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Cannes and the Côte d'Azur

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7 days From £1,495 per person
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Experience the wonderful hilltop towns and chic resorts of fragrant Provence and the glamorous principality of Monaco on this exciting exploration of the Côte d'Azur

Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: NIJ24

About the tour

Embrace the sights, scents and flavours of the sparkling French Riviera on a fantastic holiday to the glittering Côte d'Azur.

Enjoy afternoon tea at the opulent Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in stylish St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and witness the time-honoured Changing of the Guards ceremony in lavish Monaco.

Tour quaint and historic Provençal towns, including hilltop Èze with exquisite views over the Mediterranean Sea, and medieval St-Paul-de-Vence, where you learn to play pétanque.

Discover how the pretty Provence town of Grasse became the 'perfume capital of the world' on a visit to the famous Fragonard perfumery.

Unforgettable Experiences

Explore Cannes and the Côte d’Azur
Explore Cannes and the Côte d’Azur
Uncover the shimmering French Riviera from an ideal base in charming Cannes, a stylish town with an entrancing promenade overlooking golden sand beaches, and historic backstreets in the old Le Suquet district.
Afternoon tea at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Afternoon tea at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Indulge in the grandeur of tea and a pastry in the ornate Tea Room of the sumptuous St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat villa formerly owned by socialite Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, and stroll through the nine manicured gardens.
Pétanque lesson in Provence
Pétanque lesson in Provence
Learn how to play this traditional Provençal game during a lesson from a local player on a visit to the picturesque walled town of St-Paul-de-Vence where honey-hued stone buildings cluster around ancient lanes.
Visit the perfume town of Grasse
Visit the perfume town of Grasse
Discover the history of French fragrance on a tour of one of the country’s most revered parfumiers in the renowned town of Grasse that has become known as the ‘perfume capital of the world’.
Experience the glamour of Monaco
Experience the glamour of Monaco
Tour the second-smallest sovereign state in the world, a glitzy principality synonymous with affluence where a third of residents are millionaires. Observe the Changing of the Guards at the Palais du Prince and view the famed Monte-Carlo Casino.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Riviera bound: London to Cannes

We meet our fellow travellers this morning at London St Pancras International ready for the Eurostar service to Paris in Standard Premier Class, enjoying a light meal enroute. In the French capital, we change trains for the First Class service to Cannes, arriving on the French Riviera in the evening.

Our elegant Belle Époque hotel is located on a square next to the stylish promenade, overlooking the old port where yachts are berthed. We check in to our hotel for six nights and enjoy a three-course dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Light Meal
Day 2 - Exploring Cannes and afternoon tea in Cap Ferrat

On our first morning on the Côte d'Azur, we get acquainted with our new base during a two-hour guided tour of Cannes. Originally a small fishing village that can still be uncovered in Le Suquet's cobbled streets and the historic hilltop church and château, the town is now world famous for its film festival. This prestigious event is held each year in the Palace of Festivals and Congresses near to our hotel at the start of the Croisette. This enchanting boulevard dotted with palms and pines stretches between the façades of grand hotels and the golden sand that bustles with sunworshippers and beach restaurants. There is free time over lunch to stroll down the promenade or wander the charming backstreets.

In the afternoon, we travel to stylish Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, one of the most exclusive residential areas in the world. Our destination on this pretty peninsula is a villa formerly owned by Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, a socialite and art collector of the prominent Rothschild dynasty.

This pink-hued Belle Époque mansion contains nine manicured gardens that include a rose garden, a Provençal garden, an exotic garden and the main French garden. We have time to wander round these beautiful havens, as well as the villa's sumptuous interior. A highlight of the holiday awaits in the ornate Tea Room, formerly Béatrice's dining room, as we sit down to enjoy tea and a pastry in refined surroundings with fantastic views over the Bay of Villefranche towards Nice.

Includes
  • Breakfast and Afternoon Tea
Day 3 - Glamorous Monaco and medieval Èze

Our day begins with a coach journey along the Lower Corniche Road to Monaco. Winding around the coast, clinging to the cliffs, we can bask in fantastic views of the azure Mediterranean enroute as it glistens close by.

The world's second-smallest sovereign state, Monaco is renowned as a playground for the rich and famous with a third of the population being millionaires and superyachts lining the large marina of Port Hercule. Affluence is on display across Monaco, especially around Place du Casino. This is our first stop on a guided tour as we view the world-famous Monte-Carlo Casino.

On its strategic position on top of a large rock, Le Rocher is Monaco's Old Town and still retains winding medieval lanes. Since the 13th century, this has been the stronghold of the Grimaldi dynasty - the principality's ruling family. Due to the elevated position, we can also enjoy excellent views across Monaco. Our guided tour takes in the Palais du Prince, the residence of the current Prince of Monaco, where we witness the time-honoured Changing of the Guards ceremony. Following our tour, you have some free time to look around - maybe have a flutter in the casino or enjoy a drink in the Café de Paris, Monte Carlo's prime people-watching spot.

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. Overlooking the terracotta rooftops sits Èze's ruined castle and an unusual cactus garden, the ideal spot to look out across the scenic Côte d'Azur.

We return to Cannes in the evening, where we enjoy a three-course dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Free day to explore the French Riviera

With a day at leisure, you could opt to make use of Cannes' excellent transport connections and view more wonderful locations on the glistening French Riviera.

Cosmopolitan Nice is a 40-minute train ride along the coast. Here, you can wander round the charming streets of the Old Town before visiting the colourful and mouthwatering food market along the Cours Saleya. The hilltop Cimiez quarter contains excellent museums honouring the work of renowned artists Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse, or you could take a relaxing walk down the fabulous Promenade des Anglais. This wide palm-lined walkway separates the glamorous shops and hotels from the beach and was named after the earliest foreign visitors to flock to the city - the English.

Another option is to take the ferry from Cannes to the glitzy coastal town of St Tropez. Taking just over an hour each way, you could spend an enjoyable afternoon wandering round the ochre-hued streets lined with upmarket shops or soaking up the sun and atmosphere around its cheery harbour, sipping a pastis or enjoying a slice of Tarte Tropézienne - a sweet brioche-style cake filled with crème pâtissière and buttercream.

This evening is free to find food of your choosing, perhaps trying local seafood dishes including the traditional fish soup, bouillabaisse.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Fragrant Grasse and medieval St-Paul-de-Vence

This morning we travel by coach to Grasse, the characterful hilltop town that has been renowned as the 'perfume capital of the world' since the late 1700s. Introduced to the town by the Moors in the 16th century, jasmine plays an important part in giving the elegant fragrances their delectable bouquet. We enjoy a tour of one of the most revered of France's perfumeries, Fragonard, where we find a dazzling array of perfumes and soaps being created.

We travel on to St-Paul-de-Vence in the late morning, where there is free time over lunch to explore the medieval walls and shaded squares of this charming town that has been the retreat of choice among artists for centuries. The picturesque narrow lanes of its historic centre are lined with honey-coloured stone buildings, many containing galleries, craft stores or eateries. Among its many restaurants is La Colombe d'Or, famed for its cuisine and for the art on its walls - as artists including Picasso and Matisse stayed here rent free in exchange for paintings.

Afterwards, we meet a local pétanque player for a lesson in this characteristically Provençal pastime, played on a hard sand surface called a 'terrain'. We take part in a game under the shade of plane trees beside the ancient walls of St-Paul-de-Vence before returning to Cannes.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Cannes at leisure

With a day to explore at your own pace, you might like to return to Le Suquet to wander its delightful streets or visit the 17th-century Church of Notre-Dame d'Espérance, from where you can savour wonderful views across Cannes and its azure bay.

Along the coast is the stylish resort of Juan-les-Pins, renowned for its sandy beaches and high-fashion boutiques. With its historic streets lined with quaint medieval fisherman's houses, the old port of Antibes 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, housing a collection of the artist's work. The covered Provençal Market is also worth visiting to take in the sights and smells of the fresh produce on offer.

If you would like to take to the water, you could hop on a ferry to one of the Lérins Islands, just a few miles off the shore. Île Sainte-Marguerite is heavily wooded with umbrella pines and eucalyptus trees and overlooked by the imposing Fort Royal, a former prison where the mysterious 'Man in the Iron Mask' was detained during the 17th century. The smaller Île Saint-Honorat is an unspoilt haven of nature maintained by the monks of the ancient Lérins Abbey, who silently go about their roles cultivating vineyards.

This evening, we regroup to enjoy our final dinner together at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Homeward bound

This morning we transfer to Cannes' railway station where we say 'au revoir' to the Côte d'Azur as we board a train bound for Paris. As we travel through the heart of France in our First Class seats, we can begin to consider the wonderful highlights of our holiday to this shimmering area of France. With the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean never far away, we have enjoyed visits to exquisite towns and cities such as Monte-Carlo, learned about elegant Provençal perfumes and joined in with traditional pastimes - and, of course, indulged in an afternoon tea in a glamorous and storied villa.

Changing in Paris to Standard Premier Class on the Eurostar, we arrive at London St Pancras this evening and say a fond farewell to our fellow travellers who have shared these unforgettable experiences with us.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Light 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

Hôtel Splendid, Cannes

Hôtel Splendid, Cannes

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV

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