Visit the Perfume Capital
Thanks to its favourable microclimate, the hillsides around Grasse became key producers of floral crops for perfume-making in the 18th century, and the perfume industry is still thriving today, as is evidenced in the number of shops and boutiques selling scented goods. The major perfume houses in the town offer guided tours around their premises giving a fascinating insight into this unique industry, with the chance to buy their products on site of course.
A trip to Monaco
Take the coastal scenic route to Monaco famous for its casinos and motor racing while checking out the bustling atmosphere during the day and night.
Visitors in early August can appreciate the annual ‘Fete du Jasmin’ festival held in honour of the flower of the same name. The highlight of the event is the 'bataille de fleurs', where flowers are thrown into the crowd, their fragrance heady in the air.
Treat yourself to a day of holiday retail therapy checking out some of the designer name boutiques.
Many famous painters and sculptors have been inspired by the light and landscape of this region, so it is no surprise that it is blessed with art galleries and museums. To name a few: the Matisse Museum and the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art in Nice, the Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer, the Fondation Maeght in St-Paul-de-Vence and the Picasso Museum in Antibes.
Flower market in Nice
Held in the Cours Saleya, the daily morning Marché des Fleurs is a riot of colour and fragrances.
Take a stroll...
...along the famous Promenade des Anglais which stretches along the Baie des Anges, Nice's iconic palm-fringed bay.
Lunch in Nice's old town
Enjoy the ambience of the old quarter with its many restaurants spilling out into pedestrianised lanes and squares. Being so close to the Italian border, the pizzas are very good but when in Nice, perhaps only a quintessential Salade Niçoise will do?
What a view!
For one of the most spectacular views in this part of the world, visit the Fort du Mont-Alban, a formidable 16th century fortress set on a hilltop in the Parc du Mont Boron just east of Nice. At 222 metres high, there are coastal views all the way from Bordighera in Italy, over to the famous Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat, down to Nice's Baie des Anges, and as far as Antibes. On an exceptionally clear day it is said that Corsica is visible. Book in advance at the Centre du Patrimoine in Nice.
Visit Nice observatory
Situated on the summit of Mont Gros, just east of Nice, the Observatoire is open to pre-booked guided visits on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. A chance to admire the impressive architecture and wooded hillside setting as well as to learn about the history of astronomy and of the observatory itself.
Play a round of Golf
at the Golf d'Opio Valbonne, only about 10 minutes' drive from the house. This 18 hole course is par 72.
Hire a boat
down at the port of St-Laurent-du-Var, and explore the coastline in style!
Keep the children occupied
with horse riding and tennis, or even go-karting, all available at nearby Châteauneuf de Grasse.
Espace Marineland is a massive marine park just outside of Antibes which has over 4000 animals, including a tropical reef aquarium, a shark tunnel, polar bears and penguins, and shows of sea lions, orcas and dolphins. On the same site, there is also the Aquasplash water park, the ‘Far West’ theme park and Adventure Golf. Plus plenty of play areas, picnic spots and restaurants.
Les Gorges du Loup
Take an afternoon to drive this circuit which follows the gorge of the river Loup through pretty hilltop villages. Starting and finishing at Châteauneuf, follow winding roads with great views of the gorge passing dramatic cliffs and waterfalls en route.
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