9 French Riviera Drone Videos Worth Watching

My contribution to this month’s #AllaboutFrance blog link up hosted by Lou Messugo features some great drone videos of locations across the French Riviera.

I have a small obsession with drone videos for tourism as I believe they can really enhance a destination’s appeal and I’m the first to admit I have lost far too many hours watching various global footage on Travel by Drone.

Drones in Tourism

A while ago I wrote a dedicated blog post about Drones in Tourism and since then I have seen a huge increase in destinational videos from both amateurs and certified drone pilots, and the drone sector is now taking the marketing efforts away from the sole direction of tourism boards and into the hands – or controls – of the public.

Drone videos have the ability to take a vertical and horizontal snapshot of a location, festival or event and I have a particular interest in the usefulness of them for persons who have restricted mobility because they often show the topography and layout of a location or city (e.g. geographical slope, placement of stairs, etc) which is so often omitted from tourist brochures or websites.

Drone videos have had a solid uptake across many other industries (such as construction, real estate and military) and adventure sports have seen a colossal regeneration in interest with the likes of Red Bull quickly capturing viewer’s attention with adrenaline-racing footage of mountain biking, extreme skiing and surfing. It is an easy way for companies to spread their brand with expertly filmed videos being shared across social media.

My main gripe with drone videos is the accompanying soundtracks – many videos are accompanied with terrible music!

Here are 9 French Riviera Drone Videos Worth Watching:

1. This superb drone video highlights Menton and the beautiful Basilique Saint-Michel with the bell tower and you can see the parvis made of pebbles based on the design of the Grimaldi coat of arms (Video credit: Drone de regard / Vincent Jacques)

2.  This video includes some of my favourite places on the French Riviera including Lac St Cassien, the Esterel coastline and Antibes Old Town (Video credit: Jamie White):

3. This video offers a superb virtual tour of the gardens and surrounds at the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild on the Saint Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula. If you want to visit the Villa, read my blog post with tips for visiting Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (Video credit: Drone in Nice)

4. This video showcases some of the lovely villages and picturesque scenery in the Roya Valley including the Fort Central and La Brigue (Video credit: Drone de regard / Vincent Jacques)

5.   Monaco highlights slotted into 5 minutes 51 seconds of drone footage including the Monaco Cathedral, Palais Square, Monaco Oceanarium, fly-over of Larvotto beach, Casino Square, Grand Prix highlights, Jardin Exotique, Monte-Carlo Golf Club and more. (Video credit: Team Nanopirate)

6. Turn down the volume (personally I find the soundtrack distracting), then enjoy this excellent drone video with highlights of Cannes, Mandelieu La Napoule and the Esterels including Cap du Dramont and L’île d’Or (Video credit: Team Nanopirate)

7. This video is a nice overview of Tende and surrounds including the Chapelle Saint-Saveur (Video credit: Drone de regard / Vincent Jacques)

8.  A superb drone video by the Droning Dutchman with aerial shots of the Ésterels, Île d’Or, Fréjus and Saint Raphael.

9.   This is one of my favourite drone videos of our beautiful region, mainly because it includes footage of many locations near where I live and I love the choice of soundtrack.  No explanation needed, just enjoy it and understand why I feel lucky to live here (Video credit:  Thomas Hubener/UBNR)

Which drone video above is your favourite? And why?

Lou Messugo


Drones in Tourism – Interview with experts MLVDrone

Over the years, we have seen the partnership between tourism and technology get closer.

Tourism has created demand for advances in science and technology to make travel easier. A technological product that I have seen more interest in across the travel industry is the use of drones.

(image: govtech.com)

(image: govtech.com)

Why drones are useful to the tourism sector

Drones have traditionally been used for military, construction surveying and surveillance purposes, but they are now gathering more leverage in tourism with service providers seeing their benefits.

Aerial videos have been used by tourist boards and tourism promotion bodies, to enhance the resources of their destination and the beauty of the natural landscape. Accommodation providers, events companies, entertainment, sightseeing operators, and yachting businesses are using drones to capture attention.

Overseas, Tourism New Zealand has strategized to capture appeal by the young generation who are fond of ‘selfies’ by using a drone at ski slopes to record short videos of tourists and post it to social media – increasing in popularity is the drone hashtag #dronies

We meet the experts

Access Riviera interviewed Stéphane Vinuesa of local French Riviera company MLVDrone to ascertain his point-of-view on the effect of drones on travel and tourism:

1.  Bonjour Stéphane, thank you for taking the time for our interview. Could you please explain what a drone is?

A drone, the common name for an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) is a small flying platform with a payload, usually a camera which is piloted remotely. The common drone that most of you know is a “multi-copter”. You can find small ones in toy shops.

Yet professional drones are not toys and can be quite expensive. Professional drones have a higher payload capacity and comply with applicable regulations. One of our fleet is 1,10m wide and has a payload of 3.5kg. It is impressive to see this one flying.

2.  Recently, a tourist was arrested in Paris for flying a drone over Nôtre Dame Cathedral.  How do you think France’s strict laws on civilians flying unmanned aircraft will influence your own company?

Actually, I think we have an advantage in France to have benefited from regulation quite early.

For example, growth in the civil drone industry has been held up for a number of years in the USA for this reason where drone usage was simply banned to avoid incidents.

Regulations are obviously required for flying objects such as drones because of the obvious dangers of collision and to protect the privacy and security of individuals and groups. Current French regulations need improvement now that we have gained experience and, indeed, we are seeing some promising developments as our organization reviews the latest projects for new texts.

Despite the presence of regulation, incidents do occur. In May this year, a drone crashed from 300 feet onto a beach in Nice; luckily no one was sunbathing at the crash site yet people around were understandably quite scared.

When talking with professionals from others countries, they all are of the opinion that appropriate regulations would be desirable in their countries. The EU has initiated a consultancy survey last summer in order to decide whether a common regulation should be in place for Europe.

3.  Why do you feel an aerial view is so effective in tourism promotion?

Aerial views are striking and often show off an area, a remarkable site or a building in a dynamic way impossible to accomplish on foot.

Before drones, helicopters were often used for the production of quality aerial images but these are obviously much more expensive and disturbing to the surroundings.

Often people don’t know how aerial views were captured yet they notice them more than images taken from a terrestrial perspective. Everyone dreams of flying!

4. What do you see are the main opportunities for you with using drones for tourism?

As mentioned above, the striking and dynamic impact of aerial images at a reasonable price offer a clear advantage over classical imagery.

The price allows venues such as smaller hotels, villages, eco-tourist sites, ships etc to promote themselves as never before with aerial panoramic, virtual aerial tour, etc.

Short films of events such as corporate meetings, marriages and so on are becoming popular as people recognize the possibilities available with the new technology.

Although not quite on the subject, I would like to mention that drones can be used cost-effectively for many other purposes such as imaging (thermal, infra red…), avalanche and landslide surveillance, powerline surveillance etc.

(image: Châteauneuf by MLVDrone

(image: Châteauneuf by MLVDrone

5.  What (if any) is the impact of drones on the environment compared to other aerial options such as helicopters?

A drone produces neither noise nor emissions.

There are really only a few drawbacks to the technology currently – limitations to the size of the payload, limitations in flight time due to battery capacity and the need for the operators to be in visual proximity during flight.

Access Riviera would like to say thank you to Stéphane for his time completing this interview!

French drone snippets of interest

  • If you are interested in a drone pilot course on the French Riviera, contact MLVDrone via their website, Twitter or Facebook.


  • The French national railway company (SNCF) has tested drones this year to check for theft of rail cables. In the future, it is hoped the drones may assist in monitoring train bridges, viaducts and geological considerations for railway lines (e.g. cliff stability, rock faces)


  • Whether you travel globally or regionally, check out Travel By Drone, it is one of my favourite websites for losing myself in the destination videos.


(image: Drone view of Sanary sur Mer, Flickr)

(image: Drone view of Sanary sur Mer, Flickr)

  • Brilliant music site, La Blogothèque, channelled their platform Take Away Shows for French band, Phoenix, who had a music video for their song ‘Entertainment’ filmed by a drone. It’s a nice electro-rock video of the band interspersed with drone footage of Versailles. You can watch the clip via YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c3PoD_qW1Y


  • French tourism received a huge boost last year with producer Sylvain Plantard’s series for France 2 television ‘Le village préféré des français’ (Favourite French Village) rating highly with outstanding drone footage of French towns and scenery.


Sources: MLVDrone, Flickr, France Television, YouTube, Gizmodo

Disclaimer:  Access Riviera is not affiliated to any companies in this article, all information is for research only.