Visit quintessentially French towns to walk in the footsteps of artists, philosophers, aristocrats and perfume scholars.
The medieval village of Eze offers incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea and French Riviera. A 14th century castle, friendly restaurants and botanical gardens sit 427 metres above the ocean.
Take the high coastal road into Eze for the best views. Or for the hardy, walk the "Philosopher’s Path" as Friedrich Nietzsche once did. A steep staircase from the cliff top to the sea leads to beachside refreshments at Eze Bord de Mer.
24 kmArtist Pablo Picasso left several works at the Chateau Grimaldi when he stayed here for just six months in 1946. In his honour, the castle is now a Picasso Museum with one of the world’s largest collections of his work.
When you tire of art, head to the Absinthe Museum, which provides an interesting place to enjoy ‘The Green Hour’ and learn the history of this very French alcoholic drink. Afterward, you might need to relax on one of the area's beautiful beaches.
26 kmPlayground to the rich and the even richer, nothing in this 499-acre principality is cheap (although curiously, parking costs aren’t as bad as in some European cities). After you see the floating palaces in the harbour, visit the Casino de Monte Carlo — even if it is just to try your luck at a slot machine.
If you want to continue the James Bond theme, the Collection de Voitures Anciennes has a classic car collection that would impress 007. It includes the first F1 race car to win the Monaco Grand Prix: the Bugatti 1929.
32 kmFamous for its festivals, Cannes is best when not overrun with international media and film people. La Croisette, the city’s promenade, is glitzy and worth a stroll in glamourous sunglasses.
Take a short boat trip to nearby Saint Honorat or Saint Marguerite. Wander into the old town for the Forville Market for samples of locally made cheese.
Walk up cobble-stoned streets to Le Suquet, where you can enjoy the best views and lively atmosphere in the restaurants.
43 kmGrasse is featured in the Partrick Süskind’s novel "Perfume." Known as the "world capital of perfume," it has been making scents since the 18th century. This is due to its unique climate, flora and an abundance of Jasmine – 27 tons are harvested here annually.
Today, the local industry makes over 600 million euros a year and attracts many "Les nez" (the noses) – perfume scholars who are trained to identify over 2,000 scents. Visit perfumeries and learn about scents at the International Perfume Museum. It traces 5,000 years of smells for the $33 billion global industry.