The spring/summer season is finally upon us, and the French Riviera will begin to fill up with tourists, meaning music festivals, fireworks, lazing on the beaches and dining al fresco from breakfast to dinner. Planning your day’s activities for your stay can be an annoyance, so we have provided a guide and seven-day itinerary for your holiday at our luxury villas in the South of France.
Day 1: Cannes and Antibes
One of the Cannes most famous streets is the Boulevard de le Croisettes which runs directly along the coast. Coffee in hand, wander along here sneaking a peek at the sumptuous properties which have a sea view and enjoy the splendour of the architecture and glamour of the hotels. Choose a spot on the beachside promenade or in the Old Town of Le Suquet for lunch, and do some people watching. If you plan your holiday around Cannes Film Festival in May, you may spot some famous faces too! Along the coast is the lovely town of Antibes, a stark contrast of the glitz and glamour of Cannes. Visit the Vauban-style Fort Carré that used to mark the French/Italian border, and see the gorgeous art at the Picasso Museum in the former Chateau Grimaldi, where the artist lived and worked from 1946.
Day 2: Monaco
A short 20km east of Nice is the Principality of Monaco, and there are many things you can fill your day with there. Walk along the Grand Prix circuit and through the world-famous harbour, picking out your fantasy super-yacht. Head up the Rock to visit the Old Town and Oceanographic Museum. Dine at one of the restaurants serving mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes like like La Montgolfiere Henri Geraci or Il Terrazzino then head to one of the Monte-Carlo casinos to try your luck on the games. Though some who visit may call it a land of excess, you have to see it to believe it, and it is well worth it.
Day 3: Coastal drive
After the brilliance of Cannes and Monaco, go for a change of pace on your third day. Though the public transport along the French Riviera is efficient and reliable, why not hire a car out one day, and drive along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline? Stop wherever takes your fancy, take lots of pictures of the gorgeous vistas and just enjoy the drive before heading back to your villa to lounge in the pool. With dramatic coastal views, pretty villages, lush farmland mixed in with bustling cities, a drive along the coast is a fantastic way to explore more of the area in a short amount of time. Roads to take include the D559, D6098, D6007 and the M6098.
Day 4: Gorges du Verdon
The Daluis and Verdon Gorges are located in the mountain ranges of the Verdon Natural Regional Park and few sight in France can match the epic beauty of Gorges du Verdon. The ‘Grand Canyon’ of Europe’ slices through 25km of limestone plateau to the foothills of the Alps. Etched out over millions of years by the Verdon River, the sheer, plunging cliffs reach twice the height of the Eiffel Tower in some places. See the gorge from both the top and the bottom, walking up to the top and canoeing along the river at the bottom. The main gorge begins at Rougon near the confluence of the Verdon and Jabron Rivers.
Day 5: Nice
The unofficial capital of the Riviera, Nice is much loved by tourists, and it is easy to see why, with its beautiful Old Town and selection of excellent museums, one of the most popular being the Matisse Museum. Start off with a walking tour of the city, either with a hired guide or with a helpful app, then spend your time exploring the baroque architecture of Old Town or wandering the Promenade du Paillon. Indulge in the fantastic food available in Nice, sampling some authentic French dishes, and trying the best ice cream ever at Fenocchio, who has been serving scoops since 1966.
Day 6: Beaches
A holiday to the South of France is not complete without a day at the beach. There are many options along the French Riviera, and even with crowds of tourists, you don’t have to go far before finding the perfect spot. The Plage des Marinières in the village of Villefranche sur Mer between Nice and Cap Ferrat is stunning, or there is the Paloma Beach just further along. Near St Tropez, you can enjoy a stretch of golden sand at Port Grimaud Beach. At Sainte-Maxime, relax in the sun on the Plage de la Nartelle and go for a swim in the bright blue Mediterranean.
Day 7: Local towns
What will also be your day of returning home, make the most of the time you have left in the South of France and visit the local town near your luxury villa. Visit the market, buy some souvenirs and French delicacies to remind you of your amazing holiday. Discover the history of the place, and wander the quiet cobbled streets. Alternatively, make the most of your luxury villa before you leave it behind. With many of our villas in the South of France having pools, take a dip and grab a last few seconds of relaxing before you head home.