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The Rivieras: Which One is Right for You?

Updated: May 28, 2023

The word “Riviera” conjures up expensive cars, sophisticated movie stars, and perhaps even a James Bond sighting.

You are probably thinking French Riviera… that gorgeous stretch of coastline between Monaco and Nice with impossible winding roads up into the mountains.

But, there are other “Rivieras” – the Italian Riviera, just across the border from France with the same towering mountain backdrop and such jewels as Portofino.

Closer to home there’s the Mayan Riviera in Mexico --- stretching from Cancun to Tulum with charming towns, incredible resorts, and ancient Mayan ruins nearby.

In addition to these, there’s an Austrian Riviera, a Baltic Riviera, and many other unofficial and official rivieras. In no particular order, here are three of the favorites.

The Mexican Riviera

The Mexican Riviera, or the Caribbean Coast, as it is called today, is mostly remembered (and forever admired) for its stunning beaches. Powdery white sands embrace clear turquoise Caribbean lagoons and vibrant marine life beneath. Inland scrub and jungle are punctuated by Maya ruins.

Top 5 Reasons to Go to the Mexican Riveria

1. See the shipwrecks and go snorkeling off seductive Castillo Real.

2. Visit the stunning, cliff-hugging ruins at Tulum — the only Maya site that overlooks the Caribbean.

3. You can’t really improve on the Caribbean waters for scuba diving and snorkeling. Expect to see a technicolor profusion of fish, coral, and other aquatic lovelies.

4. Indulge in a decadent massage or other body treatment at a luxurious Riviera Maya spa resort.

5. Explore the mysterious underground caves at Aktun-Chen.

The Italian Riviera

The Italians perfected il dolce far niente — the sweet art of idleness — right here in the coastal region of Liguria, also known as the Italian Riviera, a collection of villages dedicated to the sea and the sun, running along a broad curve between France to the west and Tuscany to the east. Smack in the middle is Genoa, one of Italy’s great port cities.

Top 5 Reasons to Go to the Italian Riveria

1. The Cinque Terre: Hike the famous Cinque Terre trails past gravity-defying vineyards, rock-perched villages, and the deep blue sea.

2. Walking Genoa’s “Street of Gold”: Renaissance or rococo, the palaces of Via Garibaldi bear witness to the gilded heyday of Genoese splendor.

3. Giardini Botanici Hambury, Ventimiglia: A spectacular natural setting harbors one of Italy’s largest, most exotic botanical gardens.

4. Portofino: See the world through rose-tinted sunglasses at this glamorous little harbor village.

5. Pesto: The basil-rich sauce was invented in Liguria, and it’s never been equaled elsewhere.

The French Riviera

Home to sophisticated resorts filled with billionaires, remote hill villages colonized by artists, Mediterranean beaches, and magnificent views, the Côte d’Azur (to use the French name) stretches from Marseilles to Menton, and supplies visitors with everything their hearts desire. Some talk about how great the Riviera used to be. In our opinion, it is still la crème de la crème.

Top 5 Reasons to Go to the French Riveria

1. Visit the Palais Princier, in Monaco, where Monaco’s Royal Family resides in grand style.

2. Take stock of the Picasso’s at the Musée Picasso in Antibes and the masterpieces adorning walls at the Fondation Maeght in St-Paul.

3. St-Tropez’s Vieux Port is a slice of Riviera life at its best. Watch the glamorous people (and the occasional celeb) as they drift on and off their yachts.

4. To see the Cours Saleya is to see the nerve center of Old Nice, a place filled with cafes, restaurants, and 18th-century houses.

5. Take a tour of the palatial pile that is Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. And when you’re done, stroll the seven “themed gardens.”

Let’s talk about which Riviera would be right for you. Wouldn’t you like to tell your friends “Oh, we are just back from the Riviera”?

20-Minute Complementary Love to Explore Session

I’d love to chat with you! In your Love to Explore session, we will spend about 20 minutes on the phone talking about your travel dreams. I’ll share with you tips and ideas. You’ll leave our call inspired and excited about possibilities!

If you’re ready to plan your next great adventure, I’d love to help you get there! You can contact me by clicking below or emailing me ( to book your 20-minute Love to Explore Session.


When you reach out to book your complimentary Love to Explore session, I’ll also send you my:

  • Ultimate Packing Checklist, and

  • Discover Your Travel Style Guide.

All FREE to help you plan your best vacation yet!

If you have any questions, please reach out



Hi, thanks for dropping by!

As an avid explorer and Travel Agent, I hope to inspire you to travel and explore the world, or even explore just outside your own backyard!

I’d love to give you a complimentary Love to Explore vacation planning session.  We’ll spend about 20 minutes on the phone talking about your travel dreams and budget.  I’ll share with you tips and ideas and explain how the process works to book through me.  You’ll leave our call inspired and excited about possibilities!


If you’re ready to plan your next great adventure, I’d love to help you get there! You can contact me by clicking below or emailing 

( to book your

20-minute Complementary Love to Explore Vacation Planning Session.

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