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.
Lac de Saint-Cassien
Take the Draguignan road south-west from Spéracèdes, then left onto the Route du Lac for a scenic drive along the shore of Lake St Cassien. Stop off for lunch at a lakeside restaurant, and for an active afternoon hire a canoe or pedalo and go out on the water.
The adventurous among you may like to try gliding at the nearby Aérodrome just south of Fayence - a unique way to enjoy the mountain and sea views of the Cote d'Azur.
Take cookery lessons
at Les Apprentis Gourmets in Cannes. Learn to cook authentic cuisine française!
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.
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.
Nice old town
Enjoy the ambience of Nice's old quarter during the daily morning flower market, when the Cours Saleya becomes a riot of colour and fragrances. Then why not stay on for a spot of lunch on a terrace restaurant in one of the picturesque 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?
Only a short drive away, Grasse is a must during your stay. Guided tours are available around its famous perfume houses, or simply wander at will through the maze of cobbled streets in the centre and stop for some lunch and people watching in a pavement café. Head to the Cours Honoré Cresp any Wednesday morning throughout the year to browse the antiques market.
Choose from three golf courses in Grasse, and three more within 20 minutes drive of the centre of town.
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.
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.
For the more active...
.... horse riding and tennis are available in close proximity as well as a golf course if the table tennis and fitness equipment at the house is not enough for you.
The beaches, marinas and chic boutiques are easily accessible via car taking around half an hour with the nearest resort being Mandelieu where a scenic drive along the beautiful Estérel coastline is a must do.
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.
Have you visited Mas des Oliviers?
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