Packing for the French Riviera

by olivia hoffman

The Côte d’Azur (or, as some know it, the French Riviera) is the place to be for spring and summer holidays in France. Beautiful beaches, glistening waters, quaint villages, seafront promenades, fresh, ice-cold rosé – what’s not to love?

As the French begin to migrate south for all the bank holidays that begin in May, the rest of the world follows their lead. Whether it is to experience grand events like the Cannes Film Festival or the Monaco Grand Prix, or just to indulge in a sublime Mediterranean getaway, travelers from near and far are packing their bags to get in on the action at the Côte d’Azur.


To look and feel like les français on holiday, read on for our tips on what to pack – inspired by three of the main activities comprised in a trip to the Riviera: lounging in the sun, exploring the town, and wine tasting. Use this as a guide to planning your outfits and click the pink text to shop the products.

If you are planning a trip to the South of France, check out our 5-day Itinerary to Nice & the Côte d’Azur!

© Tampicobags

Lounging in the Sun

No vacation to the French Riviera would be complete without at least one day lounging in the sun. Be it smooth stones or silky sand, the terrain along the Mediterranean Sea beckons visitors to sit and stay awhile.

Whether you decide to only dip your toes in the water or completely dive in, it is always good to have a swimsuit on just in case. A strapless swimsuit is a great option as it will fit discreetly under clothes. Wear a flowy dress for ease and comfort and throw on a long linen cotton button down to cover your shoulders from the sun or to wear alone over the swimsuit. Accessorize with seashell earrings and nautical sandals from Sézanne, a fashionable visor from French brand BA&SH, and a Tampico beach bag from the MFCH Boutique.

Exploring the Village

The Côte d’Azur is dotted with loads of cute towns all along the coast and slightly inland into the mountains. From bigger cities like Nice and Cannes to small villages like Grasse and Saint-Paul de Vence, there is no shortage of charming streets to wander and explore.

Dress comfortably yet fashionably to blend in among the French locals. Patterned pants with a solid shirt give a fun and playful attitude which can be accentuated with a big floppy hat – an accessory that is as chic as it is practical under that Riviera sun. Carry a small crossbody bag and slip on comfortable sneakers from Sézane over cute transparent socks by Atelier St. Eustache for a lightweight and breathable experience while walking the cobblestone streets. A delicate gold necklace with a high-quality belt and a fine silk scarf by French brands A.P.C. and Sandro are the subtle touches that bring an outfit together.

Wine Tasting

Did someone say rosé? Vineyards and wineries abound in the Provence wine region which encapsulates the Côte d’Azur. To get a real, authentic taste of one of the Riviera’s specialties, it is best to head to the terroir to see the grapes and experience a proper tasting.

Both a romantic and educational activity, it is best to look sharp while sipping the crisp spirit. Matching sets are all the rage in France, and we love the options available at BA&SH like this tropical, geometric skirt and top set. Wear a long linen dress unbuttoned in a matching Burgundy color for a subtly dramatic effect that also tones down the pattern. Out in the sun, a straw hat is never a bad idea, and it ties the outfit together. Pair with handwoven leather moccasins from Sézane and a simple precious stone necklace. Don’t forget to bring a cute, large market bag to hold all the wine bottles you buy at the end!

If you are planning a trip to Provence and want to visit the vineyards, check out our 5-day Itinerary to St. Tropez and the Wine Country!

A holiday in the sun is all that is on our minds these days as summer quickly approaches. Hopefully this guide prepares and inspires you to vacation like the French!

Read Next: Packing for Paris in Spring

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