Our original tours: we are the only ones going to these “less frequented paths”
Panoramic Riviera : see a lot in very little time
The famous Capes:
Our various tours will offer the opportunity to discover, according to the time available, from one to four capes of the Côte d’Azur. Choose between cape d’Antibes, cape Ferrat, cape d’Ail and cape Martin; for each one, a panoramic tour by bus will enable you to appreciate the site, with a detailed commentary about the villas of the rich & famous, the trendy beaches, and stories about the celebrities who have lived here. Then, depending on the physical abilities of each group, we can walk the path on a part of the cape. It is also possible to explore more with a visit on each cape of a museum or a private garden such as the magnificent Rothschild foundation.
The three levels corniches (ledges)
This tour will show you a very panoramic view of the French Riviera including the most scenic views from Nice to Menton. According to our starting point, we will drive successively on each of the three possible roads: the low, middle & upper corniches or ledges. Whenever possible, we will stop to take breathtaking pictures such as on the mont-Alban dominating both Villefranche & Nice, at the aire St Michel, right above the bay of Villefranche, or in La Turbie, overlooking Monaco.
Please note that this tour is a non walking tour also suitable for groups with short time available. Nevertheless, it enables you to discover a wide & spectacular circuit.
You can take a walking tour in the old town & discover its ramparts and the “square fort “of the 16th century. You will be seduced by the small streets covered with flowers, the Grimaldi castle sheltering the Picasso museum, the smelly and colourful Provencal market every day in summer, and the free-quarter of “le Safranier“ with streets filled with flowers and cacti. Near by, lies the largest yacht harbour of France and one of the biggest of Europe. Contemplate with us the largest private yachts in the world owned by famous American or Russian successful businessmen. Thereafter, you will be driven by van around the Cap d’Antibes, summer & winter resort for rich Americans writers like Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway and many popular artists such as Jules Verne, Honoré de Balzac, August Renoir or Claude Monet.
We usually stop in a quaint and quiet cove by the sea so that you can plunge your feet into the Mediterranean.
Les Hauts de Cagnes
Perched on a hill, this medieval village has retained its charming feudal character.
You will browse in the flower-filled “calades” (steep narrow streets), and their hidden stairways to reach the main square at the Grimaldi castle, built in 1309 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco. Probably one of the most authentic & well-kept old “bourgade“of our region, Le Haut de Cagnes will seduce you with its small flourished squares, & incredible medieval houses. Transformed into a town museum, the castle shows various art & local craft-works exhibits. Rendez-vous of important modern artists, poets, movie-directors, & actors, Les Hauts de Cagnes has preserved a unique atmosphere far away from “the beaten tracks”.
With its many breathtaking views over the Principality of Monaco and its thousand-year old olive tree, this village is among the most gorgeous in the region. You will be charmed by a unique atmosphere, essentially due to the medieval castle, the oldest military architecture in France (10th century). Your guide invites you for a travel back in to the times of knights, Ventimiglia’s Earls, and Lords of Roquebrune. Later, the village became the fief of the Grimaldi family until 1848. The famous architect Le Corbusier was buried in the local cemetery in 1969. You can also visit the castle which is a rare and interesting witness of these very ancient times.
Tourrettes sur Loup
Let’s take time to make a stop in this paradise for craftsmen where more than fifty of them have their workshop today: rough-iron makers, painters, sculptors, jewellers, weavers, open their doors for you in the “City of Violets” which organizes every March the very popular “Fête des violettes”. In the centre of the village, the medieval castle shelters the town hall, while the outer houses still form the same stunning rampart of centuries ago.
This site draws its name from the latin “Tropea Augusti”, Trophee of Augustus, that was erected in the 1st century B.C. to commemorate the victories of the Roman Emperor Octavius Augustus on the Ligurian tribes. These victories were the beginning of the conquest of Europe by the Roman Empire. The village was built around the Alpine trophy, a unique monument in Europe which is open to the public. Thereafter, let’s discover the exquisite village with its fortified gates, its medieval narrow streets, and its beautiful St Michel church, 17th century baroque style, where no tourist ever wanders.
At the foot of the “baous” (meaning rock in Provencal dialect ), and in the heart of hinterlands, the antique Roman “Vintium” has saved its historical centre, thanks to its 14th & 15th century ramparts. The guided excursion will bring you back 500 years through the picturesque snail-shaped streets filled with lovely shops. The visit to the cathedral, built 2000 years ago on the same old site and decorated by Chagall in 1972 is highly recommended. Many little outdoor restaurants and art galleries have recently opened up in the medieval cobbled stones streets. You can also appreciate the outstanding Matisse Chapel, entirely conceived by the artist as the final jewel of his creative career on 1951.
The Southern Alps
This different tour will teach you how close the Alps are from the sea in our region. After only 45 minutes of driving, enter the mountainous valley of Le Var and after several naturally carved red-rock canyons, reach some of the high peeks where ski resorts are opened in the winter season. In this tour, drive some one of a kind landscape of the Alps, enriched by water falls, little wooden houses villages, cows and sheep meadows, fortified villages by the king of France Louis XIV.
Many stops are planned on that tour for photo opportunities, on foot visits of secluded villages, lunch or snacks of local products in villages and a still traditionally home made delicious white wine tasting on the way in a picturesque village. I bet you that you will be the only American visitors to be there that day!
The Italian Riviera
At only a stone through from the French Riviera is located the Italian Riviera. Very similar in geology, the differences in the culture are enormous. Discover the Italian way of life in one day by visiting a renowned open-air market in a nice city such as San Remo or Vintimiglia, enjoy the local home-made cuisine in a family restaurant. You will remember the taste of these gnocchi and raviolis for the rest of your life!
If you want only, there will be free-time for shopping or visiting the picturesque old cities with numerous baroque style opulent churches. We can also add a local wine tasting and the discovery of the most ancient village of that part of Italy where Monet made some paintings.
St Tropez and Port Grimaud
Located between the Maures and the Esterel mountains, among the vineyards and fruit trees, the ancient roman city presents numerous faces. The roman city of the first century of the Christian era has superb relics such as the theatre, the arenas which could seat 10,000 spectators, the aqueduct and the “Lantern of Augustus”. The Episcopal district is an exceptional fortified area in the heart of the medieval town: you will visit the cathedral, the cloister, the baptistery, and the bishop’s palace. Thereafter, you will see the nearby old city with its 18th & 19th century facades. Finally, the yachting port built in 1989 and the sand beaches among the nicest ones of the coast are a supplementary attraction for summer tourists. All the year round, we can browse in the trendy little streets spangled with the fashionable boutiques of this charming village located between French Riviera & Provence. Departing from any town of the Côte d’Azur, your excursion begins with an amazing drive along the “Corniche d’or “ (golden ledge) viewing the glowing red hills of the Esterel mountains, diving into the blue waters of the Mediterranean sea. Nestled in the gulf of St-Tropez, the city has kept the soul of the old fishermen port. You will stroll on the harbour which welcomes today the richest private yachts. Just behind, the old city reveals magnificent little streets and shady squares. In the local pastry shops, don’t forget to taste the famous “Tropezienne“(a tart stuffed with a light vanilla cream). The 17th century citadel overlooks this sunny international jet-set rendez-vous. A few steps away, don’t miss the remarkable village of Grimaud (founded by the Grimaldi family of Monaco) and the unique “Provencal Venice”: Port-Grimaud, residential development created in the 60s by the famous Suisse architect François Spoerry.