A castle sits on the beach coast of Cannes, France. With proper planning, the French Riviera can be accessible by anyone, not just the wealthy patrons the area is known for. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Armstrong
A local marina sits on the beach coast of Cannes, France. With proper planning, the French Riviera can be accessible by anyone, not just the wealthy patrons the area is known for. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Armstrong
by Staff Sgt. Jason Armstrong
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/23/2012 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- I'm all for saving a couple of bucks whenever I can. If I go shopping, I'm going to hit up the sales and take advantage of coupons. When I need to make a major purchase, I do plenty of research for good bargains and the best reviewed products. Even when it comes to traveling I look for the best deals. So when my family decided to take a trip to the French Riviera this summer for a much needed getaway, we started planning early.
We did some searching online and looked at a variety of websites and found some pretty good prices for a decent apartment rental. We ultimately chose a beach-front studio flat in Juan Les Pins, a beach town within 15 miles of Cannes and Nice. Juan Les Pins is a great location with dozens of shops and restaurants, and plenty of beach access. The only downside is the parking or lack thereof. On vacation, time is money and a lot of "money" was spent looking for precious parking in this busy, tourist-filled town. But any inconvenience of parking is made up by some great food.
Restaurant options range from burger and kebab stands that offer sandwiches for about 5 euro, to sit-down dining offering French, Italian, Thai, or many other cuisines for up to 25 euro a plate. There are plenty of options for every budget.
One of the cool things about renting an apartment is being able to store some groceries and cook a few meals to offset the cost of eating out. It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with budget wise.
For this vacation, we wanted to do as little cooking and dishes as possible, and just ate out the whole time. For our three person family, we found that we could eat pretty well for about 100 euro a day.
For entertainment, there is a wide variety of things to do in Juan Les Pins and the surrounding area. Parasailing, glass-bottom boat tours, and jet skiing are just a few of the activities to enjoy. For the kids there are a ton of carousels, bumper cars and other child-friendly rides all over the place. We even found a cool antique market in Cannes that had everything from original canvas art from the 1930s to hand-made jewelry. There is definitely something for everyone while vacationing in the southern French coast.
All in all, a trip to the famous French Riviera is worth the approximate seven-hour drive from Aviano. It proved to be a great time to relax at the beach and spend time together as a family. Just plan and budget ahead so when you get there all you have to do is worry about having a good time and finding a parking spot.