2019 depart daily: year round
Cost from: $905 pp twin share (s/sup $510)
Note: this is a tailor-made itinerary so the hotel can be upgraded or the day tour can be amended on request.
day 01 Nice
Upon arrival to Nice you will be met and transferred privately to your centrally located Hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for shopping or personal discoveries.
day 02 Antibes-Cannes-Grasse-St Paul de Vence
At 08.45am, depart for Antibes, a town founded in Roman time (and was a former military garrison) and fell into the hands of the Grimaldi family for a long time. The traditional fishing town then evolved to see its port becoming known as the "billionaires’ quay”: enjoy some free time along it and see the largest and wildest yachts in the world. The medieval old town and its fortifications (16th century) offer a wonderful view over the Bay of Nice and a traditional Provençal covered market. Next to it, the Château Grimaldi houses the Picasso museum which used to be the studio of the famous artist. Next you will drive on to Cannes along the coastline through the Cap d’Antibes (one of the most exclusive area of the Riviera). Beyond the stir of international conventions and congresses, comes the thrill of holidaymakers dreaming of the Film Festival city, the red carpet and the famous Croisette boulevard where many starts have left their mark. Enjoy the view of 5 star hotels, designer shops and soak into the "Hollywood" atmosphere of the Croisette before taking your picture up the famous steps of the Film Festival place. You will then drive on to reach Grasse. The world perfume capital’s activity is essentially turned towards international relation. This art is perceptible when you visit a perfumery, by creating your own perfume during a workshop or just by strolling along the alleys in the historic center. Fragonard perfume factory opens its doors and offers a free guided tour during which you will enjoy an exciting experience in the mysterious alchemy of scents when discovering the flowers, distillation, “enfleurage”, the perfumer and his creations. You will then have the option of having lunch in the city (not included). You will drive up to 700 m (about 2000 feet) above sea level. Try and imagine this unique panorama on the coast and the surrounding valley. The medieval village has kept its atmosphere of bygone days as exemplified by its roman church of the 12th century, traditional Provençal houses and local craft shops. From there you will follow the natural beauties of the Loup valley – waterfalls, cliffs – to reach Tourettes sur Loup. The village located on a rocky spur has its houses forming a wall that protects its renowned craft: weaving, pottery, painting, sculptures or jewelry. The city of violets has grown experience into cultivating this flower for more than a century. During your free time, why not try a violet ice-cream, a taste well worth the experience. A short drive will lead you to the famous hilltop village of Saint Paul de Vence. In the early 1920’s artists started discovering Saint Paul. Painters were forerunners who found an incomparable richness and intensity of light in the peaceful Provençal village. Famous artists such as Paul Signac, Raoul Dufy or Chaïm Soutine will be later joined by Henri Matisse or Pablo Picasso. This village is nowadays a renowned center of arts whether modern, contemporary, naïf and abstract. You will find the streets to be an open museum where artists such as Folon, César, Niky de Saint-Phalle have their works displayed in the windows of the galleries. You will have free time to walk along the main street where souvenir shops alternate with art galleries. Why not hop onto a ‘crêpe’ or ice-cream along the way. Do not miss a walk along the ramparts which offers a beautiful view upon the surrounding valley and the coast.
day 03 Best of Nice
At 09.30am, depart for a morning tour of Nice starting by the Castle Hill. You can admire the splendid panorama over the bay of Nice, the beaches, the port and the old town. Founded by the Greeks, the Roman ruins (therms and arena) show the earnest interest that Nice has always inspired. As for the Belle Epoque buildings, you will admit that they convey beautifully the golden age of the city.The beauty of the gardens creates a haven of peace in the heart of the city. They particularly attract newlyweds who come on week-ends to snap this very special moment. Let you drive by the magic of the stunning views over Nice and the surroundings hills. Enter the Franciscan church (15th – 17th century) where you can discover part of the work of Louis Bréa – a leading reference of religious art in the 15th century – 3 of his paintings are on display. Walk through the parc of Cimiez to reach the Matisse museum (free entrance - closed on Tuesdays) unless you choose to go and visit the Chagall museum (entrance fee: 6€ - closed on Tuesdays). Then, visit the Russian Church. Reaching a height of 52m, the Russian cathedral deserves its fame as the biggest church built outside of Russia. This orthodox cathedral of a rare beauty was listed as a historic building. Admire the architecture of the building and pop inside to discover the beauty of Russian orthodoxy (free entrance – close on Mondays). Continue on to the Old Nice which is the best meeting point for Nice people and friends day and night. On the Saleya square, (center of the old Nice) you will enjoy the famous flower market (closed on Mondays where you would find a flea market instead). Center of the social and night life, the old Nice is a perfect mix of tradition and modernity. Walk through the paraphernalia of stalls of fruit and vegetables, local shops, restaurants, cafés and night clubs. Do not miss a slice of socca – a local specialty made from chickpea flour.
day 04 Monaco by night
Morning is at leisure to enjoy Nice at its best or just relax on the beach. In the evening at 19h, we will leave Nice following the low “Corniche” road to the unforgettable Principality of Monaco going through Nice and the famous resorts of Villefranche s/mer, Beaulieu s/mer and the upmarket St Jean Cap Ferrat. A first stop in the old town of Monaco will let you soak into the atmosphere of the Prince’s palace. You will appreciate the architecture of the cathedral where princess Grace is buried. Enjoy the view upon the harbour and Monte-Carlo before taking the Formule 1 Grand Prix track to reach Monte-Carlo. Enjoy a stop in the heart of the Monegasque luxury! Admire unique sports cars, designer shops, luxury hotels and the famous Casino of Monte Carlo. You will have plenty of time to visit/play at the casino (entrance fee not included) and have dinner in the heart of the city.
day 05 Nice-Departure
After breakfast your tour comes to the end with a private transfer to the Airport or train Station.
Inclusions: standard twin share in 3* accommodation, breakfast daily, hotel pick up and drop off, deluxe minivan, English speaking driver-guide, entrance fees, arrival and departure private transfers by luxury limousine.
Hotel: Nice-Albert 1er (or similar).