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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Take cookery lessons
at Les Apprentis Gourmets in Cannes. Learn to cook authentic cuisine française!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head into town to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the hill! Stop for refreshment at one of the restaurants or cafés around the quaint square and soak up the Provencal atmosphere.
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.
Relax around the pool area and watch the children play in the spacious garden. Enjoy a game of table tennis, whilst the barbecue sizzles in the summer kitchen.
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