Between Provence and French Riviera:

unique urban and natural discoveries

There’s only one step from the Côte d’Azur to Provence. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery and discover a region with a rich heritage, where art de vivre and well-being are the order of the day.

CircuitDuration5 days
Places visited:
Nice, Saint-Raphaël, Fréjus, Marseille, Cassis et Aix-en-Provence
Stage 1NiceShopping and rooftop

When you arrive in Nice, you’ll immediately be wrapped in the bewitching atmosphere of the French Riviera! Make yourself comfortable at Hôtel Apollinaire Nice and enjoy a delicious lunch at Bella Bay. This bar-restaurant, on the 4th floor of the Galeries Lafayette Nice Masséna, has a fabulous view of the town and the Mediterranean. If you feel like doing a bit of shopping, you’ve come to the right place: All you have to do is go down a few floors to the mall – refined good taste is everywhere! And when night falls try one of the magnificent Nicois addresses: upper-class gourmet restaurants gastronomiques or bistro-type cuisine, it’s up to you!

Stage 2Nice and Saint-RaphaëlCoastline and charming town

Ready for a guided tour of the Vieux-Nice? You just have to get lost in the little streets of this emblematic quarter. With its little squares, colourful facades and half-open shutters, the town is waking up and the first tables of the restaurant are being put out, that’s the Vieux-Nice. Renowned as one of the most charming town centres on the Côte d’Azur, it was recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list as “Nice, seaside town of the Côte d’Azur. Now, off to Cours Saleya, the fanciest flower market on the French Riviera and take the opportunity to try the famous socca, a local speciality made with chickpea flour.

After your morning in Nice, head for Saint-Raphaël for a relaxed walk around the streets of this charming coastal town. Wander around before enjoying a meal in Le Touring, a restaurant near the harbour. Then go to the embarcadero for a boat ride alongside the “Corniche d’Or” one of the most picturesque coastal roads in. Take a deep breath of the Mediterranean: make the most of the incredible view of the steep red cliffs and the turquoise water of the Bay of Agay. And you can spend the night above Saint-Raphaël at the Confidentiel Hôtel & Spa.

Stage 3Fréjus and MarseilleHead for Provence!

For this next stage, head for Fréjus and a morning full of history. Let the guide take you on a tour of the town centre and discover the Roman and medieval monuments dotted around the town: the Cathédrale Saint-Léone and its cloister are a real must!

On the road again, this time for Marseille, the Mediterranean city. Discover a city which is larger than life: modern and eternal, touristic and authentic – you’re sure to fall in love with it. Before setting off on a sea outing, have a lunch break at the Yachting Club in Pointe Rouge. In the 8th arrondissement, the little harbour is the ideal place for lunch opposite the sea and you can set off on a boat trip afterwards. Once you’re on the open sea, you’ll cross the bay to get to the Iles du Frioul and the Château d’If.  So when you’ve seen the city from the sea, you’ll be plunging into Le Panier, one of the oldest quarters in Marseille which is famous for having been the backdrop for the sitcom Plus Belle La Vie, as you walk along its typical streets with their lovely colourful graffiti. Just next door, visit the Mucem, The National Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations and discover the Grotte Cosquer Méditerranée – a replica of a prehistoric cave discovered in the Calanques. After having settled into the Grand Hôtel Beauvau, you have several options for your evening: to try bouillabaisse, the city’s emblematic dish or discover the many restaurants around the Vieux-Port.

Stage 4Marseille, Cassis, Aix-en-ProvenceHistory & Heritage

You can’t leave Marseille without having been up to Notre Dame de la Garde, best known to the people of Marseille as “La Bonne Mère”. Perched on its hilltop, it mooks down over Marseille with a panoramic view of the sea and the surrounding area. For nature lovers, head for the Parc des Calanques but remember that this protected setting has strict regulations: You must book on the Calanques de Sugiton site before going there. For those of you who are not hikers, you can go by boat. Take the Col de la Gineste to reach Cassis on the high road! The winding route is a pleasure for the eyes: the pine forest, the sea and the limestone rocks are just incredible!

From Cassis Harbour you can visit the Calanques by sea for an hour’s excursion: on the menu, Port-Miou, Port-Pin and En-vau. You can also stay on dry land and walk around the picture postcard harbour. Foodies, stop off in one of the most delicious shops in the town, Maison Brémond 1830 and try some of the best Cassis AOC wines.

Head for Aix-en-Provence to finish your day in the town of a thousand fountains! Wander along the famous Cours Mirabeau before going to Les Lodges Sainte Victoire in Le Tholonet. This luxurious hotel at the foot of the emblematic mountain is simply enchanting. Enjoy a gourmet dinner which focuses on the best of Provencal cuisine.

Stage 5Aix-en-ProvenceCity of art and water

What about ending your trip with a shopping session in the streets of Aix? The best way to explore it is on foot! But look up so as not to miss the beautiful period facades and enjoy the cultural and architectural heritage of the town. Known as the town of a thousand fountains, Aix-en-Provence also has a number of private mansions. Don’t miss Hôtel de Caumont which is now a cultural centre with a rich programme and make the most of an exhibition to have a cup of coffee in the gardens. Musée Granet is another must! This iconic venue has an impressive collection of art and objects from the region. And if you need something for your sweet tooth, there’s nothing better than succumbing to the calissons du Roy René.