So, Scotty left me to my own devices the other day and I managed to book us a trip to the French Riviera!
Like so many of us, we’ve not travelled to France since 2019 – back in the pre-pandemic times. I would never have thought that when we flew home from France that last time, it would be almost three years before we would head back.
We’ve been able to travel from Australia to France for a little while now. Much to the surprise of many though, we didn’t book flights the moment borders opened. For us, there was still too much uncertainty. We have lots of commitments here, and didn’t want to get stuck. Nor were we keen to book 24 hour flights while the prices were initially as high as they were.
However, the more time has gone by, the more we’d been toying with the idea of travelling back. But that left us with a new dilemma. Where should we go?
Unsurprisingly, our first thought was Paris – she’s a city that never gets old and we love visiting. So I started playing with options there. And then I remembered how much we want to visit Graham and Damon at Planches & Plonk – which led me to a deep exploration of our options in the south-west. I also had a good look at Lyon. Its central location makes a perfect jumping off point for all sorts of adventures, and we haven’t spent any real time there since 2014.
In the end though, we settled on the French Riviera. And today I thought I’d share the key reasons that contributed to our decision.
Why We’re Choosing To Head Back To The French Riviera
Reason One – Ease
As I’ve said so many times before, Australia is a long way from anywhere. While travelling from ‘down-under’ is always worth it, it can be challenging at times. 24 hour journeys mean you rarely arrive in France as fresh as a daisy, even if you can manage to snag a seat in business class.
Part of our decision was definitely based on the fact that we’re out of practice when it comes to travelling. We know we want to make this trip as easy on ourselves as possible, which is why we’ve only booked a short (for us) trip. Flying into Nice gives travellers instant access to the best the French Riviera has to offer. The airport itself is relatively simple to navigate. And some of the world’s most beautiful holiday spots are only a short car ride from the airport. You can even take public transport if you’re headed into Nice itself.
Speaking of public transport, the French Riviera is an awesome spot to visit if you don’t want to hire a car. We won’t be hiring a car on this trip – driving on the wrong side of the road, in a country where we don’t speak the language as well as we’d like adds a level of complexity we’d prefer to avoid on this trip. But, as I mentioned, the train, tram and bus network in this part of the world will be more than sufficient for our trip.
Reason Two – We Still Have So Much To See On The French Riviera
One of my work colleagues was super curious to understand why we’d chosen the French Riviera as our next destination. He assumed it was a favourite of ours. And while we loved our week in Nice back in 2019, I couldn’t tell him it was our favourite. The truth is, we’ve spent far more time in many French cities, and choosing a favourite for us might almost be impossible, because every part of France offers so much.
It was actually the fact that we still have so much of the French Riviera to explore that drew us back. We were super busy when we visited the first time. We did day trips to Grasse, Saint-Tropez, Monaco and Villefranche-sur-Mer. We also caught a steam train up into the mountains. (You can learn more about these trips here).
But there is still so much we haven’t seen. We missed Antibes, Cap Ferrat, Èze and Menton, just to name a few. And Scotty has French railways he wants to tick off the list. And after a couple of years of not being able to move around freely, we decided a relatively active itinerary was in order. On this trip, we’ll be splitting our time between Nice and Beaulieu-sur-Mer so we can cover all our bases.
Reason Three – The Food
At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the French Riviera is deliciously located just a moment or two from Italy. And that means that travellers have access to my two favourite cuisines – French and Italian.
On our last trip to the area, we ate so well. Whether we were looking for something simple, or a slightly more upscale meal, the French Riviera did not disappoint. And I’m counting the days until we can get back to a French market. I seriously cannot wait.
Are you a fan of the French Riviera too? Do you have any travel tips to share? And I’d love to know – can you name a favourite place in France? Please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.