Spotlight on the Alpes-Maritime department | French Riviera

Written by on July 29, 2019 in Places to Go

The pebble beach at Nice, France on a very sunny day, parasols over tables provide shade

The Alpes-Maritimes department is in the far south of France in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Think long hot summers, year round temperate climate, the French Riviera and impossibly pretty villages and historic towns in the interior – this is an area that makes for a great holiday destination.

What to see and do in Alpes-Maritime

Alpes-Maritimes includes the famous French Riviera coastline on the Mediterranean Sea with the important towns and cities of Cannes, Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Antibes. We take a look at a few of the most poplar towns…


The city of Nice is the department’s capital and a leading resort on the French Riviera. A popular choice for tourists, the pebbly beaches are made comfier by the sun beds you can hire. The city has a young and lively atmosphere with plenty of places for fun as well as relaxing. The market place, Cours de Saleya is great for bars and restaurants. The winding streets of the old town are one of the most popular attractions.

Stay at: Perfect for 2, but can sleep 4, apartment Nicoise is in a quiet part of Nice but just 10 minutes’ walk from the sea. It’s near the bus and tram connections for the centre of town if you don’t want to walk.


Boats bobbing on the tranquil sea in the port of Cannes, southern France on a sunny day

The fashionable town of Cannes has two faces. One side is all glitz and glamorous, Ferraris and film stars. The other side is Le Suquet, the old part of the town. Here you’ll find a warren of cobbled streets and cliff top viewpoints. Whether you’re here for the gorgeous beaches, the fabulous restaurants and bars, the sunshine and celebrity spotting, Cannes makes for a great holiday break destination.

Where to stay: Les Halles, 2-bedroom apartment in the centre of the city close to Forville market in the old part of town.


Swimming pool with rubber rings floating, palm trees line the edge

Set in the hills to the left of Nice, Vence is a lively medieval town. It has wonderful street markets and a large selection of restaurants and shops. A popular home to artists and sculptors, there are numerous galleries as well as a chapel designed and decorated by Matisse. The town is well known for its spring water which you can drink from the town fountains.

Stay at: Villa les Piouliers sleeps 10 and has a lovely roomy interior. With its own pool, lovely garden, and just over a mile from the centre of Vence.


Beach scene, golden sand, people swimming in the sea at Antibes, southern France

A little further south is Antibes. Said to be home to the really rich, Antibes also boasts arguably the best market along the coast and the finest Picasso collection in its ancient seafront castle.

Where to stay: 4 bedroom Villa Aubrieta, just 1km from the beach and with its own pool and lovely gardens is the perfect home from home. Luxurious and comfy.


Roof top view of the Mediterranean Sea from Eze, a hill top town in the south of France

Between Nice and Monaco, Eze is a perched village with wonderful views over the Mediterranean Sea. It’s narrow cobbled streets feature windows boxes spilling brightly coloured flowers, pastel coloured shutters, boutiques and galleries. It’s a jewel of the French Riviera.

Stay at: Villa du Midi, located at the base of Eze, 10 minutes’ walk to the beach and 30 minutes to the perched town at the top of the rocks. What makes this outstanding is the lovely pool and the stunning views from the terrace over the coast.


Large villa covered in blooming pink flowers and vines in Grasse, southern France

Slightly inland brings you to Grasse, the perfume capital of France. The mild climate makes it a popular winter resort and it is famous for its fields of roses, jasmine and lavender.

Where to stay: Villa St Benoit, a magnificent 4-bedroom art deco villa with breath-taking views over the town, the surrounding countryside and the sea. From here it’s a 10 minute walk to the centre of Grasse. It’s around 10 miles to the beaches at Mandelieu-la-Napoule.

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