TRAVEL INSPIRATION: COTE D’AZUR
Today we’re off on a Cote D’Azur road trip with Natalie from Mckenzie Brown Photography. Usually this is the bit where I ramble on about how stunning today’s location is and why you should visit, but Natalie’s introduction is so beautiful today I’m going to hand straight over…
Have you ever experienced a calling to a place, maybe to a city or a far off country? It starts as a little voice at first…. ‘I’d love to visit there someday’….. but it’s a thought that gradually grows, getting louder and louder until it seems to fill your every thought? The South of France was calling me! Loudly. It’s somewhere I have never been before but in my head it is filled with lavender fields, small cobbled streets and long expanses of gorgeous beaches. There was literally a list as long as my arm for why it wasn’t a good idea for me to go at this exact moment in time. After 3 days of fighting with myself, I decided to ignore them all, booked a flight and flew out 2 days later. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions that I’ve made.
Destination: Cote D’Azur (Nice to Antibes)
Travel time: 2 hour flight
WHERE TO STAY I travelled from Nice down the Baie Des Anges to Antibes staying inland at Villeneuve-Loubet at first and then in a modern apartment in the lavish Marina further down the coast. I booked everything last minute through AirBnB and would recommend them to everyone, as getting to know our French hosts, was one of the highlights of our adventures.
WHAT TO DO In Villeneuve-Loubet we stayed in a converted Mill right on the banks of the River Loup in the centre of a National Park. There are actually two National Parks along this stretch and both are worth a visit but if you fancy a stroll along the Parc Des Rives Du Loup, the riverbanks and pathways literally explode with the most beautiful wildlife.
Cagnes Sur Mer and its amazing Marina is also worth a visit where you’ll find some of the most fantastic seafood restaurants nestled alongside the giant super-boats of the rich and famous!
However, beautiful Antibes was perhaps my favourite. If you ever find yourself wandering through the streets in the old town, then I would recommend you find La Rue James-Close. It’s the most beautiful street packed with interesting shops and it’s where I found the sculptor Lui Ho, standing outside his studio molding a clay head oblivious to those who stopped totally mesmerized by his talent. I would then recommend you take any side road from there and get totally lost in the cobbled maze of narrow alleyways and arches until you find a quiet café to escape the sun. Then sit with a cappuccino, smell the flowers hanging from outside the nearby shuttered windows and lose yourself for an hour!
WHAT TO EAT What I loved about Nice and Antibes is the fabulous mix between the old and the new. Glamourous, modern restaurants, apartments and marinas sit next to beautiful old cobbled streets lined with old wooden shutters and elaborate wrought iron balconies.
As you would expect the Cote D’Azur is known for its incredible selection of fish and seafood dishes. Traditional French patisseries seem to be around every corner serving a dizzying selection of fresh cream cakes and delicate butter pastries.
HOW TO GET AROUND I didn’t hire a car for this journey and was concerned that we would find it difficult to get around. However, there is an array of bus services that take you up and down the coastline. The train service is extraordinary delivering very regular double-decker high-speed trains that run on time and have plenty of space!
WHAT TO PACK Pack light for the beach during the day but keep lots of space in your suitcase for your Louboutins as the Cote D’Azur ‘glamour’ expands from Monaco through to Cannes and the beaches of Saint-Tropez and is definitely a key theme for your evening adventures!
WOULD YOU GO AGAIN? Absolutely! On my next trip I’d like to continue further south down as far as Saint-Tropez.