The magnificence of the region inspired Queen Victoria to name it the winter residence of the British Empire. A proper name for the coast arrived in 1878 when the French poet Stephen Liagard wrote a book about the French Mediterranean coast and called it ‘The Cote D’Azur’. The British had originally shunned the coast during the hot summer month’s, preferring instead to visit during the winter. However, in 1923 the American millionaire G Murphy was spotted sun bathing on the Riviera and the summer months soon became the time of year to enjoy the true Riviera lifestyle.
Initially the Cote D’Azur was only for the rich and famous and it was not until after the Second World War that the average tourist started flocking to the area. Nowadays the coast accommodates over 18 million visitors a year and the glamorous riviera resorts such as Nice, Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez have managed to retain their splendour and charm.