Best Christmas Markets on the French Riviera
While the deliciously mild temperatures, sparkling coastline and consistently sunny skies of the French Riviera might not conjure up images of the quintessential Christmas destination, the truth is that this gorgeous corner of the world has more than enough holiday cheer to spread around. For example, you might be surprised to learn that the area boasts a number of wonderful Christmas markets that are well worth a visit, particularly those located in Nice, Cannes and Monaco.
Should you like to try something a little different this year by spending the Christmas holidays in the perpetual sunshine of the South of France, the very best way to ensure that you enjoy all that this magnificent region has to offer is from the luxurious comfort of your own French Riviera villa rental. Your own lavish villa for rent near Monaco, Nice or Cannes, will give you the perfect vantage point from which to explore the Christmas markets in these Riviera hotspots.
Nice’s Magical Christmas market
Beloved for its famed beachfront promenade – the Promenade des Anglais, which is lit up marvellously for the holidays – its chic boutiques and cafes, and its timeless style, Nice also plays host to an annual Christmas market that definitely ought not to be missed. Running this year from the 2nd of December until the 1st of January 2018, Village de Noël Nice takes place in the Place Massena. In the midst of this historic square, an entire Alpine village springs to life, with approximately 60 chalets showcasing Christmas-themed handicrafts and wares. There’s also an enchanted forest filled with about 600 fir trees, an ice skating rink and loads of fun, free activities designed to delight children and parents alike.
Monaco’s Christmas market invites you to skate and marvel
The splendid Christmas market in Monaco – which occurs this Christmas season between the 6th of December 2017 and the 7th of January 2018 – is set annually in Port Hercule, the Principality’s iconic marina. Featuring wooden chalets selling culinary treats and handmade gifts, as well as a Ferris Wheel, the true highlight of Monaco’s Village de Noël is it’s ice-skating rink.
Imagine twirling around the ice in the very centre of one of the world’s most magnificent and breathtaking harbours. Each December Monaco transforms its port’s Olympic-sized swimming pool into a vast and spectacular rink. Picture yourself gazing at docked megayachts and colourful sailboats bobbing at anchor, as you blissfully glide across the massive, and rarely crowded, ice surface, on a cloudless day filled with Riviera sunshine.
Spend countless hours at Cannes’ famous Christmas market
One of the most well-known and best-loved of all the Christmas markets on the Cote d’Azur is situated in Cannes. The dates for this year’s Christmas Village – which emerges annually on the Allées de la Liberté, directly across from the Palais des Festivals in Cannes – are 6th of December 2017 until 6th of January 2018. The Cannes Christmas market consists of 60 wooden chalets decked out in garlands and lights, and offers something that’s bound to appeal to every taste.
Sip steaming mulled wine, savour delicious fresh oysters or toast to the year ahead with chilled champagne. Stroll happily through the narrow alleys between the booths and drink in all the incredible sights, sounds and mouth-watering aromas. Find that perfect gift you’ve been hunting for. And, if you’re in the mood, on Christmas Eve, you can even attend a charming festive parade that proceeds along the Rue d’Antibes.
With so much to discover at Christmastime and so many Christmas markets to check out on the Cote d’Azur, you simply cannot go wrong staying in your own French Riviera villa rental. From the lavish environs of your own pied a terre in the South of France – complete with swimming pool, amazing views and a whole range of opulent features – you’ll be perfectly positioned to head out and take part in all the seasonal festivities your heart may desire.