Côte d’Azur: from Cap d’Antibes to Menton

The eastern part of the Côte d'Azur is nicknamed the French Riviera. It is wonderful to stroll in alleys, along boulevards or in marinas. The azure blue Mediterranean Sea offers endless water and beach fun and the inland areas offer spectacular panoramas and wonderful hiking areas. It is a region for bon vivants, for those looking for added value and for travellers who are looking for luxury and comfort. However, it is not the first destination that motorhome owners think of when planning a road trip to the South of France. It is very busy in the summer, the narrow streets are stressful in the camper van or car and there are few campsites or caravan sites. But ... in spring or autumn, it is quiet and this region is perfect for motorhomes. We drove this route at the end of September under a lovely 25°C sun and found it to be one of our best road trips ever. Tip: the villages on the coast are off-limits to motorhomes, so you will always park at some distance from the centre or the beach. So be sure to bring a bicycle, e-bike or scooter on this road trip. Sporty cyclists will find on this route mythical climbs of the Col de Vence (from Vence), the Col d'Eze (from Nice) and the Col de la Madone (from Menton).


Total distance of the route: 191 km

Cap d’Antibes

The Cap d'Antibes peninsula consists of the historic Greek trading post Antipolis (now Antibes) and the equally fashionable Juan-les-Pins. This is the coast where Napoleon landed back in 1815 after his exile on Elba and the departure point of the famous 'Route Napoleon'. Napoleon was even imprisoned for a time in the Fort Carré in Antibes, a fortified Vauban fortress. Both Juan-les-Pins and Antibes have an old centre where you can spend hours in narrow alleys, along nice squares or on cosy terraces. The peninsula has numerous beaches and coves and is perfect for walking and cycling. Culture enthusiasts should visit the Picasso Museum in Antibes, in the Grimaldi Castle on the site of the old Antipolis. Antibes also has an exclusive marina where the largest yachts in the world are moored.


On leaving Antibes, there is a long boulevard along the beach towards Nice. At Cagnes-sur-Mer, we head inland towards our destination, Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Cagnes-sur-Mer is a fishing village that also has one of the many Grimaldi castles on its territory. The house of Grimaldi (which now rules Monaco) dates back to the 13th century and owns many properties on the Côte d'Azur. After a few kilometres, the medieval town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence appears on the right. Like many other places in the region, it bears the stamp of several famous artists. The village is an open-air gallery with artists at work in their studios, with art galleries in the narrow alleys and with inspiring art exhibitions. But above all, it is a unique sight and a real pleasure to walk around the medieval alleys and browse in the many shops selling exclusive goods. At the roundabout before the town, turn left up the hill; there is a car park for camper vans at the top.

Lastours - Montolieu

The Gorges du Loup is a gorge along the River Loup, which rises above Grasse and flows into the sea near Cagnes-sur-Mer. The area guarantees a beautiful hike or bike ride with fantastic panoramas. You will also find a multitude of hiking trails, climbing routes and possibilities for canyoning. Near Courmes is the 40m high Cascade de Courmes and the waterfall of Saut de Loup. We drove up the ravine via the Col de Vence, which starts in the centre of Vence and whose summit lies some 10 km later at 963m. The top is in a nature reserve, ideal for a stop or a walk. After the top, the road winds down through a fascinating landscape until you reach the Gorges du Loup after Gréolières. After the Gorges, you will stay in the green for a long time until you reach La Colle-sur-Loup, where you can connect to the M336 towards the coast.


On many motor home forums, Nice is designated as a 'town to avoid by motor home', but in our opinion this is only true in the high season. Then, by the way, every French seaside resort is to be avoided with a motor home. Even by car, it is no fun. In spring or autumn, you can drive to Nice with some preparation. There is no campsite or campervan park in Nice, so make a list in advance of several car parks where you can park your campervan. The smaller your motor home, the better in this case. An alternative is to find a campsite outside the city and use public transport. This is the option we chose and it worked perfectly. Highlights during a short visit to Nice are the Promenade des Anglais, the old town (Vieux Nice) and the chic neighbourhood in the higher Cimiez district. We enjoyed the lovely climate, the relaxed atmosphere and a delicious Salade Niçoise during this mini-citytrip.

From Nice to Menton

Between Nice and Menton lie Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu, Eze, Cap d'Ail, Monaco and Cap Martin. They are a magnet for the super-rich, but also simply nice places for a stop during a road trip. You can do this part of the route by motorhome and find a stop along the way, do a combination of the cycle route and motorhome route (which we did) or use public transport from Nice. We parked our motorhome in Beaulieu on the stone road above the marina and planned a 3-day trip on this part of the route. The first day we cycled up the coast around Beaulieu, Cap Ferrat and Villefranche, choosing one of the many beautiful coves for beach fun. The second day, we rode our bikes from Nice up the Col d'Eze and descended via Eze and La Turbie back to our parking place in Beaulieu. On the last day in this region, we rode along the sea from Beaulieu to Menton. Delightful!

Back to Nice

Do you like a ride over cols, through gorges and past picturesque mountain villages? Then this part of the route, between the foothills of the Alps, is for you. From Menton, we drive up the Col de la Madone to Sainte-Agnès. Along the way, you get a spectacular panorama of this part of the Azure coast. Sainte-Agnès is an old fortified town, high and strategically situated on a limestone rock of 666 metres high. This makes it officially 'the highest coastal village in Europe'. After the village, the road winds up to the top, after which there is a descent to Peille, picturesquely situated against a mountain wall. After Peille, we drive past Peillon, another pearl in this region. On this route there are 3 medieval villages that are all worth a visit. Always place the camper at a good distance from the centre, don't take the risk of getting stuck! After Peillon, the road descends towards Nice or to your chosen stop and we come to the end of this beautiful road trip.

This road trip only covers part of the Côte d'Azur, you can read the rest in the road trip Côte d'Azur: Marseille - Cannes.