Just 20 minutes from Cannes (External link) by boat, the Lérins islands feel a whole world away from the buzz of the mainland. Visitors are seduced by their idyllic natural beauty with quiet sandy paths, rocky coves to explore and swim in, and a fascinating history combining the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask and the spirituality of Cistercian monks. The archipelago separates the Gulf of Napoule to the west from Golfe Juan to the east, and is composed of two main islands: Sainte-Marguerite and Saint Honorat, just a kilometre from each other. They are not accessible to cars, bicycles or scooters and make wonderful, peaceful getaways for walks, swimming, games of pétanque and long lazy lunches. Oaks and creaking pines cover both islands, as well as a fragrant scrubland of myrtle, cistus, honeysuckle and wild clematis – and there’s plenty of wildlife here too. https://uk.france.fr/en/cote-dazur/article/lerins-islands
This chapel is part of the estate of Villa Fiorentina, a famous Italian-style villa dating from the end of the 19th century and one of the residences that "made Cannes' reputation". The Baroque chapel was built at the request of Count Vitali, whose coat of arms adorns one of its walls. http://www.cannes-destination.com/Cannes/PCUPACA06V50056J/Chapelle-Bellini-et-Parc-Fiorentina
Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.30 am to 6 pm, in summer from 8 am to 3 pm. Closed between midday and 2 pm for the children's section, video library and record library. http://www.cannes-destination.com/Cannes/PCUPACA06V000136/Villa-RothschildM%C3%A9diath%C3%A8que-Noailles
Situated on La Croisette, La Malmaison now hosts three major exhibitions annually. It regularly pays tribute to renowned painters such as Matisse, Ozenfant and Picasso, for whom the French Riviera was an infinite source of inspiration, in addition to internationally renowned 20th- and 21st-century artists such as Miró and César. http://www.cannes-destination.com/Cannes/PCUPACA06V500386/Centre-d%27art-la-Malmaison
The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès has been created to accommodate the largest festival of cinema in the world. The destiny of Cannes is then drawn naturally. The flagship destination of business tourism, Cannes, lives throughout the year at the rhythm of many international and professional events. The level of excellence is confirmed year after year.
No need to attach to it the words "film" or "cinema", the Festival of Cannes for 60 years is the Festival of the 7th Art, the world's largest event of this art which became an industry. The history took life in 1946 after the painful interlude of the Second World War which had suspended the projects of the French State to have an international competition of films. Cannes takes the priority to Vichy, Biarritz or even Lucerne. Cannes sunshine and also the facilities that it offers made it win the project. And especially since Cannes promised the construction of a palace specially dedicated to the festival.
With its 88 000 sq.m building, its 35,000 sq.m of exhibition space, and its 15 auditoriums, the Cannes Palais des Festivals et des Congrès rank Cannes as the second destination for business tourism in France only behind Paris. The Palais hosts each year approximately 300,000 congress delegates and around 40 to 50 international professional events.
The Cannes Film Festival is today the cultural event with the most media coverage in the world. Only two sports events, the Football World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games run ahead with the media. https://www.cannes-destination.com/index/the-palais-des-festivals-cannes
The Castre Museum is located on the Suquet hill, dominating the city of Cannes. From the top of the medieval tower the views across the bay and the Lerins islands are fantastic and not to be missed!
Inside the castle and the nearby chapel is a brilliant collection of paintings, art and archaeological artefacts. The Castre Museum is home to a wide collection of antiquities, particularly from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The 11th-century Saint Anne Chapel houses a remarkable collection of musical instruments from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. A few rooms dedicated to 19th-century Provencal paintings of Riviera landscapes open out onto the courtyard and a square tower displaying spectacular views.
It is surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean garden with pine trees. https://www.seecannes.com/museums/castre-museum-cannes-657759
Situated on the island of Saint Honorat off the coast of Cannes, the Notre Dame de Lérins Abbey is a Cistercian monastery.
The abbey was founded around 410AD when Saint Honorat came here with the intention of living as a hermit but was soon joined by his disciples. Together they formed a community that became “an immense monastery” around the year 427. According to legend, Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, studied here in the 5th century.
Today, open or guided tours are offered. The visitor can discover the fortified monastery with the main church dedicated to Saint Honorat in its centre and the Sainte-Marie church to the north. Also the 11th/12th century cloisters that border the common rooms such as the chapter room and refectory. The chapels, numbering seven, are distributed over the island. Finally, the hot shot furnaces remind us that the island and even the monastery had the role of defending the French coast. http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/en/monuments/notre-dame-de-lerins-abbey
The Park Exflora is the most recent Antibes garden. The 12 acres of land are composed of an olive grove and different types of Mediterranean plants. Fountains, jets and ponds form a “water path” 500 metres long. Along the alley leading to the sea, many rose bushes are planted, as a reminder of the famous rose productions of Antibes. http://www.antibesjuanlespins.com/en/pages/parks-and-gardens
At the tip of Cap d'Antibes, on a superb plot of 11 hectares, you will find the villa Eilenroc. This exceptional residence symbolizes the luxury and voluptuousness of the Belle Epoque. It was built in 1867 following plans by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris and Monte Carlo opera houses. http://www.antibesjuanlespins.com/en/art-et-culture/villa-eilenroc-and-its-gardens-0
“If you want to see the Picassos of Antibes, you must come to Antibes to see them.”
It is a new museum that the public will discover after two years of works, more accessible, easier to visit and providing better preservation conditions for the works displayed. http://www.antibesjuanlespins.com/en/art-et-culture/picasso-museum
It offers many activities and exhibitions on Nature all year long, with - some twenty theme gardens display 2,500 plant species. A lake, where a hundred birds - ducks, pelicans, black swans - live together in peace and in which are reflected the white marble façades of the Asian Arts Museum designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Also one of the largest greenhouses in Europe: the ‘Green Diamond’, that takes visitors through 6 different tropical climates to discover several thousand rare plant species, including tree ferns, an orchid collection... and many more plants. And you can see crocodiles, iguanas and exotic birds. A family of Varis lemurs are currently delighting visitors. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/1256-parc-phoenix%20-
With the appearance of the Allianz Riviera, the City of Nice has acquired a multifunctional facility to help enhance its international reputation as France’s leading business tourism destination after Paris. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/40724-allianz-riviera
The tourist reputation of Promenade des Anglais has gone beyond the French or European borders. At present, the famed promenade is a landmark of Nice, from both an infrastructural and a tourist point of view. In fact, its importance for the commercial and tourist platform of the city is reflected by its structure and use.
By following the promenade, visitors have the opportunity to stumble on some of the top attractions and architectural marvels of Nice. First of all, it’s the beaches. Most of the beaches in Nice (either private or otherwise) nestle between Baie des Anges and Promenade des Anglais being accessible from the promenade side. Secondly, sights like the Phoenix Park with its imposing Museum of Asian Arts, Palais de la Mediterranee and Hotel Negresco, all are accessible from the proud promenade.
On top of that, the street is lined with bars and restaurants where tourists can relax and have a refreshment. Plenty of the bike stands managed by Velo Bleu are also located on Promenade des Anglais. The promenade obviously has something to offer to everyone: it is ideal for sightseeing tours, it provides access to the beach and it is practicable for roller-skaters and cyclists. http://www.nice-tourism.com/en/nice-attractions/promenades-and-pedestrian-areas-in-nice/promenade-des-anglais.html
Inspired by the Muscovite style, it has a very richly decorated interior with many icons, murals and carved woodwork as well as an iconostasis of embossed metal. The primary vocation of this site being a place of worship, certain rules must be respected. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/80-cathedrale-orthodoxe-russe-patriarcat-de-moscou
The Old Town of Nice is made up of tall tenement houses lined up along narrow and dark streets. The ground floors are occupied by restaurants, shops and galleries of local artists. You can buy everything here, from Provence spices to hand-made jewelry and cosmetics. Just go in and let yourself be carried away by the past, which is still present in this place.
The Old Town of Nice (Vieille Ville), also called Old Nice (Vieux Nice), lies just below the Castle Hill. In the south, it borders with the Promenade des Anglais, and in the north with the Paillon River, or rather the Promenade of Paillon, because the river has been flowing through the city in the underground channel since 1972. The names of streets in the Old Town are written in two versions: in French and in the local Nissart dialect (niçart).
The Old Town of Nice is full of historic tenements, churches and squares. A walk through the narrow and shaded streets allows you to almost move in time and feel the spirit of Old Nice. You just need to know where to look for it. https://frenchriviera.travel/old-town-nice/
An exceptional example of civil baroque architecture, the Palais Lascaris is a recognised Musée de France, devoted to the art and music of the 17th and 18th centuries. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/53-palais-lascaris
The National Marc Chagall museum, was created by the artist's will to bring together in one purpose-built place his most important biblical works : the 17 paintings which make up the Biblical Message.
The permanent collection is the biggest public collection of works by Marc Chagall. It is organized around the set of works produced by the painter on the Old Testament themes, supplemented by a large number of works of secular or religious inspiration: over 400 painting, gouaches, drawings, wash drawings and pastels. The museum offers the visitor a first room containing twelve large-size paintings illustrating the first two books of the Old Testament, Genesis and Exodus. In a second, smaller hexagonal room are five compositions on the theme of the Song of Songs, another Old Testament book. Audio-guides in French, English, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish . http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/183-musee-national-marc-chagall
The city’s original site, the Castle Hill (Parc De La Colline Du Chateau) once boasted a reputedly impregnable citadel that was entirely dismantled by the soldiers of the French King Louis XIV in 1706.
Truly a maze of greenery that has become popular for its cool undergrowth and surprising waterfall, this wonderful place for strolling offers a wonderful viewpoint over Baie des Anges, Old Nice and the Port (orientation table). Spectacular lighting at night. http://en.nicetourisme.com/nice/92-parc-de-la-colline-du-chateau
Spread over an area of approximately 15,000 m2, the Exotic Garden is home to a thousand cacti and other succulent plants with stems or hypertrophic leaves which store water. Originally from the planet’s main semi-arid regions, these plants still produce plenty of flowers. The principal flowering seasons are winter (January–February) for South African succulents such as Aloe and Crassula, and spring and summer for cacti, a family native to the American continent.
The enormous trees which line the paths of the Exotic Garden illustrate the age of the collection which served as the basis for the creation of the garden at the instigation of Prince Albert I. Opened to the public in February 1933, and supplemented in the 1960s by a botanical centre and specialist tree nursery, the garden is one of the Principalities most visited tourist attractions.
At the base of the cliff on which the Exotic Garden is situated (called “the observatory” due to the long-standing presence of a small astronomical observatory), at an altitude of 100 metres, there is a subterranean chamber equipped to receive visitors. The limestone rock, carved out by water containing carbon dioxide, is studded with caverns adorned with geological formations bearing evocative names: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns, soda straws...
Expert guided tours of the cave are included in the entry ticket for the Exotic Garden. The tour travels from a depth of 98 metres to a depth of 40 metres (around 300 steps). The chamber plunges down almost to sea level and is regularly explored by local cavers.
The presence of prehistoric humans in the region of the cave is confirmed by the bones of the animals that they ate. These remains also illustrate the climate variations that have taken place over the last 250,000 years. http://www.visitmonaco.com/en/Places-to-visit/Gardens/The-Exotic-Gardens-and-the-Observation-Cave
Boasting a rare and important collection of fossils and excavated treasures originating from the Principality and nearby regions, this museum retraces some of the most significant milestones in the history of humans. http://www.visitmonaco.com/us/Places-to-visit/Museums
Monaco’s Naval Museum is the result of one man’s passion. From a very early age, Professor Claude Pallanca dreamed of sailing and meticulously built model ships. During his military service, he was assigned to the Jeanne d’Arc as a dental surgeon, where he established friendships with many sailors and naval officers, and his passion for boats and the sea grew. https://www.visitmonaco.com/us/place/museums/145/naval-museum#
Fontvieille Park encircles the Big Top, providing the district with an urban landscaped park that is much appreciated by families. It features Mediterranean plants such as olive, pine and cypress trees alongside more exotic species like Strelitzias, Stenocarpus and Araucarias. https://www.visitmonaco.com/us/place/the-gardens/181/fontvieille-park
The Museum, of contemporary design, houses rare stamps depicting the Principality’s postal history, as well as all the documents which have been used in the stamp-printing process from the first Charles III stamp in 1885 to the present day.
The Museum of Philately and Coinage is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (6 pm in July and August). It sells currently available stamps and coins issued by the Principality. https://www.visitmonaco.com/us/place/museums/90/museum-of-stamps-and-coins
The Prince's Palace is the private residence of the ruling Prince but the State Apartments are open for public visits part of the year.
The original fortress and ramparts were built by the Genoese in 1215 and throughout the centuries was transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the style of Louis XIV. Prince Honore II was responsible for re-assembling the rich collections of art, which had been auctioned off during the French Revolution when the Palace was turned into a hospital for the Italian Army. However, Prince Rainier III is credited for restoring the Palace to its former glory and the magnificent state in which it can be seen today.
Beginning at the top of the Hercule Gallery and descending on to the main courtyard is a spectacular double-revolution Carrera marble staircase dating from the 13th century and inspired by a similar staircase at the Chateau of Fontainebleau.
Adorning the gallery walls are frescoes of mythological figures attributed to Francesco Mazzucchelli dating from the 16th century and the Genovese artist Orazio Ferrari in the 17th century. The frescoes in the Palatine chapel in the north end of the main courtyard depict the history of Saint Devote, the patron Saint of the Principality. The chapel, built-in 1665, is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. http://www.palais.mc/en/museum-and-visits/the-state-apartments-1-26.html
Built with the stark white stones from La Turbie in 1875, this Roman-Byzantine-style building houses the burial places of past sovereigns, including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. http://www.visitmonaco.com/us/Places-to-visit/Top-Attractions
The Rock of Monaco is a 62 metre tall promontory overlooking Monte-Carlo's port and the Mediterranean sea. It is also the oldest of Monaco's areas, where the Old Town is located.
During the 6th century BC, Greeks founded the colony of Monoikos. Its name comes from Hercules, who was said to have constructed the ancient path that passed through the region from Spain to Italy together with Monaco's port and a coastal road. The road was, thus, dotted with altars to Hercules, and a temple dedicated to him was established on the Rock of Monaco.
Nowadays, the rock is home to Monaco's Old Town, with medieval narrow streets and the country's most important monuments: the Palais Princier, Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum. https://www.seemonaco.com/caves/rocher-de-monaco-rock-of-monaco-697184
Boasting world-renowned expertise, the Museum presents more than 6000 specimens in their faithfully reconstructed natural habitat. Come and discover the amazing species of the Mediterranean, the incredible diversity of the inhabitants of the coral reef and the monumental Shark Lagoon, all under the same roof.
From the highly colourful tropical zone to the spellbinding charm of the Mediterranean section, the Oceanographic museum invites you to observe the underwater world in all its authenticity. The one hundred or so pools, ranging in size from 100 to 450,000 litres, are home to several thousand fish specimens, more than 200 species of invertebrates and around one hundred species of hard and soft corals. https://www.oceano.mc/en/aquariums/our-aquariums
As you arrive at the Place du Casino, the sight of this masterpiece by the famous architect Charles Garnier will take your breath away. Built in 1863, the Casino has been designed around an atrium surrounded by 28 onyx columns, behind which the Salle Garnier, an Italian theatre decorated in red and gold is the veritable miniature replica of the Paris opera house. https://www.visitmonaco.com/en/routes-and-walks/403/monte-carlo-and-its-casino
Those who take a stroll through the gardens will be able to discover all the essential components of a Japanese garden: a pond, islands, a waterfall, lanterns, bridges, a tea house and a Zen garden. This green oasis is a rich mix of Japanese tradition and Mediterranean touches, the result of close collaboration between gardeners from Monaco and Japan. The bamboo hedges, tiles (Awaji Island), stone lanterns, and the woods used in the various structures (gate, tea house, etc.) were all imported from Japan, while the plants, all Mediterranean (pine, olive and pomegranate trees), were pruned and looked after by Mr Beppu for three years to give them a Japanese appearance. https://www.visitmonaco.com/us/place/the-gardens/95/the-japanese-garden
Larvotto is the principality of Monaco's most popular sandy beach and the main one with free public access. Covered in smooth imported fine gravel this man-made beach is made up of both private and public areas of beach.
Despite being a beach in a city setting this is one of the gems of Monaco. Beautiful clear water for swimming, soft pebble beach for sunbathing and plenty of good eateries around to satisfy even the pickiest of foodies. In the stretches of private beach you can hire a lounger and a parasol from the beach club, plus enjoy a cocktail and some food while you top up your tan. Whilst, on the public stretches you will need to bring your own lounger, towel, parasol or whatever you might desire for your trip to the beach. https://www.seemonaco.com/beaches/plage-du-larvotto-monaco-674322
Dating from the 17th century, bought by the municipality in 1993, this listed monument is one of the most visited historical and cultural sites in the Var.
This monument is composed of a hexagonal dungeon, an entrance with adjoining curtain and bastions. http://www.sainttropeztourisme.com/fr/explorer/musees-lieux-remarquables/la-citadelle-de-saint-tropez/
The Annonciade Museum recalls that the village of Saint-Tropez was one of the most active homes of the pictorial avant-garde in the early twentieth century, thanks to Paul Signac who discovered in 1892, the small port of fishermen aboard his yacht the Olympia. http://www.sainttropeztourisme.com/fr/explorer/musees-lieux-remarquables/musee-de-l-annonciade/
Built between 1634 and 1640, it sports a plane corresponding to the general provisions of Richelieu's strong. The book tour in the summer, especially the tower, which offers a splendid panorama and houses the exhibition Marine Bio Diversity (presentation of the National Park and the Ile de Port-Cros). A 15-minute walk from the village. http://www.hyeres-tourism.co.uk/land-nature-culture/culture/historical-sites-and-gardens/401732-fort-de-lestissac
First maritime park in Europe, Port-Cros National Park covers 690 acres on land and almost the double on sea. Its missions are multifold, from devising protective measures to leading campaigns to raise awareness about the park’s natural habitat. http://www.hyeres-tourism.co.uk/land-nature-culture/nature/port-cros-national-park
A mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, this thirteenth century building offers a beautiful display of 19th c.
stained-glass windows produced by the Metz-based Maréchal workshop. http://www.hyeres-tourism.co.uk/land-nature-culture/culture/historical-sites-and-gardens/401717-eglise-saint-louis
The World Heritage Committee included on its list the Basilica and other sites important to the Franciscan Order, due to the fact that they represent an amalgamation of masterpieces stemming from creative human genius http://www.italia.it/en/travel-ideas/religion-and-spirituality/st-francis-and-the-basilica-in-assisi.html?h=assisi
Built in around 1720, Château d'Alphéran was for many years the country home of the Alphéran de Bussan family.
It stands in grounds of 30 hectares with a swimming pool, and a cedar 300 years old in the centre. This 18th-century chateau, 10 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, has been restored in traditional style.
The estate also enjoys a commanding view of Sainte Victoire mountain. http://www.aixenprovencetourism.com/en/fiche/2689/
The village of Cucuron dates from before the 11th century. You can admire its medieval ramparts with their gates and towers, including a belfry from the 12th to 16th centuries, the Notre-Dame-de-Beaulieu Church (13th century). http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/en/tourism-provence/cucuron