Whether you’re camping in the French Riviera on a budget or you’re on holiday with the whole family in tow, you’ll no doubt be after some great excursions and attractions that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Despite the region’s associations with glamorous movie stars and some of history’s greatest artists, there’s much to see and do that will allow you to soak up the sights and sounds of the French Riviera without spending a penny.
Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais
Located on Nice’s seafront, the palm-fringed Promenade des Anglais is almost 7km long and a must-see on holidays to the French Riviera. Built in 1822 and paid for by wealthy English expats (hence the name), it’s where you’ll find some of the city’s most iconic sites — like the rose-hued Hotel Negresco — as well as numerous restaurants, cafés and ice cream shops. You can choose to walk leisurely along the promenade or hire bikes, roller-skates or even electric Segways.
Enjoy the sunshine at Cannes’ beaches
Famed for its annual film festival, Cannes is additionally a great spot for a family day at the beach if you’re staying at nearby Camping Fréjus thanks to the scattering of sandy coves along the city’s Boulevard de la Croisette. While many of the beaches are private, several are open to the public, including Plage de la Bocca and Palm Beach which have plenty of space and great facilities for families.
Visit the idyllic hilltop town of Èze
Surrounded by lush vegetation and boasting jaw-dropping views of the ocean, medieval Èze is a must-visit if you’re after a taste of a more traditional French Riviera village. Its quaint cobbled streets are made up of winding alleyways and steep staircases, and there’s a pretty church at its summit which can be glimpsed from miles around. Don’t miss the Jardin Exotique that’s situated in the grounds of a ruined chateau and filled with tropical flora and fauna — including an impressive cacti collection.
Go wild swimming in Lac Sainte-Croic
Summers on the Côte D’Azur can get pretty hot which is why plunging into the cool waters of Lac Sainte-Croic is always a refreshing idea. Free to access and located in the stunning Regional Natural Park of Verdon, it’s a manmade lake with several pretty towns located on its shores. If you’ve opted for the Camping le Coteau de la Marine French Riviera campsite, head to nearby Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon or Bauduen to make the most of their supervised leisure beaches and water sports options.
Enjoy a free tour of a perfumery in Grasse
The French Riviera is famed for its fields of fragrant blooms and has been a major perfume production hub for centuries. The town of Grasse – located just over 17km from Cannes – is at the centre of it all and where you’ll find numerous manufacturers as well as attractions like the International Museum of Perfume. Admiring the hills carpeted in fresh lavender is free, or you could learn about the history and production of perfume on a complimentary guided tour at the Molinard, Galimard or Fragonard perfumeries.