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French Riviera in January?

French Riviera in January?

Old Aug 4, 18, 10:06 am
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French Riviera in January?

Trying to find a side trip in Europe for a work trip to Madrid in January.
I've already been all over Spain. Coworkers will be going to the French Rivera. Since it is a summer resort area I am wondering how much there will be to do in January.
Do businesses and restaurants shut down in winter?
Any suggestions of places to see, stay?
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Old Aug 4, 18, 3:52 pm
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Not sure about the entire Côte d'Azur, but I was in Nice in December a few years ago and it was a little disappointing. I'd been there before but my travel companion had not. We couldn't find a single walking tour available and one of the better museums, I think it might have been the Chagall Museum, was closed. Most restaurants in the tourist areas were open but there was one place I really wanted to try that was not. My previous trip there had been during peak season and while December was much less crowded, being there off-season just felt like something was missing.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 6:37 pm
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Malta's not a bad destination in January. Everything pretty much open. Lots of snowbirds from northern Europe and the UK, so shops and restaurants are operating.

Weather will be warmer than the Côte d'Azur.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 4:16 am
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Nice is the fifth largest city in France so, clearly, it is not merely a summer tourist resort area. 95% of businesses and restaurants will be open in the winter. Ditto with other sizeable towns like Cannes. The vibe, however, will be very different and less tourism-oriented than in the summer (some of us would probably regard that as a positive rather than a negative).The views and landscapes will be just as beautiful (even more beautiful, imo, on a nice sunny winter day) and most restaurants and museums will be open as usual, although the odd closure or two cannot entirely be ruled out. The more "hardcore" tourist-oriented activities (tours, etc...), especially the beach or sea-oriented ones, are less likely to be available, though.

Smaller places more closely associated with tourism, like St-Tropez for instance, are a different matter. The "out-of-season" feel is more marked. That said, I must confess to finding places like St-Paul de Vence infinitely more pleasant to visit in the winter months than in the summer.

Weather-wise, it is likely to be mild rather than warm. Certainly not swimming temperatures (at least not routinely) although there will always be the odd "fada" who cannot resist going into the water however cold it is. I must say that I find such mild weather particularly pleasant. A lazy morning coffee + croissant on the terrace of a well-located café on a nice winter day is one of the delights of life in my book.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 4:36 am
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It clearly won't be a beach resort vacation, but I enjoy the lack of high season crowds. Some iconic hotels and Michelin starred restaurants do close as do some of the smaller museums, etc. This will be much less noticeable in the bigger places compared to small towns, but the good news is that you can find good hotel rates and get reservations at some restaurants that otherwise would be difficult. Nice and Monaco never close and even driving on the corniches and to the small villages (Eze for example) is much more pleasant out of season.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 10:17 am
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Thanks everybody for the feedback. I have been to some beach side towns that are almost all shuttered. Sounds like not only is not the case, but is a better time to visit if you want a less touristy experience.

I am not a Michelin star kind of diner, so no big deal there. Prefer mom & pop or off the beaten path kind of places. And we will have limited time, so the odd museum closing is no big deal. I like spending time strolling and as one poster above notes, lazy mornings with coffee and croissants.

The suggestion of St-Paul de Vence is great. That is the kind of place I would like to explore.

Thanks again everybody. Off to the Côte d'Azur in January it is.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 7:30 pm
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The best pina coladas you can drink are in the grand hotel of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (24EUR/glass at seaside bar during the day) and Negresco in Nice (22EUR/Glass in the English lounge).
Many small touristic restaurants will be closed, but local nice restaurants will serve you nice pizzas
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Old Aug 10, 18, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by CSCem View Post
The best pina coladas you can drink are in the grand hotel of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (24EUR/glass at seaside bar during the day) and Negresco in Nice (22EUR/Glass in the English lounge).
Many small touristic restaurants will be closed, but local nice restaurants will serve you nice pizzas
Tastes differ but why on earth would anyone go to France and drink pina coladas?
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Old Aug 10, 18, 4:41 pm
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In full agreement with all previous posters here. Beach towns like Juan les Pins or Golfe Juan will be ghost towns with most restaurants closed. Main cities like Cannes, Antibes, Nice will be business as usual and very pleasant to visit if it is a sunny day.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 10:31 pm
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Nice is really nice (pun intended) in the winter. Less crowded, sunny and breezy and cooler. Restaurants fill up earlier and usually you can go anywhere without reservation. Hotels are cheaper. A walk on the promenade is great any time of year. The seafood is excellent any time of year. The markets are open year round and ice cream is also available all year round. Enjoy
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Old Aug 14, 18, 11:19 pm
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Originally Posted by VitaliU View Post
Tastes differ but why on earth would anyone go to France and drink pina coladas?
Well i drink mostly beer and wine and brew at home too.
However on a trip, i try taste Pina Coladas over the world in hope that one day i will find "the best one"
(or should i say the one that will provide me a culinary org*sm)
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