- Shop in local markets and prepare a three-course meal in Nice
- See Provence’s small towns on a wine tour
- Visit the extravagant city of Monaco
- Sail to the Lérins Islands on a private boat
- Sunbathe on Saint-Tropez’s famous white-sand beaches
|Day 1||Arrive in Nice||Nice|
|Day 2||Cooking Class & Perfume Tour in Nice||Nice|
|Day 3||Free Day in Nice||Nice|
|Day 4||Day Trip to Menton & Farmer's Market in Ventimiglia||Nice|
|Day 5||Wine tour in Bellet & Saint Paul de Vence from Nice||Nice|
|Day 6||Private Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze||Nice|
|Day 7||Transfer from Nice to Cannes||Cannes|
|Day 8||Provence Tour & Perfume Workshop||Cannes|
|Day 9||Private Sailing Tour of the Lérins Islands||Cannes|
|Day 10||Free Day in Cannes||Cannes|
|Day 11||Sunset Hike & Aperitif in the Esterel Massif||Cannes|
|Day 12||Drive from Cannes to Saint-Tropez||Saint Tropez|
|Day 13||Free Day in Saint-Tropez||Saint Tropez|
|Day 14||Private Boat Tour of Îles d'Or||Saint Tropez|
|Day 15||Private Driving Tour of the Mediterranean Coast||Saint Tropez|
|Day 16||Au revoir, France!|
Day 1: Arrive in Nice
Welcome to Nice! Arrive at Nice International Airport, then transfer to your centrally-located hotel by private car.
Nice sits at the northern end of the French Riviera, near the border with Italy. Nicknamed Nissa La Bella ("Nice the Beautiful") for its artistic spirit, grand plazas, crescent-shaped pebble beaches, Nice is inarguably the French Riviera's most popular city. The narrow cobblestone streets of its colorful old town, Vieille Ville, are lined with pastel-colored buildings and a plethora of shops selling everything from soap to wine.
Enjoy a relaxing evening stroll along the shore on the famous Promenade des Anglais, then head to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Cooking Class & Perfume Tour in Nice
Start your day with a visit to the famous Liberation Market in Nice to search for fresh regional products. Your local guide will lead you through a gastronomic journey as you wind your way through the city's romantic streets, shopping for the perfect ingredients. Your guide will personally introduce you to shop owners and market vendors, who will welcome you like a local.
From the market, continue to a bright apartment in the heart of Nice for your private cooking class. Discuss local cooking techniques and traditional recipes with the chef before diving into the cooking portion of the class. Prepare a traditional meal, then sit down for the best part of the day—your three-course meal! Enjoy your creation, paired with a glass of bright Rosé wine.
Following this gourmet meal, continue your exploration of Nice with a tour of the local perfume history. Start the experience with an exclusive presentation of the Chanel perfume collection with a brand expert, then visit the perfume museum to discover the emblematic fragrances for yourself. As a perk, bring home a Chanel goody bag to remember the visit long after you depart.
After, head to the colorful flower market to find the raw materials that comprise the fragrant perfumes from earlier. Along the way, pass by ancient spice shops and perfume ateliers of the Old Town. Finish the day by choosing your favorite essential oil from the French Riviera to bring home.
Day 3: Free Day in Nice
Spend the day exploring the city on your own. Pick from the following options to make the most of your time in the coastal town:
- Explore the Greek quarter, which dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks of the Massalia region around 350 BCE
- See remains of the Roman amphitheater and area in the historic Cimiez neighborhood
- While in the Cimiez neighborhood, see two other notable landmarks: the opulent Excelsior Régina Palace, where Queen Victoria of England used to spend her summers, and the Musée Matisse, a museum showcasing the works of the expressionist master Henri Matisse
- Visit the ornate 20th-century St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which was built by the Royal Family for the Russian community of the French Riviera
- Go for a stroll along the quays of Port Lympia and take in views of the water
End your day with a stop at the historic Negresco Hotel, where you can enjoy an aperitif in style and make a toast to your very own slice of the Belle Époque.
Day 4: Day Trip to Menton & Farmer's Market in Ventimiglia
In the morning, catch a local train from Nice's central station to the seaside town of Menton, which sits 25 miles (40 km) away, directly on the border with Italy.
Located near Monaco and the Italian border where the Alps plunge into the shores of the Mediterranean, Menton enjoys a unique subtropical microclimate where winter rarely prevails. The small town is a paradise for gardeners—its gardens are renowned as historical monuments for their unparalleled architecture and beauty. Art museums, a casino, a multitude of beaches, and celebrated food events like the Lemon Festival make Menton a beloved seaside destination.
For lunch, take the train across the border to the town of Ventimiglia (Ventimille in French). Here you'll find a sprawling seafront farmer's market with an endless assortment of fruit and vegetables, as well as local specialties like mozzarella-stuffed peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh-pressed olive oil, and charcuteries.
A few dozen meters from the food market sit two more must-see shopping destinations: the flower market and the food market. Here, you'll find a full range of Italian products: traditional charcuterie, cheeses, hundreds of pasta varieties, and a wide range of Italian wines. Afterward, dive into history with visits to the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, or the Oratory of the Blacks.
Return to the Nice central train station at the end of the day.
Day 5: Wine tour in Bellet & Saint Paul de Vence from Nice
Leave the French Riviera behind you today as you head inland to Provence for a full-day private wine excursion. You'll explore small towns and see Provence's varied landscapes from a private vehicle, stopping along the way to visit award-winning wineries and sample rare and unique wines. As you drive, take in views of the snow-covered Alps foothills, blue waters of the Mediterranean, and Cap d’Antibes peninsula.
Sitting in the hills outside of Nice, the tiny wine-making region of Bellet is one of the smallest AoP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) regions of France. It's beloved by locals but relatively unknown outside of the area. With only ten winemakers and limited production runs, much of the stock is reserved for the Riviera's finest restaurants.
Spend the day discovering the region's rich heritage and stories, enjoying wine tastings, and meeting the families who have maintained the long-standing tradition of winemaking. For lunch, choose one of the many restaurants in the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence. Opt for a casual neighborhood Brasserie or choose a luxurious Michelin-starred restaurant—the options are endless. After lunch, go for a casual stroll to explore the quiet streets and take in the views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Return to Nice in the afternoon in time for some shopping, a stroll along the seafront, and dinner in town.
Day 6: Private Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze
In the morning make your way to Monaco, a 12-mile (20 km) drive from Nice, for a guided tour. Monaco is one of the world's smallest countries and is considered a city-state.
Visit the famous Monte Carlo district with its legendary casino and see Prince Rainier's car collection, then continue to the Rock of Monaco (Rocher de Monaco in French.) This is the location of the town's oldest neighborhood, the medieval Old Town. From here, the views of the sunny coast are unparalleled. Learn about this community's history and anecdotes about the dynasty which has reigned there for decades.
From here continue to the medieval village of Eze, which perches high above the Mediterranean sea. Thanks to its location and history, it's a popular destination with painters and artists. Explore the famous Chapelle Sainte-Croix and the ruins of the ancient castle, which allude to the city's strategic location on the coast. Stroll through the town's peaceful gardens and soak in the sunshine.
At the end of the day, return to Nice.
Day 7: Transfer from Nice to Cannes
In the morning, take a train from Nice (about 40 minutes' journey) or a private transfer to reach Cannes. Although these days it's more well-known as the host of the International Cannes Film Festival, the famous city has surprisingly humble roots as a modest fishing village.
The Cannes Film Festival boasts the most media coverage in the world and attracts directors, actors and actresses, and movie-lovers from around the world. Aside from the film festival, Cannes is a busy city with a mix of business ventures and relaxing beach resorts. Sheltered by the Massif de l'Esterel and facing the sea, Cannes enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters.
Spend the day exploring Cannes, starting at the Old Port in the heart of the city. Although it lost some of its nautical importance following the construction of the new and bigger Port Canto, the old port still welcomes yachts and boats with traditional rigging. Saint Pierre Quay, which dates to 1838, is a great place to find a restaurant for lunch among the colorful buildings that line the water.
The Old Port and its quay mark the entrance to the Suquet, the oldest quarter and historic center of Cannes. Built on a hill, the Suquet invites you for a stroll along its steep medieval streets as you wander to the top viewpoints.
Explore the colorful streets of the city center or enjoy an evening stroll along the water before spending the night in your quiet hotel in town.
Day 8: Provence Tour & Perfume Workshop
Spend the day exploring the tiny villages of southeastern France on a private guided tour. Your first stop is Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. Tour the town's historic city center and peruse the many shops where artisanal perfumeries sell their wares. Explore the region's tradition of perfume on a visit to one of the town's premier perfumeries, the Gallimard Perfumerie. Here, you can design your own fragrance, combining the notes on a perfumer's organ to create your perfect signature perfume. Gallimard will register your unique combination, so you can order the perfume even after you return home.
Continue to the village of Gourdon, one of Provence's most beautiful towns. Enjoy the architecture and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside while you soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
Other stops today include the hill-top villages of Provence and Saint-Paul de Vence. Both towns boast exceptional culinary treats: Provençal stew, aioli, anchoïade, herbes de Provence, garlic, basil, olive oil, truffle, figs, honey, and of course the ever-present wine.
In Saint-Paul de Vence, choose from one of two tour options: a wine tasting with experts or, for art enthusiasts, a private guided tour of the Folon Chapel and the Maeght Foundation. Visit the keep, collegiate church, and ramparts, then head to the Matisse Chapel in Vence.
End your day with a drive to Antibes, where you'll visit a typical provençal market and wander the streets of the old town. The town is also famous for the Picasso Museum, which chronicles Picasso's 1946 stay in the Château Grimaldi and features the paintings, drawings, and ceramics which he produced during his time there.
Return to Cannes in the evening.
Day 9: Private Sailing Tour of the Lérins Islands
Spend the day soaking in the Mediterranean sunshine on a full-day sailboat outing. Meet your skipper Pierre at the docks, then set sail for the famous Lérins Islands, which lie a mere 15 minutes from the coast of Cannes. Your destinations this morning are the twin islands of Marguerite and Saint-Honorat, the two largest of this group of four emerald islets.
The islands are renowned for their rocky beaches, hiking trails that wind through pine and eucalyptus forest, and sunny weather. The islands are also home to a number of fascinating historical and cultural sites. On Sainte-Marguerite, for example, you'll find the 17th-century Fort Royal, whose claim to fame comes from serving as the prison of the infamous of the Man in the Iron Mask for 11 years. Today, the building houses a maritime museum. Nearby, on Saint-Honorat, you can visit the expansive Lérins-Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that dates to the 11th century.
However, the real order of business today is rest and relaxation. Spend the day sailing to different beaches, swimming in crystalline waters, and enjoying food and drink aboard the sailboat. Novice sailors and experts alike can try their hand at several sailing maneuvers and getting their sea legs under them before feasting on a picnic lunch.
Return to Cannes in the evening in time for dinner and a stroll along the water.
Day 10: Free Day in Cannes
Today is free time to explore the city of Cannes and its Croisette. Pick from the following options to make the most of your time in the coastal town:
- Walk along La Croisette and admire the palm trees, palaces, luxury boutiques, and elaborate art deco buildings. See where actors and directors have frozen their footprints on the path of the stars in front of the Palais des Festivals and the Esplanade Pompidou
- Stroll in a typical Provencal atmosphere towards the Allées de la Liberté to visit its daily flower market and its weekend flea market.
- Spend a few hours relaxing on one of the city's beaches. Locals prefer the public beaches along the Croisette, while others flock to the shores along Boulevard du Midi
- Immerse yourself in the historic heart of Cannes in Le Suquet, the oldest neighborhood in Cannes. It offers the most scenic panorama on the city, which starts Quai St. Pierre in the Old Port
- Explore the neighborhood around the citadel and along the city's oldest street, the Rue Saint-Antoine
- Go shopping at the Forville Market, a lively neighborhood hub for regional produce and other products
- Stroll along the shaded walking paths of the Croix des Gardes park
Day 11: Sunset Hike & Aperitif in the Esterel Massif
In the morning, pick up your rental car in Cannes. The remainder of your tour is a self-drive, with plenty of time to stop in small villages and scenic viewpoints along the way.
The day is free to explore on your own. Enjoy time in Cannes, or head outside the city limits to see the surrounding towns and estates. Visit Le Vieux Cannet to explore its rich cultural heritage, see La Californie's famous mansions and Billionaires' Hill, or head to Golfe Juan's beautiful sandy beaches where Napoleon I landed after his exile.
In the evening head to Mandelieu-la-Napoule, 30 minutes drive from Cannes. Meet with your private guide, then hit the trail for the easy 5-mile hike (8 km) on Esterel Mountain. As you hike, your guide will tell you the history of this ancient volcanic land and point out various local plants and animals. The hike features some of the area's best views of the bay and the Lerins Islands, so don't forget your camera. Reach the top in time for golden hour, then pause to enjoy a typical South France apéro—an evening drink and a small picnic of local delicacies. Surrounded by the song of the cicadas, take in the sunset views before hiking back to the trailhead.
Return to Cannes in the evening.
Day 12: Drive from Cannes to Saint-Tropez
Depart from Cannes in the morning and head to another famous city: Saint-Tropez, located a 1.5-hour drive south along the coastline. Originally a fishing village with a strong connection to the sea, Saint-Tropez has grown into an international destination. In the 19th and 20th centuries, a wave of artists, painters, writers, and filmmakers settled in Saint-Tropez, turning the quiet city in a meeting point for culture and literature. These days, it's a hub for art and recreation, with some of the world's most prestigious summertime resorts located on its shores.
Spend the day exploring the city's shops, art galleries, and historic sites on your own on foot or by bike. Discover the town's Old Port, where some of the world's most beautiful sailing yachts dock at the Place des Lices. See the Citadel of Saint-Tropez (an ancient fortress turned maritime museum) then head to Bouillabaisse Beach for a few hours soaking in the sunshine.
Visit the 17th-century Notre Dame de l'Assomption parish church and its bell tower, see the Annonciade Chapels and the Vasserot Washhouse and its fountain, then continue to Château de la Moutte on the tip of the peninsula to see the estate and surrounding park. On warm evenings in the summertime, world-class musicians play exclusive concerts underneath the stars at the Château—an incredible way to cap off a day in Saint-Tropez.
Beach lovers will enjoy spending time relaxing on the area's many beaches, which stretch along 7.5 miles (12 km) of sunny shoreline. Just outside the city lie the small villages of Ramatuelle, Gassin (renowned for its views), and others.
In the evening, stroll along the coast and enjoy a Saint-Tropez sunset.
Day 13: Free Day in Saint-Tropez
Enjoy a free day in Saint-Tropez. While away the sunny afternoon on one of the city's many white-sand beaches. There are plenty of options: Plage de la Bouillabaisse (great views of the village with a restaurant & bar) Plage des Salins (made famous by Brigitte Bardot!) La Ponche Beach (small, secluded & quiet), or Pampelonne Beach (arguably the most famous, with plenty of clubs and dancing.)
Round out your day with a picnic dinner, delivered to you right on the beach. Dig into a provençal buffet or meats, bread, fruit, wine, olives, and other products, admire the sunset, and dig your toes in the white sand.
If you want to spend the day exploring the underwater world, head to Cap Camarat (a 20-minute drive on the other side of the peninsula). Discover natural coves, go swimming in crystal clear water, and come face-to-face with colorful Mediterranean marine fish.
Day 14: Private Boat Tour of Îles d'Or
Start your morning with a trip from St. Tropez to the beautiful coastal city of Lavandou, a 50-minute drive away. Arrive at the port where you'll meet your private skipper and board the motorboat for your day out on the water.
Spend the day exploring the Îles d’Or archipelago off the coast of Hyères. Your first stop is the Pelagos Sanctuary, a protected maritime zone that links the Presqu’île de Giens, the Fosse Chiarone, and the Sardinia coast. Keep watch for dolphins and whales as you cruise through the turquoise waters.
After some time, you'll reach Port Cros Island, a National Park with an abundance of underwater sea life. Spend a few hours snorkeling as you discover a magical underwater world. After working up an appetite, savor a three-course Mediterranean lunch as you take in the views.
After lunch, cruise to the island of Porquerolles, where you'll get a chance to stretch your legs on dry land. Explore the island on an easy half-hour hike to spot local wildlife and see the views, then head back on board for the return trip to Lavandou.
At the end of the day, drive back to your accommodation in St. Tropez, arriving in time for drinks and dinner.
Day 15: Private Driving Tour of the Mediterranean Coast
Take your time today as you explore the scenic Mediterranean coast on small countryside roads. Relax and let your driver take you through the countryside, passing by rippling creeks, secluded beaches, and the rugged coastline of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.
Stop by the hidden enclave of Cavalaire-Sur-Mer, then head to the medieval hilltop village of Ramatuelle before visiting the intimate beaches of Escalet for a quick dip in the water. Return to the Saint Tropez marina in time for lunch, then visit the ancient village of Grimaud in the afternoon. The town, which overlooks the bay of Saint Tropez, is renowned for its ocean views and 11th-century castle.
From here continue to the colorful waterfront of Port Grimaud, where quiet canals and brightly painted homes echo the elegance of Venice. End your day with a stroll in the waterfront city of Sainte-Maxime, just north of Saint Tropez, where you'll enjoy a late afternoon Côte-de-Provence wine tasting and watch the sunset.
In the evening, return to your accommodation in Saint Tropez.
Day 16: Au revoir, France!
After breakfast, take a private car or train transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. A bientôt!