Winter in the French Riviera overall is a more subdued time of year but still very pleasant when compared to how quickly things are moving here in the summer months with everyone trying to take in as much of the atmosphere and scenery as possible, especially if they are on vacation.
So, what is the Christmas season like? Well, it depends on what you are doing, if you live here or are on holiday, we still get a tremendous amount of sunshine during the winter season and there is always something to see and do in the Cote d’Azur.
Pre-Covid19 times it can feel very much like anywhere else, except there is no snow and if it does happen to snow, it melts right away. To experience the snow you would have to go into the back country at the French Alps, depending on where you are it could be as close as an hour drive away and where you can take in all kinds of activities like skiing or skating in the mountainous villages.
By the sea, all the small towns and cities during Christmas still go very grand and bold when it comes to colorful light displays which are quite beautiful to see when walking through the streets at night. Even the palm trees are lit up.
And many areas have Christmas markets set up, even this year with the pandemic going on you will find them in places like Monaco, Cannes and Antibes, just a bit smaller in size right now for safety reasons concerning gatherings of people.
People also love their Ferris Wheel rides here, which are also lit up at night and give a wonderful perspective from above of the city you are in during the season.
During normal times, the LGBTQ night clubs are open and celebrating with a festive cheer, bars and restaurants would also be open so this gives people both visiting and that live in the region a chance to have a holiday drink with each other. New Year's Eve has also become a much bigger celebration as time passes to ring in the year.
Traditionally for the season itself, Christmas Eve is the big night in which everyone gathers with friends and family most of which includes quite a gathering of gourmet food items, drinks and desserts along with swapping presents.
Christmas Day is still set for the children but it’s also a quieter time where people will visit with other or take leisurely walks along the beach, go for hikes in the mountains or just relax at home.
Of course, with the Coronavirus, that has all changed this year, especially with curfews and restrictions in place. A drastic change for many but in other ways it’s also a chance to perhaps reflect and start new traditions with one another and be very grateful for all our day-to-day blessings.
Whatever you are doing this Christmas, make it a good one and stay safe.