French Riviera

French Riviera Must-Dos from an Alumnus

January 02, 2019
by Jonathan DeMarco
provence jonathan

Here is a short list of some of my suggestions of things to do while in the French Riviera! I studied here in the spring of 2018, and the following were some of my favorite activities. Explore all of Antibes and everything it has to offer while you are there, as it will be your home while you're abroad!

Within Antibes:

  • Le Marché Provençal: This is a must. The local produce is unmatched. Make sure to find the vendors selling Socca, Macarons, and some authentic Provençal herbs and cheeses.
  • Watch a sunset (or many) by the Nomad in the Port d’Antibes.
  • Spend as much time on La Gravette Beach as you can!
  • You can actually rent boats from the port that include a driver. They will take you around wherever you’d like to go. We got a big group of friends to split the cost, and rode around Cannes and St. Marguerite Island.
  • The Hop Store is the best hangout at night.
  • Check out Da Cito Pizza located next to the Market.
  • Go to the Absinthe Bar for a cool atmosphere and live music.
  • Try the take-out restaurant, falafel, located by the Market. You could guess what their specialty is.
  • If you are vegan or vegetarian like me and feel overwhelmed by the seemingly lacking options, check out Graze! It is a great vegetarian restaurant run by a very friendly woman from California.
  • Eat everything in Paul bakery.
  • Choopy’s has great cupcakes and some gluten-free options.
  • Lastly, I challenge you, as the weather gets warmer, to try every gelato option in Antibes and pick the best.

Within the Riviera:

  • Cap d’Antibes: I cannot recommend this enough. You can get to the entry on foot (about a 45-minute walk from Antibes) or a cheap Uber or bus ride. Once arriving at the beginning of the path, make sure to walk the entire duration. My friends and I would come here frequently as a place to hang out, swim, and cliff-jump. It is one of the most beautiful spots on the Riviera.
  • Visit Cannes and walk the red carpet. While here, take a short ferry over to St. Marguerite Island for a picnic. If you're feeling luxurious, walk the strip of designer stores.
  • Nice: Walk up to the top of Castle Hills for nice views. Walk the Promenade des Anglais. Check out Wayne’s for great happy hour and nachos. For a night out, try Le High Club on the Promenade after a trip to Chupito Loco’s. Nice also has a lot of great shopping, and more affordable options than Cannes. If you are lucky enough to be in the Riviera for Carnival, definitely purchase tickets for the night event.
  • Walk all of Monaco, and end in Monte Carlo to check out the famous casinos.
  • There's a lovely hike around Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which can be reached by bus from Nice.
  • Take a trip to Eze and walk all around this picturesque mountain village. Make sure you grab some discounted perfume/cologne at Parfumerie Fragonard on your way out.
  • Menton is a beautiful town before crossing the border to Italy. It is great to walk around, and is famous for its Lemon festival.
  • If you have a car, there are beautiful views all within the Gorges du Verdon. I recommend having an experienced French driver take you for this trip, as the roads can be tricky.
  • Lastly, take the high-speed train to Paris! It's a great way to see a lot of the country in a quick amount of time. The ride is beautiful -- and not to mention Paris is your destination.

Jonathan DeMarco is the Spring 2018 Alumni Ambassador in French Riviera, France, and is currently studying at University of Massachusetts.
 

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