If you're short on time but won't compromise on your experience, head to the French Riviera for a 5-day getaway. Explore grand plazas in Nice, stroll the narrow shopping streets of Cannes, and set sail to the Lérins Islands on a private boat. From 5-star dining to white sand beaches, this trip has it all. 

Highlights

  • Shop local markets & prepare a 3-course meal in Nice
  • Stroll the old-town streets of Le Suquet in Cannes
  • Sail to the Lérins Islands on a private boat
  • Swim in the blue waters of the Mediterranean

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nice Nice
Day 2 Cooking Class & Perfume Tour in Nice Nice
Day 3 Transfer from Nice to Cannes Cannes
Day 4 Private Sailing Tour of the Lérins Islands Cannes
Day 5 Au revoir, France!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nice

Seaside in Nice
Seaside 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

Fresh olives and pickles at the market
Fresh olives and pickles at the market

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: Transfer from Nice to Cannes

Cours Saleya in Nice
Cours Saleya in Nice

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 4: Private Sailing Tour of the Lérins Islands

Sunset on the Lérins Islands
Sunset on 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 5: Au revoir, France!

French Riviera by night
French Riviera by night

After breakfast, take a private car or train transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. A bientôt!


Map

Map of Cities & Nature in the French Riviera: Nice, Cannes, Monaco, St. Tropez, & More - 5 Days
Map of Cities & Nature in the French Riviera: Nice, Cannes, Monaco, St. Tropez, & More - 5 Days