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    Road Trip on the French Riviera

    Discover the amazing Côte d'Azur
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    French Riviera Road Trip: Monte Carlo to St. Tropez Itinerary

    Nothing is more luxurious than the French Riviera; make the playground of the rich and famous your holiday destination.

    The French Riviera is a promise of a great holiday, regardless if you book a luxurious hotel with pompous interiors, spend an evening at one of the casinos, or soak up the sun on idyllic white sand beaches - the time spent on the French Mediterranean coast will give you a touch of glamorous life. Book a car hire in the French Riviera to make the most of your travels on the coast of Southern France. The choice of rental cars is so great, that it will give you a headache, be it convertibles, sports cars, minis, simple compact vehicles or even campervans. Take a look at our booking engine and choose a vehicle that will fit your travel plans. Pick up your car hire in Monte Carlo and return it in St. Tropez, for instance. Tour Côte d'Azur at your own pace with a rental car from Auto Europe.

    We have put together a four-day French Riviera road trip with all the most important sightseeing attractions, luxurious hotels, excellent restaurants, and the most breathtaking countryside vistas on the Côte d'Azur. The tour starts from the wealthy streets of Monte Carlo, with stops in Nice and Frejus. The final point of the journey is famous St. Tropez. The route encompasses the best of what the French Riviera has on offer. Are you ready?

    Driving Itinerary Distance Driving Time
    Monte Carlo to Nice 13.4 miles 32 minutes
    Nice to Frejus 40.9 miles 54 minutes
    Frejus to St. Tropez 22 miles 1 hour 5 minutes
    Totals: 76.3 miles 2 hours 31 minutes

    Day 1: Monte Carlo

    Road trip in Monte Carlo, France Road trip in Monte Carlo, France

    What to do in Monte Carlo:

    If you choose to arrive at Nice Airport, where you can pick up your car hire, you will be very close to Monte Carlo. Your road trip holiday can now begin! Welcome to Monte Carlo - a world of red carpets and extravagance. This Mediterranean gem is a mixture of the overwhelming VIP presence, glistening casinos, the most famous fashion designers boutiques, and numerous museums and historic buildings. The best point to start your glam holiday in Monte Carlo is the Monaco-Ville. Known as the rock, la rocher, Monaco-Ville is a beautiful medieval village. It is located in the heart of Monaco and many attractions can be reached on foot from here, such as Prince's Palace, Monaco Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum Aquarium, and Saint Martin Gardens.

    As a world famous Formula One arena, Monte Carlo attracts racing fans that flock to the city in April and May to watch the Formula One Grand Prix. Other Monaco highlights include the International Circus Festival taking place in January, the Rose Ball and opera in March, and the Rolex Tennis Masters Tournament and Spring Art Festival in April. Due to the mild Mediterranean climate, the French Riviera is a region to visit all year round.

    Where to eat in Monte Carlo:

    Monte Carlo is home to plentiful venues serving local, national and ethnic cuisine. This is where everyone will find mouth-watering dishes, and specialities of French cuisine, favoured by the social elite. Prince Albert II has contributed a great deal to the local culinary scene by supporting the cultural life of Monaco. As a result, many restaurants and cafés have opened, the clientèle of which doesn't only include the rich and the famous. The picturesque coastal setting of Monte Carlo grants splendid locations for romantic restaurants serving a variety of seafood. Hotel de Paris is home to the culinary highlight: the Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse restaurant. It has been praised by many critics, giving it the best reviews. Le Luis is known for its experiments that combine traditional Mediterranean and "haute cuisine". Hotel de Paris was the first to be awarded three Michelin stars and has a legendary collection of wine, with over 600,000 bottles of more then 950 unique vintages. With merely a single glimpse at the restaurant's menu, you'll notice such enticing names as milk fed lamb cooked in the fireplace with stuffed vegetables.

    Although there are fewer bars in Monaco than in other Côte d'Azur cities, which you can reach with a car hire from Monte Carlo, the city is home to numerous casinos and venues with live music. Monte Carlo Casino is, by far, the most famous one; this is where a James Bond movie from 2006, Casino Royal, was filmed. Unthinkable high-stake gambling is everyday reality in Monte Carlo, a city defined by royal splendour, celebrity life style, and, most of all, affluence.

    The road trip to Monte Carlo will lead you through fascinating places. Famous for its racing scene, Monte Carlo is home to Formula One and Cross Royale races. If you drive the streets of Monaco, you will realise why car races are so popular. You can test yourself a part of Monte Carlo Rally and Tour de France route - Col de Turini. This hairpin drive through the high mountain pass in the Alps will be an experience of a lifetime! Beginning at a fairly low elevation, Col de Turini continues to lead through picturesque Alpine countryside. It reaches its peak at an elevation of 4,827 ft and provides unforgettable scenic vistas.

    Where to stay in Monte Carlo:

    It is no surprise that there is a large choice of various hotels and accommodation options here, from ultra expensive to very affordable ones. Of course, the hotels facing the Mediterranean crystal clear waters cost the most, such as the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotels. Forum Hotel, situated in a more central location is an affordable option. Regardless of your accommodation, you will definitely be delighted to be in Monte Carlo.

    Next stop: 32 minutes


    Day 2: Nice

    Road trip Nice, France Road trip Nice, France

    What to do in Nice:

    It is not without good reason that Nice is the number one holiday destination for many tourists from around the world. This is where the second day of your French Riviera road trip begins.

    Nice has excellent art museums, such as Musee Matisse, Musee et Site Archeologiques de Cimiez, Museum of Asian Art, and Musee Chagall. Not that far away from the most impressive sightseeing attractions, sits the old town, Vieux Nice. It is a labyrinth of unique architecture, lovely streets, boutiques and daily vegetable and flower street markets. Next to the culinary gems of the old town, the city also boasts a number of beaches.

    Where to eat in Nice:

    If the night life of Monte Carlo was too tame for you, Nice will definitely meet your highest expectations. Explore the maze of dance clubs, cocktail bars, and pubs, as Nice's night-life scene is for all tastes and ages.When it comes to restaurants, you will find venues of various price categories, culinary styles, and diverse atmosphere. The best restaurants are situated at the sea front and serve mouthwatering seafood, such as fresh fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

    Where to stay in Nice:

    Like Monaco, Nice is home to a plethora of hotels.  Accommodation possibilities offer various options, so that all tourists can find suitable lodgings. Le Meridien Nizza has rooms with a sea view and a warm swimming pool on the top floor. If you opt for more affordable prices, choose Hotel Apogia. Nice has it all!

    France is known for its abundance of scenic drives and the road trip to Nice is no different. The best way to reach Nice is the so called Grand Corniche. It is a road network of three routes making their way through mountainous terrain of different altitudes. Grand Corniche is an epic drive with breathtaking vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. You cannot miss out on this with your car hire in Nice.

    Next stop: 54 minutes


    Day 3: Frejus

    Road trip in Frejus, France Road trip in Frejus, France

    What to do in Frejus:

    Although Frejus is smaller than the two previous cities on our French Riviera road trip, it has grown to be a must-see city for tourists visiting the region. Frejus combines well-preserved Roman architecture with a quaint seaside resort feeling, and lures visitors all year round. The most prominent attraction of Frejus is the Forum Juli, a network of ancient Roman structures, such as an amphitheatre, aqueducts, and arcades, all preserved in a very good condition.

    Port Frejus borders with the city and has some splendid sand beaches to offer; the soft, fine sand is perfect for relaxing in the sun, volleyball or an afternoon picnic. Let yourself be enchanted by the spirit of Frejus!

    Where to eat in Frejus:

    Frejus has, in contrast to Monte Carlo and Nice, a more hushed atmosphere. It is where you can rest after the adventurous evenings in the past days. This part of our road trip is dedicated to relaxing and dining! Frejus is home to Mediterranean cuisine. Worth recommending are L'Amandier, serving mostly traditional French dishes, and Merou Ardent, facing the seafront, known for it exquisite fish meals and a friendly ambience.

    Where to stay in Frejus:

    The laid-back countryside atmosphere of the city is enticing to many visitors. With your car hire in Frejus, you will be able to reach big cities in the vicinity. If you are looking for a luxurious hotel in a more affordable location, choose Arena Hotel, situated close to many sightseeing attractions in Frejus. The next recommendation is Mercure Thalassa Port Frejus at the sea shore, showing off with a top restaurant, specialised in fish and seafood dishes.

    Our road trip to Frejus continues along the coast, via the D559 road, to reach St. Tropez. It leads next to cliffs and rocks and unfolds picturesque vistas of the sea. Close to St. Tropez, the road runs along the Golf of St. Tropez, where a range of quaint restaurants and cafés offer a table with a view of the bay. If you reach it at the right moment, you will be bathed in the sun reflected by the waters of the gulf.

    Next stop: 1 hour 5 minutes


    Day 4: St. Tropez

    Road trip in St. Tropez, France Road trip in St. Tropez, France

    What to do in St. Tropez:

    The road trip to St. Tropez takes you to splendid beaches to take rest on and soak up some sun! The city has a relaxing flow you will feel the moment you arrive. This is where you will be able to experience the lifestyle of Southern France. Do not miss the chance to visit Musee de l'Annonciade exhibiting the works of post-impressionist artists such as Matisse, Derain and Bonnard, and other modern artists. Located at the west end of the harbour, the museum also offers a marvellous view of the city and the port - a perfect spot for your holiday pictures!

    Another place worth visiting is St. Tropez Polo Club, where the best polo players gather in June for the tournament and exhibition. A set of fashion shops and boutiques are near, by the seashore. If you follow the promenade to the north, the shopping possibilities will get significantly more affordable.

    Where to eat in St. Tropez:

    The city boasts a number of luxurious night clubs, and one of the most famous ones is the White 1921 lounge. This sophisticated venue, owned by Louis Vuitton, is known for its white interior design and champagne bottle service. A more modest option is Bagatelle Beach - a restaurant and a club on the shores of the Pampeolone Beach. You can choose between dining on the beach, or inside with the view of the harbour. The cosy atmosphere is created by live DJ music.

    Cities on Côte d'Azur, such as Cannes, are known for their exquisite seafood scene. St. Tropez' restaurants specialise in seafood as well as traditional French cuisine. The local highlight is the La Vague d'Or restaurant, which was awarded three Michelin stars and serves seasonal meals.

    Where to stay in St. Tropez:

    The city has an ample selection of hotels of various price range. Within short walking distance from the city centre, there is La Bastide De Saint Tropez, a luxurious hotel with all amenities you can imagine, including an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, and a restaurant. For a more moderate budget, choose Brise De Mer with a bar, restaurant and, best of all, terraces with a sea view in almost all rooms. With a car hire in St. Tropez, you are not limited to the accommodation options in the city centre. Be free in your travels!

    The last day of the French Riviera road trip comes to an end. However, this does not mean you are off to pack and leave! St. Tropez is a perfect spot to begin a further trip to Paris or Bretagne, for example. With help from Auto Europe, you will find a suitable car hire in France at an affordable price. Call our toll-free line, 0800 358 1229, and let our reservation team help you plan your road trip in France!


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