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.
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.
Treat yourself to a day of holiday retail therapy checking out some of the designer name boutiques.
Horse riding and tennis are both available nearby at Châteauneuf.
The Cote d'Azur
Some of the famous resorts of the French Riviera are only about 25km from the house, including Antibes and Cannes. There are plenty of beaches to choose from (some sandy, some pebbly), long promenades to wander, and a plethora of bars and restaurants for a spot of lunch or some nightlife. Some may like to people-watch among the mega yachts at the marinas, whilst others may prefer a scenic drive along the beautiful Estérel coastline.
If you're a keen golfer, don't forget to pack your clubs! The Golf d'Opio Valbonne is only 3km from the house, with an 18-hole par 72 course.
is on offer at Châteauneuf, which may come in handy for entertaining older children and teenagers... or wannabe race-driver adults!
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.
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.
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.
Take cookery lessons
at Les Apprentis Gourmets in Cannes. Learn to cook authentic cuisine française!
Family day out
Espace Marineland is a 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. Stay on for lunch in one of the many restaurants which spill out into the pedestrianised lanes and squares. Anyone for Salade Niçoise?
Nice to Monaco
Enjoy breathtaking sea views from the winding hill road between Nice and Monaco, stopping at Eze - perhaps the most famous 'village perché' - and the Trophée dAuguste at La Turbie, where the remains of a roman palace sit atop the hillside above the principality of Monaco.
Hire a boat
down at the port of St-Laurent-du-Var, and explore the coastline in style!
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.
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