Travel Information Côte d'Azur

Information & tips

Soon you will be going on holiday to the Côte d'Azur in France. We would like to send you well-prepared, which is why we have listed some useful information for you. We wish you an enjoyable holiday in 'la douce France'!

On the road
Tolls, environment sticker & refuelling

In France, you pay tolls on major transit routes, as well as for some bridges and viaducts. Current toll rates can be found here: https://www.autoroutes.fr/index.htm?lang=en
Payment can be made in cash or by credit card, without a PIN. You can also buy a toll badge, valid in 4 countries: Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal. 

On 1 July 2016, the Crit'Air law came into force in France. This allows French municipalities to establish permanent and temporary environmental zones. Within an environmental zone, all cars, including foreign vehicles, must have a Crit'Air. The environmental sticker can only be ordered on the official Crit'Air website https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/ Delivery time is about 10 days. The cost is €4.61 including shipping to the UK. €3.11 + €1.50 postage outside France (i.e. €4.61 per vehicle)

Current fuel prices: https://www.prix-carburants.gouv.fr/
Fuelling on the motorway is always a lot more expensive than along ordinary roads. Fuelling at the big supermarkets is generally the least expensive.

France has limited charging points for electric cars but the network has expanded enormously recently.  Charging points along the way can be found on this route planner: https://abetterrouteplanner.com/

It is compulsory to have a warning triangle and a safety vest in all vehicles.

Are you going by plane and renting a car? The Irish driving license is valid in France, The driver must often be at least 21 years old and have had a driving license for at least 1 or 2 years. Only a credit card (with PIN) in the name of the main driver can be used to rent a car.

Black Saturday in 2024 is on July 20 and 27 and Aug. 3 and 10.

If you want to stay overnight on the road, there are numerous cheap hotels along the motorway. Some chains include Formule1, Kyriad, Etap, Première Classe or Ibis Styles.


Food & drink
Food & Drink

Tap water in France is generally safe to drink. If a tap is labeled Eau non potable (no drinking water), it is then better to drink bottled water.

In France, bakeries and butchers open sometime between 7:00 and 8:00. Around lunchtime, they are closed for a few hours and then they are open until around 19:00. Many bakeries are also open on Sunday mornings. On Mondays, many shops are closed.

The big supermarkets are open every day, all day, and often into the evening, They are often found just outside the cities, and apart from food, they sell everything from books to washing machines. Well-known supermarkets include Leclerc, Auchan, Intermarché, and Carrefour, but in France, you will also find Lidl and Aldi. Prices are about the same as in the UK. Cigarettes and medicines are not for sale in supermarkets.

If you eat out at the campsite, you can often go early. If you go out to a restaurant outside the campsite, bear in mind that there is often no one there before 19:00.  Eating out is cheaper than in the UK. You can have a simple 3-course menu for around € 15. Check the menu or the bill: if it says Service compris, the tip is already included.

Healthcare
Healthcare

French healthcare is of good quality.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to necessary medical care in case of illness or accident during a temporary stay in France. It is often not necessary to advance any healthcare costs yourself. You will find the personal EHIC on the back of your health insurance card or in their app.

The pharmacy is the place to go for all kinds of medicine and self-care products. French doctors are always very generous in dispensing medicines.

In case of hospitalisation or when medical specialist care is required, it is best to contact your insurance company directly.

No COVID-19 measures currently apply in France. There is also no need to get vaccinations.

Weather & Climate
Weather & Climate

This beautiful part of France is known for its sunny Mediterranean climate with temperatures averaging around 30 degrees in the summer.

The pleasant weather often starts quite early. Spring is pleasant here and summer temperatures are recorded as early as May. Summers are hot, but almost never too hot.

The average annual temperature is around 18 degrees, which also makes this region a popular destination around spring and autumn. 

In addition to the well-known apps for weather and climate (Weather forecast, Daily Weather), meteofrance provides extensive weather info (in French).


Language & Payment
Bonnes vacances!

With Google Translate you will of course go a long way, but it is also nice to know some phrases.   We'll help you on your way:

HelloBonjour
GoodbyeAu revoir
Yes / NoOui/Non
PleaseS'il vous plaît
Thank youMerci
SorryPardon
What is your name?Comment vous appelez-vous?
I am / my name isJe m'appelle..
I do not speak FrenchJe ne parle pas français
I don't understand
Je ne comprends pas
What time is it? Quelle heure est-il?
How much does this cost?C'est combien?
Where is the restaurant/bar?Où est le restaurant/bar?
Where is the nearest bank?
Où est la banque la plus proche?
Where is the swimming pool?Où se trouve la piscine?
Do you accept credit cards?Acceptez-vous les cartes de crédit?
Leftà gauche
Rightà droite
Stop!Arrêtez !
Straight aheadTout droit
Can I see the menu?
La carte, s'il vous plaît.
I would like a beer/glass of white wine/glass of red wine
Je voudrais une bière/un verre de vin blanc/un verre de vin rouge, s'il vous plait
Cheers / Sláinte  
Santé !
Can I have the bill please?
L'addition, s'il vous plaît
Where is the toilet?
Où sont les toilettes?
Where is the hospital?
Où est l'hopital?
Where is the pharmacy?Où est la pharmacie?
Where is the dentist?Où est le dentiste?


In France, as in Ireland, you pay with the euro. The price level is about the same as in Ireland. You can pay with your normal debit or credit card almost everywhere. There are more ATMs in France than in Ireland. Please note that withdrawing money with a credit card is usually not free of charge.

Good to know
Good to know
  • When travelling to France, you will need a valid passport or ID card with which to identify yourself. You will not need it to cross the border.

  • Sockets in your accommodation may not be the same in France as in the UK.
    In France, there are two associated plug types, types C and E. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and plug type E is the plug that has two round pins and a hole for the socket's male earthing pin. France operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

    It may be handy to bring 2 pin domestic Euro conversion plug

  • Important public holidays in France

Easter Sunday

Pâques

Mar 31

Easter Monday

Lundi de Pâques

April 1

Labour Day  

Fête de travail

May 1 

Liberation Day

Le jour de la libération

May 8

Ascension Day

Jour de l’Ascension

May 9

Pentecost  

Pentecôte

May 19

Pentecost Monday

Lundi de Pentecôte

May 20

Bastille Day

Quatorze juillet

July 14

Assumption Day

Marie l’Assomption

Aug 15

All Saints' Day

Toussaint

Nov 1

Remembrance Day 

Jour de l’Armistice

Nov 11


  • France is a dog-friendly country, but not all dogs are allowed. You will need an EU pet passport for your dog or cat, available from your vet. Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travelling. The compulsory chip must be inserted before the rabies vaccination (may be done on the same day). More information can be found here.

  • The centre of France is 1 hour ahead of the centre of the UK. We are using the Europe/London and Europe/Paris time zones.  

  • Are you travelling alone with a minor child, for example, because you are divorced? Or are you taking a friend of your child with you? Then you must be able to prove that you have permission from the parent(s). You can do this with a permission slip.

  • Put the phone number of a contact person in case of emergency as an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in your phone.


  •  Tip: before departure, photograph your passport/ID, insurance card, bank card, emergency numbers, and other important items. Mail or app them to yourself or other travel companions, so you can still have important data to hand in case of loss or theft.

10 attractions on the Côte d'Azur

Saint-Tropez

This charming southern French port town, with only 6,000 inhabitants but five million visitors annually, offers an authentic Mediterranean atmosphere, especially around the old port and the lively beaches of Pampelonne. Enjoy the local terraces, luxury yachts, beach bars and water sports. The city is also easily accessible, even by ferry, making the trip extra special.

Esterel Massif

The red Esterel Massif welcomes hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders alike for a ride. The many trails laid out in the area take you past the various sights. Especially put on your schedule the beautiful hike that takes you to the pic de l'Ours, for the stunning vantage points over the Mediterranean coast. Once at the top, you will have a panoramic view of the region.

Îles des Lérins

The Îles des Lérins is a group of islands near Cannes. Crystal clear waters, ancient monasteries and unspoiled nature, all just steps from the French Riviera. Take the ferry for a day out where you can escape the crowds, enjoy walks, taste local wines or just laze in the sun. A must-visit for a unique piece of paradise!

Èze

Eze is a cozy village on the Côte d'Azur, on a mountain with insane views of the sea. You walk through narrow streets, past cute little houses and beautiful gardens. It is like going back in time while enjoying one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the French coast. Ideal for a relaxing day out.

Parfume city Grasse

Grasse is the perfume capital of the world, in the heart of the Côte d'Azur. It is the place to walk through fragrant fields and learn all about the art of perfume making. The old town is a warren of charming streets filled with boutiques and cozy cafes. Grasse is not only a feast for your nose, but also a delightful experience for lovers of culture and history.  

Cannes

If there is one thing you must see while visiting Cannes, it is the Croisette! This beautiful boulevard lined with palm and pine trees runs along Cannes' coastline. Every year, celebrities line the steps of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. The rest of the year, you can also walk the red carpet like a star.


St. Raphaël & Fréjus

Fréjus consists of a historic center including a 1st-century amphitheater and other medieval buildings, and Fréjus Plage, with its 1 km. long and nice wide sandy beach. In the evening, stroll along the boulevard lined with palms and plane trees, which continues into St. Raphael. In the narrow streets of St. Raphael there is a typical Provencal flower and vegetable market every day.  

Monaco

Dive into the enchanting world of Monaco, with its glittering marinas, prestigious casinos, and famous Grand Prix. Stroll the atmospheric streets, admire the lush gardens, and experience glamour you won't find anywhere else. Also, watch the changing of the guard at the palace.

Port Grimaud

Port Grimaud is also known as the "Venice on the Côte d'Azur. This unique waterfront town is a hidden gem where you can float around in a boat past colourful houses and under charming bridges. Perfect for lovers of picturesque views, relaxing boat trips or just strolling along the waterfront. Port Grimaud gives you that wonderful holiday feeling with a touch of French charm.  

Nice

Nice is famous for its sunny beaches and chic Promenade des Anglais. Stroll along the beach, admire historical gems like the Palais de la Méditerranée and Villa Masséna, now a fascinating museum. Browse the colorful Provencal market of Cours Saleya or relax in the shady Jardin Albert I, full of palm trees and fountains. Nice is the perfect blend of sun, sea, culture and history,

Disclaimer: The information on this page has been carefully compiled. However, we do not accept any liability for incorrect or incomplete information. The links we use to other websites are for informational purposes only. These websites are not maintained by us,