There is much to do on the Côte d’Azur. Aside from shopping, sunbathing, visiting museums and historic landmarks, the Riviera offers easy access to hiking and kayaking for the more adventurous, wine tasting for those less inclined to vigorous exercise as well as day trips to charming towns and to the municipality of Monaco.
Provence Day Trip
Drive up to the Gorges du Verdon, a stunning geological landscape of deep ravines carved out over millions of years by the Verdon river. You can drive around the perimeter of this river canyon, admiring the views, or hike down one of the trails or rent a kayak and ride the river between the towering cliffs. Be sure to stop at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, one of the “most beautiful villages in France.” While there, don’t miss the church of Notre Dame de Beauvoir and make time to shop for the local “faience” or pottery. If you are traveling between late-June and mid-July don’t miss the opportunity to visit Plateau de Valensole in the afternoon and see the famous lavender fields (note: the best time for photos is when the sun starts to set). To discover more Provence towns worth visiting, click here.
Saint Tropez Day Trip
Save a day for a trip to Saint Tropez, made famous by Brigitte Bardot in the 1950’s. Hire a yacht and arrive in style – much easier and more fun than making the long drive. If you plan your trip for Tuesday or Saturday you’ll be able to visit the local market that is held in the morning. Enjoy a coffee on the terrace at Dior Des Lices before exploring the village. Plan on lunch at Club 55 before whiling away the afternoon on Pampelonne Beach.
Monaco Day Trip
Be sure to spend a day driving to the principality of Monaco. Along the way visit the charming town of Villefranche-sur-Mer or the stunning Villa Rothschild. Save lunch for Monaco where you can choose from several beachside restaurants or Avenue 31 for a more elegant yet casual dining experience. The Oceanographic Museum in the old town of Monaco is a fascinating destination for those who are interested in the sea and the myriad creatures inhabiting it. Plan to stop in the medieval village of Eze on your way back from Monaco. Enjoy an aperitif in the Chevre d’Or Bar where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the Mediterranean.
World’s Perfume Capital Day Trip
Grasse is the world’s perfume capital and well worth a trip. Plan to visit Molinard, a family-run business that has been passed down for five generations. You can visit the perfume factory where they have a museum and boutique. You should plan on reserving a spot at Molinard’s exclusive perfume workshop, La Villa du Parfumeur, where you can make your own unique fragrance. In the afternoon, explore the picturesque village of Gourdon and plan on lunch at La Taverne Provençale where you can savor the beautiful view from the terrace.
Wine Tasting Day Trip
For wine lovers, Provence offers several wine tasting options. Château de Berne is famous for its rosé wines. Plan on a VIP wine tasting experience followed by lunch at one of three delightful local restaurants; the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Jardin de Berne, on the terrace at La Terrasse de Berne or at the Bistrot, all three located inside the domain.
Whether you choose to visit one or all of these sites, you are sure to enjoy the multitude of experiences to be discovered in the South of France.