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Marseille | © Matthieu da Cruz/Unsplash
Marseille | © Matthieu da Cruz/Unsplash
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Reasons to Visit the French Riviera in Spring

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 19 March 2018
The French Riviera is always magnificent but in Spring, when the weather turns and before the hordes arrive, it can feel like magic.

You can ski and sunbathe on the same day

One of the reasons that people flock to Nice is because of its geography; bordered by the sea on one side and mountains to the north, you can technically ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon. Obviously, this depends on the snow in late March/early April, but even if it’s not that good, you can still head uphill for some purifying mountain air for a change of scenery before sunbathing later in the day with a cocktail in hand. Bliss.

Nice in the Spring is a lovely place to be
Nice in the Spring is a lovely place to be |  © John Jason/Unsplash

Everything is (a bit) cheaper

The French Riviera is not known for its cost-effectiveness and often the opposite is true – it can be hard to not feel like you are being ripped off or paying extortionate prices for food eaten with a view, particularly in the summer. In Spring, you’re still likely to find better room rates and meal deals in the local restaurants before they hike up their prices for the real tourist rush.

You might just find a reasonably empty beach in the Spring
You might just find a reasonably empty beach in the Spring |  © Barna Bartis/Unsplash

The beaches (and sea) will be much more empty

If you live in a country or area where it never gets that warm and the sea is always cold, then you’ll love the French Riviera in Spring. Most of the locals won’t set foot in the sea until it gets really warm in June or July, so you can take a refreshing dip much earlier and often have the water (and maybe the beach) all to yourself at certain times of the day. There are some delightful beaches in Cannes, Nice or St Tropez.

The streets of Antibes on the French Riviera will be much less packed in the Spring
The streets of Antibes on the French Riviera will be much less packed in the Spring |  © Reuben Mcfeeters/Unsplash

There are fewer people

It can be tricky to navigate medieval towns and small cobbled streets with the summer crowds, but the best time to come is in Spring. Not everything will be open all of the time or late but most things in the major towns open up at the latest by mid-April. It will give you more room to breathe when you’re taking that wine tour, visiting the beautiful neighbourhoods of Nice or trying to get a table at the best restaurants in Cannes.