As someone who’s spent considerable time meandering through the lanes, tasting the flavors, and soaking up the sun of the French Riviera, I’ve come to appreciate the quieter, less sung about spots just as much as the bustling beaches and glamorous nightspots. Here are a few places I think deserve more attention and might offer you a different perspective of this celebrated coastline.

Èze Village

A true gem that’s not as hidden as it once was but still retains an air of untouched beauty. Èze Village, with its medieval charm, offers stunning sea views and a tranquil escape from the more crowded locales. The climb to the top might test your legs, but the panoramic view is more than a fair reward. Make sure to explore the exotic garden; it’s a serene spot that showcases the village’s unique flora.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

This place is a testament to the lavish lifestyles of the Riviera’s past inhabitants. The villa itself is impressive, but the gardens are the real showstopper. Each one, from the Japanese to the traditional French, is meticulously maintained and offers a peaceful stroll. It’s a quiet spot to reflect on the opulence that defines much of the Riviera’s history.


If you’re up for a drive, Gourdon offers not just spectacular views over the Loup Valley but also a slice of rural French life. The village is quaint, and the local artisans are always happy to share their crafts with visitors. It’s a stark contrast to the glitz of the coast and well worth the trip for those interested in the region’s cultural heritage.

The Lérins Islands

These islands are a short ferry ride away but feel worlds apart from Cannes‘ hustle. Saint-Honorat, with its monastery, is a haven of peace and simplicity, offering products like wine and olive oil made by the monks themselves. Sainte-Marguerite is perfect for a day of hiking and swimming in clear waters. Both provide a much-needed respite and a chance to reconnect with nature.


Menton is a personal favorite. It’s quieter than its neighbors, with lovely beaches, beautiful gardens, and an appealing old town. The Lemon Festival is a highlight, but the town’s charm is year-round. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the Riviera’s famed light and color without the crowds.

Vallée des Merveilles

For those willing to venture into the mountains, the Vallée des Merveilles offers an unforgettable experience. The ancient petroglyphs are fascinating, and the natural beauty of the area is unmatched. It’s a reminder of the region’s long and diverse history, far removed from the usual tourist trails.

These recommendations are based on my personal experiences exploring the French Riviera. Each place offers a unique glimpse into the region’s diverse landscape and history, far from the well-trodden tourist paths. Whether you’re looking for tranquility, natural beauty, or a deeper understanding of local culture, these spots are well worth a visit.

About the Author

I am Mehdi Ramzi, the founder of the blog "Hello French Riviera", dedicated to the French Riviera. I am passionate about this region and I share my knowledge about the activities, places and events not to be missed. I am also an avid surfer and chess player. I am a big fan of Arsenal and I am passionate about technology. I combine my passion for the French Riviera and technology by running this blog.

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