7-Days of Arts & Culture Along the French Riviera
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
The French Riviera has served as a home and inspiration for many artists for generations. From Matisse to Picasso, Cézanne to Chagall, Cocteau to Calder... many have left their marks on this beautiful region. Though known more for its picturesque villages, beautiful beaches and celebrity spotting, the region offers an incredibly rich array of art and culture, making it the perfect spot for any art-loving traveler. Neighbor to sought-after Provence, the French Riviera or Côte d'Azur (and its turquoise coast) boasts beautiful scenery, delicious food and unique experiences.
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Where to stay
Hôtel Amour à la plage
Beachfront hotel in Nice with a seaside restaurant and laid-back vibe.
La Colombe d'Or Hotel and Restaurant
Simple, stone-walled hotel decorated with art from the 1920s and offers relaxing rooms and suites.
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
French Riviera hotel with the most photographed pool hanging directly over the sea.
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Day 1: Arrive in Nice
It's Monday morning and you've just dropped off your bags at the trendy Hôtel Amour à la Plage. You'll want to head to the old town of Nice before lunch for two good reasons: the weekly flea and antiques market is on today and you have a reservation at La Merenda.
After exploring what the antique dealers have to offer on the Cour Saleya, wander around the colorful streets of the old town and get a gelato from Fenocchio. If you're feeling ambitious, you may want to reserve some museum time in the afternoon: I recommend Musée Chagall, Musée Matisse or MAMAC. For dinner, stay cosy at Hôtel Amour's delicious restaurant or take a stroll down the street and see what the chef at Le Canon is cooking up.
Day 2: Head to Saint-Paul-de-Vence and its neighboring villages
You've rented a car (highly recommended for the region) and it's time to do some exploring. From Nice, your first stop will be in Vence to visit Henri Matisse's Rosary Chapel. If you're looking for breathtaking views and a fine dining lunch experience, head to Château La Coste (and why not, leave your suitcases for the night).
Next stop is Saint-Paul-de-Vence – start with a visit of the Maeght Foundation, wander around its sculpture garden and take a seat under the pine trees (pro tip: their café serves delicious food). You'll want to leave plenty of time to explore the village, just around the corner of the museum. Get lost in one of the region's most idyllic villages perched on top of a hill and enjoy the views of the Mediterranean. If you're sticking around for dinner, La Colombe d'Or is an institution and a museum in-it-of-itself, but it's hard to get a reservation. Fear not, the village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup is only a 15 minute drive and chef Stef is probably cooking up a feast at Le Cinq.
Day 3: Follow the steps of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Antibes and Juan les Pins
It's your third day and you haven't been for a swim yet – fear not, the Cap d'Antibes has some of the prettiest beaches in the Riviera. You may want to reserve a daybed at Hôtel Belles Rives, where F. Scott Fitzgerald often vacationed. For sunset drinks, dress to impress and head to the legendary Grand Hôtel du Cap Eden Roc.
Day 4: Antibes and Biot
Antibes is a medieval sea-front town surrounded by century old walls against which the Mediterranean waves come crashing. It's also one of the most beautiful coastal towns (unbiased opinion, I promise!).
Spend the morning wandering around the old town of Antibes, walk through the market, stop for an ice cream at Gelateria Del Porto and tour the small but impressive Picasso Museum. In the afternoon, you'll want to head inland towards a small village called Biot (which is famous around the world for glass blowing). Stop at the Fernand Léger Museum in the afternoon before heading to the old village for dinner at Restaurant Les Arcades, which has been family-run for almost 100 years.
Day 5: Village-touring and perfume-smelling
There are, in my opinion, two more unmissable villages you should see while you're here. Mougins and Valbonne are neighboring villages that are some of the most beautiful in the country. If it's Friday, make sure to head to Valbonne in the morning to catch its Marché Provençal and stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants on the Place des Arcades.
After getting lost in the tiny streets of Mougins, hop back into the car and head to Grasse, the world's capital for perfume. In the old town, make sure to stop by the Fragonard Museum to learn about how perfume is made.
Day 6 and 7: A well-deserved beach getaway
You've seen so much this week and you're probably tired from all of the walking you've done. So now it's time for some rest and relaxation. Drop your bags off at Hotel Les Roches Rouges, grab your favorite bathing suit and a good book and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the red Esterel hills diving into the sea. Not only is this hotel impeccably designed, but its restaurant is also one of the best around. Good thing you have no plans for the next 48 hours!
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