Between Provence andCôte d'Azurnature, heritage and lifestyle
Arrive in Nice and let yourself be swept away by the “French Riviera” atmosphere! Leave your bags in Hôtel Apollinaire Nice and have lunch at Bella Bay. This bar–restaurant on the 4th floor of Galerie Lafayette Nice Masséna offers an incredible view over the town and the Mediterranean Sea. Do you want to do a bit of shopping? You’re in the right place: just go down and plunge into this mall in a combination of good taste and refinement! And in the evening, there are some good addresses in Nice: high-level gourmet cuisine or Bistrot cuisine, it’s up to you!
A new day is dawning over the Côte d’Azur and we’re off to Grasse. Start your day with a walk around the gardens of the International Perfume Museum. According to the season, you’ll be surrounded by the smell of citrus fruit. After the visit, head for the perfume creation workshop for a demonstration: take control and make your own signature perfume, watched over by an expert perfumer who will give you all his secrets! We’re getting near the lunch break: with its elegant decor and lovely view over the surrounding landscape, the “Victoria” restaurant is the ideal place to relax and succumb to French cuisine.
What about a change of scene? Head for Provence Verte and more precisely the charming village of Cotignac which has been listed among the “Plus beaux villages de France” since 2022. Have an immersive experience with a wine grower in Château Nestuby. On the menu, an event “Le vin dans toutes les directions” is labelled “Vignobles & Découvertes“: learn about the process of vinification while you take part in a fun and passionate activity in the vineyards. You’ve done well, so you deserve a rest! Welcome to Lou Calen, an establishment which is one of a kind: this luxury eco-responsible hotel is nature-oriented. Located on a magnificent 3-hectare estate, it’ll show you life in Provence in the best possible way.
A new day, new places to discover. Now we’re off to Correns, the “First organic village in France”. Head for the Cave d’Aspras to discover organic farming and its vinification process before tasting the wine in a beautiful Provencal setting. If you find Correns enchanting, we’re sure that Cadenet won’t leave you cold! After Provence Verte, head for the Luberon Natural Regional Park, about 1 hour and 20 minutes away. We’re off to L’Auberge La Fénière: trust us, it’s the perfect place to recharge your batteries! This Michelin-starred restaurant is well known for its excellent cuisine with fresh, local ingredients cooked by Chef Nadia Sammut. Make the most of early afternoon for a road trip n a 2CV with “Oh my Deuche”! Those who love vintage cars will be delighted to explore the charming villages of Southern Luberon.
And now, we’re off to Lourmarin, listed as “Plus beaux villages de France”. You’ll be immediately transported back in time: The typical and well-preserved architecture of the Provencal buildings in Lourmarin plunge you into the charm of the Luberon. Here the word of the day is “wander”, so stroll along the little streets, have a cup of coffee on the village square and let time stand still. Do you want to mingle with the Provencal people? You can end your day with a game of pétanque: you’ll probably meet some friendly inhabitants who’ll be happy to show you how to play and may even challenge you to a game! In the evening, it’s dinner in Le Moulin de Lourmarin where we’ll also be spending the night.
After breakfast, we’ll drive about forty minutes to Gordes. Travellers discovering Provence just love the place and Gordes is often “top of the list”. In this “Plus beau village de France”, wander around the narrow streets of the village, admire the view over the valley and the medieval architecture of the houses built in stone.
And what about another “starred” restaurant? You’ll have a delicious lunch in Bonnieux at Capelongue. The chefs concoct dreamy dishes: it’s pure Provence on your plate! Amid almost endemic natural surroundings, cypresses, fig trees, garrigue and olive groves set the scene. On hot summer days, you can relax by the pool but your stay is more oriented towards discovery than letting go so off we go again on the road to Avignon.
The Cité des Papes plunges you into an atmosphere where history and culture are closely linked: visit the old town which is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage with its impressive monuments. And now for the contemporary, and we head for the Fondation Lambert for a colourful visit! Discover the trends of contemporary art and admire works by well-known artists. And after a day filled with discoveries, it’s time to unwind with a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a table at “Le 26”, a local restaurant specialing in traditional Provencal cuisine.
End your stay on a beautiful note as you discover the town in “slow” mode. Live Avignon like the inhabitants as you start your day with the Rocher des Doms. Listed in UNESCO World Heritage, this very beautiful park offers a view over the Rhône and the famous Pont Saint-Bénézet bridge: gardens, fountains and sculptures are dotted along your walk. Not to be missed, the biggest Gothic palace in the world, the Palais des Papes and the cathedral are architectural gems. You’ll feel very small under the towering walls, ornate rooms, stained-glass windows and frescoes on the vaulted ceilings. After having got an eyeful inside the building, we get a breath of fresh air as we walk along the ramparts and wander around the cobbled streets. Keep your eyes peeled, there are mansions hiding behind the Renaissance facades. Add La Mirande to your list of starred establishments. This luxury 5-star hotel and its restaurant make this venue something to discover at least once in your lifetime. With its luxury decor and exquisite, warm hospitality, La Mirande is the ideal place to relax and recharge your batteries before setting off again.