St. Tropez is the jet settling house of the famous French Cote d’Azur, and Antibes may have the largest port in Europe but Menton provides the same long beaches, the same Mediterranean sun, and the old-world feel of kindness and unpretentiousness for visitors who have no title or a bottomless banking account.
You’ll understand why British Gentlemen (even Queen Victoria) wanted to camp here. Furthermore, the lush gardens, the scent of lemons, and the eyes are burning as the Savoy Alps finish at the sea.
Sitting right on the Italian border, Menton is home to a mix of Italian and French restaurants along its photo-worthy old city’s winding steep streets. Stop at midday sunshine by walking in the dark swimming pools of Serre de la Madone Garden, where crops from around the globe grow on rocky terraces in the Mediterranean forest.
Wake up your avant-gardist mind in a glorious part of contemporary architecture that sticks at the seashore at the Jean Cocteau Museum. Cocteau described Menton as “Pearl of France.” Sprinkle some of Menton’s old-world charm with a balcony that overlooks the beach, and choose a room at the classic Lido Palace Hotel.
Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps
In the summer, the highlands of the alpine villages and mountain peaks give a stunning view of the Bernese Oberland and take visitors to the best views by cable cars and rack rail. Brown Swiss cows grass on such steeply steep wildflowers that they find their foot, and glaciers are feeding waterfalls that flow from their cliffs in silver bands.
To walk between these peaks, you do not need to be an intrepid mountain rider, for many routes are accessible via cable cars and reasonably flat as they wind along the ridges and terraces.
In a highly alpine valley, between vertical rocky walls, Lauterbrunnen is a good base for a Jungfrau, and the waterfall draws beautifully – one falling straight into the village itself in 300 meters. There are not only lovely walks and climbs on every level but also an open railway to enter Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe.
There is an Ice Palace from the glacier, and an elevator takes you up to glacier and mountain views. In the immediate vicinity, a cableway 6,967 meters walks to the Schilthorn, the setting for the movie James Bond On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, is Piz Gloria’s turning restaurant.
In a vertical cork crew that is grafted into the rock by the melting glacial water, the Trümmelbach Falls is representing an even more skeptical glacial phenomenon next to Lauterbrunnen. From the following walks, the breathtaking postcard cities of Wengen and Murren ascend into the alpine and mountain regions, accessible from Lautrunnen only on foot or on television.
To France’s Basque Coast look for the past and greatness of the French Riviera, with better beaches, soothing summer breezes, and fewer road jams. Biarritz was the watering hole of Belle Epoch for the royalty and the highest crust in Europe at the Bay of Biscay, close to the Spanish border.
Their summer palace was designed over the beautiful large beach Grande Plage by Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugénie, who could stay here to have the same view from the window. Today, the luxurious Hôtel du Palais still is the spot where one can see the big sandy beach overlooking the colorful, sandy beach huts.
The adjacent Plage du Miramar postcard is seen by a lighthouse on the point and rocky offshore islets. Behind the Grand Plage, the Quai de la Plage Promenade is a sedate walk, where you can enjoy the views of the sea, the seaside restaurants, and the Basque cuisine.
The rough coastline is subject to strong waves of the Atlantic Ocean, with all its elegance and the generous spread of its beaches. Of course, this is particularly popular with surfers for some of its more accessible beaches, but swimmers should be sure that they still go to the water only when there are protections in service.
The Basque town of San Sebastian is noted for being one of the leading European cuisine capitals, claiming to be one of the galaxies of Michelin stars. But the trick that Spaniards bear in mind is that some of the best city beaches in Europe extend a few steps from these respected restaurant palaces.
The Playa de la Concha begins at the edge of the compact old town, and curves around a calm bay, backed by a wide promenade free from trade. There’s a sorry vacation mood here all summer long. It’s a calming spot, but its devotees are trendy.
The Grand Belle Epoch Hotel de Londres y de England or the more medium-size, quaint, and old-fashioned Hotel Niza can be booked on balconies overlooking Playa de la Concha and on a stroll.