Spring on the French Riviera
Regardless of the season, there’s never a dull moment on the French Riviera. No sooner are the New Year’s celebrations behind us than we’re gearing up for the annual February and March festivities: the ever-popular Nice Carnival; Menton’s Fête du Citron, with its spectacular floats made of citrus fruit; and the Fête du Mimosa in Mandelieu la Napoule, just to name a few.
But there’s a special magic in the air when springtime is finally upon us, with its warmer temperatures, longer days and balmy evenings. Few sights are as breathtaking as the blossoming almond and cherry orchards in the valleys of the Luberon, but the local markets along the Côte d’Azur reflect nature’s bounty too: flower stalls are filled with tall arum lilies and bold branches of mimosa, but also delicate courgette blossoms, ripe red strawberries, and the first of the season’s charentais melons, a specialty of Cavaillon.
You can see the annual awakening in other ways too: From Monaco to Saint-Tropez, outdoor cafés—and even beaches—are filling up with both locals and visitors. The Petit Train d’Antibes resumes its seasonal run from the Place des Martyrs and across the Cap d’Antibes to the center of Juan les Pins; the annual Salon d’Antibes art and antiques fair is in full swing; street musicians reappear on their habitual corners; and glaciers reopen their doors after months of closure, their glass cases filled with tantalizing tubs of ice cream and sorbets in an array of colors as bright as spring tulips.
There’s excitement in the air as well, as the region gears up for its big events: the star-studded Cannes Film Festival, starting this year on May 17, and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament, a highlight of Monaco’s April event calendar that is followed, in May, by the world-renowned Formula One Grand Prix, from May 26-28. With all of this on offer, it’s no wonder that France is consistently ranked as the world’s top tourist destination.
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