The French Riviera or Cote d’Azur. Home to the glamorous beach front resorts and towns such as Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Antibes and micro-state, Monaco. It’s year round mild weather and scorching summers make it a hit for tourists from all over the globe. The French Riviera really is a fantastic place to soak up the sun and the culture but aside from all the sight seeing, world class cuisine and stunning coastline, it also boasts plenty of fantastic golf courses. Here’s a short but sweet guide on where to play, stay and party whilst in the south of France.
Whilst there isn’t quite the influx of golf courses like there are in places like the Costa Del Sol, Spain or the Algarve, Portugal, The French Riviera still offers a great array of golf courses.
Royal Mougins Golf Resort:
Royal Mougins is in itself a small resort. It houses an 18 hole golf course, a hotel with 29 suites/apartments, a fitness centre and a luxury spa. It’s a quiet setting but the resort has a good buzz about the place. The clubhouse has a fantastic restaurant with a large outside terrace overlooking the 18th hole and has frequent BBQ’s and food served outside all day.
The golf course is brilliant fun. The holes are all playable for any level but with plenty of hazards, water and elevation changes, it’s an ever changing layout. The Par 3, second hole definitely peaks as being the best on the course and is guaranteed to remain a talking point for long after the round.
Royal Mougins is one of the best maintained and visually pleasing golf courses in the area and a must play for those in the French Riviera. If you’re not staying at the golf course then all is not lost as a car journey will see you back in Cannes in no longer than 25 minutes. You can read more about Royal Mougins Golf Resort here.
Old Course Cannes Mandelieu:
Dating back to 1891, Old Course Cannes Mandelieu is a piece of local history in itself. The golf course is a charming parkland layout. The fairways are fairly tight and lined with Stone Pines from tee to green, a common feature for many golf courses in the area. Plenty of bunkers guard the greens and large fairway bunkers make the already tight fairways even tighter.
Overall the course is fairly flat but that is due to its wonderful, beachside location.Â There’s 2 courses here, an 18 hole and a 9 hole. The 18 hole course spreads across the coastline and features a fun crossing over the Siagne River which requires a short ferry across the river.
Cannes Mandelieu is the home golf course of Ryder Cup golfer, Victor Dubuisson. The club has a real rustic feel to it, the clubhouse has a stunning, classic exterior but with a modern pro shop that keeps it with the times. It is the closest golf course to Cannes, just drive 10 minutes along the coastline and you’re there. Mandelieu is a great place to stay if you wanted a beachfront location which is quieter but still offers a fantastic coastline and plenty of restaurants and bars along the front.
The Nightlife and Where To Stay:
Aside from the golf and needless to say, the French Riviera offers an abundance of places to stay. The entire coastline is dotted with fashionable harbour towns and despite the huge tourism market, they all remain very unspoilt which is very refreshing for such a place.
The obvious choice would be to stay in Cannes. Whilst I am usually disappointed by the mainstream areas in any country, Cannes does a very good job at remaining authentic. Boulevard de la Croisette is a fantastic area. Along the beach front are dozens of beach bars and clubs with loungers to rent on the sand, they are mostly open during the day until the early evening.
Just back from the front is vast a network of small streets each packed with restaurants all offering ‘Al Fresco’ dining on the pavements. The restaurants are typically french and serving fantastic, local cuisine. In this area you will also find some great shopping during the day. From high street names, high end designer brands and plenty of patisseries, it’s not spoilt by shops all selling tourist tat! If you haven’t been, stop into Ladurée this Parisian chain of luxury patisserie is the best around.
For the nightlife, stay in this area. In the evenings, Rue Frères Pradignac and surrounding lanes get very busy after hours. Stop by the pint house for beer by the litre! I haven’t experienced any of the clubs around here but if you really want to step it up a notch, look out for Gotha Nightclub. A taxi ride is required but with A-List headliners including the likes of Akon and Rick Ross, it’s the trendiest spot in town, it’s open from midnight ’til 7am.
If Cannes isn’t quite your scene then neighbouring town, Antibes may just tick the boxes. Along the marina is a younger crowd. Boulevard d’Aguillon is a popular mid week drinking spot. Take a walk around the marina if you can. Some of the Super Yachts here are out of this world. Roman Abramovich often parks his ‘Eclipse’ Yacht here and many of the worlds superstars will spend weeks of the summer in this area.