With its nearly perpetual sunshine, palm-lined promenades and sparkling coastline, the French Riviera might not be the very first destination that comes to mind when you think of the quintessential Christmas getaway. Yet, there are a whole host of festive events that occur each year on the Cote d’Azur which exemplify the spirit of the season and make this region an ideal spot to spend Christmas.
If you want to make sure that you enjoy all that this region has to offer at this special time of year, the very best way to do that is from the plush environs of your very own home-away-from-home – a luxury villa for rent on the Cote d’Azur.
Here are some of the most enchanting and fun things to see and discover on the French Riviera this Christmas.
Ice skate in Monaco
It’s not every day that you can whirl around an ice rink that’s set in the very heart of one of the world’s most magnificent and breathtaking harbours. But that’s exactly what you’ll be able to do when you go ice-skating in Monaco
, where each December they transform the Olympic-sized swimming pool at the iconic Port Hercules into a massive and spectacular rink. Imagine circling blissfully around the huge, and rarely crowded, ice surface as you gaze at docked superyachts and sailboats at anchor in the legendary marina, all beneath an impossibly clear azure sky.
Marvel at the magical Christmas display in Lucéram
The authentic feeling of Christmas joy can’t help but come bubbling up, as you take in the entrancing scenes that greet you all throughout the charming village of Lucéram. Nestled in the hills, about 30 kilometres from Nice, Lucéram is the site each year of Circuit des Crèches, where you can feast your eyes on an extraordinary collection of 400 nativity scenes that adorn virtually every public space and hidden crevice in this picturesque place – some even float in the town’s numerous fountains.
The vast majority, if not all, of these crèches are handmade, imaginatively and painstakingly assembled from everyday items, such as wool, pinecones, paper, twigs and glass. Lovingly handcrafted, often ingenious and surprisingly splendid in their own ways, each of these nativity scenes has been constructed with great thought, care and attention. As far away from the gaudy or the fake as you can possibly get, the nativity creations of Lucéram will transport you to another simpler era and leave you glowing with genuine Christmas cheer.
Visit a Christmas market in Cannes
A longstanding and delightful tradition over the holiday season, many of the villages, towns and cities on the French Riviera boast their own Christmas Markets or Marchés du Noel. While there are many to choose from, including spectacular options in Nice and Antibes, one of the most well-known and beloved is situated in Cannes.
The Christmas Village
, which springs up annually on the Allées de la Liberté, directly across from the Palais des Festivals in Cannes consists of 60 wooden chalets bedecked in garlands and lights. This colourful event usually lasts from the beginning of December until the first week in January and offers something to appeal to every taste and all ages, from the young to the young at heart.
Wander aimlessly through its alleys and partake of all the wonderful treats on offer. Look for that perfect present. Sip mulled wine, savour delicious fresh oysters or toast to the year ahead with chilled champagne. Plus, on Christmas Eve, there’s even a parade along the Rue d’Antibes, where you can wave at your favourite animated characters come to life as they march by, spreading Christmas merriment in their wake.
With so much to explore at Christmastime on the Cote d’Azur, the best option to truly experience all that this area has to offer at this special time of year is to rent a holiday villa on the French Riviera. Then you’ll have your own lavish pied a terre – complete with swimming pool, amazing views and a whole range of opulent features – from which to head out and take part in all of the South of France’s seasonal wonders and festivities.
If you’d like to find out about the luxury villas for rent on the Cote d’Azur that are available through Cap Villas, we invite you to take a closer look at our website
. Or, you can get in touch with Emilia at [email protected]