An extended winter weekend on the French Riviera: 4 atmospheres for your weekend!

Here we are, winter is back! The best season to treat yourself with a short trip to end or start the year on a high note after the Christmas festivities. Choose a trip which includes typical villages, ski resorts as well as sunny beaches and festive events! An exotic destination? No! Just a winter weekend on the French Riviera!

Here are a few suggestions of themed weekends to enjoy and discover the beautiful Riviera in a different light during the winter season! Find the perfect combination for your winter weekend with a destination offering unique, authentic stays.

1.  Festive weekend at the Nice Carnival

To extend the holiday festivities, go away for the weekend and enjoy the friendly atmosphere at the heart of the Nice Carnival.

The Nice Carnival is one of the biggest in France and most famous in the world! For 2 weeks (and 3 weekends) in February, experience a succession of night shows and decorated floats in a joyful musical atmosphere! A battle of the flowers takes place every year: 20 flowered floats parade in the streets and distribute over 100,000 regional flowers to the public. A grandiose show, filled with enchantment and colours!


The carnival welcomes several thousand visitors every year: remember to book a place to stay early:

●     Hotels in Nice

●     Guesthouses in Nice

●     Campsites in Nice

●     Find a place to stay in Nice


During your stay, take the opportunity to visit Nice’s town centre: history, culture, art and gastronomy, the city has a lot to offer. Here is a selection of tips and deals to discover Nice in a different light: 10 free or reasonably priced things to do!

For the most curious among you, here is a video with a small taste of what awaits you:

2. A jolly weekend at the Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) in Menton!

Insatiable zest for life! Lemon, pulp and cocktail lovers, welcome to the city of Menton for an event that’s unique in the world: the Fête du Citron. This winter, during your stay on the Côte d’Azur French Riviera, take a few days to experience this spectacular event which takes place in February and lasts 15 days.

The programme: discovering the lemon in all of its aspects!

●     Taking a tour of the Biovès Gardens with its sumptuous citrus sculptures
●     Taking part in exhibitions and Bloemencorso parades by day or by night
●     Taking a tour of the Crafts Fair and the Orchid Festival in the Palais de l’Europe
●     Dancing to the rhythm of the marching bands, shows and folklore…
●     Enjoying the highlight of the show in front of the firework

Naturally, the city’s various bars and restaurants have it at heart to give a taste of the famous fruit: in a dish, in a dessert or in a cocktail (to be consumed in moderation of course).

Menton is filled with things to do and is worthy of staying a few days! The city offers numerous places to stay, in every price range:

–       Find a place to stay in Menton
–       Guesthouses in Menton
–       Hotels in Menton
–       Visiting Menton, its famous gardens and “dolce vita”

3.  A weekend full of fragrance on the Mimosa Route

Let’s continue with the colour yellow and take the Mimosa Route: a sensory getaway, at its best between January and March. The Mimosa Route has you discover the treasures and landscapes of the French Riviera, between sea and mountain, in a mild climate.

Starting in Bormes-Les-Mimosas up to Grasse, a 130-km circuit goes through the little villages on the Riviera with the golden flowers as a backdrop. This is sure to awaken your senses. Offering their fragrance and colour, thousands of golden bunches play with the sun and contrast with the blue of the sky and the sea.

Feel like trying it out? Read our articles dedicated to the Mimosa Route:

–       Our deals for the Mimosa Route

–       Mimosa Route: sensory itinerary in 8 steps

The explosive finale? If you travel the itinerary in February, go to Mandelieu-La Napoule, France’s Mimosa capital, for its traditional Mimosa Festival! The programme includes parades with flower-covered floats, night shows and the election of Miss Mimosa!


4. A sporty weekend in the French Riviera’s ski resorts

Are you a mountain sports enthusiast? Enjoy an extended winter weekend, reach for the sky and unwind in the Riviera’s snow-covered landscapes! Welcome to the territory’s fabulous resorts! Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, zip lining… Head towards the finest resorts and try out the best skiing and snow pastimes.

The region includes the South Alps and the Mercantour-Argentera mountains, located between the natural park and the coastline.

–       Isola 2000, the resort with a sea view
–       Auron, a village station just outside the Mercantour National Park
–       Valberg, a family-friendly ski resort
–       All ski resorts in the Alps

Frequently-asked questions:
  • Where can I stay this winter on the Côte d'Azur French Riviera?

    Regarding hotels and other places to stay, the Côte d’Azur French Riviera offers accommodation to suit every taste and every budget. During the winter season, you can enjoy the best places for a more affordable price than during the summer. Here are the various types of accommodation available on the Côte d’Azur French Riviera:

    ●     Hotels

    ●     Campsites

    ●     Guesthouses

    ●     Unusual places to stay

    ●     Gîtes and furnished accommodations

    ●     Holiday residences

    ●     “Villages vacances” (holiday camps)

    ●     Youth hostels

    ●     Lodges

    ●     Establishments featuring the “charte accueil sportifs” (athlete-friendly charter)

  • Where can I go for an extended weekend in November?

    Stay in France for the Toussaint holidays and enjoy a family weekend on the Côte d’Azur French Riviera! A variety of landscapes await: Mercantour National Park, lake, valley, beach, canyon, village and even an island! Discover the Côte d’Azur French Riviera in a new light on a stroll or a hike.

    Discover the 13 most beautiful hiking sites on the French Riviera!

    Make the most of a hike and visit historical monuments and buildings: museums or castles (La Napoule Castle hike, Grimaldi Castle Museum… ).  Depending on the itinerary you choose, a guide may accompany you and reveal the region’s secrets.

  • Where can I go for a weekend in December?

    In December, set sail for the Côte d’Azur French Riviera for a weekend or for longer! Visit the coastline’s most popular cities, which are a lot less busy in winter and discover the magic of Christmas in mild, sunny weather.

    During your next Christmas holiday under the sun, switch between beaches, Christmas markets and ski resorts! Take part in the shows and events of the French Riviera villages: Saint-Paul de Vence, Biot, Menton…  Hotels and other places to stay are more affordable during the winter season.

    To wait patiently for Christmas, discover our Advent calendar for Christmas holidays on the Côte d’Azur French Riviera.

  • Where can I go for a weekend in January?

    January is the perfect month to treat yourself to a relaxing weekend to kick off the new year and recover from the holiday season. With the Côte d’Azur French Riviera sun, enjoy a holiday in a mild climate, even in winter! Temperatures do not go below 5°C and can reach 15°C during the daytime!

    During a relaxing weekend, discover the landscapes and history of the Côte d’Azur French Riviera. Take a stroll in museums, parks and gardens, around lakes and on the destination’s beaches. The Côte d’Azur French Riviera inspired a number of artists such as Matisse, Monet, Renoir and Picasso! Here are the 8 unmissable museums on the French Riviera!

    And to go all out on relaxation, why not stay in one of the SPA hotels, of which there are many on the Côte d’Azur French Riviera. Just imagine enjoying a glass of champagne in the jacuzzi, doesn’t it sound lovely?

    Discover the best SPAS of the French Riviera!

  • When does winter start?

    Winter starts at the end of December (generally around the 20th) and ends at the end of March (also around the 20th).

    DID YOU KNOW… Seasons are not the same in all destinations: seasons are reversed between the Northern and Southern hemispheres (the difference is due to the Earth’s rotation axis around the Sun).

  • What can I do during a winter weekend?

    Nature lovers can choose to spend a few days in the mountains, the star destination during the winter season. Or in town, for those eager to experience the dynamic atmosphere of urban Christmas markets. Or in the country, for some peace and quiet! However, you can also come to the Côte d’Azur French Riviera, where you can find the best of all these destinations: ski slopes, wild landscapes, lovely beaches, traditional villages and trendy, dynamic cities. There’s something for everyone on the French Riviera, something to do for everyone in the family, and most importantly… The sun shines all year round!

    The Côte d’Azur French Riviera in winter offers you a festive Christmas atmosphere under the sun. Our suggestions of what to do during a winter weekend in the region:

    ●     Go for a hike in the valley

    ●     Go skiing for the day in one of the Alpine resorts

    ●     Explore the French Riviera hinterland’s hilltop villages

    ●     Spend the afternoon on an island

    ●     Go on a museum marathon

    ●     Learn about the local history, culture, gastronomy and crafts

  • How can I reach the Côte d'Azur French Riviera from Paris?

    The Côte d’Azur French Riviera is very well served and you can reach it very easily from anywhere in France and Europe, by plane, by train, by car or by boat!

    Nice is 930 kilometres away from Paris, a 9 and a half hours’ drive by motorways A6, A7 and A8. Hyères and Saint-Raphaël are 8 hours away from Paris by car.

    Taking the train is a good alternative to reach the French Riviera from Paris. With the TGV, Nice is 5h25 away from Paris.

    Look up the various ways to come to the French Riviera!

  • What prices are we looking at to spend winter holidays on the Côte d'Azur French Riviera?

    During your winter holiday on the Côte d’Azur French Riviera, you can enjoy the best hotels for less, since prices are much more reasonable than during the summer season. The prices of flights are also cheaper. So you can enjoy a more intimate Riviera for an affordable price! Plan your trip well in advance to get the best deal!