The French Riviera has always been the quintessential idea of a relaxing European vacation: beaches, crumbling castles, and exquisite culture and art. That legacy continues on today in villages like Antibes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Éze, and Monte Carlo. Let ShoreTrips guide you to the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, perfume-laden rose gardens, and to artistic inspiration itself.
A favorite respite for Pablo Picasso, Nicholas de Staël, Graham Greene, and Max Ernst, Antibes has an amazing French charm all its own. This scenic town is a pedestrian’s dream, with cobblestone streets, walkways overlooking the sea, and white sandy beaches with the sea lapping at your feet. The area is also perfect for bike riding, with bike lanes and paths. Antibes is a popular destination for luxury yachters, and its port is often full of some of the world’s finest superyachts.
Perched on a mountain peak, Éze is one of the most popular destinations for visitors on the French Riviera. This medieval village is complete with medieval ruins from the 12th century, which inspired Walt Disney who favored the village as a getaway destination. The view of the sea from the top of the hill the village rests on is exquisite, a full panoramic view of the azure waters and jutting coastlines. Shops, hotels, restaurants, and galleries line the winding lanes up and down the hill, making Éze a popular spot for romantic escapes and honeymoons.
“La Turbie” was originally established by the Romans; its name translates to “trophy” for its location as the home of the Trophy of Augustus. The village is bustling with locals picking up or dropping off their children and going about their lives and tourists looking to soak in that French joie de vivre. La Turbie is a fantastic place to stop and relax along the French Riviera, with plenty of ancient buildings from the time of the Romans to explore in the old village quarter.
While not technically French, Monaco’s Monte Carlo is still one of the most popular stops along the Riviera. The popular quarter of the principality of Monaco, Monte Carlo is famous for its casino scene and as a popular location for the European Poker Tour, the Grand Prix, and worldwide televised boxing matches. Outside of sports, Monte Carlo is a beautiful region of warm sun, beautiful beaches, and civilization cut into the cliff side. In the summer months, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic performs exclusive concerts in the Cour d’Honneur at the Palais Princier, but if those tickets are too expensive for you, they are found year-round at the Grimaldi Forum and Auditorium Ranier III.
Constructed in honor of Grace Kelly, the Princess Consort of Monaco, the Princess Grace Memorial Rose Garden was created in 1984 by the Princess’s grieving husband, Prince Rainer III of Monaco. Thirty years later, the rose garden has grown to over 8,000 bushes sporting over 300 different varieties of roses. New technology has been installed, including QR codes that identify each species of rose on your smart phone and interactive terminals. The garden is environmentally sustainable and is being considered for an “Ecological Garden” award. The main feature of the garden is a bronze statue of Princess Grace, surrounded by thousands of lush roses.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence has been inspiring artists since Medieval times, especially his iconic stone fountain in the heart of the village. Paul-Marie Verlaine, a French poet, said of the burbling of the cascading water: “The fountain’s silvery murmur plays on.” One of the best places to see where the artists, poets, and other creatives in history left their mark in Saint-Paul-de-Vence is in the Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, a modern art museum and foundation created by Margeruite and Aim´Maeght after the tragic death of their son in 1953. The museum not only displays works on the inside from French artists such as Calder, Chagall, Braque, Miró, and Giacometti, but also has beautiful gardens and a courtyard that inspired these great French artists, and continues to inspire artists from around the world to this day.
Meet some fellow travelers as you experience the best sites the French Riviera has to offer. Enjoy a comfortable van ride with an experienced, personable driver, at a cost comparable to most big bus tours. Our clients rave about their first class experiences with our entertaining guides.
Your adventure begins in Eze, a charming medieval village perched on the top of the mountain, rising high above the sea to give you a fantastic view of the coast. Eze is home to one of the branches of the renowned Fragonard perfumerie. Here you will have the chance to enjoy a guided visit of the factory, as well as the opportunity to shop at the factory store.
Begin in Monte Carlo, enjoying the views that range all the way from the Italian border to Monaco. Take a city tour of Monte Carlo, stopping to take in the sights. Explore the Rocher de Monaco (The Rock), including the Prince’s Palace with the changing of the guard, the Cathedral, and the Princess Grace Memorial. You will even get a drive around the Grand Prix circuit! And don’t miss the Golden Square where the famous Hotel de Paris, the Casino, the beautiful gardens, and the luxury shops are located. Time permitting, you’ll get a peak inside the Casino, so, as always, be sure to bring your passport!
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