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.
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.
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.
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.
A fish market opened here in 1909 until 1975 when it was moved to the north of the city to the industrial port of Saumaty. The building’s interior was completely redesigned but its exterior was kept intact. The Théâtre National de Marseille was opened in 1981 by the Mayor of Marseille Gaston Defferre. La Criée was managed by Marcel Maréchal for over a decade and hosts an exciting schedule every season.
Opposite the ferry boat pier lies the Bar de La Marine made famous by Marcel Pagnol. It is the main location in the “Marius, Fanny, César” film trilogy filmed at the Old Port in Marseille in the 30s.
The Fort Saint-Jean site has been occupied since Antiquity but it wasn’t until the 13th century that the Knights of Saint-John (later the Knights of Malta) established themselves here and named the area after them. Some relics remain. The huge square tower was built on the foundations of Maubert tower to defend the port entrance after the Aragonese Sack (1423) by Roy René. The beacon tower was built in 1644 and the Chevalier de Clerville built the fort following Louis XIV’s orders in his major plans for Marseille.
He had a hole liable to flooding excavated to isolate the fort from the city. It was used as a garrison than a prison during the French Revolution. During the Second World War, it was used to store the German army’s munitions which exploded in 1944 causing major damage to the fort and Transporter Bridge. The fort was listed as a Monument Historique in 1964 and included in MuCEM in 2013.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The Church of Lourmarin (eleventh century), part of the diocese of Avignon, was first linked to the history of the famous priory of Saint-André-de Villeneuve les Avignon. It was then without a chapel choir made up of two bays only.
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.
“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.
Facing the village of Lourmarin, listed amongst the most beautiful of France, this castle is the first Renaissance Château in Provence. The original, medieval wing, called the Château-vieux or old castle, boasts Italian-style loggias.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
Cave dwelling-like halls, cisterns, underground stairways, olive oil mills, etc, built up and fitted out over the centuries in a big house called the "Palais Saint Firmin".
Listed as a Historic Monument.
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.