Original things to see and do on the Cote D’Azur

Convenience: five airports and a heliport in just 100 kilometres

Families or couples travelling to the region by private jet this summer will be able to escape the bustling crowds and enjoy a flexible itinerary that makes the most of the region and its hidden gems. The French Riviera is a particular favourite for international travellers arriving by private jet, thanks to five convenient private airports and one Heliport (Monaco) packed into just 100 kilometres of coastline, making it easy to hop between towns, and visit multiple destinations in a day.

Helicopter charters offers quick, hassle-free travel on the French Riviera

Short helicopter charters – which can easily be organised by LunaJetsare a particularly convenient way to travel around the French Riviera, as roads can get busy, especially around the Gulf of St Tropez. Helicopter services are luxurious, cool and comfortable and can welcome five or six passengers, including luggage. Heli-transfers are available from all the private airport terminals along the Cote d’Azur. Many elite hotels have helipads too, as does the Club 55 beach club, also known as Ramatuelle, in St Tropez.

Land by helicopter at these 5 luxury airports on the French riviera

In addition to the four main private airport terminals and Monaco heliport, travellers can hop over from Riviera Airport in neighbouring Italy (formerly Albenga Airport), followed by a one-hour transfer drive to Nice or Cannes, or a 20-minute helicopter ride to Monaco.

Travel by private jet and avoid the summer crowds

The luxury of travelling to the Cote d’Azur by private jet guarantees an escape from the summer crowds and the convenience of being able to visit multiple destinations, to maximise time. This travel freedom means you are free to design your own itinerary.

Which is the best airport to fly to by private jet on the French Riviera?

Consult the LunaJets guide to private jet airports along the French Riviera or choose to fly into one of the following five terminals and heliports:

  • Nice-Cote d’Azur (NCE) Airport – international commercial airport with private terminal

  • Cannes-Mandelieu (CEQ): caters for private jets and business craft only

  • St-Tropez La Mole (LTT): for private aircraft only

  • Toulon-Hyeres airport (TLN): for private aviation customers only

  • Riviera Airport (ALL): private air terminal (Italy)

  • Monaco Heliport (MCM): for private passengers only; 7 minutes from Nice airport by helicopter

  • Heli Station Grimaud (private helipad) St Tropez

Map showing the different airports on the french riviera
LunaJets serves all airports and heliports on the French Riviera

From the West (see map), the principal towns along the French Riviera include Toulon and Hyeres, St Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco and Menton, a cluster of beautiful towns each with its own distinct character. These world-famous destinations are steeped in old-world charm yet boast all the amenities for a fabulous vacation, from shopping and yachting to hotels and spas, and leisure pursuits, from arts and culture to sport and the great outdoors. Visitors can also head to Le Lavandou, or the famous fragrance destination of Grasse in the hills of Provence (around 40 minutes from Nice), the gorgeous hill-top villages of St-Paul-de-Vence or Eze with their delightful, cobbled streets, hung with bougainvillaea flowers and stunning views over the coast.

In addition, travellers with the ease and convenience of a private jet can head further afield and explore the idyllic natural islands along this Mediterranean coast, which include the islands of Embiez and Porquerolles.

Something different? What to see and do on the French Riviera

If you’re flying into the French Riviera by private jet, check out our ideas below for unique and memorable experiences to suit all tastes. How about creating your own signature fragrance in the renowned Galimard perfume school in Grasse, wine tasting in a world-class Provencal vineyard or exploring exciting real estate opportunities in Monte Carlo.

Vine covered homes along ancient street in St. Paul de Vence, Provence, France
The pretty streets of St Paul-de-Vence bloom with bougainvillaea in summer, and are home to many artist’s ateliers.

Charter a private helicopter to the secret islands of the Mediterranean and dine at a Michelin-starred island restaurant

Why not also explore some of the secret islands of the Cote d’Azur, which include Ile des Embiez, Paul-Ricard island, (named after the founder of Ricard Pastis), or the idyllic car-free island of Porquerolles. Charter a yacht from St Tropez, or book a helipass with LunaJets to Ile des Embiez. A particularly charming itinerary is to land on the helipad at the Mas du Langoustiers hotel on Porquerolles and dine at the magnificent Michelin restaurant, l’Olivier (pictured).

L'Olivier Le Mas du Langoustier a Michelin-starred restaurant
Travel by yacht or charter a heli-transfer with LunaJets to the Michelin restaurant, l’Olivier on the secret island of Porquerolles, on the Cote d’Azur

Fly into Monaco by private helicopter for brunch

Monaco is its own principality, a tiny independent sovereign city-state of less than one square-mile with its own laws and Royal family, the Grimaldis. Note that there is no border between France and Monaco, so travellers can easily drive to Monaco from Nice along the stunning corniche coastal road. If you wish to travel by private jet to Monaco, the closet serviced airport is Nice (an international airport with private terminal): travellers can then fly directly into Monaco by helicopter, arriving at Monaco Heliport (MCM) in just a 7-minute helicopter ride, affording gorgeous views of the coast and the Palace of Monaco.

Brunch at the glamorous Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, a feat of architectural beauty in Belle-Epoque style, featuring a stunning glass cupola by Gustav Eiffel. Later, browse real estate at Caroline Olds Real Estate or Lorenza von Stein, two of the most established, well-respected Monaco-only dedicated luxury real estate services.

Hotel Hermitage of Monte-Carlo interior
Fly into Monaco by private helicopter and brunch in the Hotel Hermitage of Monte-Carlo, a listed building with stunning glass dome by Gustav Eiffel.

Flying into Nice or Antibes? Learn the art of Haute Couture perfumery in Grasse

The charming town of Grasse lies just north of Nice and is the fragrance capital of the world. It has been part of the perfume industry since the 16th century and the flower fields around here, of lavender and roses, are harvested to make perfumes for the world’s leading couture and fragrance houses. At the famous Maison Fragonard perfume factory and perfume school, present here since 1926, you can view the perfume making process. Also in the town, at Galimard, visitors can try the art of fragrance creation and learn to detect top, middle and base notes, before creating your own bespoke perfume to take home. Choose from the Perfume Creation Workshops or the Haute Couture Perfume Creation ateliers..

Studio des fragrances by Galimard
Lovers of fine fragrance can craft their own perfume in a private workshop at the Galimard Perfume school in Grasse.

A 9 minute heli-transfer to world-class wine tasting in a Provencal chateau and vineyard

Calling itself “a wild, natural paradise, home to an iconic wine estate” the sumptuous five-star Château de Berne hotel and vineyard offers a stimulating array of wine and tourism experiences with a private chateau and villas, a Michelin-starred restaurant, spa, sports and cookery classes. For wine lovers, Chateau de Berne produces red, white and rosé Côtes de Provence wine, and visitors can enjoy sommelier tours, wine-tasting classes and oenology workshops.

Helicopter flight-time to the Michelin-starred Chateau de Berne: 9 minutes from Saint-Tropez; 10 minutes from Cannes; 23 minutes from Monaco.

Contact Lunajets for a quick and easy helicopter charter.

The estate, vineyards and cellars at Chateau de Berne
Visit the estate, vineyards and cellars at Chateau de Berne
Chateau de Berne Cellar
Taste an exceptional wine at Chateau de Berne

There is no better way to visit the iconic French Riviera than by private jet, to fully partake in the jet-set lifestyle of the Riviera crowd, but also to maximise your time in one of the world’s best-loved destinations.

Events round-up: Hot-Ticket Sporting and Cultural Events on the French Riviera this Summer

If you are planning to be on the French Riviera at the height of summer, be sure to book in these other events:

What’s On DateEvent TypeFly to
Menton Classical Music Festival 2023 :One of the oldest, most prestigious classical music festivals in Europe, with orchestral and chamber concerts as well as jazz ensembles and opera. Not to be missed, in a fabulous setting, too28 July to 12 AugustMusicMonaco, Nice, Riviera Airport
Cannes Yachting Festival 2023 : The Yachting Festival is an annual trade show that plays host to an array of boats, from sailing boats to motor boats, and new global launches12 to 17 SeptemberSailingCannes or Toulon
Cannes Royal Regatta 2023 : A gathering of the oldest, most beautiful sailing boats in the world, often over 100 years old that joust and race along the coast. VIP packages available25 to 30 SeptemberSailingCannes or Toulon
Monaco Yacht Show 2023 : A hotly anticipated premium event showcasing the most iconic yachts and superyachts currently available on the market, to buy and to charter27 to 30 SeptemberSailingMonaco or Nice
Saint-Tropez Sailing Week 2023 : Les Voiles de St Tropez is the closing event of the season on the Riviera and a fun and competitive week of races and festivities with classic and modern sailing boats. Charter a yacht to watch the races, or enquire about competing30 September to 14 OctoberSailingCannes or Toulon

Q&A : The French Riviera: Your Questions Answered

Which souvenirs to bring back? How can I add a yacht charter to my itinerary? And where can I go for a truly memorable Michelin fine-dining experience? We have you covered.

Where are the best places to shop on the French Riviera?

Cannes and Monaco are some of the world's premier shopping destinations, home to a cluster of designer brands, ideal for evening gowns and designer wear. Pretty Saint Tropez is a better bet for boutiques and independent stores, as well as with the instantly recognisable labels of Hermès, Armani, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Swarovski, and Eres. It was also in Saint Tropez that the Vilebrequin and Kiwi St Tropez swimwear started out, not forgetting that this charming French town is home to the famous Tropezienne sandal, created by the Rondini family in 1927.

Where can I escape the crowds on the French Riviera?

Travelling by private jet, helicopter and yacht charter are ideal ways to ensure a tranquil stay iin the Cote d’Azur, to a schedule that suits you, at times to suit you. Naturally, private airport terminals are less crowded that commercial airports, and chartering private helicopter transfers will ensure you avoid road traffic and the crowds along the main thoroughfares.

What are the most iconic hotels on the French Riviera?

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc and Hotel Belle Rive are where the American writer F Scott Fitzgerald hung out with his wife, in Juan les Pins. Or head to Les Roches Rouges in St Raphael. LVMH Group runs the stylish Cheval Blanc in St Tropez, and there are a host of hidden spas and chateaux along that coast that offer style and luxury.

I want to enjoy first-class French cuisine: where should I dine on the French Riviera?

In Monaco, Louis XV is an Alain Ducasse restaurant, holding the elusive 3 Michelin stars, for a truly world-class dining experience. In Beaulieu-sur-mer, the Restaurant des Rois is located in the La Reserve de Beaulieu palace, and also offers a one-star Michelin dining experience. Along the coast in Cannes, Christian Sinicropi’s cuisine at La Palme d’Or promises an elegant and refined experience in a dreamy setting.

What local food specialities should I try?

Don’t leave here without trying the delicious fish stew of bouillabaisse and fresh ratatouille with market vegetables. Try a pastis, from the area and one of the region’s delicate rose Cote de Provence wines. For sweet lovers, nougat is also a speciality, and treat yourself to a delightful box of Calisons – diamond shaped French sweets made from candied fruit and ground almonds and orange blossom, enrobed in rice paper and icing sugar

What unique gifts and souvenirs should I buy on the French Riviera?

The French Riviera has a long history of perfume making, and fragrance is a staple of the area (think of the famous lavender fields typically associated with Provence). Classic fragrance is a must for gifts, especially if you are visiting Grasse. Artisan olive oil is still made in Nice and Cannes - seek out the typical Nicolas Alziari brand, with its working olive mill in Nice. Cases of French wine are a welcome souvenir: try the stunning Wine Palace in Monte Carlo with over 2,300 wines, spirits and champagnes, or the prestige wine merchant, Flacons Divins in Antibes.

I also want to charter a yacht on the French Riviera: which are the best charterers?

Yachting and sailing go hand-in-hand with a private jet itinerary, and LunaJets can organise jet-to-yacht transfers and connections. The Riviera boasts a host of world-class yacht charterers, from Monaco to Antibes, Cannes and St Tropez catering to all types of yacht charter from motor boats and sailing boats, to skippered yachts, crewed yachts and catamarans. Luxury superyacht charter is available from Burgess Yachts or Excellence Riviera.

Which is the largest marina on the Cote d’Azur?

Port Vauban in Antibes has the largest marina: it measures 62 acres with 1640 berths, making it the biggest port in the Mediterranean, home to motorboats, yachts and megayachts of up to 170 metres, with depths from 2-5 metres to 7-8 metres for super yachts. . Port coordinates are 43°35’4 N-007°08’E: contact the port on Channel 9 to announce your arrival.

Can LunaJets organise my travel itinerary?

Yes - LunaJets can organise all of your travel arrangements departing from your hotel or your home to your final destination. LunaJets coordinates all private jet flights as well as vehicle transfers from any private airport terminal and helicopter transfers at your destination. Contact our expert staff team for details.