Travel Diaries

French Riviera

Some destinations are so iconic, they possess a near-mystical quality. With sparkling cobalt waters, charming medieval towns and renowned glamour, the French Riviera is one of them. It’s no wonder artists, writers and celebrities alike have flocked to this region for centuries.

Whether you want to sip a French 75 admiring the Mediterranean, wander cobblestone streets, gallery hop, or explore the rugged coastline on a yacht, this opulent yet tranquil destination makes for an unforgettable escape. Read on for our guide to three of the most idyllic towns on the Côte d’Azur along with Michael’s favorite spots.

Antibes

This sun-soaked town tucked between Cannes and Nice is as indulgent as it is relaxed. For plush white sands and crystal-clear waters, take a dip at the exclusive La Garoupe beach. Then, stroll through the heart of town to the impressive Musée Picasso, housed in a historic seaside chateau.

STAY

The glittering Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc provides unrivaled luxury. The lavish furnishings and photo-ready infinity pool are an equal match to the property’s exceptional sea views.

EAT

Enjoy a glass of organic wine from Entre 2 Vins before heading to the Michelin-starred Le Restaurant de Bacon for fresh-caught fish.

MICHAEL’S PICK

“Browse the Marché Provençal market for fresh fruits, meats, breads and cheeses—all the good stuff—that feels distinctly European.”

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Head inland to the quaint medieval town loved by Matisse, Chagall and Renoir. The best way to enjoy this artistic paradise is by foot, exploring the winding 15th century alleyways, endless art galleries, and eclectic cafes.

STAY

Overlooking fragrant gardens and olive trees sits Le Mas de Pierre, a romantic Provençal farmhouse furnished with antique pieces and surrounded by serene grounds.

EAT

The stylish, family-run Colombe d’Or is an idyllic country inn with an exceptional art collection. Draped in understated elegance—think stone-clad walls, airy terraces and casually displayed art by Matisse, Picasso and other masters—the rustic auberge serves renowned but unpretentious regional fare.

MICHAEL’S PICK

“For modern art and surrealist sculptures, visit the can’t-miss Maeght Foundation.”

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

One of the true gems of the French Riviera, the quiet peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat provides unobscured views, thick vines of jasmine and an air of rich allure. Here you can indulge in the best of both worlds—a coastal playground with dolphin-watching and historic villa-hopping.

STAY

The crown jewel of the region is the Grand-Hotel-du-Cap-Ferrat. At this celebrated palatial icon, luxe beachwear is just as welcome as a sequin-emblazoned gown.

EAT

The millenial-pink Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild provides stunning manicured gardens and dreamy interiors which serve as the perfect spot for a light lunch. Enjoy cocktail hour at Club Dauphin while trying to decipher where the sea ends and the sky begins.

MICHAEL’S PICK

“The nearby medieval town of Èze is a must-visit! I love strolling the narrow streets shopping for pottery and indulging in a meal at La Chèvre d’Or.”

Read Hotel Stories featuring Le Negresco, the legendary hotel where the Michael Kors Collection Spring 2019 ad campaign was shot.