Department of Alpes-Maritimes
All the way down to the south east corner of France along the Mediterranean, and adjacent to the Italian border, are the Maritimes Alps and the world renowned coastal strip of the Côte d’Azur.
What makes this departement so beautiful is its rugged coastline with the Alps cascading in the blue sea. At certain times of the year you have the difficult choice of deciding whether to ski or to swim! The slopes and the sea are just an hour apart by car. The sun is shining for 320 days a year.
La Côte d’Azur or French Riviera
From Cannes to Nice onto Antibes and all the way to the Italian border, this location is not only beautiful but full of prestige. The coastline is dotted with early 19th C mansions or modern luxury homes, majestic designs, and a mixture of modern designs and refinement.
During the summer months when the Côte d’Azur is particularly lively you can find sun worshippers on the beaches of sand or pebbles and strollers leisurely promenade along the Croisette in Cannes or down the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.
The quaint old quarters of Nice and the famous flower market are a delight to visit. All along the coast you are enchanted by the little fishing ports which remain important to the local culture and industry. There are world renowned events that take place here such as Mardi Gras in Nice, the Jazz Festival in Juan les Bains, and the Film Festival in Cannes.
Top Locations in Alpes Maritimes:
Inland (arrière pays)
As you leave the sea going inland the landscape changes dramatically. The roads wind through the hills and the mountains abutting high above the water. The vegetation changes too: its Mediterranean character showing through.
The hills are covered with thyme shrubs, pines, olive groves, flowering laurel trees, and giant cactus plants all accompanied by the constant singing of the cicadas.
The city of Grasse has grown into the perfume centre of France thanks to all of these aromatic plants.
The Alpes d’Azur
In the north of the departement we find the Alps with their snowy peaks and their sunny ski resorts. Some within an hour’s drive from the sea. 80% of this departement is covered by mountains, and offer fabulous skiing in the winter. There are 325 km. of navigable rivers attracting a great variety of water sports including kayaking and abseiling.
The Mercantour Park covers over 120 km. from the Col de Tende to Ubaye. It is a natural reserve sheltering many species of animals and plants and all in a magnificent countryside setting of 68.500 ha.