The Blue Coast, so named for its blue skies and sea, extends from St Tropez to Menton on the French/Italian border, it includes Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco and several Corniches.


We found campsite Les Mures nestled between the sea and surrounding vineyards, between Sainte Maxime and Port Grimaud on the Bay of St Tropez, then walked to Ste Maxime and took the boat across the bay to St Tropez. It was the first time we’d approached by boat, our arrival into the marina was superb.

After lunch overlooking the marina, we strolled through the cobbled back streets, watched the men playing pétanque at Place des Lices and walked up to the citadel to take in the views. We were even treated to a sea plane training session with repeated landings and take offs.


We took the return boat from St Tropez to Port Grimaud which was a village built in the 1960s, designed so that all houses had waterfront gardens/moorings for their boats. We pictured grand houses but in fact most of what we saw were modest terraced houses, but the waterside fronts gave them a prestigious feel. Only a few houses seemed occupied so presumably most were second homes.

We were hoping to cycle south to the peninsula beyond St Tropez, but although there was a cycle route most of the way, there was a gap on a very busy roundabout which felt too unsafe to be on. Instead we cycled inland and uphill to Plan de La Tour. We had noticed that the air temperature was much warmer here and found it was a basin in the mountains. The vines looked more advanced here away from the sea breezes.


North-east of St Tropez, between Frejus and Cannes, is the Corniche de L’Esterel, where there are spectacular views of rugged red rock formations contrasting with the many coves of the sparkling blue Mediterranean. Mike swung the camper round the bends unable to take his eyes off the road for fear of running into the many cyclists out on their early morning spin.

As we dropped down onto the road next to the sea at Theole-sue-Mer we caught our first glimpse of the snow covered Alps way off in the distance. It was breathtaking.

After the excitement of the Corniche and the view of the Alps, glamorous Cannes didn’t have the appeal we were expecting. Designer shops, one after another, lined one side of the busy main road and an artificial beach on the other, it seemed soulless to us, so we didn’t stop.


Home of Picasso, with the largest marina in the Mediterranean, we expected more from Antibes than we found. Whereas St Tropez had retained its je ne sais quoi, sadly Antibes seemed to have lost it. The vieille ville was tourist shop, tourist restaurant, repeat; although the quieter alleyways looked and felt more authentic. However, there were more ‘a vendre’ signs outside the houses than we had noticed elsewhere.

The marina was indeed vast, but after the first 20 or so shiny white, navy or black colossus of fibreglass the wow factor evaporated. We realised we prefer old fishing boats to gin palaces.

We spotted something exciting happening as a police RIB sped out to a catamaran displaying a Maltese flag anchored in a bay, four men boarded and proceeded to search the boat, ripping up seats in the process.

At the end of the harbour arm was a huge sculpture made up of letters of the alphabet in the shape of a man sitting looking out to sea.

The beaches looked inviting.


Our campsite De L’Hippodrome, five miles north of Antibes, was a small well laid out site with heated pool, where some elderly people were staying long term in their campers, and who could blame them – a piece of the Côte d’Azur for €27 a night. A walk along the boardwalk on the beach to cafes, restaurants and another marina. A huge pyramid of apartments overlooked the marina, it looked like a smoking volcano.Then another pyramid – Giza-on-Sea.

The last couple of photos were taken not long before a hailstorm when temperatures fell 15 degrees in as many minutes.

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