OK, I have several Footprint publications (Wales, Scotland & England) and have always admired those packed little guides for their no-nonsense appraisals of places to visit. If somewhere is over-rated, they would tell you, whilst also taking you off the beaten track somewhat... Having visited Provence on many occasions, I yearned for a guide that would take me off the beaten track to places I had not been before, and with the "Footprint" reputation for straight-talking text that does not mislead, I felt I could not go wrong... Although there is essentially little wrong with this guide (it is quite competent), I found it quite basic, uninspiring and limited. The "Rough Guide" or "DK Eyewitness" are the ones to go for...
If you're travelling to the Provence or the Cote d'Azur then the chances are you're not just looking for somewhere with a bit of sun and an all-inclusive wristband. Leave that to the Alicante crowd...
Instead, you're more likely following the footsteps of royalty, aristocrats, movie stars, rock stars, artists and the rest of le Beau Monde. Legend, glamour, history and culture are inextricably linked with this sunny corner of France and make it a fascinating and exciting place to visit.
If this is the case then this guide is the one you should choose. As well as covering all the usual tourist destinations and recommendations you can find in the other guides, this guide also skilfully intertwines this information with rich and interesting anecdotes that bring the Cote d'Azur to life, and makes you excited to be there.
The other area where this guide excels is that it has clearly been written by authors who really have an inside knowledge of the area, and not someone who simply visited and scribbled a few notes as they went along. This gives one the feeling that you're more likely to discovering insider tips, rather than just following the general tourist trail.
So, if you want to be inspired as well as informed by your guidebook, buy this one.
This book is a good general guide to the area although halfway through our holiday we started to use Trip Advisor for restaurant recommendations instead of the book. There were 2 principal reasons for this as follows: 1. A number of recommended restaurants in Nice were closed. (Only the French would close a restaurant in a busy tourist resort in August!) The fact that the guide had such a limited number of recommended restaurants and that some of these were closed very much limited our choice - hence the switch the Trip Advisor. 2. The description and recommendations for eating at Eze (on the Cote D'Azur) was plainly wrong. The place to eat and be seen at is Chateau Eza. The guide said it was an extremely expensive restaurant and you could eat at 1/5th of the price and still get sea views at Pinnochio's instead. Chateau Eza is expensive but not horrendously so. The staff at Chateua Eza are extremely attentive and the views were truly breathtaking (and I mean truly breathtaking.) Pinnochio's is also pretty pricey and not that much cheaper than Chateau Eza. The staff at Pinnochio's were arguing with each other when we were there (although I don't blame the guide for that!) The guide is however completely wrong in saying that Pinnochio's has a sea view - it hasn't and given it's location I can't see how it has ever had sea views. My preference for guide books remains the Top 10 series.