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What shoes should I bring to the French Riviera?

Published on May 2, 2018 by Ralph and Karen

Shoes for the French Riviera

Of all the things you need to bring on your trip to the French Riviera, the most important item may be your shoes.

The French Riviera is made up of very old towns and cities built on hillsides, with uneven cobblestone streets and lots and lots of stairs.

You will be walking a lot and it will be on surfaces that are uneven with cracks and crevices abounding. By the end of each day, you will feel a wonderful ache from all the climbing and hiking you have done.

So what kind of shoes should you bring to the French Riviera?

My recommendation for both men and women is to bring one serious pair of walking shoes or hiking boots that you have broken in well. These are for day trips and hikes along the coast or into the hills.

Next, you may want to dress up just a bit for dinner, but still have the ability to stroll along the waterfront afterwards. Women - bring a pair of ballet flats for this purpose, or nice but comfortable sandals. Men - you usually have this covered with one pair of shoes, right. Still, it’s nice to have a pair of comfortable dress shoes, so you don’t look too much like the typically unfashionable Americans. In other words, guys, don’t wear your sport shoes to dinner.

For the beaches, you will want a pair of flip-flops or sandals, and in Nice, you may also want water shoes for the rocks. But maybe wait until you get there to buy these. They’re cheap and plentiful in the Old Town.

In fact, if you need any other shoes on your trip, shoe stores are absolutely everywhere, so if you don't already have what you need, you can find it there.

So that's it: walking shoes, beach shoes, nice end-of-day shoes that you can also walk in, and some cash to buy whatever other shoes you need. Maybe you will get invited to George Clooney’s dinner party, and then you might want those red heels.

If you're a runner, of course, bring your running shoes. Nice is a wonderful place to run with its miles of flat coastline and stunning views. And hill runners will have a field day in any of these towns.

The French Riviera is really not so different from home in terms of what you can and cannot wear, or what's appropriate. People have a mistaken belief that this wonderful vacation Mecca is only for movie stars and millionaires (and those guys do hang out on the French Riviera), but I am a small town girl from Washington State, and I can tell you that I never feel uncomfortable traveling there. If you feel you are not fitting in fashion-wise, then you can spend a day shopping for French fashions. That’s not a bad way to spend a day!

So there's one more worry solved for you. What else is stopping you from buying your ticket, packing your bags and booking one of our delightful rentals?



For more about traveling on the French Riviera, see The Beginner's Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing available on Amazon & Kindle.e

Guest blog by Mark Kay Seales

Meet The Author
Hello! We are Ralph and Karen, an Anglo-American couple who fell in love with Paris and France over 20 years ago. Work-related trips brought us here, but we kept coming back for holidays, then extended visits, and then… In 2005, we decided nothing was stopping us from buying a place of our own in Paris. Lots of research, learning, and many kilometers of sneaker-rubber later, we put our house in the United States on the market. It sold in 10 days, and we found our apartment in Montmartre two months later. After a massive, year-long renovation project and its many challenges, we hit our biggest bump yet. As it turned out, we had to stay based in the US after all. Our lovingly remodeled apartment in Paris became a place where we returned only for short visits. In 2008, we started renting to guests—travelers like we once were (we always preferred apartments over expensive, cramped hotels). And the rest, as they say, is history. Le Trésor de Montmartre has proved quite popular, to the extent that we have trouble finding a break in the booking calendar to stay there ourselves! In the midst of this, we found Nice. After several holidays in and around Nice, we thought, why not buy a pied-à-terre in the area? Despite the challenges involved in renovating from afar—which we knew very well at that point—we jumped in again in late 2010. After another renovation, another year, and hundreds more gray hairs between us, we added Le Trésor de Nice to our rental portfolio. A year so so later we picked up 3 other apartment to manage. We hope you find the properties inviting, and hope even more that you will come see them for yourselves! Please get in touch with questions, or to book your stay at one of our apartments. We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of these places we love so much.
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