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The Cote d'Azur and Nice Carnival

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20242025
7 days From £1,895 per person
4.4 stars(29 reviews)
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Witness the sights and sounds of Nice’s vibrant carnival, and discover the charming Provençal towns and fashionable coastal cities of the south of France

Mobility Rating 2

2025 Tour code: NIE25

About the tour

Admire the decorated floats, colourful costumes and spirited atmosphere of the captivating Nice Carnival on this rail holiday to the French Riviera.

From reserved grandstand seats, bask in fantastic views of this vibrant extravaganza and explore the shimmering Côte d'Azur. Uncover the charm and history of Nice on a guided tour and watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony in Monaco. Heading into the idyllic Provencal countryside, explore delightful towns, including the perfume capital of Grasse, medieval St-Paul-de-Vence, and the labyrinthine streets of clifftop Èze.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Nice: Journey to the French Riviera

We meet our Tour Manager and fellow travellers this morning at London St Pancras International ready for the Eurostar service to Paris. Travelling in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks at our seats, we arrive in the French capital, where we change trains for the direct service to Nice, arriving on the French Riviera in the evening.

Our 4-Star Belle Époque hotel is on the famous Promenade des Anglais, the shimmering palm-lined seafront looking out on to the Mediterranean Sea. The evening is free for you to relax at our spa hotel or step out and explore the area at leisure, enjoying dinner at a local restaurant of your choice.

Includes
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 - Discovering Nice’s history on a guided tour

After breakfast at our elegant hotel, we explore Nice on a fascinating guided coach tour. Beginning at Mont Boron, an exclusive hilltop neighbourhood of beaux arts mansions and a 16th-century fort, we admire panoramic views across Nice and the glimmering Mediterranean. From here, we explore the Roman ruins of the Cimiez. Dating from the 3rd century, we view the remains of the bathhouse and arena that once formed part of the city of Cemenelum.

In the historic Old Town, a charming jumble of alleyways lined by centuries-old buildings dating, we see the Opera House, the colourful flower market, and Nice's striking cathedral.

This afternoon you are free to explore this artistic city at your own pace. The Musée National Marc Chagall honours the Belarussian-born French artist and pioneer of modernism, while the Matisse Museum in Cimiez, contains colourful Fauvist works by Henri Matisse, who spent many years in Nice.

Along the Promenade des Anglais, you could visit the Hotel Negresco for a famous Royal Negresco cocktail containing champagne and flakes of gold, before a three-course dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - King of the Seas and Oceans at Nice’s famous carnival

Today, you are free to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the city after breakfast at our hotel, before a highlight of our holiday this evening. Perhaps walk along the famous Promenade des Anglais, strolling under palm trees with the shimmering Mediterranean Sea by your side. Alternatively, utilise the area's excellent public transport to head out to some of the French Riviera's most renowned towns. Cannes, Antibes, Juan les Pins and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat are all within 30 minutes of Nice.

Tonight, a highlight of our holiday awaits as we travel by tram to the city's Masséna Square. Here, we experience this evening's carnival extravaganza, with the theme of King of the Seas and Oceans, from reserved grandstand seats. Sit back and relax, admiring the innovative floats, adorned with meticulously arranged flowers, and talented performers in colourful costume, as they wend their way through the illuminated streets.

More than one thousand dancers, actors and performers take part in this incredible spectacle, with processions taking place through the streets, making this truly an unforgettable experience and an explosion of colour and vitality.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Fragrant Grasse and medieval St-Paul-de-Vence

Heading into the beautiful countryside of Provence after breakfast, we explore its delightful towns, starting in Grasse. Surrounded by aromatic fields of jasmine, roses and lavender, Grasse has been renowned worldwide for its perfume making for centuries. One of the town's oldest perfumeries is the Parfumerie Fragonard, which has been in its current premises since 1782. In the 1920s, it changed its name to honour to Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Grasse's most famous artist, and nowadays, the factory produces perfumes, soaps and cosmetics using their time-honoured traditional methods. We take a tour of the premises to learn more about its fascinating history.

Later, we make our way to the beautiful medieval 'perched' village of St-Paul-de-Vence. With free time to look around, you may wish to visit the Maeght Foundation, which houses one of Europe's most important collections of 20th-century art, or perhaps walk along the village's historic ramparts for great views over the surrounding sandstone villas and cypress trees.

We return to Nice this evening, where you are free to dine at one of the city's appealing restaurants.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Glamorous French Riviera at leisure

With a full free day today, you could opt to make use of the Côte d'Azur's excellent and affordable trains.

The charming harbour town of Antibes boasts historic streets lined with quaint medieval fisherman's houses and has understandably attracted visitors for centuries - including Pablo Picasso, who lived in Château Grimaldi for six months. The castle is now the site of the Picasso Museum, while the covered Provençal Market is also worth visiting.

Alternatively, visit stylish Cannes, originally a small fishing village that can still be uncovered in the cobbled streets of Le Suquet. The Croisette boulevard hosts the world-famous film festival and is dotted with palms and upmarket boutiques. There is also a colourful Provençal market that is a feast for the senses. In Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, near Nice, you can find the pink-hued villa formerly owned by Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, a socialite and art collector of the prominent Rothschild dynasty.

Dinner is on your own tonight, and you can savour the delectable tastes of the region at any number of relaxed bistros or restaurants.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Glamorous Monaco and medieval Èze

Our day begins after breakfast with a coach journey along the Lower Corniche Road to Monaco. Winding around the coast, we bask in fantastic views of the azure Mediterranean.

The world's second-smallest sovereign state, Monaco is renowned as a playground for the rich and famous. Our first stop on a guided tour is Monaco's Old Town and its winding medieval lanes. The stronghold of the ruling Grimaldi dynasty since the 13th century, our tour takes in the Palais du Prince as we witness the time-honoured Changing of the Guards ceremony. Later, we visit the Place du Casino, and view the world-famous Monte-Carlo Casino. Following our tour, you have some free time to explore.

We leave Monaco in the afternoon and stop at nearby Èze, a delightful medieval village set high on a rocky peak above the glistening sea. Its labyrinthine lanes are lined with ancient stone houses, many of which have been converted into galleries or craft shops.

We return to Nice in the evening, where we enjoy a four-course farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Homeward bound

Our wonderful getaway to the French Riviera concludes after breakfast in the hotel this morning. Boarding a direct train to Paris, we journey through the heart of France and look back at the highlights of our sparkling Côte d'Azur holiday.

Nice is an attractive city all year round, but bursts into life at carnival time. The lively atmosphere and spectacular floats adorned with flowers add an extra charm, while the tiny principality of Monaco squeezes in many fantastic attractions. We also explored the fragrant Provençal town of Grasse, wandered among the ramparts of medieval St-Paul-de-Vence and basked in sea views in picturesque Èze.

Changing trains in Paris, we arrive back in London this evening, saying farewell to our Tour Manager and fellow travellers with whom we have shared these unforgettable experiences.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Hotel Westminster, Nice

Hotel Westminster, Nice

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV

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Upgrades

Upgrade your room at the Hotel Westminster
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 29 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (20)
  2. 4 stars
    (6)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

Philip Crick

5 stars

Submitted 15 Mar 2023

Brilliant trip.

Collected by Trustpilot

John

5 stars

Submitted 08 Mar 2023

A great carnival and the fireworks afterwards were superb.

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Donald

5 stars

Submitted 08 Mar 2023

An excellent short break in Nice & Monaco. The carnival was brilliant with grandstand reserved seats. Good balance of excursions & free time. The hotel was good with excellent breakfasts & the included restaurant meals very good. We were a small group which was ideal for the local guide - clear & informative. Carol, our Great Rail guide lead the group effecively & efficiently. Our luggage was collected from home & in our room on arrival. Safely returned, arriving today. The rail journeys all ran smoothly & to time.

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J Husk

4 stars

Submitted 06 Mar 2023

Enjoyed holiday and Carnival.Hotel good. tour manager did all she should And was helpful and friendly. hotel much better then the Como one .

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B Leahy

5 stars

Submitted 06 Mar 2023

Well put together trip Great itinerary, guide and accommodations We had a blast!

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B Simmons

5 stars

Submitted 06 Mar 2023

well organized tour, with fantastic tour leader would recommend to anyone

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