‘Its not possible’ I hear you say, ‘Its the most expensive place in Europe’ yeah I hear that too, but for those in the know you really can travel the Côte d’Azur on a budget, and I’m going to tell you how in 5 easy steps.
1. Travel between seasons
Travelling out of high season is always cheaper with any destination but you do run the risk of encountering bad weather. Plan your trip to the Cote D’Azur in late May-June or September and you will find accommodation and flights at reduced rates along with great weather (it was 26 degrees every day for us). There are generally no school holidays in Europe throughout June which means quieter beaches, accommodation and roads…this means reduced rates for you!
2. Take your own accommodation
Own your own tent, caravan or motorhome? Take it! There are some amazing campsites in the South of France, some are even like 5 star resorts. We stayed on a pitch with electric hook up at ‘Prairies De La Mer’ in Port Grimaud (7km from St Tropez) for less that 30 Euros per night. The site has direct access to a stunning beach with its own bar and restaurant and the facilities were immaculate. Plan your route so you pass through Luxembourg on your journey down south and you will find huge savings on your fuel.
3. Shop around for deals on accommodation
Stay away from big chain hotels unless they have a specific discount on offer. You will find better deals at smaller boutique hotels and they are generally open to negotiation on price if you book direct out of high season. You can also use sites like http://www.booking.com and http://www.agoda.com to find some great hotels starting at around 40 Euros per night. If you like camping but don’t want the hassle of taking your own equipment why not try a company like http://www.canvasholidays.co.uk who provide mobile homes and glamping tents at a number of sites in the Cote D’Azur.
4. Find free activities
You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time in the Cote D’Azur; we spent most of our time enjoying the beautiful beaches; take your own towels, drinks and a picnic and you have a free day out. You could spend an afternoon window shopping in St Tropez and then enjoy celeb spotting over a coffee in the market square. Take in the amazing views of Nice’s port and Old Town – you can take the elevator up for under a Euro or if your on a really tight budget then you can climb the 200 steps for free. Nice’s main square is also a hotspot for street performers where you can enjoy watching performers sing and dance without spending a Euro.
5. Make your own meals
Eating out tends to make the biggest dent in any travellers budget in Western Europe, so why not make the most of the delicious fare on offer in the many markets and food stores you will encounter in the Cote D’Azur. Croissants and pain au chocolat for breakfast, local cheese and wine for lunch and a simple salad and BBQ for dinner will keep costs down. If you really want to eat out then do it at lunchtime where many of the restaurants and cafe’s offer cheaper deals.
Have you travelled to the Cote D’Azur? Share your tips below with our readers.