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Cote d'Azur Least Touristy Town Recommendations

We plan to spend 7-10 days in the region this July. Although we plan to do some things in Nice, we prefer a less touristy area to stay Any recommendations for such a place would be appreciated!

Thank you!

Posted by
24059 posts

I'm not sure there is a less-touristy place along the coast in July. Nice, being a large city, felt less touristy to me than some smaller places.

Will you have a car? Do you plan to spend some of your time seeing hill towns or will you always be along the coast? Some of the places off the coast didn't seem to have a lot of tourists when I visited the area in May 2017. Those included Vence, Biot and Vallauris. However, they don't have rail service so they wouldn't be convenient bases if you didn't have a car, and then only if your destinations were reasonably nearby. I can't say I'd recommend any of them for a long stay. The longer you plan to stay put, the more I'd be likely to recommend Nice, since it's the town in the area with the most sights. I wouldn't want to stay elsewhere and make 3 or 4 day trips into Nice.

Do you have some time allotted to Provence, or have you already been there? If this is your first trip to southeastern France, I'd be inclined to spend about 4 or 5 nights along/near the Riviera and the rest of the time in Provence--though you certainly would benefit from more time in both places.

Posted by
9643 posts

Consider Ramateulle. We spent several days there, beautiful beaches below the town.

Posted by
579 posts

July in Ramatuelle and the nearby Pampelonne beach is peak season in one the most pricey but most popular areas of the Cote d'Azur. While the village itself and the luxe resorts are more sane, the nearby beach has returned to be a key beach club/party destination with the in-crowd (along with nearby Saint Tropez). That said, there are less crowded and calmer spots, especially on the western end (it is quite long). You will need a car but don't plan to drive too much in and out of the peninsula as the traffic gets extremely bad. There are some other beach towns and villages between there and Hyeres, with less famous beaches.

That said, all the seaside locations are going to have a lot of summer traffic. As acraven mention, Vence is a little off the major tourist beat, as is Biot and Tourettes-sur-Loup. These are all off the coast. You can rent a villa or apartment but you'll need a car.

Of the coastal towns, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a little more lowkey but still has decent transport connections. Theole-sur-Mer might also work. In Nice, if you don't stay in the Old Town you'll avoid much of the crush. Staying in an area like Liberation (an up and coming area for locals with a 6 time a week real farmer's market) might work (or further down the Prom towards Fabron). And reality, due to the pebbles/rocks and the large length, the beach isn't as crowded in July/August as the ones in Antibes/Cannes. You feel the crowds in the Old Town --- but I've felt far more crowded in some popular villages.

Posted by
30298 posts

Now when I go to Beaulieu-sur-Mer I am a tourist so I suppose there are plenty of tourists - there are a couple of hotels after all, but it has never seemed that way to me. Strolling to the supermarket (a Super U) or wandering around I always just feel at home in a town of locals.

Moving down the coast when I walk to Monaco I find Eze-sur-Mer to be quiet (unlike its namesake up the hill, Village).

One of my favourite places to get away from a touristy feel (a few streets away from the usual suspects) is Monaco. The proportion of residents to tourists is high, and the apartments are spread out all over the little country. Where I go it is relatively rare to run into clumps of tourists (last week of May every year excluded).

I will say, it has been a very long time since I had the courage to go to the Côte d'Azur in midsummer. I'm usually there in February. Almost every year bC... not since though, I'm afraid.

Posted by
75 posts

There is really no such thing as a "non-touristy" town on the Cote d'Azur. It's been a tourist mecca for both French people and foreigners for generations.

Posted by
5646 posts

I would argue that if you do not mind a city stay, Nice is probably the least touristy place you can stay in. It has a large year-round population, so the effect of the summer high season is not the same as in seaside towns whose populations will be multiplied by 10 in July and August.
The above recommendation of Ramatuelle on the Saint-Tropez peninsula will definitely not allow you to escape crowds at all. Ramatuelle itself will be fine, but the roads are horribly jammed in high summer and nearby St Tropez is a madhouse.

Now, I do find that 7-10 days is on the longer side if you focus only on the coast. If you have access to a car you could mix it up with a few days inland, like towards the Mercantour or towards the Verdon.