Christmas on the French Riviera

December is finally here! Advent is already under way, and Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus later this month on Christmas Day.  Traditionally, Christmas also means month-long festivities involving Christmas markets, Christmas concerts, and many other dedicated events.

Traveling to the French Riviera this month and want to experience a Riviera-style Christmas with beautiful sights, events, activities, and Christmas villages and markets?

Here are 7 towns you must visit! 

1. Cannes

Noël à Cannes

Cannes’ Christmas Village runs from November 28, 2015 to January 3, 2016 on the Allées de la Liberté and boasts a skating rink, an artisanal Christmas market, and more!

For detailed information, visit Cannes’ tourism board’s dedicated page on Christmas in Cannes.

2. Nice

Noël à Nice

Nice’s Christmas village runs from December 4, 2015 until January 3, 2016, located this year in the Jardin Albert Ier.

Visit the Christmas village to find more than 60 chalets with artisanal products, skate in the ice rink, and experience the many activities the village has to offer. Don’t forget to visit the traditional Lou Presèpi manger at Place Rossetti as well!

Visit Nice’s tourism board’s page for more details.

3. monaco

Un Noël Russe - Monaco

In addition to admiring the beautifully decorated streets of the Principality, you must make your way to the Christmas Village located at the port on Quai Albert 1er, which runs from December 4, 2015 to January 3, 2016. The theme this year is “Russian Christmas.”

And don’t forget to visit the Metropole Shopping Center! Like every year, they have beautifully decorated the shopping mall for Christmas.

Visit Monaco tourism board’s website for more information.

4. antibes

Noël à Antibes

Enjoy a 360 degree view of Antibes from the ferris wheel located on Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs beginning December 5, and watch a special video show while you’re there!

Located on Place Charles de Gaulle and Place Nationale, Antibes’ traditional Christmas village runs  from December 12, 2015 to January 8, 2016.

For a more detailed program, visit Antibes Juan-les-Pins’ website (link in French).

5. CAgnes-sur-mer

Noël à Cagnes-sur-Mer

Cagnes-sur-Mer has a very extensive Christmas program this year! Visit the Santons market this weekend, on December 5 and 6.  Cagnes-sur-Mer’s Christmas village, located at Place du Géneral de Gaulle, will be open from December 12, 2015 to January 3. 2016.  You can also buy Christmas trees at special areas throughout town and go skating at the ice rink!

For a detailed program of all Christmas activities and events, download this PDF (in French) from the Cagnes-sur-Mer tourist board’s website.

Another Christmas must-see in Cagnes-sur-Mer is the renowned brand-new outdoor shopping center, Polygone Riviera.  Admire the beautiful Christmas decorations, and watch the fountains of the Polygone Riviera put on a Christmas water show with Christmas music from The Mistletoe singers every night at 6 pm.  While you’re there, take pictures with Santa who will be waiting for you in his igloo near the fountains. Try your chance at winning a prize with their advent calendar. Find out more about Christmas at the Polygone Riviera here.

Facebook/Polygone Riviera

(Credit: Facebook/Polygone Riviera)

6. menton 

Noël Scandinave - Menton

This year, the theme for Menton’s Christmas village is “Scandinavian Christmas.” Enjoy the beautiful interactive Christmas decorations while visiting the town and its Christmas Village, which runs from December 5, 2015 to January 3, 2016 and located at the Jardins Bioviès, Esplanade Palmero, and Mail du Bastion.

For more detailed information and a PDF of activities, visit the city of Menton’s official website.

7. st. paul de vence

Noël à St. Paul de Vence

Visit St. Paul de Vence to admire the beauty of its enchanting streets decorated beautifully for Christmas!  Partake in the many Christmas activities planned by the village, running from December 5, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

For more detailed information, visit St. Paul de Vence’s tourist board’s website.


Have you already visited any of these Christmas villages this year, or in the past? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! 

3 thoughts on “Christmas on the French Riviera

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