Best Viewpoints and Photo Spots on the French Riviera

October 15, 2023

The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is one of Europe’s most enchanting and popular holiday destinations, stretching along the Mediterranean coast in the South of France. This stunning area is hundreds of kilometers long and covers the beautiful countryside between the Alps and the sea.

The French Riviera is characterized by its magnificent blue beaches, lined with fine sand and rocky shores. Charming little villages, picturesque ports and fabulous cities such as Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Monaco attract visitors. The vibrant nightlife, excellent restaurants and luxury shops make this region unique in the world.

But it is not only the variety of leisure and recreational opportunities that make the French Riviera so popular, but also its unique beauty. There are few places in the world with so many breathtaking views in such a small area as the French Riviera. The long stretch of coastline has countless unique landscapes and panoramas, offering fascinating opportunities for travelers and photographers alike.

Therefore, we have collected a list of the most outstanding photo spots on the French Riviera, where you can take the absolute best photos and videos. In this list, we show you the lookout points and photo spots that are used by some of the most popular travel influencers for their photos and videos.

Starting from Marseille, we take the photo points on our list in the direction of Menton, with a brief description of each photo spot. And all the photo points have been collected on a map to make them easier to find.

So here are the most breathtaking viewpoints for photographers on the French Riviera.

Photo spot 1: Old Port of Marseille

Our first photo spot, as we wrote, is in Marseille, in the Old Port of Marseille. It’s an iconic place, and many photos of the city are taken from here. The best light can be caught during the day or at sunset.

Photo spot 2: Basilica of Notre-Dame of la Garde, Marseille

The basilica stands at the highest point of Marseille and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It is Marseille’s most popular attraction, not only because of the basilica itself, but also because of the fantastic views. The panoramic views of almost the entire city are stunning, a must when visiting Marseille.

You can get there by car or by sightseeing mini-train (called Les Petits Trains de Marseille). There is a car park quite close to the basilica, from where you can take a short walk up the stairs to the basilica and the lookout points.

Photo spot 3: Passage des croisettes, Marseille

Passage des croisettes is a secluded spot in the countryside south of Marseille. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Marseille city center, but only 16 km. However, it is well worth the journey as it offers some of the most unique and truly breathtaking views in the area.

Along the way you will see several small calanques before arriving at a dusty car park at the end of the last village. Personal experience: if the staff want to drive you away, just pay them to stay. A few minutes walk from the village is the wonderful Passage des croisettes viewpoint. It is easy to find, as you just have to head towards the island of île Maïre.

If they let you drive on by car all the way to the Passage des croisettes, you’re in luck because you’ll arrive at the photo point by car directly.

If you have more time in the area, you can also climb to higher points for a real panoramic view of the surroundings.

Photo spot 4: Belvédère de Sugiton

The Belvédère de Sugiton is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Calanques National Park in France. And it’s not hard to reach.

You can get to Marseille’s Redon district by car or public transport. The best hiking trails to the Belvédère de Sugiton and the surrounding calanques start from Redon. The best route to the viewpoint is about 2.6 km long, gravel but easy to walk. Only the last, short section is harder, so if you prefer, wear hiking boots.

At the end of the road you will find the Belvédère de Sugiton at the top of the cliff, from where you can get amazing views of two calanques at the same time, the Calanque de Morgiou and the Calanque de Sugiton.

Photo spot 5: Belvédère d’En-Vau

The Belvédère d’En-Vau is another famous lookout point in the Calanques, from where you also get panoramic views of two magnificent calanques at the same time, the Calanque d’En-Vau and the neighboring Calanque de l’Oule.

You can reach the Belvédère d’En-Vau from two hiking trails. One starts from the D559 road, from where several hiking trails lead to the calanques. The other, more commonly used route starts from Cassis and runs along two other calanques, so you can see a total of 4 calanques in one hike. We recommend the latter, an exceptional hiking trail with fantastic views along the way.

Photo spot 6: Port-Miou viewpoint, Cassis

One more lookout point in Calanques, France, which unlike the others is definitely an easily accessible lookout point over the wonderful Calanque de Port-Miou.

You can get there by driving to the Parking Calanque Port-Miou Cassis and leaving your car either on the street or in the private parking lot. From there, you’ll have to walk a short distance through the gravel, bushy area to see the Calanque de Port Miou.

On the Google Maps, there is a lookout marked Belvédère de Port Miou, but the best view is actually to the northeast, opposite the Capitainerie Port-Miou. It’s important that you don’t have to climb down for the best view, you can take perfect photos from above.

Photo spot 7: Grand Panorama de Nice

The Grand Panorama de Nice viewpoint is one of the most popular viewpoints in Nice. This is a lookout point close to the coast, right next to the popular Colline du Château park. From the Grand Panorama de Nice, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Nice coastline and of a part of the city.

You can get to the top of the viewpoint after a short climb up the stairs, which start from the lovely seafront promenade. On this promenade you can also find great photo opportunities such as the “ILoveNice” sign, the promenade with palm trees itself, or not far away, Port Lympia with its stunning views.

Photo spot 8: Princess Grace Memorial viewpoint, Villefranche-sur-Mer

The next two viewpoints we recommend on the French Riviera are in Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice. The first of these viewpoints is located along the road next to the Mémorial Princesse Grace. This lookout is the easiest to reach. Just stop in the car park on the side of the road on your way to Menton and take some wonderful photos of the French Riviera.

Photo spot 9: Boulevard Napoléon III viewpoint, Villefranche-sur-Mer

The next lookout is also in Villefranche-sur-Mer, but the view from here is different. In this case too, you just have to stop at the roadside car parks and take the best photos of the coast and Villefranche-sur-Mer from the roadside.

Here it is important to note that we have marked the viewpoint a little further away than the Boulevard Napoléon III viewpoint marked on Google Maps. Both viewpoints are perfect, it’s just worth mentioning that you can park at the one we marked, and you can’t park a car at the one marked on Google Maps.

Photo spot 10: Port of Fontvieille viewpoint, Monaco

As Monaco is often referred to as a place on the French Riviera, despite being a separate state, we included it on the list for its beautiful views.

The first lookout point we recommend in Monaco is close to several of Monaco’s attractions, although it is not easy to get to. This lookout point is the Port of Fontvieille viewpoint.

The lookout is located on the hilltop, almost in front of the Cathédrale de Monaco. You can also get a similar view from the neighboring Jardins Saint-Martin park.

Getting here is difficult because it is not accessible by car. So you have several options if you want to get here: you can either take the Monaco mini-train that takes you up to the cathedral, or you can walk up to the lookout point, which can be a bit tiring. Or the third option is to park your car in Parking du Chemin des Pêcheurs underground car park and follow the signs to the Musée océanographique de Monaco, a rather complicated way up to the top of the hill, from where you can walk to the cathedral and the seafront walkway with its panoramic view.

Photo spot 11: Port Hercule, Monaco

The other lookout we recommend in Monaco is much easier to get to and you can take fantastic photos relatively quickly. Simply visit the Port Hercules, Monaco’s largest port, for a wonderful view of the city, the mountains and the port.

Photo spot 12: Port des Sablettes, Menton

Our last photo point is in Menton, at the Italian end of the French Riviera. Menton is a lovely town with its colorful houses, turquoise sea and stunning mountain views. And here’s the perfect place to see the best views of Menton.

There are plenty of photo opportunities in Menton, the town is extremely photogenic. But there is one spot where the view is really perfect, and that is the Port des Sablettes.

Just take a walk along the Menton seafront promenade, where you’ll find some stone piers. Choose Port des Sablettes, walk to the end and enjoy the view of Menton and the sea. Alternatively, you can get very similar views by walking along the Quai Impératrice Eugénie.

So that was the list of the best viewpoints on the French Riviera. As you can see from the article, the French Riviera is a unique place that offers a fascinating experience for all visitors. Stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, cultural attractions and great entertainment all contribute to making it one of Europe’s most popular destinations.

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