A haven of glamour and wealth
The Principality of Monaco has a world - wide reputation for being a haven of glamour and wealth and is situated on the French Riviera between Cap d’Ail and Menton, on the sea and just a few kilometres from the Italian border.
Monaco is only 2 sqm KM in size making it the second smallest country in the world, (after the Vatican) . It has just under 40000 residents made up by a combination of the local Monegasque and a diverse number of international multi - millionaires taking advantage of the local tax laws.
There are fabulous parks and gardens mixed in with the smart apartment blocks and 2 fabulous harbours filled with superyachts. Monaco has numerous luxury hotels, spas, brasseries to Michelin starred restaurants, lavish bars and nightclubs, some world class Casinos and plenty of designer boutiques. All perfect for those who love to live a high-end lifestyle. The harbour and Casino square are a people and super car watcher’s paradise as well as a paparazzi’s dream.
Monaco hosts several major events and a major Yacht show during the year BUT the highlight is the World-famous Monaco Grand Prix which takes place every May, when the Formula One circus and International jet set take over this tiny principality.
The Palace is definitely worth a visit (changing of the guard takes place every day at 11.55am) as well as the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium.
During the summer months there are spectacular fireworks competitions taking place over the harbour and all the numerous super-yachts.
Superb panorama of Italy and the Var coastline
Cap d’Aill stretches along a peaceful part of the coast, next to the principality of Monaco. It has some impressive looking waterfront villas, a few good restaurants and a nice harbour. There is a superb panorama of Italy and the Var coastline if you take the road which overlooks the coast and stop at the ‘Tete de Chien’ viewing point.
Cap d’Ail has 3 impressive beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag for the quality of its seawater.
Marquet beach is best for families. It slopes down gently to the sea and is easy to reach. It has a yacht club and 2 restaurants.
Mala beach is surrounded by vegetation and can be reached by foot along a narrow path. It also is suitable for families and has 2 restaurants.
Pissarelles beach is for the more athletic visitor. It is surrounded by rocks and is reached along a path that is a little difficult for children.
Medieval village perched like and eagle's nest
Eze is a medieval village perched like an eagle's nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706). The castle grounds host the well-known Jardin Exotique, which have an extensive collection of Mediterranean plants and the most stunning views of the sea and the coast.
Although a very pretty village, the narrow streets are also very steep with many steps, so it's not easily accessible for people with mobility problems. The village forms a circular pattern around the base of the castle. The old buildings and narrow streets are very well restored, with high stone walls and cobblestones. There are pretty little shaded squares as you walk up through the village and the sea views are impressive. Nestled in the middle of the village is the world famous Chevre d’Or hotel and restaurant with its exceptional views of the coastline and the sea. Like many of these ancient medieval villages on the Cote D’Azur, it is a mecca for tourists in the summer months and as a result hosts a multitude of souvenir shops.
The ancient Eze Village is contrasted by the more residential Eze-sur-Mer, a seaside "town" between Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Cap d'Ail. Eze-sur-Mer has beaches, water sports, cafés, restaurants, a few hotels and a train station.
VILLEFRANCHE SUR MER
Winding cobbled streets weaving to the fishing port
Set in one of the Cote d’Azur’s most charming harbours, this little fishing port has a stunning location overlooking a beautiful bay and the Cap Ferrat peninsula. It is a well preserved 14th century old town with a 16th century citadel and a church dating from 100 years later. There are winding cobbled streets weaving through the old village to the fishing port and a vast array of terraced restaurants for lunch and dinner whilst sipping rose watching the world go by and enjoying the beautiful views over the bay. Every Sunday there is an antiques market.
Located between Nice and Monaco there is a train station in the middle of the town and a nice sandy, public beach.
ST JEAN CAP FERRAT
Surrounded by turquoise waters and hidden coves
This spectacular peninsula is situated between Nice and Villefranche sur Mer and is home to a bounty of millionaires’ villas surrounded by turquoise waters and some beautiful hidden rocky coves.
Its tranquillity and warm climate make it a favourite holiday destination amongst European aristocracy and international millionnaires. There are 3 lovely beaches a beautiful harbour, plenty of good bistros and restaurants and 2 world class hotels in the Voile d’or and the Grand Hotel du Cap.
There is a glorious 14Km coastal walk around the peninsular divided into 3 parts : the tour of Cap Ferrat, the pine-forest and the Maurice Rouvier walk which links Saint Jean Cap Ferrat to Beaulieu.
Located in the middle of the Peninsular is the Ephrussi Rothschild Villa and Museum which is open to the public .This mansion is decorated with the treasures of the Baronness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild. More than 5000 works of art are displayed, together with an impressive collection of furniture, lamps and carpets with superb gardens surrounded by the sea. The Baronness was inspired by her travels to create 7 gardens designed around several themes - Spanish, Florentine or Japanese...garden of the Muses, garden of the Lapidary, the rose garden... impeccable walk-ways, palm-trees and rare fragrances surround this paradise.
Cool, thriving and vibrant city with fabulous restaurants
Nice is the capital city of the Alpes Maritime. Historically it was very popular with the 19th Century European Elite and a big attraction to artists. Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall were both residents and now both are honoured with Museums in their names.
Now Nice is a cool, thriving and vibrant city with some fabulous hotels and restaurants and all areas are lively with some high end boutiques and local markets. The most famous being the Cours Salaya which is a spectacular food and flower daily market. The famous Promenade des Anglais is always busy and bustling with people enjoying the beautiful scenery and exceptional climate.
There are many places to visit in Nice including the Old Town with its maze of shady streets to visiting the Baroque churches or the Modern and Contemporary Museum featuring several local artists as well as Andy Warhol.
So whether one is looking for a long lazy lunch on the beach, great shopping, local culture or a fun night out in a fashionable modern restaurant followed by a trendy night club – Nice has something that will appeal to everyone.
Known for its modern and contemporary art museums
One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, it is well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries such as Fondation Maeght which is located nearby.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence (as it used to be known) has long been a haven for famous artists and celebrities, mostly due to the La Colombe d'Or hotel. This is located on the edge of the village and former guests include Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso. There are still some original Picasso’s hanging in the main restaurant. Lunch on its iconic terrace, under the vines whilst enjoying the fabulous views has been one of the many “must do” things when visiting the Cote d’Azur for decades. Saint-Paul also has some impressive villas in the Domaine de St Paul with exceptional sea views and some well-known celebrity owners.
The village has narrow cobblestoned streets and can get extremely busy in the summer months, but it has a lot of charm, some nice bars and bistros and art enthusiasts will appreciate a wander around the many galleries.
Scrupulously maintained with beautiful coastal paths
Cap d’Antibes is home to a number of dream residences as well as the famous "Hotel du Cap-Eden Roc”. This hotel can be found at the point of the "Cap" overlooking “Le Baie des Milliardaires” (Billionaires Bay) which in the summer is full of superyachts anchored in the bay, whilst their owners frequent the hotel.
The Cap d’Antibes is scrupulously maintained and there is a beautiful coastal footpath as well as a few popular beach restaurants at Plage de la Garoupe and Plage des Pecheurs.
Home to the world famous Picasso museum
Antibes is one of the most well-known resorts on the Cote d’Azur, located between Nice and Cannes. For a long time Antibes was the only large town between Marseille and Italy and as it was protected by ramparts it has managed to conserve historic monuments from each period in its heritage. The Chateau, bastion and towers have today been transformed into a magnificent Modern Art Museum, History and Archeology Museum and museum of traditional crafts and local culture. There is also the famous Picasso museum which is a must see for Art lovers.
Antibes has a historical town centre which is best discovered on foot – there are pretty squares and narrow streets and a great variety of restaurants, cafes, theatres, piano bars and chic hotels. There is a superb Provencal market 6 days of the week in the covered market in Cous Massena. Antibes is also home to Europe’s largest pleasure boat port – Port Vauban (Le Quai des Milliardaires ‘Billionaire’s quay’) where you will find some of the largest superyachts in the world.
JUAN LES PINS
Exciting nightlife, fashionable clubs and casinos
Juan Les Pins is Antibes lively neighbour offering an exciting nightlife, fashionable nightclubs, casinos and even night shopping.
In the summer, the town of Juan-les-Pins comes alive with a long stretch of sandy beaches and various beach restaurants. The major musical event is "Jazz à Juan", an international festival of Jazz taking place in July – a beautiful setting among the pine trees to watch some great international musicians.
17th century perfume town
Grasse has been a perfume town ever since the 17th century, and today as the world's perfume capital, its reputation speaks for itself. According to statistics, the Grasse perfume and food aroma industry represents two thirds of total French production and employs 2,700 people generating a turnover of 600 million euros. Every year some two million tourists arrive from all over the world to visit the perfume museum, perfume factories and perfume shops.
The three historic perfume manufacturers – Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard - open their doors to provide free guided tours. You will learn all about the mysteries of how a perfume is made, from the raw materials to the perfume itself, by means of distillation and enfleurage.
As well as perfume, the historic town is fascinating; There are beautiful streets packed with typical boutiques and stalls and the Place des Aires, with its arcades and Louis XV fountain, as well as some great bars and restaurants. There is a clothes’ market every Wednesday at Route de Marigarde.
Amongst the winding streets and stairways there is a square Saracen tower, remains of the 16th century ramparts, the mayor's office housed in what was formerly the bishop's palace, the medieval houses raised in the 17th and 18th centuries, superb private mansions (Hotel de Cabris, Hotel de Ponteves, Court de Fontmichel) and magnificent 18th century villas ... as well as the Belle Epoque casino (now converted into a conference centre)
The Notre-Dame du Puy cathedral is well worth a visit. Built in the Provençal Romanesque style in the 11th century and frequently altered since, it contains a beautiful altar piece attributed to Louis Brea, three canvasses by Rubens and a painting by Fragonard, plus stained glass windows and statues by Baillet.
Wonderful medieval village set amongst vast forest
Mougins Village is a wonderful medieval village, set amongst pine, olive and cypress trees 15 minutes from Cannes. It has more than 40 bars/restaurants and 20 art galleries and studios and there are 2 fabulous golf courses in the general area of Mougins.
Surrounded by the Valmasque forest of 427 hectares Mougins has kept the quality of its environment intact, and offers visitors, from the height of the village panoramic views of the "Baie de Cannes ", the Lerins islands, Grasse and the "Préalpes".
Mougins has always had close links with the art and cultural world. The harmony of the colours and quality of light has seduced many artists and celebrities who have chosen to stay in Mougins, including Picasso (who spent the last 15 years of his life here), Cocteau, Fernand Leger, Paul Eluard, Man Ray, Winston Churchill, Christian Dior, Catherine Deneuve, Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel.. amongst others.
Annual host to Hollywoods finest celebrities
Cannes is world famous for being the host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival where Hollywood celebrities mingle with the Film World and the local residents. As a result of this the city is well known for its association with the rich and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and for hosting several high-profile conferences. The beautiful stretch of sandy beaches with private beach clubs lining the Croisette, boutique shopping, Casinos and night clubs it is definitely a place to visit.
The Covered Market (Marché Forville) offers a spectacular eating and viewing food experience and no other market in Cannes beats this for scale and variety. The market itself is at the west end of rue Meynardiers, one of the Cote's best gourmand streets. The Old town - Le Suquet - is a part of Cannes with cobbled, narrow, winding streets filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. The view from the castle ruins at the top is excellent. Cannes has 2 ports - Vieux Port beside the Palais des Festivals and Port Pierre Canto at he far end of the Croisette.
There are great views onto the Cannes islands from here – the Iles de Lerins. The smaller is Ile Saint-Honorat, which has a monastery, restaurant and the ruins of a castle. The larger island is Ile Sainte - Marguerite which also has a castle, a few shop and a couple of bars and restaurants. One can access these islands either by a regular ferry boat from the old port of Cannes or by privately renting a day boat. During the summer months, a large number of boats moor in the shallow, protected “Plateau du Milieu”, between the islands for swimming, sunbathing and lunch on one of the Island Restaurants.
THEOULE SUR MER
A peaceful, seaside resort with plenty to offer
Sheltered in a small cove on the Estérel coast, Théoule is a peaceful, seaside resort, which has everything to delight holidaymakers - turquoise waters lapping its sandy beaches shaded by palm trees, numerous inlets and calanques in the red rock of the Estérel, a charming little marina with its mini-lighthouse built from red stone, a few very beautiful and luxurious residences surrounded with gardens and captivating views of the sea, coast and mountains.
There are several good beach bars, cafes and restaurants and a few shops in the small town. Cannes Mandelieu and La Napoule are not far away for more shops, restaurants, golf and horse riding.