The French Riviera

The Côte d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean shore of France’s southeastern reaches. It includes the Principality of Monaco. The area has no formal boundaries and is thought to stretch the Italian-French frontier to the west to the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The beachfront area was one of the first new tourist areas and has since been a destination for many affluent patrons. It first rose to fame at the end of the 18th century, when it welcomed upper-class British revelers fleeing the harsh winters of the north. The region developed a health resort during the period but was later opened up to accommodate holiday makers all year round. Its inaccessibility was a big challenge and one that people has to overcome if any progress was to be realized. The mid-19th century saw the area opened up with the construction of the railway. With the improved transportation, the French Riviera became an instant playground for the elite with Russian and British aristocrats being one of the highest frequenters. The Côte d’Azur was King Edward VII and Queen Victoria’s preferred vacation spot with other notables such as the Rothschild family developing permanent homes in the area.

According to the Blume (35), the French Riviera is some to some of the most exquisite seaside ports including Saint-Tropez, Sainte Maxime, Fréjus, Saint-Raphaël, Cannes, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, and Cap-d’Ail. The Côte d’Azur is home to France’s largest technological part refereed as Sophia-Antipolis, and research center located at the University of Nice.

Thesis Statement

The report explores the southeastern region of France referred to as the French Riviera. It seeks to provide a comprehensive insight on the way of life of its residence as well as it general political and socioeconomic dynamics. The paper also seeks to provide a greater understanding of the area’s topography as well as the factors that make it a preferred holiday destination.

Infrastructure and Demographics

After the Second World War the Côte d’Azur became a popular tourist and convention site. Celebrities such as the Brigitte Bardot, and Elton John gained permanent residence in the area leading to the flocking in of more rich and powerful people. It is estimated that the region currently hosts 83,980 foreign residents from 164 countries.

Non-French nationals are estimated to form the bulk of the population. The French Riviera’s largest city is Nice which boasts of a decent 327,060 residence as of a 2006 population census. Nice houses France’s third busiest airport, the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. The Côte d’Azur is also serviced by several major highways including the D6007and the Route nationale 7, and railroads such as the the TGV Sud Est.


The French Riviera is one of the most popular cruising and yachting areas. It is hosts several marinas along its coastline. In 2016, more than 14 million tourists visited the area. In the same year, about 65 million nights were booked in resorts all across the region. Tourists spent more than 5 billion euros in the same year with over 75,000 jobs being directly linked to the industry.

In 2016, the 52% of all goods and services consumed were purchased by foreigners tremendously improving the area’s economy. More than 3 million people visited museums all across French Rivera about 500,000 of these being visiting delegates. More than 46% of visitors to the region came in by air. Data presented by the Côte d’Azur Economic Development Agency intimate that every year half of the world’s superyacht fleet visit the French Rivera with at least 90% of all superyachts docking in Côte d’Azur’s coast once in their life. The region’s status as a tourist centre cemented by its massive solar insolation. The French Riviera receives 310 to 331 days of sunlight every year. It has a beautiful sandy 115 kilometre coastline, 3,020 restaurants, 15 ski resorts, and 18 golf courses.


The French Riviera enjoys a warm temperate Mediterranean climate marked with mild winters, dry, sunny, and hot summers. Prevailing winds from adjacent Mediterranean Sea significantly moderate the climate with temperatures during winter rarely dipping to sub-zero. The average daily low temperature in Nice is 6.3 degrees Celsius while highs of up to 29.7 are frequently recorded. The Côte d’Azur receives about 31.63 inches of rainfall every year. Rainy days are infrequent meaning that torrential rains are commonly experienced.

Nice receives about 2,668 hours of sunshine every year. It is hot on nearly 92 percent of the years with minimal sunlight being recorded during winter. The French Riviera bustling vegetation of mangrove and other coastal flora give the region a lively feel. Due to the massive influence of the sea on the area, a micro climate has been created in many of the regions. As such, areas further from the Mediterranean Sea exhibit moderately different climate than the rest of the region.


As has been explained, the French Rivera is one of the most significant regions in France. It enjoys a temperate climate and has a long 71 mile coastline that makes it an especially attractive holiday destination. It is commonly frequented by the wealthy from countries all across the world.

Works Cited

Blume, Mary. Côte d’Azur: inventing the French Riviera: with 89 illustrations including a map. Thames and Hudson, 1994.

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