What is the ideal time to discover the Côte d’Azur? Each season has something to offer, but the start of autumn boasts the kind of warm weather that is perfect for exploring, exceptional golden light, and a Riviera that is still open for tourists but without the summer crowds. In short, it has everything you need to enjoy this paradise again.
It’s the best time to enjoy the Mediterranean
Can you really still swim in the Mediterranean in October? Absolutely! The sea has had all summer to warm up and is simply delightful this time of year. It’s easy to get in for a dip, and the wide beaches are much less busy, giving you more space to unfurl your parasol, spread out your beach towel, sunbathe and daydream beside the endless clear blue sea. You can also try paddleboarding, take a trip on a pointu (the traditional Provençale fishing boats found at the port of Nice), or book a short cruise to the Lérins Islands or Saint Tropez (every day in October from the port of Nice). Enjoy the Mediterranean without the crowds and explore its coastlines and towns bathed in the wonderful autumnal light: it will be almost as if you have it all to yourself.
A hinterland clothed in autumnal bronze and gold awaits
Did you know that the Côte d’Azur has a secret? Its stunning inland region! In October, you can hear the roar of the many stags that roam our hills (head to the Réserve des Monts d’Azur to have a listen, but make sure to book: https://www.reserve- biologique.com/) and witness the forests and garrigues turning gold and purple. The hills of the Estérel mountain range, the roads that overlook Théoule sur Mer, Valmasque park and the Roya, Vésubie and magnificent Gordolasque valleys are arrayed in their autumnal finery, and it’s a real feast for the eyes. Don’t miss the incredible walks on offer with magnificent views every way you look (plan them here https://randoxygene.departement06.fr). These are the foothills of the Alps, and even at this distance from the peaks you get to see the Alpine flora and fauna. It’s the perfect setting for switching off from the stresses of city life and recharging your batteries.
We have plenty of festivities in Autumn too
A number of festivals take place in October, such as the famous Book Festival in Mouans Sartoux that is teeming with renowned and as-yet undiscovered authors alike. The Castagnada (Chestnut Festival) is also celebrated in October in the streets of Nice’s Old Town, a tradition that is both fun and delicious. A little further out, in the village of La Brigue, the Fête de la Brebis (the Festival of the Ewe) is celebrated. It is a picturesque mix of traditions connected to seasonal migrations, Medieval festivals and the games of olden times – and has something for everyone.
And let’s not forget the Voiles de Saint Tropez Regatta that takes place at the end of October (and can be accessed from the port of Nice by boat), which is a sumptuous parade of antique sailing boats in Saint Tropez harbour. There’s also the Salon des Antiquaires de Fayence, the immensely popular Fayence antiques fair, which is a true institution in the world of up-market antiques.
New flavours to discover in October
October in Nice is the month for mushrooms, and particularly the cèpe mushrooms that quietly proliferate on hillsides. With their distinctive aroma they make a dish fit for royalty when added to fresh pasta, local-style ravioli and sauces. It’s also chestnut season. Here chestnuts are commonly eaten as an accompaniment to meat and poultry, but also in a heavy yet delicious bread (give this a try at Epi de Blé on boulevard Garnier next to the market in Nice). Finally, it’s only fitting that you try the Bellet wines while you are here, which is the smallest PDO in France, as the grapes are grown in the heart of Nice. These wines are mostly organic and sold in most good restaurants in Nice, but can also be found at the Colline de Bellet vineyards where the wine producers are all too happy to welcome you for a tasting.
Get your heart racing in 2023 with Nice’s sports events
Something new and exciting is happening in October 2023. The final matches of the Rugby World Cup are coming to Nice! For rugby fans, a Rugby Village and fan area await at the Allianz Riviera stadium and in the very centre of Nice. One thing’s for sure – the atmosphere will be incredible!
In Antibes and Cannes you can cheer on the Triathlon des Roses, a charity sports event that is as fun to take part in as it is to support (the triathlon is raising money for the breast cancer research charity Recherche contre le Cancer du sein). Finally, the Roc d’Azur, the number one mountain bike event in the world, is taking place on the Côte d’Azur and in its hills in October.
If high-energy exercise isn’t your thing, why not try the ubiquitous pétanque (also known as boules)? This fun activity is kinder on your joints, but nevertheless requires plenty of skill and concentration.
To discover great holiday apartments and villas available for booking for October, head to https://www.rivieraholidayhomes.com/en/, the experienced Côte d’Azur holiday letting specialist. Offering beautiful villas and gorgeous apartments along with friendly advice and support, Riviera Holiday Homes is the ideal partner for a holiday to remember.