March 15 2022
It's no secret our team loves to travel, so when we decided to launch the Le Soleil Français Collection, we knew there was only one way to truly bring it to life. With our passports in hand, we packed our bags for a rosé-fueled adventure through the South of France. We spent two glorious weeks eating, shopping, and sightseeing our way around the French Riviera and Biarritz. With its picturesque coastlines, spectacular beaches, amazing food, and gorgeous countryside, it's easy to see why the South of France is one of the world's most popular vacation destinations. To celebrate the launch, we're sharing our insider tips for traveling around the Côte d'Azur and Biarritz, including the best places to eat, drink, sleep, and explore!
Get ready for a relaxing holiday in the glamorous town of Nice. From the sparkling Mediterranean Sea to the pastel buildings of Old Town, it's impossible not to fall in love with the French Riviera's capital. While Nice is stylish, it is also a lively, fun beach town with a buzzing nightlife scene, fabulous shopping, and amazing restaurants.
Top 5 Things to See + Do in Nice
Musée Matisse: The Musée Matisse is dedicated to the art of French artist Henri Matisse. His works are on display in one of the world's largest collections, tracing his artistic evolution through the last works he created. His iconic work was a source of inspiration for us when designing Le Soleil Français Collection.
Promenade des Anglais: The 3 mile stretch of Promenade des Anglais has been a Nice landmark since the first half of the 19th century, a popular place for a scenic walk with gorgeous views of the sea.
Vieux Nice (Old Nice): The past is present in Vieux Nice! A walk through the narrow streets will transport you back in time as it looks and feels as though it must have been two centuries ago. On summer evenings the Old Town turns into an open-air party.
Cours Saleya Market: The flower and food markets at Cours Saleya are an explosion of colors, aromas, and Provencal charm. Our favorite findings were crystalized rose petals made for dropping in a glass of champagne for a little extra sparkle!
Beaches: Most of the beaches in Nice are covered with multi-colored pebbles. Here are some of the best beaches to spend a day swimming in the turquoise blue Mediterranean sea!
- Plage Beau Rivage: This private beach at the foot of the Old Town is the largest in the French Riviera and comes with five-star amenities.
- Le Galet: This beach club serves chilled wine & seafood on a stylish, lounge-like waterfront terrace.
- Blue Beach: Located on the Promenade des Anglais, this private beach is just steps away from some of Nice's best hotels like the Negresco and Palais de la Méditerranée.
Villefranche-sur-Mer: While not technically in Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer beach is an easy 15-minute bus ride along the coast and offers the rarest of things on the French Riviera: sand!
Best Places to Eat + Drink in Nice
Pro tip: Salad Niçoise is the official dish of the region and is served in most of the restaurants here, complete with buttery potatoes -- it's a must try!
Le Plongeoir $$$: "Le Plongeoir" is French for "The Diving Board". This restaurant sits upon a rock, separate from the mainland. In our opinion, this has to be one of the most fun locations for a restaurant in the world. Enjoy an aperol spritz or a bottle of rosé in the lounge bar and stay for one of the best sunset views in Nice.
Hôtel Le Negresco: Enjoy a cocktail or two at the wood-paneled bar nestled inside this legendary hotel.
La Réserve: This is a beautiful restaurant overlooking Nice’s Bay of Angels and the Port of Nice.
Les Pêcheurs: A Michelin-star restaurant located near the water, Les Pêcheurs specializes in Mediterranean fish grilled with herbs. A piece of paradise and quintessentially Côte d'Azur.
Best Places to Stay in Nice
Airbnb in Vieux Nice $-$$$: You can go as big or as moderate as you want with an Airbnb in Nice.
Hotel Negresco $$$: Rated Top 5 Hotels in the Mediterranean.
Palais Saleya $-$$: Centrally located hotel in Old Town with stylish, spacious rooms.
Antibes is the second-largest town on the Côte d’Azur and is home to the largest port (and some of the largest mega yachts) in the Mediterranean. Antibes has a down-to-earth vibe perfect for those looking to experience the French Riviera without the glitz and glam of its ritzier neighbors. The town of Antibes is located between Nice and Cannes, so it is an ideal destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway for all types of travelers.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Antibes
Walk around Antibes Old Town: the Old Town of Antibes, or Vielle Ville, is lined with cobblestone streets, cute boutiques, and cafes. Spend the day exploring the narrow streets, colorful shops, and quaint eateries.
Musée Picasso: Housed within the former Château Grimaldi, this museum exhibits 250 of Picasso's works and provides a glimpse into the artist's life and inspiration. The building looks out onto the Mediterranean sea, and there are stunning views through many of the windows.
Marche Provincial: One of the best markets along the Cote d'Azur, you can find everything from seasonal vegetables to local cheeses and fresh meats at the Marche Provincial. Don't forget to indulge in the Provencal-style cuisine, you can't go wrong with local olives and oils!
Pro Tip: Bring your RVS tote and pack it filled with gourmet items for a picnic on the beach.
Walk the Le Sentier du Littoral trail, Cap d'Antibes: This is one of the top 10 walks in the world and a “must do” activity when visiting Antibes. The Sentier du Littoral trail provides panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a popular walking path with visitors and locals alike. And it's free. Bring your camera!
Port de l'Olivette: This pebbled beach and little port filled with Pointu boats – colorful traditional provincial fishing boats – is a great stop for photographers and sunbathers.
Best Places to Eat + Drink in Antibes
Le Cap: For a more informal, daytime bite, roll straight from the sand into this beachfront restaurant.
Eden-Roc Champagne Lounge: Head to the magical Eden-Roc Champagne lounge at the Eden-Roc hotel. It's a magical rooftop terrace bar with bubbles and sparkling views of the sea below.
Le Michelangelo: a.k.a. “Mamo”. No matter where in the world we travel, we always find ourselves eating Italian food! Mamo is a well-established Old Town Italian restaurant. Owner/chef Mamo is very well-connected and his restaurant attracts celebrities from around the world. During the Cannes Film Festival famous actors such as Julia Roberts, George Clooney, and Leo DiCaprio have been seen dining here.
Best Places to Stay in Antibes
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc $$$: Located on the tip of Cap d'Antibes, this hotel is one of the most legendary on the French Riviera.
Pro Tip: Book a sunset reservation at the Eden-Roc Grill restaurant or rooftop Champagne lounge. The property is so beautiful even if you don’t stay here we highly recommend you experience this iconic property.
Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel $$: This is one of the only hotels in the area that provides complimentary beach daybeds to guests!
Hôtel La Place Antibes $-$$: This little hotel is a great value and its central location makes for perfect for a stay in Antibes.
Saint-Tropez is a seaside resort town on the French Riviera. Historically a small fishing village, it began to draw attention when Brigitte Bardot starred in the 50s film, ‘And God Created Woman’. It soon became a place of luxury and glamor, drawing a jet-set crowd in the summer. However, you don't have to be a celebrity to enjoy everything this Mediterranean paradise has to offer. Behind the mega yachts and designer boutiques, the charming old village still exists, with narrow pastel colored streets and locals hanging out at their favorite cafes.
Top 5 Things to See + Do in Saint-Tropez
Place des Lices Market: Stroll the open-air Provencal market and shop for flowers, freshly baked bread, pastries, and cheese or play a game of pétanque with the locals.
Shopping: From local markets to chic boutiques, an afternoon of shopping is a must in Saint-Tropez! Pick up a pair of Rondini Saint-Tropez sandals, they are a Saint-Tropez tradition and will look amazing with your ALOHA Pareo at the beach clubs!
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: If you are looking for something different and are in Saint-Tropez late September to early October, check out the racing regatta! The mega yachts clear out of the harbor and beautiful large sailboats take their place. During the day, when the boats are out racing, you get to experience the harbor the way it used to be, still and picturesque.
Beach Clubs: No trip to Saint-Tropez would be complete without hopping around the legendary beach clubs on Beach. Pack up your beach tote and head down to Le Club 55, Nikki Beach, and La Reserve a la Plage.
Winery Tour + Tasting: It’s always "rosé season" in Saint-Tropez, so take a day trip to one of the wineries to get your fix. We recommend visiting Château Minuty, Domaine Mirabeau, and Château Des Marres.
Best Places to Eat + Drink in Saint-Tropez
Pro tip: If you like sweets you must try the Tarte Tropézienne, Saint-Tropez’s traditional dessert, a brioche pastry filled with whipped custard cream and topped with sugar.
Le Sénéquier: Le Sénéquier is an institution in St. Tropez. Post up for a drink on the bright red patio of this harbor-side hotspot and enjoy some of the best people (and yacht) watching in the area.
Le TIGrr Saint Tropez: Located inside the Ermitage hotel, this lounge is a short walk from town. Go out for a fun night of dancing and cocktails with live DJ sets.
Dior de Lices: Dior (Yes! THAT Dior) for coffee + macarons
Le Club 55: At this upscale beach club, a chilled glass of rosé is always within reach. Great place to spend the day sipping + sunbathing.
Lou Lou Plage + Restaurant: Loulou à Ramatuelle was designed as an homage to the bohemian Riviera of the 1950s. Fun fact! This newly opened Riviera outpost is the sister restaurant of Lou Lou at the Palais du Louvre in Paris.
Best Places to Stay in Saint-Tropez
Hôtel Lou Pinet $$$: Our top pick! It felt like staying in a Slim Aarons photograph. There are vintage chess and backgammon boards in the lounge and a parasol-lined turquoise pool. Definitely worth every euro to stay here!
Kube Hotel Saint-Tropez $$: Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Kube Saint-Tropez has a fabulous pool and is just a 10-minute walk from the port.
Airbnb $-$$$: Rent a house or Villa, we love the traditional mas style homes!
Day Trip Ideas:
- Port Grimaud
Biarritz is a laid-back, low-key surf town located on the Bay of Biscay in the French Basque Country in southwestern France. Biarritz, the surfing capital of Europe, is known for its dreamy beaches, fun surf breaks, and its fusion of the French, Basque, and Spanish cuisines that make it one of France's most popular foodie spots.
Top 5 Things to See + Do in Biarritz
Surf: Le Miramar, Anglet, La Côte des Basques, Marbella Beach, and Le Grand Plage
Sunbathe at Le Grande Plage: Rent a striped cabana and spend the day at Le Grande Plage!
Buy a Pair of Espadrilles: Nothing says “I went to France” like a custom pair of Espadrille sandals! Les Sandales d’Eugenie opened in 1935 and specializes in making custom and original espadrilles.
Les Halles Market: Go for the gourmet tasting bars, cheese and charcuterie stalls, and stay for pastries, oysters, and fresh fruits!
Wander along the Fishermen’s Harbor: (Port des Pêcheurs) lined with traditional “crampottes”, these lovely fishermen huts are adorned with typical red, blue, or green shutters.
Best Places to Eat + Drink in Biarritz
Beach House Anglet: This is one of our FAVORITE places in the area. Enjoy Basque-style cooking then stay for a dip in their pool and cocktails after brunch!
Le Bar Jean: One of the oldest tapas joints in town, Bar Jean is a must-eat. As do many of the pintxos (tapas) bars around Les Halles market, it stays open until well after midnight.
Eden Rock Café: Eden's Rock Cafe is a go-to for lunch with a view as you sit on the rocks overlooking the Med.
Bar Extola Bibi: Sip rosé at sunset overlooking la Côte des Basques beach at Extola Bibi or walk down the path to Le Surfing, a beachfront brasserie that serves seafood platters, burgers and poke bowls! They also make a killer espresso martini!
L' Artnoa: The owner and his crew are all sommeliers, so you’re in good hands at this buzzy late-night wine bar serving French charcuterie boards and local wines. We recommend the sparkling rosé and bonus points for all the surf photography and art hanging on the walls, we felt right at home here.
Best Places to Stay in Biarritz
Palmito Biarritz $-$$: Their motto is “bring the ALOHA Spirit to Biarritz.” Need we say more?
Day Trip Ideas:
- San Sebastian
What to Pack for a Vacation in the French Riviera
This ALOHA style and packing guide will help you curate a capsule wardrobe for your holiday in the South of France. Keep in mind that the French Riviera does have a jet-set crowd, but it’s not Miami so keep it elegant, relaxed, and simple. We recommend bringing a couple of nicer outfits in case you want to hit one of the Michelin-starred restaurants.
- Pareo: Use as a coverup for the beach or pool. We always bring one that can double as a cute beach dress and a blanket on the plane.
- Bikini (or three!)
- Linen button-up shirts
- Linen shorts
- Maxi dresses: We love Tiare Hawaii’s flowy off-the-shoulder Hollie dress
- Beach sandals: The beaches are rocky in the French Riviera, so you’ll want a pair you can wear on pebbled beaches
- Leather sandals for day to night–pick up a pair at Rondini Saint-Tropez!
ALOHA Pouch + Bag Packing Guide
Mini Pouch: Our mini pouches can hold makeup or can be used as a coin purse for all those loose euros floating around.
Small Pouch: These must-pack travel pouches can be used on the plane to keep your carry-on organized, or you can dress it up and use it as a cute beach clutch at night.
Mid Pouch: packing cube, SPF, sunnies, etc and keeping your beach bag organized.
MAX Pouch: These are great to use as packing cubes. We love separating day wear and evening wear. You can also use a MAX pouch as a travel laundry bag.
Mini Hip Pack: Our Mini Hip Packs are great for walking, sailing, airports, and train travel–we never travel to Europe without one since they are “pickpocket-proof.”
Reversible Tote: If you only bring one bag on your vacation in France, make sure it's our versatile RVS Tote. With its compact size, this bag can be easily packed in your suitcase to be used for shopping trips and sightseeing, farmer's markets, and beach days. Since it's reversible, you can get double the style and accessorize your outfits.
Day Tripper: Pack for a day at the winery or fill it to the brim with fruit, a baguette, and an assortment of cheeses for a picnic.
Holo Holo: Our reversible Holo Holo tote is a must-have beach bag and carryall for your trip to the French Riviera. It’s lightweight and packable so bring it to the beach for cabana hopping in Saint-Tropez and Nice!
HERE are even more ways to use our Splash-Proof travel pouches.