From the days of Queen Victoria to the present day, the Cote D'Azur has been the place to see and be seen. Even if that life doesn’t interest you, the region's fame is well deserved. It is stunningly beautiful and dotted with castles, villas, world-famous art, and drop-dead gorgeous sea views. This is not just a tour of popular places during high season. We shy away from traveling here in July & August to avoid the heat, the traffic, and the crowds. In late September, the weather is divine, and the crowds have gone home. We're venturing off the beaten track a bit, taking you to the picture-perfect seaside town of Cassis (on the entire coast, my personal favorite). We’ll stay in two amazing hotels, visit knowledgeable chefs, and get onto the water to view the shore from the best vantage point. We'll also venture north into Provence to visit some of France's most charming villages. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a veteran, this is the perfect trip.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the schedule
Arrive by mid-day via train or air to Nice. Hop into a cab and check into our hotel, the 4-star Le Meridien Hotel which faces the Mediterranean Sea.
Meet with your guide, Nancy, at 6:30 pm for a cocktail or bubbly followed by dinner at the iconic Negresco Hotel. The pink-domed Belle Epoque hotel has been famous for over a hundred years, hosting celebrities, royals, millionaires, and politicians.
We’ll begin our day with a tour of historic Nice and learn more about the southern capital of France. Then, we’ll venture into the hills to explore the charm and near perfection of the medieval village of Eze. We’ll lunch here and pretend we’ve stepped back in time.
After lunch, we’ll visit the stunning Villa Rothschild, imagined and designed for Béatrice de Rothschild by the famous French banking family. The castle sits pretty and proud in pink, and its gardens are to die for.
After a short rest at our hotel, we'll head to Chez Davia, known for its sophisticated Niçoise cooking.
Today, after breakfast, we're off to the Cours Saleya market in the old town, a must-do in Nice.
After browsing around, we’ll head to the Picasso Museum in Cap D’Antibes. The museum is built on the ancient Greek Acropolis of Antipolis, which later became the Chateau Grimaldi in the 14th century, a mix of ancient and modern.
You’ll enjoy some free time in charming Antibes to shop or pick up a bite on your own.
This afternoon, we’ll head over to Didier’s workshop. He’s a master glassblower. You'll be amazed as he demonstrates his art.
After an art and artisan-filled day, you deserve a petite repose - so we'll head to tea at the Belle Rives Hotel, formerly the home of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
This is where he wrote his masterpiece, Tender is the Night. We highly recommend reading his book before your trip.
After a rest at the hotel, we’ll head to the pretty, pink Le Comptoir de Nicole for a bite.
Tea & a Sweet
Today, we’ll head out to wander the grounds of the Maeght Foundation. The sculpture garden is legendary. It's known for the collection of abstract works crafted by Calder, Leger, Jean Arp, Eduardo Chillida, Erik Dietman, Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miró, and many more.
We’ll drive up to St. Paul de Vence and enjoy lunch at the celebrated Colombe d’Or, one of the most famous restaurants in all of France. Be sure to order the crudité while you ponder the Matisse and Picasso paintings.
After our legendary lunch, we’ll stop to enjoy the scents and history of Fragonard, the perfume house at the forefront of making French perfume, the rave in the beau monde.
Tonight, upon your return to our Nice hotel, which, by now, feels like home, the night is yours to wander and find your own café or spend time relaxing at the hotel.
We'll check out after breakfast and head for our countryside villa in Fontvieille. Before we check in, we’ll go to Hostellerie Berard for a garden tour followed by an aperitif workshop with owner Chef Jeff. Then, we’ll dine at the eponymous Bistro Jeff on the same property.
This afternoon, we’ll head down to Cassis for a boat ride to see the Calanques (similar to fjords), just offshore from this quaint harbor town. (Weather dependent)
Don’t worry. We’ll leave time for you to pop into some of the charming little shops in town.
It's time to check into our 4-star hotel, the Regalido, for some rest before a relaxing dinner.
Today, we’ll head up into the Luberon to Uzès, an ancient market town, where we’ll take a guided stroll with Deborah, the barefoot blogger. We’ll lunch together at Midi à L’Ombre. Translated, it means noon in the shade.
After a final stroll around this appealing town, we’ll stop at the Pont Du Gard, the ancient Roman Aqueduct, to take photos.
Back in town, we'll have a short rest. Then, dine at the colorful Le Patio in Fontvielle for proper Provençal food.
Today, we’ll visit the historic St. Remy de Provence, where Nostradamus was born, where Van Gogh resided for a time, and where Princess Caroline of Monaco summers. Most agree it's a near-perfect French village with shopping to make every woman's heart skip a beat.
We’ll start with a market visit followed by lunch at Da Pepe for a change of pace.
We’ll visit Van Gogh’s monastery just north of the walled town in the afternoon. Van Gogh lived here for some time after the ear incident. You’ll visit his room and see where he painted many of the 100 masterpieces he accomplished during his short stay here.
We’re going all out for our final meal together. We’re having an olive oil and a wine tasting at the gorgeous Chateau Estoublon, followed by a stupendous dinner.
All things must come to an end, but your photos will keep fresh the memories of the magical time with new friends in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Transfer back to Paris via train from Avignon for your flight home.
Stare out at the Mediterranean Sea from your perch at the 4-Star Le Meridien Hotel situated directly on the famous Promenade des Anglais. Soak in the Cote d'Azur lifestyle here in the heart of Nice. Enjoy the spa, fitness room and heated outdoor pool during your down time.
Relax and unwind in your charming 4-star Hotel in a lovely village in Provence. Our hotel boasts a spa and a superb restaurant. Smell the lavender in the air - this is quintessential Provence.
Born and raised bilingual in Quebec, Nancy was naturally attracted to France. She seized a work opportunity that brought her to the south of France which led to a love story that's lasted ever since.
After a career in corporate and international event management for the United Nations and Coca-Cola, Nancy had a desire to share her passion of this beautiful area with others. She's now having fun using her creative skills and local knowledge leading trips to Provence and the Cote D'Azur.
Nancy lives in Sète with her papillon spaniel, Jewel.
Good climate, beaches, medieval villages and luxury appeal
The south of France…the land of beautiful coastal cities, glitzy beaches, vineyards, lavender, and one of the world’s best cuisines. This is where the rich and famous come to relax and party. It is a land of luxury, with yachts dotting the shorelines, fancy hotels in every city, and epic parties you read about in magazines.
All meals unless stated
2 glasses of wine or beer with included dinners
All entrance fees, visits, tastings and guided tours
All transport while your trip
Transfer to Avignon TGV train station at the end of your trip
A boat ride
A perfume tour
An aperitif demonstration
A premium wine tasting
RT International Airfare
Train or air down to Nice and back from Avignon
Transfer to hotel in Nice
Additional wine or beer at meals beyond what’s offered
Any personal souvenirs
Any spa treatments desired
Tips for your driver
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
If you arrive by plane you should fly into Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. You can also fly into Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris and take the train.
The trip officially starts on the evening of September 26th, but if you travel across an ocean to get to France, consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will book your room for you and make sure that you stay in the same room you will be in when the trip starts.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
Daily high temperatures decrease by 7°F, from 73°F to 65°F, rarely falling below 60°F or exceeding 77°F. Daily low temperatures decrease by 7°F, from 60°F to 53°F, rarely falling below 47°F or exceeding 65°F. .
Nancy McGee will be your trip leader.Born and raised bilingual in Quebec, Nancy was naturally attracted to France. She seized a work opportunity that brought her to the south of France which led to a love story that's lasted ever since.