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A month in the French Riviera is the perfect amount of time to take in all the beauty and sensory experiences of the Côte d’Azur and Provence. With four weeks, you will have a chance to thoroughly explore coastal glamour spots, medieval villages, art and architecture; sample delicious regional food and wine, and still have plenty of time to work on your tan! Because of the savings to be had from renting a holiday apartment or villa with Sunlight Properties (especially for family groups), spending a month in the South of France becomes a viable option. We have put together a menu of items from which you can pick and choose for each week of your stay. Be sure to check out our list of what’s happening month by month on the Riviera, so you can plan to take in one of the many festivals and events (click here: Festivals & Fêtes . And what about some of our suggestions for having some ‘you time’ with a little pampering (click here: Health & Wellbeing, or fancy nailing those steps for the Argentinean Tango (click here The great thing about having a month in the French Riviera, is that there is no pressure to be dashing all over the show – take your time, relax – you’re on holiday! To view the South of France holiday lettings available from Sunlight Properties, click here.
Spend the first week getting to know your way around Nice, the capital of the Côte d’Azur – Place Massena, the Old Town, the château on the hill, the Port , the Promenade des Anglais, and Cours Saleya are all obligatory. Visit our page: Art & Architecture for some other must see sights on the Riviera. Even if you choose to rent a holiday villa outside of Nice, getting here is simple, no matter where you choose to let. To view all the areas in the South of France that Sunlight Properties have holiday rentals, click here
Thanks to the numerous artists that have called the French Riviera home at some point in their lives throughout the 20th century, Nice has an incredible array of museums – most of which are free! You can wander through the avant-garde pieces displayed at the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain or view the likes of Dufy, Sisley, and Monet at the Musée des Beaux-Arts housed in a villa built for a Ukrainian princess. The Marc Chagall Museum has the largest collection of Chagall works in the world and the nearby Musée Matisse shows Henri Matisse’s earliest and final works, and everything in between. Within the same area are Roman ruins and a Franciscan abbey with a beautiful garden attached. To view our charming holiday apartments to rent close to Cimiez, click here.
Visit our page on Gardens & Palaces for a list of some of the best.
Take a day trip via train from the Nice-Ville (the ‘Gare Routiere’ and French for train station) to the tiny principality of Monaco (only 25 minutes away) and ogle at the glamour and glitz of casinos, Bentleys, and super-yachts. Be sure to visit the Old Town that sits on the rocky promontory and is also the site of the Palace, the Oceanographic Museum made famous by Jacques Cousteau, and the Cathedral where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier lie entombed. On the way back you could stop at Eze , the perfectly preserved medieval village that appears to have grown out of the rock. To see our luxurious villas to rent in Eze & La Turbie or Monaco & Cap d’Ail , click here.
Take the 10 minute train ride to Beaulieu Sur Mer , and visit the wonderful Kerylos Villa – a beautiful seaside, created by an architect obsessed with all things ancient Greek – every part of its creation pays homage to this passion. Wander past the beach and along the coastal path towards the little port of St. Jean Cap Ferrat. You can see David Niven’s former home, a pretty pink villa – imagine the parties that went on there! Continue up to the spectacular Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild; where Beatrice Ephrussi built her own dream Riviera villa - no expense spared. The garden is simply gorgeous with beautiful views back to Villefranche Sur Mer. Enjoy a cup of tea and a sweet treat beneath the roses. Wander to the port, through the charming town of St. Jean Cap Ferratand follow the signs to Paloma Beach - a dreamy little secret spot with a great restaurant right on the sand. Have lunch and recuperate with a swim. You can then continue all the way around the peninsula or return by bus to Villefranche Sur Mer a candy coloured medieval fishing village. Have an ‘apero’ at one of the waterfront bars and restaurants that line the quai, sit and watch the mega yachts pull up in the harbour, beside fishermen in their colourful caÏques fishing boats. The train will have you back in Nice in no time at all. Depending on which quarter your holiday apartment is based in, it will take 5 minutes to get to the Riquier train station or 8 minutes to Nice-Ville (the central station). Or alternatively, you can elect to rent a holiday villa in one of the French Riviera towns noted above, to view our gorgeous selection, click here.
Click here for a run down on some famous Provencal villages within easy reach of Nice and the along the French Riviera, and accessible by public transport: Provencal Villages (35).
Hire a car for the day and take one of the following day drives:
Vence to Grasse stop at St. Paul de Vence and then onto Vence to see the Matisse chapel. Taking the D2210 will provide you with a view of the Gorges du Loup. Make a stop at the pretty village of Tourettes Sur Loup – a magnet for artists and artisans. Continue on to Point de Loup where you will see an array of beautiful waterfalls. Drive through (not literally) fields of flowers, that aptly will take you to the perfume capital of the world – Grasse or alternatively:
Nice to Mont Chauvre there are many lively and interesting villages sitting in peaceful rural landscapes just outside of Nice in the surrounding hills. The countryside and panoramas are quite stunning when you make your way towards Mont Chauvre, a route that will take a little over 50 kilometres, so no need to rush. Stop along the way at Aspremont and Tourette-Levens. Along the route you will see the Gorge du Gabres and its limestone cliffs, pass the charming village of Falicon, and will finally arrive at your destination of Mont Chauvre.
While you have a car you could take in some of the excellent wineries that are located in the hills of Nice. Should no one be willing to take on the role of ‘designated driver’ you can always contact ‘Friend in France’ – an English speaking car service that will happily arrange wine tours for you (email: email@example.com). Click here for details of some of the best local vineyards: Food & Wine.
Another possibility is to hire a car for a few days and explore deeper into the captivating Provençal landscape. Having your own apartment or villa on the French Riviera, means, that it’s easy to take a small daypack of clothes, travel light, and spend a couple of days away. Aups is a good base, an authentic village, which has not been gentrified like some of those you will find in the Luberon. This is deep in the heart of true Provence, the smell of wild herbs, replete with the sound of cicadas and the ‘clink-clink’ of Pètanque – the classic French game of bowls. The staggering natural beauty of the Gorges du Verdun is easily accessed from Aups. Also close by is Tourtour – the ‘rooftop of the world’; and the enchanting village of Moustiers Ste. Marie, as famous for its beautiful ceramics, as its spectacular setting, high up on a craggy mountain.
An alternative to car hire is the ‘Train des Pignes”. This makes for a very enjoyable day out on the ’Chermin de Fer de Provence’; a short stretch of railway line between Nice and Digne les Bains, built between 1891 and 1911 to link the Côte d’Azur with the Alps. The train only has two carriages and runs four times per day. It is a great way to see the some beautiful rural landscape; especially between St. André les Alps and Annot a town renown for its ‘grés d’Annot’ – enormous sandstone boulders that the inhabitants have incorporated into their houses. The journey takes about 3 hours each way. A good place to stop is the fairytale town of Entrevaux. In the 18th century Entrevaux was one of the most powerful military outposts in France, located as it was on the border between France and the Savoy. The citadel even contains a fortified cathedral, all of which sits dramatically 135 metres above the village on a rocky outcrop.
A short boat ride from Cannes (26), can be found the magical islands known as the Iles de Lerins. The two islands are separated by a narrow strait and were once the most powerful religious centre in France. One of the islands, St. Honorat, is named after a Gallo-Roman saint who founded a monastery here in the 4th century. The second island Ste. Marguerite, was named after his sister who following in her brother’s footsteps set up a nunnery. Its fort is famous for being the prison that held the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’, who spent 11 years incarcerated here in the 17th century. The eucalyptus and pine scented islands couldn’t be more contrasting from the glitz and glamour of Cannes. On your return to Cannes (26) walk along the palm tree lined La Croisette, perhaps enjoy an ‘apero’ at the famous Carlton Hotel before dining in one of the cute restaurants found in Le Suquet, the name of the Old Town of Cannes. click here to view our holiday villas to rent in Cannes.
Another alternative would be a few days on Corscia – this land apart: linguistically and culturally is a place of wild beauty, with beaches reminiscent of the Caribbean. As famous for its blood feuds as its food – this is truly a fascinating part of the globe.
Don’t forget to spend some time, luxuriating on one of the private beaches in Nice – no need to move (except to take a dip in the Azure blue sea) when there is a team of handsome wait staff to see to your every desire. Two good choices, depending on where your holiday apartment is located, are the hip Hi Hotel Beachat the Western end of the Promenade des Anglais, or the cool Castel Plageat the foot of the Chateau Hill. Hire a sunbed, an umbrella, and sip on perfectly blended Mojitos hand delivered, whilst you work hard on your tan. You can also enjoy excellent food right there on the beach. Later in the day, head home for a relaxing bath, get dressed up and splurge on dinner at La Reserve or Coco Beach where you can dine with the sound of water close enough to dive into right from your table. Your customized holiday portfolio found in each of the Sunlight Properties apartments and villas contains all you need to know about finding the best beaches, restaurants, bars, spas, etc. located near your holiday letting.