The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), strictly called, was the coast between Menton and Cannes, but today the entire part of the French coast located along the Mediterranean Sea, between the city of Marseille and the Italian border, is considered the French Riviera. Therefore, today practically the entire coast of Provence is considered Côte d’Azur, with the exception of the mouth of the Rhône, i.e. the so-called Camargue.
The French Riviera is made up of a jagged coastal strip and is dominated by mountain massifs that protect it from the cold north winds, and make its climate unique. The Côte d’Azur is one of the most important tourist areas in France, blessed with a mild climate even in winter and never too hot during the summer, it is renowned for the beauty of its landscapes, its sea and its beaches.
Starting from the border with Italy, the first stretch of the coast between Menton and Nice, and which also includes the small Principality of Monaco, is made up of high coastline which falls into the sea and which forms picturesque inlets and capes such as Cap-Ferrat and the Cap-Martin.
Starting from Nice, towards the west, the coast is low and full of beaches, but becomes high again at the Cap-d’Antibes, to lower again with sandy coasts up to Cannes. Beyond Cannes, the mountains of the Esterel massif rise close to the coast, with their characteristic red rocks.
At Saint-Raphaël and Fréjus the coastline becomes low again, and then rises again when it meets the Maures mountain massif. At this point the coast is very jagged and full of inlets, in this part of the coast there are renowned seaside resorts such as Sainte Maxime and Saint-Tropez, in front of the coast are the islands of the Îles d’Hyères archipelago (Porquerolles, Port- Cros, Île du Levant and Île de Bagaud).
From Hyères to Marseille the coast is a succession of bays and inlets, including the large bay where Toulon is located. Between Cassis and Marseille there is a stretch of wild and picturesque coast, that of the Calanques.
The Côte d’Azur is one of the main tourist destinations in France thanks to its seaside resorts, the pleasant climate and its natural landscapes.