The Côte d’Azur, France is one area I never get tired of exploring. I spent a day there whilst on my recent cruise with Holland America. Our ship, MS Ryndam, docked in Monte Carlo, after a beautiful, slow sail into the port.
One of the things I love so much about cruising, is the feeling I get when I find a quiet spot on deck and do nothing but gaze out to sea. The sound of waves gently crashing on the ship’s hull and the sea sparkling as it reflects the bright sunshine is such a relaxing experience.
Arriving into Monaco, I was greeted by the sight of scores of grand yachts docked in the harbour. Shiny, pristine sports cars were driving past slowly in the busy streets, their engines purring gently. It’s a different world there, and one which I like to enjoy, but only for a short time.
After a few hours, Monaco always loses its appeal as I become frustrated with the crowds of tourists. The one place I love to escape to is Villefranche-sur-Mer, and this visit to the Côte d’Azur was no different. I jumped on a train and was in one of my favourite place in the world within a minutes. The sight that greeted me is one that I always miss when I’m gone, and could spend hours looking at when I’m there.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is a small fishing town, which I love partly because it’s never too busy with tourists, although it is becoming gradually more well-known. There are some great restaurants on the water’s edge, Les Corsaires is my favourite and one which I definitely recommend. The town itself has narrow, steep streets as the town seems to rise up straight out of the water up the cliffs.
The south of France is truly one of my favourite areas in the world. It’s drop dead gorgeous, the cuisine is amazing and there’s so much to do. There are so many little towns and villages along the Côte d’Azur that are absolutely stunning, and well worth exploring. It’s one of my travel dreams to spending a long time visiting all the different towns and villages along the coast that look interesting. Grab a map, pick a place, and just go…