The French Riviera: off the beaten track

The French Riviera: off the beaten track

Where to unwind on the Côte d’Azur and experience Provençal culture and cuisine

When someone mentions the French Riviera thoughts instantly turn to Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez which epitomise the opulence of the Côte d’Azur, but you don’t need to stray far to experience the more peaceful elements of this beautiful region.

Contact our Travel team to plan and book your break ►

Nice - Cours SaleyaA sense of the old Riviera

With numerous flights arriving from the UK daily, most travellers’ holidays will begin in Nice. France’s fifth largest city will allow you to get a real sense of the old Riviera. Singing cicadas, hours of sun and the sounds of locals playing petanque in the park will give you a real feel for the relaxed way of life. At the heart of Vieux Nice is Cours Saleya, the renowned flower and food market which will awaken all your senses and showcases the finest local produce from the area.

Eight miles outside of the city lies picturesque Èze, an entirely pedestrianised medieval village perched on top of a jagged peak with wonderful views to the sea. Foodies know it as the home of La Chèvre d’Or, a two-Michelin-starred mecca that has been breathing new life into classical French cooking since 1953. The dining room makes the most of the views with huge windows framing the mountainscape.

Eleven miles further east, the coastal town of Menton close to the Italian border highlights just how good Provençal produce and cooking is – its bustling daily markets are bursting with fresh ingredients. We’ll even secure you a table at Mirazur, which jumped to number four on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017.

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons HotelA superb place to stay is Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel. In the 1930s this was one of the first hotels to remain open from May to September which introduced a whole new generation of holidaymakers to the region. Le Cap is the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant and guests can also indulge in spa treatments and enjoy the Olympic-sized infinity pool with its own private cabanas. When booking through our Travel team you will receive complimentary American breakfast, a room upgrade*, US$100 spa credit, wi-fi and a welcome gift.

La GueriteThe finer things in life

The multitude of luxury hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and streets lined with designer shops draw many to the Riviera’s capital, Cannes, but nearby day trips provide a taste of the region’s old-world charm.

Our international restaurant specialists are on hand to book you a table at La Guerite, nestled in a rocky cove on Île Sainte-Marguerite. Choose from lamb cutlets grilled on the open barbecue or freshly caught fish such as a whole sea bream with lemon and herbs of Provence. The restaurant will even arrange a water taxi to collect you and return you to the mainland.

Eleven miles north of Cannes is Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world. The town produces over two-thirds of France’s natural aromas. Contact our attractions specialists to organise a tour and demonstration at one of Grasse’s three perfume factories.

Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort - infinity poolThe all-suite and villa Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, in the countryside 16 miles from Grasse, is ideal for families as it offers many activities to keep children entertained while you unwind at the spa, golf club or tennis courts. Our members love the view over the hills from the infinity pool – one of four heated pools – and there are four restaurants including Michelin-starred Faventia. What's more, if you book through our Travel team you will receive complimentary breakfast for up to two guests, a room upgrade* and Provençal wine and nibbles.

Saint-Paul de VenceModern art

Recognised as one of the world’s first ever tourist destinations, artists, aristocrats and politicians have flocked to the French Riviera since the 1700s and it was home to some of the 20th century’s most renowned modern artists including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. Travellers have been arriving for an artistic trail along the coast ever since.

Very few regions in the world offer such a sheer diversity and quality of art on display – every journey you embark on is an artistic adventure. Works by many important artists of the 20th century can be seen at the Fondation Maeght, a museum overlooking the medieval town of Saint-Paul de Vence. Ask our Attractions team to arrange tickets.

Château Saint-Martin & SpaWe recommend a few nights at the Château Saint-Martin & Spa, a former 12th-century Knights Templar stronghold with great panoramic views and six private villas for those wanting ultimate privacy. Its Sisley Spa was voted Best Luxury Destination Spa in Europe at the 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards. As an added bonus, you will receive complimentary buffet breakfast, a room upgrade*, US$100 spa credit, early check-in and late check-out* when booking your stay through lifestyle concierge.

The accommodation suggestions are a sample of the 28 hotels we are partnered with up and down the French Riviera where our members enjoy benefits – ask our travel specialists for details of our Global Hotel Collection ►

Our most popular partnered airline British Airways flies direct to Nice, so contact us to book your flights ►

.*Subject to availability

Last updated on 2 May 2017

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