The French Riviera and Monte Carlo
SPLENDORS OF EUROPE offers this luxury escorted tour to the French Riviera and Monte Carlo. This is a small group luxury tour of the French Riviera and Monte Carlo that includes walking tours and excursions which highlight art, history, architecture, and gourmet culinary experiences. This tour has a local focus and provides wonderful in-depth cultural experiences on the French Riviera and in Monte Carlo. Two professional escorts ensure that everyone in our small group of 12 or less has a friendly and personally rewarding experience. The tour includes escorted town and museum visits in Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Eze and Monaco. The tour also includes castle and palace visits, medieval hill top villages, untiring views, and all of the best sights on the French Riviera. Travel to the glamorous French Riviera and Monte Carlo with Splendors of Europe. You'll have the best vacation trip ever. Visit the hotel, restaurant, and tour photo galleries at the end of this page.
Photo Credit Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Nice
The snow covered Alps tumble down into the sparkling Mediterranean creating the most dramatic coast line in the world. The twisting cornice and coastal roads provides unending panoramic views. Colorful resort towns at the edge of the sea beckon you to photograph them. You’ll discover picturesque fishing villages, medieval hill towns and revel in the fabulous splendor of famous resorts. Relax in the playground of the rich and famous at beautiful hotels and terrace restaurants, surrounded by the sea, the beaches, and the mountains. Movie stars, and mega yachts, medieval fortresses and art museums, gilded Baroque churches, and old world market squares are part of the daily experience on the Riviera.
9 Day Itinerary
SATURDAY - International flight to Nice
SUNDAY- Arrive at Nice International Airport.
Your escort greets you at the airport and then checks you in at our luxurious hotel.
Lunch is enjoyed before we take a walk along the waterfront promenade. Next we take the elevator up to the Colline du Château, a rocky promontory where castle ruins have become an attractive park. The panoramic view of Nice and the coastline provide an excellent orientation and stimulates excited anticipation.
This evening we enjoy welcome cocktails before a sumptuous and relaxing dinner. L+D
Nice, photo credit Ooffice du Tourisme et des Congrès de Nice
MONDAY - Day trip to Rothschild Villa Villefrance, Beaulieu, and the Greek villa.
After breakfast we visit the Italian style Rothschild Villa.
Built in 1912, by Baroness Ephrussi Rothschild, her objective was to create the most perfect "dream villa" of the RIVIERA. We take a drive through posh Cap Ferrat to the quaint village of Villefrance-sur-mer.
Villefrance-sur-mer is a quiet and scenic fishing village at the head of a lovely bay. We enjoy a walk through the nearby citadel fortress and enjoy lunch in the old town.
This afternoon we visit the Greek villa Kerylos, a faithful reproduction of a fifth century Greek Palace. We explore exclusive Beaulieu before we return to our hotel in Nice.
We enjoy dinner tonight at one of Nice's fine restaurants.B+L+D
TUESDAY - Nice, Morning tour of old town and afternoon of leisure. Evening visit to medieval Eze.
This morning we enjoy breakfast on the terrace with splendid views of the Mediterranean.
Today we explore the historic old town of Nice. Nice is a fabulous collection old world shops, cafés, decorated squares, and Baroque churches. We explore Cours Saleya surrounded by 18th century houses that now are home to lovely shops, cafés and restaurants. Cours Saleya is also home of the flower and antique markets.
Photo Credit Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Nice
Here we also find the 18th century Baroque Chapelle de la Misericorde. We also visit, the 17th century Chapelle de l’Annonciation, a symphony of gilt and marble, next the Chapelle St-Jacques-Jesu and the Cathedral Ste-Reparate with its twisted marble columns and elaborate frescoes. There’s plenty of time to explore the less holy sites too like the chocolate shop, the pastry shop, the gelato ice cream shop, and the old time olive oil shop.
We visit Palais Lascaris, a magnificent aristocratic mansion highly decorated with frescos, tapestries and period pieces. The vaulted ceilings, massive balustrade and statue filled niches provide a dramatic atmosphere.
We enjoy a leisurely gourmet lunch at one of the many fine restaurants in the area.
Spend the afternoon as you choose with plenty of high quality choices. For those who wish to continue their exploration of town, a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais or the port of Nice provide exceptional views. Alternatively, quality time can be enjoyed on the beach, in a café, at one of the outstanding museums or in the ambiance of our luxury hotel. Your host/guide can assist you with your choices.
This evening we head to the eagles nest village of Eze, perched on the high cornice. We marvel at the breathtaking views of the dramatic coast line 1,400 feet below.
Eze is an incredibly picturesque stone village with an exceedingly romantic ambiance. We walk through the cliff side ruins of a 14th century castle that has been transformed into a garden of exotic plants.
Riviera near Monoco
We wander through the narrow streets of this cobbled medieval jewel before we enjoy a memorable gourmet feast on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. B+L+D
WEDNESDAY - Monaco, Monte Carlo
We enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Nice before we depart for fabulous Monte Carlo the crown jewel of the Riviera. We start with the national museum, housed in a sea side villa designed by Garnier who designed the Paris Opera. Next we visit the famous Casino.
We dine for lunch in Monte Carlo in one of the cities exceptional restaurants.
Prince's Palace, Momoco, photo credit Monoco Government Tourist Office
This afternoon, we visit the glamorous town of Monte Carlo and see its mega yacht harbor.
Next we visit the Palace of Prince Rainier and the Napoleon Museum. After, we follow the medieval streets to the Cathedral de I’Immaculee-Conception and the tomb of Princess Grace.
There’s plenty of time to explore on your own before we return to our hotel. Why not investigate the Musee de Oceanography built on a vertical rock cliff that plunges into the sea.
Dinner is enjoyed tonight at your leisure. B+L
THURSDAY - Cannes and the Lerins Islands
On to Cannes, home of the famous film festival. Here we stroll along the elegant promenade La Croisette known around the world.
We wander through gardens and enjoy views of Cannes and the sea.
Museum of Oceanography, photo credit Monoco Government Tourist Office
We see the Palais des Festivals where the famous international film festival is held. We walk past the harbor through Alleys de la Liberte to the old part of town known as Le Suquent. You’ll enjoy the splendid views of Cannes and the sea from here. We visit the castle museum located in a former citadel. We also visit the 16th century gothic Church of Notre-Dame-d’Esperance.
Next we enjoy lunch with a view of the harbor in an outdoor café along Quay St. Pierre.
After lunch, we enjoy a boat excursion to nearby isle Sainte-Marguerite and explore the 17th century fortress where the "Man in the Iron Mask" was imprisoned by Louis XIV. When we return from our cruise, we stroll past many glamorous hotels, parks and beaches. We also visit the shopping district where you’ll find fancy big name designer shops and chic boutiques.
We return to Nice where we enjoy a splendid dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.B+L+D
FRIDAY - Ancient hill towns of Vence and St Paul
Today an inland day trip high above the coastline is offered to those who want to see more of the countryside. We head to Vence. Vence is an ancient hill town noted for its charming old town and mild climate. The medieval quarter is well preserved and the narrow passageways are a pleasure to explore. Here we visit the Cathedral and the town’s historic squares and gates.
We enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the splendid restaurants in Vence.
This afternoon we head for the medieval hill town of St-Paul. St-Paul is a charming medieval village replete with ramparts, cobbled streets, stone houses and flowers blooming from window boxes. We enjoy refreshment at a café and the beautiful Tuscany like countryside. There’s plenty of time for you to explore at your leisure. Here we visit the 13th-century church containing remarkable works of art and a Treasury. From the ramparts of St-Paul, you will see a sweeping panorama from the Alps to the Mediterranean. Dinner is at your leisure. Why not try one of the many fine choices along the beach with views of the sea.B+L
SATURDAY - Picturesque Sea side towns of Antibes.After a leisurely breakfast we leave Nice for romantic Antibes. Antibes is a picturesque old town built above stone ramparts with waves crashing on the rocks below. We enter town through a medieval arched gateway and walk by the outdoor market which has changed little in over 500 years.
We visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Once the regions cathedral, the 11th century structure contains an exceptional Baroque altarpiece.
We visit the Château Grimaldi, a castle overlooking the sea that is now home of the Picasso Museum.
Port of Monoco, photo Credit Monoco Government Tourist Office
Nice Yacht Harbor, photo credit Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Nice
This town is where Picasso lived and created many of his best works.
We savor a delectable lunch at one of the exceptional restaurants in old town Antibes.
After lunch we visit place du Safranier, and the charming little neighborhood that was once a fishing village. We also visit le Musée Archéologique, located in a 17th century fortress. This afternoon explore Antibes at your leisure. Why not visit some of the many shops and galleries along the enchanted pedestrian streets. Spend a little time with a stroll on the beach and be sure to check out the very impressive mega yachts in the harbor.
Tonight we celebrate with cocktails and a farewell dinner as we regale about our exciting week on the Riviera. B+L+D
SUNDAY - Transfer to the Nice International Airport, in time to catch your flight home, or extend your stay in with another tour. B
Nice Flower Market, photo credit Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Nice