The French Riviera - sunshine, sea and mountains
If the French Riviera is a popular holiday destination, it owes it above all to the warmth of its climate and its 120 kilometres of beaches, but it is also full of wonders and magical places to discover! Let yourself be soothed by the song of the cicadas in historic villages and by the smells of the sea, pine forests, lavender, thyme and rosemary. To the north, the Alps can be glimpsed, affording the Côte d'Azur a perfect blend of crystal-clear water and snow-capped peaks.
History of the region
The region, known in full as Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, is a top-class destination that attracts celebrities, glamour and glitz. The famous Cannes Film Festival, the magnificent seaside towns and the exceptional historic sites have all made the region famous. But what is the origin of this success story? It was in the 19th century that the region took off, as the English and European aristocracy built magnificent secondary residences for the winter. Thanks to this, the region developed very quickly and acquired international renown.
The temperature is very pleasant throughout the vast majority of the year. Summers are hot and sunny, whilst winters are mild and tolerable, with an average of 300 days a year of sunshine.
Where to stay
For family holidays, villa stays are a great choice, for complete privacy. Halal food can be bought for self-catering, or in some villas can be requested in advance. Some villas have a minimum stay requirement when booking. Find all the information and a wide choice of villas on HalalBooking.com.
Typical Mediterranean cuisine revolves around seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables and olive oil. Even if you don’t manage to find halal meat everywhere, there are plenty of delicious Mediterranean flavours on offer, so it certainly won’t feel like a compromise. Especially since the region is known for its local production of cheeses and olives. Discover the famous pissaladière, a kind of pizza made with puff pastry decorated with tomatoes, anchovies, olives, onions and eggs. Also try the famous ratatouille, bagnat bread and tomato and black olive dips.
Historical monuments and heritage
Don’t miss a visit to the Old Town of Nice. You will find Castle Hill, the Le Paillon river, the Italian villages and historic ruins. Enjoy the atmosphere in the surrounding hilltop villages, dating from the Middle Ages; let yourself be captivated by the beauty of the fortifications of Vauban on the borders of Provence and do not forget the Promenade des Anglais, the seafront promenade, built by the British community in the earliest days of international tourism.
Stroll the cobbled streets of Aix-en-Provence and discover the charming city of Avignon to the west. History-lovers will enjoy a walk around the city walls. Visit the Palais des Papes and cross the famous medieval bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet.
Discover the Aoubré Nature Leisure Park in Flassans-sur-Issole in the Var, enjoy experiences in the forest for the whole family, with tree climbing courses from 4 years old, discovery trails and original, fun activities.
The Verdon Regional Natural Park, with its 176,961 hectares, covers two local regions, namely the southern part of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the northern part of the Var. The park is home to diverse and rich flora and fauna amidst magical landscapes.
Go to Lavandou by boat to meet the dolphins and observe myriads of fish at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
Hyères, the islands of Porquerolles and Port-Cros are perfect islands to visit with the family. The island of Port-Cros is a national park that protects exceptional flora and fauna. Between Palud beach and Rascas rock, you can navigate the underwater path with flippers, a diving mask and a snorkel. The ideal way to explore the Mediterranean marine environment!
Animal-lovers will enjoy a visit to Fréjus Zoo.
A unique experience awaits you at the Nice observatory to watch the stars or go up the Var valley by steam on an authentic Steam Pignes train.
Children will also love to cool off and have fun on the 2,800 m2 large water mirror with 128 water jets.
To take advantage of the Riviera beaches, we advise you to take the coastal paths in search of a secluded cove rather than stopping at the overcrowded beaches.
Cannes: Formerly a small fishing village, today, you might think that the famous city of Cannes symbolises glamour, luxury shops, palaces and film festivals. But it is far more than this, it is in an exceptional location, sheltered by the Esterel massif and facing the sea. The old port is very charming, bordered by small colourful houses, marking the entrance to the Suquet, historic district. At Le Suquet, taste the authenticity of the oldest district of Cannes. In the Middle Ages, the monks built a castle here, around which the fortified village developed.
Marseille: The city of Marseille was founded by Greek sailors from the city of Phocaea in Asia, who fled the Persian invasions of the time. They are the ones who gave it the name of "Marseille". It is now the second largest municipality in France.
Strolling through the Old Port, historic and cultural centre of the city, is essential for eating, enjoying the Marseille sun or choosing your Marseille soap in the souvenir shops. The walk will take you to Notre Dame de la Garde. This basilica is located on a hill and offers an exceptional panorama of the Frioul islands.
Marseille is full of museums, the most recent being the famous MuCEM - an architectural gem of 2013 which illustrates a real bridge between Mediterranean civilisations.
Monaco: Monaco, this city-state perched on a majestic rock is today a constitutional monarchy with a sovereign prince at its head. This eponymous country of 2km² is home to a single city of the same name, located a few kilometres from Nice and on the Italian border. Among the 4 districts that divide Monaco, Monte-Carlo is the most emblematic district. Start by visiting the old town and the princely palace, then go through the Fontvieille district with the port and the exotic garden. The oceanographic museum is a treasure for any marine world lovers.
Nice: Nice also has a rich architectural heritage, due to the fact that the city often changed sovereignty, passing through the Greeks and the Romans, then forming part of the Eastern Roman Empire and the kingdom of Italy, before becoming Genoese, Provençal, Savoyard, Piedmontese and finally French. According to ancient historians, Nice was founded by Greeks. In the park of the Hill of the castle, mosaics of the 20th century are presented as a historical reminder to the Greeks who built the city.
Gardens, parks and olive trees - in Nice, public gardens are often planted with exotic species from around the world, which the English aristocracy brought with them when they moved here in the early 19th century.
The last traditional olive oil mill still in operation in Nice is located in the Madeleine district. It is one of the last in the world to use the age-old technique known as the "Genoese" method. A true botanical journey awaits you at the Promenade du Paillon.
Saint Tropez: charming alleys marked by history. The city is adorned with red and white, the colours of the ancient republic of Genoa, the place from which the oldest families in the village originate. Visit the Annonciade Museum, where numerous paintings by the many artists who have found inspiration in the colours of this wonderful coastal city, are exhibited.
All the cities and villages of the region can be visited by car for an unforgettable trip.
If you are planning a day at Théoule, take advantage of the red rock coves with breathtaking views of the sea.
The Camargue Regional Natural Park is a protected site, and a must! White wild horses are the best known symbols of the region. You will also come across flamingos amongst over 350 species of birds that migrate through the Camargue.
The city of Arles contains many Roman monuments listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Visit the arenas, the Alyscamps, the Roman theatre, the cryptoportiques, the thermal baths of Constantine and the remains of the ramparts of the Old Town, not to mention the magnificent departmental museum of ancient Arles.
Enjoy green landscapes, gorges and high mountains during fabulous hikes in the preserved valley of Haute-Ubaye.
Aix-en-Provence has retained its charm due to its rare architectural unity, its historic centre and its Italian ambience.
The Missiri Mosque in Fréjus, an old French Muslim religious building, built in 1930 in the image of the Djenné mosque in Mali, is worth a visit. It was built in cement and painted in an ochre colour, to resemble the colour of the original building in Mali. It is considered to be one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. Originally, it was to be used by the Senegalese Tirailleurs, the West African colonial troops of the French army, who were posted in the region.
Are you inspired and ready to book your holiday on the French Riviera? A stay here is a genuine pleasure at any time, but this year it makes perfect sense, if you’re keen to stay a little closer to home. France may not have the halal-friendly resorts of Turkey or Morocco, but it still has much to offer. Have a look on HalalBooking.com to find the accommodation that best meets your requirements. Don’t forget that we have a best price guarantee!