The Brits were not the only nationality with a taste for the Riviera lifestyle: the Russians even erected their own place of worship, the orthodox cathedral of St-Nicolas (00 33 4 93 96 88 02; on avenue Nicolas II, with its six glittering onion domes.To feel like a Russian aristocrat, book in to Prince Alexei Lobanov Rostowsky's former home, the Château des Ollières at 39 Avenue des Baumettes (00 33 4 92 15 77 99).Nine out of 10 of the Alpes-Maritimes's one million inhabitants occupy its 120km coastal strip, so that leaves the rest – a stunning wilderness of snow-capped mountains, pine-clad valleys and undiscovered villages – to explore.A must for wildlife lovers and hikers is the u o Mercantour National Park.Following hot on the heels of the film festival in May is the Monaco Grand Prix, when the streets of Monte Carlo become a racetrack for the F1 champions to battle it out towards the chequered flag. For more information, contact Monaco Tourism (020-7491 4264; The prize for the location with the deepest history goes to Eze, which occupies a magical spot 429m above sea level, just off the Moyenne Corniche and a short drive from Nice.Eze was one of the first settlements established by the Gallo-Romans. The luscious strip of coastline in the far south-east corner of France is officially contained within the département of the Alpes-Maritimes.The Côte d'Azur stretches from Théoule-sur-Mer in the west to Menton on France's border with Italy.
Or, try your luck in one of the principality's casinos (00 377 92 1620 00; where you can break the bank – or not.
For information, contact Eze Tourism (00 33 4 93 41 26 00;
St-Paul-de-Vence, with its ancient ramparts and unique position teetering on a hill, is frequently cited as one of France's most captivating villages.
England's lasting legacy to Nice is the Promenade des Anglais.
Under the instruction of one Rev Lewis Way, this 5km path was built along the edge of the gently curving Baie des Anges, and soon became the place to see and be seen.