault on the senses in the very best way. The market is open every day except Monday and mornings are best as most stalls pack up at lunchtime to make way for restaurants.
Watch the sun go down over the Bay of Angels on the romantic French Riviera
There are any number of romantic places to watch the sunset on the Côte d’Azur, but one of my favourites has to be from the Castle Hill in Nice, looking out over the sweeping Baie des Anges. From here you can see the whole of Nice, with the old town just below, the hills of Cimiez to the right, across to the airport and beyond. Other good spots can be found on any of the beaches along the coast and of course from hilltop lookouts such as Gourdon and St Paul de Vence.
Sip cocktails on a roof terrace restaurant
So your budget doesn’t run to staying in one of the luxury hotels on the seafront in Nice, Cannes or the Cap d’Antibes (and why would you want to when you can stay at Lou Messugo!) but an apéritif on a rooftop bar is a must for lovers. Enjoy the uninterrupted view of the beach and horizon from high above, away from the crowds and city noise.
Laze the day away on a luxury beach bed
…a double bed! Luxuriate in your own private nest right on the beach, indulging in waiter service for snacks and drinks. While this doesn’t come cheap, it’s an intimate, romantic and unusual way to spend the day on the beach. Available for hire in Nice. Other options include regular sunbeds with parasols and lunch included, or just the sun-lounger; on most beaches along the Côte d’Azur. Prices vary from beach to beach, with Cannes and Juan les Pins the dearest. The season for sunbeds runs from approximately late April to early October, but throughout the year the beach is always a romantic place to stroll, play and spend time with your chéri(e). Find out more about private beaches here.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s far far from definitive. There are so many more romantic things to do on the Côte d’Azur, I could never write about them all. But I’d love to hear from you. Have you been to the French Riviera with your love? Where is the most romantic place you’ve been?
Want more romance? Find out how romantic France celebrates Valentine’s Day
Why not Pin this for later
Photo credits: thanks to Liz Denfeld who took the following photos while staying at Lou Messugo: the sunset over the Bay of Angels, the beach bed, the prawn cocktail and the couple on the beach.
A lovely post! Enjoyed reading about all the romantic things you could do in the French Riviera! The picture of the Flower market in Nice looks inviting!! 🙂
I hope you do come back Lyn and we get to meet one day.
What a great list of romantic things to do. We really enjoyed our time in the lovely, picturesque towns along the Cote d’Azur and look forward to returning.
Perfect timing for Valentine’s Day! Thanks for sharing such a romantic destination.
Thanks for pinning (and your enthusiasm) Lolo!
I’m glad to hear you had a romantic time in this area Erin.
Isn’t it tempting?!
Me too Katy, the hill villages are such a great feature of this area.
Kids love the perfume museum in Grasse so it doesn’t surprise me to hear your boys would like the perfume workshop.
Fantastic list of romantic things to do on the Côte d’Azur, Phoebe. I do like the idea of creating your own perfume – romance aside, but I think it’s something my sons would have fun doing! Visiting again from #farawayfiles
This is everything I love about France..especially the hilltop villages and markets. J’adore! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
Lovely post..I really need a vaca away from the kids 😉 The luxury beach bed is calling my name. #farawayfiles
Ooh la la! I has been a LONG time since I have spent time in Nice and even though we had very little dough, I do remember it being very romantic. A lovely post and perfectly timed pre-Valentine’s Day! #FarawayFiles
Capital LLLL LOVE this! I love the idea of making my own perfume and everything else on this list!!!! PINNED! #FarawayFiles
Then what are you waiting for Clare?!!
It’s definitely time for another visit Trish! There’s so much to do here.
You can’t beat cocktails and lazing around for classic romance 🙂
I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying my blog Kim. In terms of which perfume to recommend, I think they’re all much of a muchness and you may find it comes down to price or timing. I’d look into all 3. Fragonard is my favourite brand of the 3 but it started its perfume workshops after the other 2 and therefore may not be as established. Honestly I think you’ll love any of them.
I’m slowly working my way through your posts as we prepare to stay with you in September (only 7 months now!!) We are so excited and your blogs are a brilliant way of getting ideas about what we’d like to do. It may be touristy, but Ella and I quite like the idea of designing our own signature scent (very Hollywood, non?) – which of the three – Fragonard / Molinard / Galimard – would you recommend? A bientot!
Oooh I feel all lovey now! Creating your own perfume sounds such fun! Although with my hubby’s sense of humour, that could rapidly descend into chaos :: Cocktails and lazing around sound like my thing! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes
Some excellent ideas here, Phoebe. I feel inspired to return!
So true! #monday escapes
We had a fabulous holiday in Nice several years ago and can vouch for that view from Castle Hill.
I’m tempted by some of the little hill-top towns though – another visit I think, is on the cards/
Hi Manisha, thanks for stopping by my blog. At this time of year not all beaches will have all their equipment out so I can’t say exactly which ones will have beds, but if you walk along the length of the Nice bay (baie des Anges) you’ll certainly find one. You also don’t need to book at this time of year. I hope you have a lovely honeymoon, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for good weather for you.
This is a great list- we will be coming through Nice on our honeymoon next week, and I am already excited about the flower market! Any recommendations about which beaches actually have a luxury double bed rental as pictured? I was looking around on easybeachbooking.com and nothing really popped out so far. I think it would be an amazing surprise for my husband, who is usually the planner!
We’re open all year Tina, you’re welcome anytime!
Awesome pictures.. I wish I could visit the place one day…
Great ideas for couples 🙂 Love the photos! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!
Thanks Frank; you’re welcome anytime.
Excellent Samantha! Can’t get more romantic than a honeymoon.
Oooh you need to work on your BF. How can he NOT like France?!!
Thanks Bee! 🙂
Great tips, Phoebe! But would always prefer staying at your place, away from the hustle and bustle :). Those hill villages look stunning!
I think I just found my honeymoon destination… I’ll gladly take that bed on the beach please!
Oh how romantic! My BF doesn’t like France which is ridiculous. I adore the country and I don’t understand his dislike. Maybe if we go do these things he’ll be converted.
Beautiful place and great pictures. I would love to just chill out on the beach beds
You can still take the odd trip without your kid, you certainly don’t have to wait 20 years!!
Lol Jess! There’s plenty to do without being in a couple too!
Hey Syd, it sure isn’t private, it’s instead of a beach lounger, out with everybody, just more luxurious as a couple can be together. :p
I’ve never been, but I would love to! Of course, for a romantic couple’s getaway I’d have to not be single first. 😀
Lovely photos! But that bed doesn’t look that private to me…lol
Ohhhh so romantic. Not sure much of that will happen now we travel with a toddler in tow. Maybe in another 20 years? Thanks loads for linking up with us for #SundayTraveler again!
Toddlers and babies have a certain tendency to ruin romance for sure!
Yes! Sign me up for all of these please! With a toddler and a baby the best we managed for V-Day was going out for lunch with all of us (which seemed like a Herculean effort in itself) but these all look amazing and I want to do all of them! Great post 🙂
Thaks for your kind words 🙂
I can’t wait Delia!
I’m glad you could feel it Susan, because it’s true, I really do love this area.
My pleasure Sue
What a great thing to do with your kids. Next time you can add the romance!
My pleasure Missy
Glad to help!!
Yes you’re right, I do enjoy living here!
Thanks Clara. The Camargue is lovely and only a couple of hours from Lou Messugo. Think about staying with us when you come to visit Nice!
How great that you’re hosting a French student, I’m sure you’ll show him/her a fabulous time in your home area.
I’m sure you’ll get to travel at some stage Nicole, in the meantime keep popping back for fixes of France!!
Thanks for sharing your experiences; openair markets are such an integral part of France and I love them too.
It’s not that warm here now but we do get a LOT of sunshine and usually not too much rain (and very little snow).
Oh my that does look romantic. Your pictures are stunning. Thanks for linking up at the ShareYourBest linkup.
I love these ideas, Phoebe! So romantic, I know I’ll come visit one day 🙂
Ooh, I was fine until I got to the beach bed. That looks like such a heavenly retreat. Thank you for the beautiful descriptions and luscious photos. Your love for this area comes through.
I truly love this, so romantic, and my heart is yearning now, as it often does, to be in the south of France!
Thanks for the article, and the pix!
Love and light,
Yes I have been to the French Riviera but not with my DH who we left behind working (earning the $ to pay for our trip – bless) but with the kids. We were all (moi aussi) at a French language school for a two week intensive. It was wonderful! I loved your photos, it brought back some fun memories!
Must go back sometime and see all the romantic things you can do…!! 🙂
I would love to travel here! Its so beautiful! I love to travel, see the sights, & experience other cultures. Thanks for sharing your suggestions 🙂
Oh my goodness…I’m there! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful adventure! I sure did need a trip away from the snow that keeps on falling here in New York State. Aloha!
I would love to make my own perfume that sounds like so much fun and those flowers are to die for. I would enjoy visiting a place like that and it looks like you are enjoying it as well.
My Last trip in France was in Camargue…amazing! I really would like to visit the flower market in Nice, is not far from my town so I think I will go soon. Thanks for this lovely post! Vive la France!
WOW, I have never been to France, but it looks beautiful! I would go for the bed on the beach and maybe making my own perfume. We are hosting an exchange student from France for two weeks…I can’t wait! 🙂
France looks beautiful. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never had the chance to leave the USA. I’ve never even been to Canada. I hope to remedy this situation because I know there’s a heck of a lot more to know about the world than what happens here in the US.
Your photos are beautiful and they make me want to head to the airport right away. I love the open air markets. I used to visit the ones in Amsterdam when I was much younger. The atmosphere is energetic and so much fun. Looking at the flower market, I can invision the scent as well. I’, stopping by from the SITS group. I’m looking forward to more stories and photos.
Yes Please!!!! Can I go there now! so over this snow crap, give me some warm weather & vacation! Those pictures are beautiful as well. So jealous right now.
Thanks for your kind words Nicki, do visit soon!
Pleasure Sharyn! 🙂
Yes it was a gorgeous day today and I agree with you about the rampant commercialisation of Valentine’s Day which is why I tried to chose things that are romantic at any time of year. Thanks for commenting Tara, it’s good to have a new reader locally! 🙂
Visiting from SITS Girls. The photos are gorgeous. Just bumped this area up on my list of places to visit.
Ah, a Valentine’s Day daydream…thank you!
Fabulous ideas and tips for things to do right on our doorstep…thank you!
I normally find the concept so commercial and suddenly dinner out or a bunch of flowers is twice the price! But of course a walk on the beach can be ever so romantic – any time of the year… And aren’t we lucky that the weather is so good today! Enjoy, happy valentine’s to all 🙂
You and me both!
Thanks Yonca! You too!
awwww I want to go on vacation now!
Stopping by from Blog Commenting weekend. Beautiful pics! Yes to all of them. Especially watching sunset 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day, Phoebe!
Perfect! Thank you! 😮
Visiting the French Riviera on Valentine’s Day is perfect! And these 10 romantic things to do is.. well, this would be redundant, but it’s perfect! Did I say perfect? Happy Valentine’s Day!
The hill villages around here are absolutely stunning and one of my favourite things about this area. I’m glad you liked that photo.
I’m so glad you enjoyed your mini-vacation!
Lol! 😀 😀
I love markets too, you get a real feel for a place from its market. Thanks fo rstopping by Michelle
Thank you Raven
You don’t actually have to go to sleep Rachee, just lounge around on it like a sun lounger! I hope you get to France one day.
I’m so pleased you enjoyed your virtual trip Regina
I agree totally Randa! It is a very romantic place. Choosing just 6 things was pretty hard.
Thanks for your positive comment Becka 🙂
I feel so sorry for all those suffering under snow (USA) and water (UK) at the moment. We’ve also just experienced the wettest January on record but it hasn’t been cold. The sun is just so vital I agree.
Yes, thanks to SITS for bringing you to me!
I’m so pleased this has been of use to you Raquel, do take a good look around my blog particularly “local interest”, “day trips” and “walks” for ideas about things to do in this area. I hope you have a great trip.
Thank for stopping by. 🙂
Wow. All of the photos are great but I really love the first one. It’s just not something that I am used to seeing around here and it’s gorgeous. I may have to add France to my bucket list
I feel like I got to take a mini-vacation tonight, thank you! I love France but have only been to Marseilles, and it was beautiful and such a difference for me (from the States). One day I’d love to return!
Well that would be a perfectly acceptable way to spend a few days. 🙂
I have never been there but your pictures are amazing – they really draw you in! If I find an outdoor market any place I am visiting, I enjoy going through it. I love to see new places….I wish I was able to travel more.
Looking at those pictures made me realize more than ever i need a vacation!! I love the idea of being able to make your perfume. What a lovely post.
What gorgeous pictures! I don’t know that I would be totally comfortable sleeping in a bed outdoors but you only live once! I haven’t been to France either but this makes me want to go.
Oh my….now I have never been to France and probably never will BUT I do feel as though I have been with this lovely post. Thank you for sharing!!
Happy SITS Comment Love Thursday!!!
What a stunning photo. I don’t think there isn’t much that isn’t romantic about the F.R 🙂
Beautiful pictures and great ideas. All that nice warm sunny skies, I love it! #SITSBlogging
Oh, it looks so nice. I would just love to visit France. Maybe some, small amount of the French I took in high school would come back to me. I’ll be honest though, the best thing about those photos is all the sunshine! We are under a foot of snow and counting right now!!
Visiting from #SITSblogging challenge. Have a great day!!
Beautiful photos & such nice ideas. Aw Nice!
Beautiful photos & such nice ideas. Aw Nice!
Oh this is so perfect. I have been twice for a couple of days and we are going again this May! I am pinning this because we are trying to draft an itinerary. So happy to have found you and totally following your blog. Found you via SITS.
Lucky for me, this is my home! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Thanks for your input Kim & Chloe. Monaco is forever linked to the fairytale romance and tragedy of Hollywood star turned Princess, Grace Kelly, so yes, for many Monaco is very romantic.
Thanks for stopping by Pam! Happy you found me.
It looks really lovely. I prefer my romance closer at home though!
This makes us wish we were there right now! Lovely photos.
What wonderful suggestions. I especially like the idea of drinks on the rooftop even if you’re not staying in a hotel on the beach. It’s been so long since I’ve been there, but the museums and food are fabulous! And since Monaco is a hop, skip and jump away, I’d suggest also visiting the casino area. If not for gambling! then for people watching!
xo ~kim & chloe @ popcosmo.com
Yes! To everything you described. I really need to get away. 🙂 Great Blog! Found you via SITSGirls 🙂
Hi Rene, your comment about the torture on the bed made me laugh! I fully sympathise. In fact one of the reasons I had to use photos from blogger Liz is that all my own photos contain children which just isn’t romantic!!! Thaks for popping by, I’ll be sure to get back to your blog too.
Hello. Coming from SITS Girls Comment Love Tribe and sharing some Aussie love! I adore your blog and this post. I have paid a visit to the Côte d’Azur. I was a backpacker though so this was a better style of travelling. Stunning pics. Makes me want to be there right now. Though spending a day on a sunbed with two kidlets is some sort of torture rather than romance. xo