We bet you might not know some of these fourteen fun facts about the French Riveria:
- The French Riviera is the beautiful coastline in the south of France along the Mediterranean Sea. It covers about 550 miles and acquired the nickname Cote d’Azur or Azure (Blue) coast in 1887.
- The French Riviera is known for its beaches, views, picture perfect water, yachts and as a playground for the wealthy. It also has charming towns and villages (and Monaco, which is an independent state) and a highly regarded art and culture scene.
- Situated where the Alps meet the Mediterranean, it is an area that enjoys a wonderfully mild to warm climate (and sunshine) year round. Winter coastal temperatures range from 50°F to 60°F during the day!
- The French Riviera has a total population of over two million.
- Its largest city is Nice and home to France’s third busiest airport (Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, after Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris-Orly.)
- Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (the first is Vatican in Rome, Italy) with the world’s highest per-capita GDP. It is a tax-haven, as residents do not pay any income tax, and is one of the most densely populated states in the world. Monaco is ruled by the Grimaldi family and home to world famous casinos (although citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble or go inside a casino!). Monaco also hosts the yearly Monaco Grand Prix.
- Grasse, a short drive from Cannes, has been the capital of the perfume industry since the Renaissance period. About three quarters of the world’s essences are produced from gardens in Grasse, comprised of daffodils, lavender, jasmine and more.
- Cannes is famous for the Cannes Film Festival, which is one of the most prestigious and oldest film festivals in the world. This glamorous event is usually held in May and showcases many international films and screenplays (not too mention fashion!).
With sparkling blue water, prestigious locations, and breathtaking views, it is no wonder film directors flock here to shoot movies. Some famous films shot here are: To Catch A Thief, An Affair To Remember, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, James Bond movies Diamonds are Forever and Golden Eye, The Life Aquatic, and Oceans Twelve.
- This French Riviera coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. In the late 18th century it started as a winter health resort for the British upper class.
- With the arrival of the railway in the mid 19th century, it became a playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats.
- In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Picasso, Matisse, Edith Wharton, and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans.
- After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site.
- From February 26 – March 4, 2016, AdventureWomen will take 14 women on a wonderful and warm hiking holiday to escape winter with our favorite European-based guide, Gillian Arthur!