Walk into St Cézaire
Explore the picturesque hilltop town, stop for a café au lait or a leisurely lunch on the square, meet the locals playing boules, and soak up the Provencal atmosphere.
More hilltop villages nearby...
Take your pick from several picturesque 'villages perchés' in the region, so called because they perch precariously on the hillside; Callian, Fayence, Seillans and Mons would make a pretty circuit for a leisurely afternoon's drive.
Splash in the heated pool, enjoy a game of table tennis, or perhaps pour a drink and catch up with your reading on the terrace whilst everyone else does the energetic stuff!
Les Grottes de St Cézaire
Take a tour of the caves in the village, and marvel at features including draperies, stalactites and stalagmites, many with a lovely rose colour. At the bottom you'll reach the 'Gouffre Béant' (the yawning chasm!) where a underground river flows past. A good choice of excursion for on a hot day!
Follow the Siagne
As well as exploring the attractive St Cézaire on your doorstep, you could follow the river Siagne downstream to Auribeau, another pretty village which clings to the hillside. The Siagne meets the Mediterranean ocean at Mandelieu-la-Napoule, with its beach and marina, and a 14th century fortified castle which was renovated in the 1920s by an eccentric American couple - the sculptor husband renovated the interior whilst the architect wife applied her talents to the gardens. The castle and gardens are open for view every day, as well as hosting regular music and arts events.
Grasse Cathedral, dedicated to Notre Dame du Puy and founded in the 11th century, is the town's most notable landmark and contains three works by Rubens and one by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a painter who came from Grasse. Considered as the perfume capital of the world, scents waft from the prolific boutiques around town selling fragrances from Grasse's established perfumeries.
Fire up the barbecue and enjoy an unhurried lunch on the dining terrace overlooking the sparkling swimming pool. Plan to visit the local market first to get plenty of fresh local produce - St Cézaire holds a small market on Tuesday morning and a more extensive one on Saturday morning, nearby Peymeinade's market day is Monday or there is a daily market in Grasse).
For art lovers...
.... take a trip to nearby Mougins which has become a draw to both artists and celebrities over the years. The artist Picasso also lived and painted here with the tourist office once being his studio. There are now many galleries to visit with the museum of classical art also being present.
The beaches, marinas and chic boutiques of the French Riviera are easily accessible, around half an hour's drive away, with the nearest resort being Cannes-Mandelieu. The breaktaking scenic drive along the beautiful Estérel coastline is also a must-do.
Family day out to Espace Marineland
This massive marine park just outside of Antibes 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.
Day out in Nice
Explore one of the oldest human settlements in Europe taking in the sights of the old quarter, Place Rossetti, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Place Massena which is the main square of the city. Held in the Cours Saleya, the daily morning Marché des Fleurs is a riot of colour and fragrances.
Kayak and pedalo hire are available to explore the lake, but a drive around is also very rewarding for its ever-changing views from different angles, with the opportunity to stop off for lunch at a waterside restaurant en route.
Take cookery lessons
at Les Apprentis Gourmets in Cannes. Learn to cook authentic cuisine française!
The walled city of Vence
This medieval hilltop village is popular with visitors due to its largely intact city walls. It is also famous for its spring water, which can be collected from numerous fountains in the town. The cathedral was built in the 4th century on the site of a Roman temple, and a mosaic by Marc Chagall in 1911 is a notable later addition.
Chapelle du Rosaire, Vence
This Chapel was designed by renowned artist Henri Matisse and was completed in 1951. Its fairly simple forms and white walls allow the beautiful stained glass windows to take centre stage and vivid yellow, green and blue light streams across the interior. Three large tile murals adorn the walls and the priests' vestments were also designed by Matisse.
The Verdon Gorge
Head northwest into the Var region to see the spectacular gorge, 25km long and 700 metres deep, formed by the Verdon river whose mineral deposits turn it a startling turquoise. Take a day to drive around the hairpin bends above the canyon, go walking or climbing in the National Park, or even hire kayaks to explore the waterways.
Have you visited Le Clos des Lucioles?
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