The Principality of Monaco
A full day may not be enough to cover the whole Principality, unique & exceptional in many aspects: its size, elegance, history, wealth, fame and tidiness. Let your guide drive you directly to the Rock (the old city of Monaco) where you will be shown the essential monuments: the Cathedral, the Palace of the actual ruler Prince Albert II of Grimaldi, the Oceanographic Museum, the Courthouse and the palace of the government... After the traditional changing of the guards, around noon, you can have lunch in a typically Monegasque restaurant if you want, followed with the visit of Monte-Carlo (another district of Monaco): during this walking tour, you will appreciate by yourself what Monaco is famous for: its Grand casino and Opera house built by Charles Garnier with its opulent gambling rooms, its stunning gardens and luxurious hotels. All the year round, you may go through the Oceanographic museum, also known under the name of Commandant Cousteau museum, noted for its numerous aquariums, unique in Europe. Also visit the exotic garden with impressive views towards the Principality and the 4,000 succulent plants, the museum of dolls and automatons (a private collection of 18th & 19th century items), the private collection of cars of Prince Rainier III and the Grand Casino (after noon only). In high season only (April to October only), go through the state apartments of the palace and the fantastic 16th & 17th century drawing-rooms. These are decorated with frescoes by many famous Italian artists.
The Greek Nikaia, the roman Cemenelum, the Italian Nissa la Bella and the French Nice are some of the many aspects of Nice. They all give us testimonials to the long history of Nice. During a full-day tour, including a lunch of local specialties, or during a half-day tour, your guide will bring you through the main periods, from the oldest times with the Greek and Roman ruins, to the more recent era of “Belle Epoque“ with the palaces of the last century.
Nice was then attracting most of the well-known European aristocracy in the winter season. You will also visit the rich 17th & 18th centuries Barrocco districts and discover the splendid Russian Orthodox Cathedral, generally regarded as the most beautiful one outside Russia. You will see the gardens & Franciscan monastery of Cimiez, the lively port & the prestigious Promenade des Anglais, a favorite walk-way of the European nobility in the last century. Your multilingual guide will show you breathtaking views of Nice from the surrounding heights, such as the hill of Mont-Boron with a 16th century fortress.
In the morning only until 1.00pm, the visit of Cours saleya with its daily fresh food market is a treat for the eyes & the nose. It is also the entrance gate into the old town. You may visit this picturesque district in a half-day tour and catch the atmosphere of the old times with its Baroque churches, its cathedral, its small colourful squares & pedestrian streets.
Who has not heard of Cannes & its world famous film festival each May? During half-day tours or full-days (including the visits of Grasse, Vallauris, Antibes, or the islands of Lerins in the bay of Cannes), discover this “Queen of the festivals“ by car or by foot. With its annual average of 300 days of sunshine, you will be amazed with Cannes’ luxurious hotels, the Croisette famous water front boulevard, and old town called le Suquet. As an option, we can take a boat to the islands of Lerins, just off Cannes in the Mediterranean to visit the largest island of Sainte Marguerite and its royal fortress along with St Honorat and its medieval fortified monastery. You will enjoy an exclusive meal in the picturesque old town or along the posh Croisette. You should make sure to save some free time to browse in the fancy shops of the modern city.
This superb "eagle nest", overlooking the Cap Ferrat and the Cap d’Ail, offers a remarkably restored medieval architecture. Your guide will take you to little streets lined with vaulted houses which shelter numerous craft shops & studios. At the top of the village, the famous exotic cacti garden offers a stunning 360° panorama of the coast line and rooftops (To enter the exotic garden, an entrance fee of 5€ is required)
The ruins of the 14th century castle dominate the "eagle nest". As a conclusion, you can enjoy a great refreshment at the terrace of one of the stunning 5 stars hotels, which are among the most romantic places of the region.
Perched on a rocky spur sheltered by its 16th century rampart, this medieval village is among the jewels of the French Riviera. It was discovered in the 1920’s by painters such as Soutine, Matisse, Derain, Léger, and Chagall, who is buried there. Like these artists who found here their inspiration, you will stroll with your guide in this old city where the atmosphere is both medieval & Renaissance. You will discover the “Rue Grande”, with its modern art galleries nestled in old stables, its Renaissance style fountains and its restored church overlooking the city next to the 14th century tower of the castle. The setting provides panoramic views of the countryside and the Southern Alps.
To complete a full day tour, don’t miss the picturesque small towns of Vence & Tourrettes sur Loup.
As an extension, we can also include the renowned Maeght Foundation, two steps away from St Paul, with the art works of Miro, Braque, Giacometti, Léger, Chagall and many more.