Starting just east of la Ciotat, the great sweep of Mediterranean coast, all the way to the Italian border, is referred to as the Cote d'Azur or the Riviera. It is a large area with dozens of beaches and, despite the coast's reputation for toney glamor alternating with brash vulgarity, it's a great location for watersports, boating, parascending, climbing, hiking and gliding. The Western Cote d'Azur is a deeply indented coast, characterized by many small towns, miles of sandy beaches, and three great mountainous headlands, called massifs. The Massif des Maures, Massif de l'Esterel and Massif de Tanneron foreshadow the march of the Alps to the sea farther east along the Riviera. They offer stunning long distance views and provide miles of good walking. For years, French vacationers kept the region their secret, staying in their holiday homes or with friends and family. As a result, the massifs remain largely undiscovered territory for foreign visitors, who usually race around and between them on motorways for the coast. If you stop to enjoy this region, you'll find it has its own personality and surprises. Covered in depth are the Mauresque Coast, including St Tropez, Le Lavandou, Grimaud, Ste Maxime, then on to Frejus, Saint Raphael, the Massif du Tanneron and the Esterel. All the places to stay are described, as well as the places to eat, the history, sights to see, plus adventures on foot, on horseback and on water. Color photos throughout.