The French Riviera offers wonderful walking, fascinating art, architecture and history. Take time to visit the new Matisse museum in Nice, one of many excellent galleries. Much remains from the famous Belle Époque period, when wealthy Russian princes and English earls built palatial villas. History reaches back even further, with Roman monuments, bridges, and ancient roads. In many towns and villages, the narrow twisting streets and colourful buildings of the old quarters transport you back to the Middle Ages. For those interested in more recent wonders, the shopping is fabulous. Find haute couture fashions, interior decorations, unique perfumes and delicious candied fruits.
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day.Call or email for details.
ARRIVE / DEPART
Walking distances: 2.5 to 4 hours.
Land Cost (current year):
Menton: The tour starts in Menton, approximately 15 km east of Nice, which is the main point of access for the area. There are flights to Nice from many European gateway cities, including Paris, London, Amsterdam and Geneva. Menton can also be reached by train from major cities.
Arrive in Menton. Stroll along the narrow streets and winding alleys of the old town. You won’t be able to resist the colourful shops offering tablecloths and napkins made of bright Provençal fabrics. Wander along the beach and the old port. Relax at a café and watch the world go by.
Start with a bus ride to Castellar, from where you walk into wonderful, quiet country and to Ste-Agnès, the highest coastal village in Europe. Climb through the cobbled streets of the village to the remains of an 11th-century castle high above the sea. Visit the museum dedicated to the Maginot Line and explore the fortifications that were part of this Alpine defense line. Then descend back to the bustle of the Menton.
Walking time: 2.5 hours, with additional 1.5 hours possible.
Today follow one of the most stunning coastal walks along the Riviera. Walk around Cap Martin, past opulent villas and exclusive hotels, pause among pine trees to watch the turquoise surf wash among the white rocks. Your destination is the glamorous principality of Monaco, with its chic shops, museums, and lovely beach.
Walking time: up to 4 hours.
Enjoy a delightful walk high in the hills above the coast. Take the bus to La Turbie, a wonderful perched town with a spectacular view of the coast. La Turbie is the site of the Alpine Trophy, erected in 6 BC to commemorate the important victories in the Roman conquest of the Alps and one of the only two remaining trophies still standing. Take time to follow the nature trail and learn about the local flora before returning to Monaco.
Walking time: 2.25 hours.
Wind your way up to the magnificent perched village of Èze, following in the steps of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who found the climb highly inspiring. Explore the beautifully restored winding streets of the village, the many craft workshops, and the famous exotic garden. Take another look at the breathtaking view, then head for Beaulieu and set off on your walk around Cap Ferrat passing some of the most sumptuous villas on the Riviera, including one of the best known, the Rothschild Villa. Your destination is the charming resort of Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Walking times: 3 hours for the Eze walk; 4 hours around Cap Ferrat.
Explore Nice today. Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and take some time to sit and contemplate the azure sea. Browse in the shops along the Rue Massina, then head for the port, lined by squares and quays lined by lovely ochre-coloured buildings built in the 19th century. Be sure to visit Old Nice, which many art historians consider one of the most beautiful old quarters in France. You can also climb to Cimiez and the new Matisse Museum.
Enjoy a last morning on the French Riviera before departing for your next adventure.
Behind the elegant pink façade of this 19th century is a comfortable and friendly hotel. Decorated with antique furniture and paintings, there is a lovely terrace looking onto a garden with palm trees and hibiscus.
Conveniently situated in La Condamine district, the hotel is walking distance from the main tourist attractions including Casino Square and the beautiful Place d’Arms. Malizia, the renowned hotel restaurant offers Italian specialties in a Liberty style setting.
Five minutes from the beach, this character hotel from the early 20th Century was rebuilt in original Provençal style. All of La Flore’s guest rooms have either balconies or terraces overlooking the stunning natural harbour of Villefranche. Enjoy the beach or relax by the hotel’s own outdoor swimming pool.