You may not be able to go to Europe’s most glamorous coastline right now, but you can still dream about it.
With 115 km (71 miles) of coastline, the Côte d’Azur is synonymous with its legendary beaches (plages in French). Although all are beautiful to behold, each one has its own unique character, from glamorous St-Tropez and St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to the paradisiacal calanques. In high season—from mid-June through September—sun worshipers jostle for a position on pretty much every Riviera beach. The beaches on the Riviera are a mix of public and private, with hotels and restaurants occupying long swaths of beachfront reserved for paying customers. There are usually public areas interspersed, but they can be quite crowded—and hard to spot—in summer. The true public beaches usually have no lifeguards or rental chairs and are free. Public beaches “en régie” (meaning they’re run by town authorities) offer public showers and beach rentals for a small entrance fee. Municipal beaches are usually “supervised,” meaning there are lifeguards on hand. Dogs are forbidden on all beaches and smoking is increasingly frowned upon. For an introduction to the Riviera’s glittering world of fun in the sun, here are 10 of the region’s most idyllic beaches.
Did you think the world was a perfect jigsaw of straight lines and solid borders? Think again.
For a subject often treated with such furrow-browed importance by certain politicians, the exact details of where international borders lie can sometimes be a confusing and confounding conundrum. Through either historical quirks, unwanted tracts of land or honest mistakes, there are several locations worldwide that warrant taking a closer look. Gazed at from a satellite above, there would be nothing remarkable about these areas of land but the reality is much different. Here are some of the world’s more curious international border situations.
Visit Thessaloniki, Greece’s northern capital famed for its world-class gastronomy, laidback attitude, and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki bears the marks of a tumultuous past and consequent myriad cultural influences. Part of the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, this important trading center has been home to diverse communities, each bringing their languages, traditions, and cuisines to the port city. Today, Thessaloniki is a vibrant university town known for its culinary exploits and dynamic cultural scene, all the while maintaining a reputation as a chilled-out metropolis where life can afford to move a little slower. A trip to Thessaloniki should take in the city’s rich archaeological offerings—think a well-preserved Roman forum, frescoes at the Rotunda, and the elaborate Arch of Galerius—but take on a decidedly relaxed pace, making time to savor a sweet bougatsa, stroll the waterfront and discover the meaning of halara.