Here’s are our Top Ten favorite things to do whilst staying on the Cote D’Azur. A unashamedly personal list in no particular order. We hope it gives you some idea’s and inspiration!!
1. Lunch at Le Saint Jean, La Roquette Sur Siagne
This is great Restaurant for those wanting great food, great quality at a great price. Don’t let any other consideration put you off. E.g. Location or External Presentation.
Here’s an example of typical prices. Lunch Time Fixed Menu €10, 0.5L Carafe of table wine €3.60
2. A Walk around Mougins Village
This perched village is a real Gem and the place where Picasso spent the last years of his life 1961-1973. You’ll also find over twenty Super Quality Restaurants, Art in abundance and Fine Views toward Grasse, There is free parking on three levels close, the Village itself itself being closed to traffic.
3. Visit Le Croissette in Cannes
Walking or rolling blading along the length of Le Croisette is another must do activity. In order to reach Cannes we recommend the Bus. The frequent Palm Bus No2 service runs from right outside the Domain to Cannes La Bocca and Cannes Centre.
As well as the Croissette a exploration of the Le Suquet old town quarter, the original site of the city, is recommended.
This walk will take around some of the oldest and prettiest parts of Cannes.
4. The Promenade in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Cagnes-sur Mer has a newly constructed Promenade which goes for several miles along the Beach front. It another great place for roller blading and cycling. Blue cycles that are similar to Boris London Bikes can be hired by the hour there.
5. Walk around St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Cap-Ferrat is a peninsula located to the east of Nice between Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Here you will find some of the most expensive real estate in the World. A beautiful Villa built by Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild is located there namely Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild museum, which is open daily for visits.
There is a beautiful walk which circles the Cap.
As the journey to Cap Ferat is a little distant from our Villa, it’s best to make a day of it by passing and stopping at some other must-do tourist hot spots on route. After taking the A8 to Nice continue along the Promenade des Anglais (where the you can stop and enjoy a stroll briefly) before taking the coastal road north. This is a very scenic route and you choose between three corniche roads, which take you to Cap Ferrat and the beautiful perched Villlage of Èze; which is another essential place to visit on this excursion.
6. Visit Valbonne and Gourdon
Valbonne is old fortified hill-town located in the hills above Nice and Cannes (About a 20 mins drive from our Villa). It has a beautiful central square at the Place des Arcades where weekly markets occur every Tuesday and Friday. You will also found lots of specialist shops which sell all manner of artisan creative works.
A further excursion onto Gourdon via Chateauneuf-de-Grasse is a well worthwhile.
Gourdon is another perched village with a castle and beautiful gardens you can visit. High up on a cliff it is a very scenic village especially on a clear day since you can see a distance from the lookouts in the village. It is also known for pain d’epice (honey gingerbread).
7. A day trip to Italy
The Italian border is just 67 km away, which makes a day-trip easily doable. We recommend you go on to Sanremo (90 km away, 1hr 20mins), which is nice city with lots of culture and history. It’s a great place to shop and sample fantastic Italian Cuisine.
It’s also worthwhile dropping in at an Italian supermarket as delicacies such as Parmesan cheese and Italian Olive Oil will be lower priced than at Cote D’Azur super markets. If you just want to shop for Italian Goods or Foods then going just as far as Ventimiglia the closest town to the border will suffice. The Coop in Ventimglia is recommended. Ventiliglia also has a large open air market on Friday. In Ventimiglia you will notice a difference from well kept Cote D’Azur infrastructure to a evidently poorer and a somewhat rundown environment; but the food and shopping is just as good or better good albeit with lower prices!
Both Ventimiglia and Sanremo can be reached via a frequent train service from Cannes La Bocca train station, adult fares from €27 return.
8. Visit Grasse and its’ perfumeries
Grasse old town (“vieille ville”) is large, old, and extremely interesting. Tiny streets wind forever between the 17th and 18th century buildings, up and down ancient steps, passing through arched tunnels and sometimes opening out onto large squares.
Grasse is also a great place to shop for local specialties and souvenirs.
The French perfume industry began in Grasse in the 16th century. Grasse was ideal because of the sunshine and micro-climate that facilitated the growth of the most delicate flowers. Today Grasse is considered the world’s capital of perfume. Three world renown perfumeries are located there namely Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard, of which Fragonard is by far the most famous of the three and has 2 sites in Grasse, as well as the Fragonard villa which is a museum.
There are several museums in Grasse. The International Perfume Museum, is worth a visit where you will find everything you ever wanted to know about perfume creation.
8. A walk in the Estérel visiting the remarkable Notre-Dame de l’Afrique sculpture.
The walk starts from Adonis Théoule Résidence Horizon Bleu located off Chemin du Sanglier. Park outside the residence before reaching the nearby Residence Panorama further along the road. Then take the Route des Mimosas which turns into an unsurfaced track as you proceed into the Estérel hills.
Take the route No 4 and then route No 1, this will return you to the bottom of Chemin du Sanglier, which you then ascend to return to your parking spot
There are also options for other walking routes. To reach these walking locations the No 22 bus from Cannes La Bocca is an option for those without a car.
These walks can also be combined with a visit to our favourite beach Pointe de l’Aiguille Theoule-sur-Mer by taking route No 6.
See this handy Theoule sur Mer Map for more details.
9. Walking along the Siagne River and Port Napoule
Check out this great interactive guide to Mandelieu. From here you will get an eagle eye view of the Mandelieu La Napoule area.
Close by are the banks of Siagne River walk, which is a nice place to go for a short walk.
The Mandelieu Natural Sites 5-8 make for a easy short walk. Great for an evening stroll with the dog, the children and family or just on your own.
Park at AVENUE GASTON DE FONTMICHEL and follow the green dotted lines along the Siagne at E8 using the Mandelieu Map Here
Another nice walk starts at F8. There is Parking nearby – look for P symbol. Follow the Green dotted lines and continue through the Port La Napoule and past Plage de la Rague. Return via the footpath along RUE DU CAPITAINE DE CORVETTE MARCHE and onto to AVENUE HENRY CLEWS.
A great place for a spectacular view is Ruines du Château d’Avignonet-Chapelle at G-6, Park and follow the green dotted route up to the top.
10. Skiing at Isola 2000 or Auron
Winter brings another option for a great day out. From Mid December to April there is some good Skiing within a 1.5 – 2 hours from our Villa.
The Best resorts with the most extensive ski runs and facilities are :-
Isola 2000 : 42 slopes. 3 blacks, 11 reds, 21 blues, 7 greens from 1800m to 2610m with a total of over 120km pistes. Ski Lifts 2 cable cars, 7 chairlifts, 10 draglifts, and 1 funicular.
Auron : 43 runs , including 3 green runs, 16 blue runs, 15 red runs and 9 black runs from 1600m to 2450m with a total of 135 km of piste; Ski Lifts : 3 cable cars, 9 chairlifts, 3 draglifts, 1 tearlift.
Valberg : This resort has the most beginner slopes and is the best resort for families. The resort is at a lower altitude than Isola 2000 and Auron and so it’s ski conditions can be much poorer, so do check out the Valberg Piste Status before you go.
The Auron and Isola 2000 Snow Reports can be found at these links :-
And ensure that the Ski pistes are open and have good snow coverage before you go. Then you can be sure of a good day out; In general Isola 2000 being higher and having a more Northerly facing aspect gets better snow coverage than Auron, so in light snow conditions Isola 2000 is usually the better option.
At both Ski resorts you can hire all the equipment needed. A Day Lift pass is just €35. This makes for a most affordable Ski excursion for those you don’t want to spend 100% of their time sking. We do daily trips to these resorts very often and it’s always fantastic.
If driving by car check the Isola weather forecast to see if any heavy snow is predicted and check the status of the roads . Normally snow chains are not required, except in the case of sudden heavy snow. Note the roads to Isola 2000 can be more problematic as the final 10km is quite steep and twisty.
You can travel to these resort via Bus! No need to worry if about getting stuck in the snow. Express Ski Bus from Nice
Take the Train from Cannes La Bocca to Nice Station – return fare €15. And the Ski Bus costs €8 return to either Isola 2000 or Auron.
When purchasing a Day Lift pass a reusable electronic ski pass needs to be purchased (cost €1.5). We already have some of these at the Villa you can use, so please ask and we’ll be happy to provide them.