Home #WHERETONEXT Europe 3 Hidden Gems to Discover in the French Riviera

3 Hidden Gems to Discover in the French Riviera

The harbour in Cannes old town on the Cote d'Azur in the South of France.

Ever since the French writer Stéphen Liégeard used the term ‘Côte d’Azur’ back in the late 19th century, the section of coastline between Hyères, in France, and Genova, in Italy, has been thought of as a cohesive territory – even though it has no official boundaries or borders.

The Riviera is accessible via road and rail – but to get the best from it, the sea view is preferable. There are contemporary-style yachts for sale that will afford you the best possible means of getting around.

If you’re planning a visit to the French side of the Riviera, then you might already have a list of places to visit and things to see. But is that list complete? Alongside all of the obvious destinations, you’ll also find several hidden gems in this part of the world. The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, for example, is a spectacular seaside villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. You can even get married there!

Let’s take a look at some more great examples.


In Mougins, you’ll find yourself sandwiched between the Alps and the Mediterranean. As such, there’s no shortage of spectacle in either direction. This is a place with a lot to offer anyone with an interest in art, as it’s filled with amazing galleries. You’ll find artworks by locals, as well as established masters like Picasso and Dalí.

Within a short drive of Mougins, we find Grasse, which is a centre for the world-famous French perfume industry. Roses here are used to create Chanel No. 5. You can take a tour of the factories here and learn about the traditions behind this all-conquering product.

The incredible rustic architecture also gives this place credit. It’s among the most Instagrammable locations on the entire Riviera.


This picturesque little village sits atop a little hill, from where you’ll be able to attain amazing views of the surrounding countryside. Beyond the forests, you’ll be able to see the Mediterranean itself. The river Loup passes nearby, and there’s a Michelin-star restaurant in the form of 19 du Clovis.

Port Grimaud

This little port town has earned the nickname ‘Little Venice’, thanks to its generous proliferation of waterways. While you’re in the area, you’ll want to take a trip along the canals. What distinguishes this place is its history, which began as recently as the 1960s. A single architect wanted a house on the water with room to moor a boat. Once he got his wish, others descended onto the area with the same idea, and a settlement swiftly grew. You can go boating here, but you can equally enjoy a bit of sightseeing or shopping. What more could you ask for?