French Riviera Discovery Tour

9 Days | History & Culture, Self-Drive Trips & Tours

Experience the Côte d'Azur like never before

Liberty | From $2,899 pp

This tour brings together unforgettable experiences, including a whale-watching cruise in the Port-Cros Marine National Park. You'll get to explore the iconic Saint-Tropez. Visitors are charmed by the idyllic scene of small fishing boats and fashionable yachts docked in the harbor, which is lined by pastel-colored Mediterranean houses and lively cafés with outdoor terraces. Visit Cannes and the Provençal market of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. You'll also take in Nice with an e-bike guided vineyard tour and discover lesser-known gems like Èze. Finish your tour with a trip to Monaco: the Principality, the second smallest country in the world, is located near the border between southern France and northern Italy.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Day 1: Cadière d'Azur

Pick Up Rental Car

At your arrival, a rental car will be at your disposal for the length of your stay. Thus, you can move freely and comfortably. On the day of departure, you will drop off the vehicle.

Overnight with Breakfast at a Spa Hotel Located between Provence and the Côte d’Azur.

French Riviera view

Day 2: Hyères - Sainte Maxime

Morning Small Group Whale Watching Cruise in the Port-Cros Marine National Park

Are you ready to share unique and unforgettable moments with whales, sperm whales, and dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea? Enjoy a respectful, up-close approach to marine mammals and other sea creatures on board Ipanéa, an 8.5 meter long semi-rigid pneumatic boat designed to carry a maximum of 12 passengers.

You will sail off the islands of Porquerolles and Port-Cros, within Marine National Park created to protect marine life from all sources of disturbance caused by human activity. It is a sanctuary intended to enable socioeconomic development while providing the habitats in the area and species living there with the protection they need.

Your captain, an eco-certified guide accredited by the Port-Cros Marine National Park, will convey his passion and his knowledge of marine mammals to you. He will reveal the secrets of the different habitats and lifestyles of Mediterranean species. His approach is based on respectful and responsible observation of animals.

Overnight Stay with Breakfast at a Charming Hotel in the Small Picturesque Coastal Town of Sainte-Maxime, Situated in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.

Saint Tropez, city in France

Day 3: Sainte Maxime - Saint Tropez

Boat Ticket Sainte-Maxime – Saint Tropez Round Trip

Suggestion: Explore Saint-Tropez

The name Saint-Tropez evokes images of sunbathing celebrities, designer boutiques, and luxury yachts. It’s hard to believe this glamorous town was once just a humble fishing village. The appeal of Saint-Tropez was first discovered in the late 19th century by the Impressionist painter Paul Signac, who later lured artists such as Matisse and Marquet here. Then in 1955, the film Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created Woman), starring Brigitte Bardot, forever changed this small port town into a legendary seaside resort, sparkling amid the glitz of the Côte d’Azur.

The atmospheric Vieux Port is the heart of Saint-Tropez, where the old fishing village first sprung to life. Visitors are charmed by the idyllic scene of small fishing boats and fashionable yachts docked in the harbor, which is lined by pastel-colored Mediterranean houses and lively cafés with outdoor terraces. On the wide sidewalk at the water’s edge, artists sell colorful paintings depicting scenes of Saint-Tropez.

The old town of Saint-Tropez, known as “La Ponche,” is the historic center of the fishing village and is the most picturesque area of Saint-Tropez. Part of it has been laid out as a pedestrian zone of narrow alleyways and quaint cobblestone lanes abounding with small shops, upscale boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Place des Lices, a pleasant and shady town square (also known as Place Carnot) is in the heart of Saint-Tropez. At this lovely square beneath the plane trees, the older men of Saint-Tropez still gather to play the ancient game of pétanque (the Provençal version of bocce ball). On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, a traditional Provençal market takes advantage of this spacious square.

Overnight Stay with Breakfast at a Charming Hotel in the Small Picturesque Coastal Town of Sainte-Maxime, Situated in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.

boat docked in st tropez harbor mediterranean sea

Day 4: Cannes

Entrance Ticket to the Picasso Museum in Vallauris

Within the walls of the priory of Vallauris, in the heart of the old town, the Pablo Picasso National Museum “War and Peace” occupies the space of the Romanesque chapel. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the Magnelli Municipal Museum, the Museum of Ceramics, and is the first step in a journey through the city linking the places where Picasso lived and worked.

A resident of Vallauris from 1948, Picasso chose this chapel to install a monumental mural composition entitled “La Guerre et la Paix.” During the Korean War, as a member of the French communist party, Picasso campaigned for the Peace Movement, designing the dove that would go on to be used around the world. He decided to create a monumental artwork that would express his political views. In 1951, over the course of a dinner in the name of the castle’s chapel held by the Vallauris potters in honor of his 70th birthday, Picasso expressed his desire to decorate the vaults. He had a vision of turning the old deserted sanctuary into a sort of Temple of Peace.

Suggestion: Visit Cannes

Cannes enjoys an international reputation. It has welcomed the great and good of this world for nearly two centuries. It is also home to the most famous film festival.

It’s not all frivolity – an obsession with red carpets and evening gowns. It has a more serious side too – busy with business events for a large portion of the year. It has a reputation for being a modern, cosmopolitan, fashion trendsetter which is undoubtedly true! But it has also lovingly preserved its roots and its traditions, an authenticity that can be enjoyed by the visitors that slip away from the Croisette to savoir the picturesque charm of a Mediterranean city.

The hill of the “Suquet” is where Cannes began. We suggest you start your tour of Cannes with the old town. You can reach it from various angles, taking steeply sloping narrow streets, crisscrossed with picturesque flights of winding steps where the pedestrian is king. Visit the ramparts, the Musée de la Castre, the square tower, and the church. Admire the view over the city, the port, the Croisette, the Iles de Lérins, and a substantial portion of the Bay of Cannes, Forville market with its rows of food shops (butchers, fishmongers, bakers, wine merchants, etc). The old port unfurls below the Suquet.

The cool of the early morning is the perfect time to take a look around the Forville market. The fragrance of thyme, verbena, and basil fills the air. The market sellers sing out the virtues of local produce in their lilting accent: tomatoes, olive oil, freshly-caught fish, tasty aniseed biscuits… A stroll around Forville market is like exploring the whole of Provence, taking a delicious journey steeped in the atmosphere of the South.

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Tradition Room at a Beautiful 4-star Hotel in Cannes

yatch and sea in Cannes, France

Day 5: Saint Paul de Vence - Nice

Visit Saint-Paul de Vence and its Provençal Market

In Saint-Paul de Vence, each stone tells something: the arrival of François I, the inspections of Vauban, the fate of large families such as Alziary and Bernardi who have each left their mark on the village. The facades, the ramparts, the houses, and the towers tell the stories of the rich past of the village.

On Wednesdays be sure to enjoy the small but wonderful market. Take a moment of pleasure to taste the flavors of the Mediterranean: fruits and vegetables, confectionery and pastries, teas, oils, meats, cheeses, and local specialties like socca.

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Tradition Room at a 4-star Hotel in Nice.

Day 6: Nice

Suggestion: Visit Nice – The Pearl of the French Riviera

The elegant city of Nice is set against an impressive backdrop of soaring hills and the famous blue waters of the French Riviera. The “Place Rossetti” is at the city’s heart, surrounded by brightly colored buildings, the cathedral, and a large fountain lending the square a unique flavor.

The Cours Saleya is the main street in the old town and hosts a daily flower and vegetable market (except Mondays). You can find top-notch seasonal produce here, and there is a good selection of other local souvenirs if you’re eyeing some Marseille soap or lavender to take home with you.

Spend some time by the beautiful harbor, where the sun shines from the west in the evening. It’s a popular restaurant area if you’re looking for a special dinner by the water.

From the harbor, you can climb to the Colline du Château for great views of the city. Despite the name, there is no longer a castle on the hill, as it was destroyed in 1706. Now there is a beautiful park with views of the beach stretching along the Baie des Anges (“Angel Bay”).

The beach might be Nice’s most famous attraction. The famous “Promenade des Anglais” boardwalk follows the Mediterranean seafront for 3 miles (5 kilometers). It was built in the early 19th century when the English upper class began coming to the French Riviera to spend their winters in a mild climate. This gave the boardwalk its name, which translates to the “Walkway of the English.”

Promenade des Anglais street in Nice, France

Half-Day Shared E-Bike Guided Vineyard Tour

During this tour, you will discover a local vineyard on Bellet Hill, the second oldest Wine Appellation in France (AOP given in 1941). The “Chateau de Cremat” vineyard is especially beautiful with specific cellars built by the Romans that are still used to keep oak barrels. The wine produced there is made by the organic process and you will taste the three varieties.

From the Nice Port, after a ride along the sea on the famous “Promenade des Anglais,” you will start going up to Bellet Hill for a one-hour ride on small and quiet roads (including a few stops for taking pictures and relaxing!)

Then, after arriving at the vineyard, a visit of the winery and cellars will be given finishing with a tasting of three wines. After this one-hour visit, you will ride back down to Nice on a fun downhill ride to meet the seafront!

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Tradition Room at a 4-star Hotel in Nice

Day 7: Saint Jean Cap Ferrat - Èze - Monte Carlo

Entrance Tickets to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, also known as villa Île-de-France, is one of the most beautiful Renaissance-style palaces on the Côte d’Azur built on a summit of the Cap Ferrat peninsula between 1905 and 1912 in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat by Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild (1864-1934).

Nine gardens surround the villa on seven hectares. They are attributed to landscape architects Achille Duchêne and Harold Peto. The entrance to the gardens offers a view of the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer. In addition to the “French”, lapidary, Japanese and initial rose gardens, there are also the Spanish, Italian, Provençal, and exotic gardens, reminiscent of the Baroness’ travels. After his death, other themed gardens will be added by landscape gardener Louis Marchand.

Suggestion: Explore Èze

The Medieval village of Èze, located between Nice and Monaco, is perched on a rock 450 meters above sea level. The village surrounds the ruins of a 12th-century castle.

The village was built on top of the rocky outcrop for security reasons, and it has stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea. In earlier days it was a strategic location for detecting the ever problematic pirates who raided the country time and time again.

Wander through the labyrinth of cobble-stoned streets, lined with bougainvillea-wrapped houses, and with views down the steep hillside to the Mediterranean. The narrow, sloping streets and archways open out into hidden squares, fountains, and quiet courtyards.

The region is famous for the many flowers that grow there, and there are a number of perfumeries to be explored, including the famous Fragonard perfume factory.

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Standard Room at a 4-star Hotel in Monte Carlo.

Day 8: Monaco

Suggestion: Visit the Principality of Monaco  

Take the day to discover Monaco: the museums, the monuments, and above all, the magic. The Principality, the second smallest country in the world, is located near the border between southern France and northern Italy. Home to a world-famous casino, the Grand Prix, luxury services, and lush gardens, Monaco is a dreamy destination.

Visit suggestion of the Casino of Monte Carlo, the gardens, and the nearby Hotel de Paris. Day and night, people flock to this mythical place. Explore its impressive architecture and grandiose rooms. It’s a pleasure whether you prefer to play yourself or just watch. Consider a pause at the Café de Paris’ terrace to watch the world pass by and indulge in a cold drink or an ice cream.

Walkthrough the old city, by the cathedral and the palace. The changing of the guard at 11:55 am is a visitor favorite.

Port Hercule gives off a James Bond feel with its resplendent yachts, the Grand Prix circuit, and the towering Oceanographic Museum (also known as “Temple of the Sea”).

Entrance Ticket to the Prince’s Palace

The Palace has a long history and has been extended and renovated several times over the centuries. Its origins date back to the early thirteenth century – 1215 to be exact. Following a succession of transformations, the ancient Genoese fortress became one of the most luxurious residences of the seventeenth century, in a style extremely characteristic of the Louis XIV era.

Prince Honoré II assembled substantial collections of artworks here, which unfortunately disappeared during the French Revolution when the Palace was looted and used as a hospital for troops from the Italian Army.

Today, it is possible to admire the splendors of the Palace including: the Cour d’Honneur, the Hercule Gallery, the Mirror Gallery, the Red Room, the York Room, the Yellow Room or Louis XV Bedroom, and the Throne Room, as well as numerous paintings, frescoes, tapestries, and items of furniture.

Entrance Ticket to the Casino in Monte Carlo

With breathtaking decor, the casino unveils to all history lovers its mythical decor.

Venue of all the legends of the Principality, you will discover the gaming rooms, the Atrium, the Café de la Rotonde in a unique setting, a symbol of the Luxury of Gaming.

Extraordinary memories are just waiting to be created…

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Standard Room at a 4-star Hotel in Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo, city in Monaco

Day 9: End of Our Service

Your journey with us has come to an end. We hope to see you soon!

Map

 

About this trip

    • Enjoy 24/7 English-spoken telephone assistance while traveling
    • This itinerary includes transport, activities, guides, accommodations with breakfasts, and other listed services
    • Price is in USD per person, assuming double occupancy. Note that prices and availability are subject to change.

Customize this itinerary:

Every French Side Travel trip is custom-built for your unique needs and interests. Above is an example of what’s possible. If this isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, contact us today. Put together your dream trip with our travel experts. Handpick the accommodations, guides, activities, and meals that are right for you.

When you book with French Side Travel, you’re getting a trip that’s as unique as you are. 


Stay at

Le Bastidon Saint-Michel
Bleu Azur

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.