activities

Culture

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural attractions in the area, with world class museums and beautiful ancient hilltop villages all within easy reach. The French Riviera and its surrounding countryside is famous for the artists who have lived here attracted by the stunning light, wonderful climate and natural beauty leaving a legacy of fabulous museums and art galleries.  To name but a few within half an hour you can find the Musée Matisse and Musée Chagall in Nice, both of which have unrivalled collections, the Fondation Maeght in St Paul de Vence (one of the largest private collections of modern art in the world), the Musée Picasso in Antibes, Fernand Leger in Biot, Renoir in Cagnes sur Mer and many more.  For those interested in gastronomic history the little museum dedicated to the famous chef Escoffier (inventor of the Peach Melba) in Villeneuve-Loubet is fascinating.

The pretty village of Biot is famous for its glassblowing, Vallauris for pottery, Mougins and St Paul for their art galleries.  Antibes, renowned for its massive yachting marina, and Valbonne both have medieval centres and wonderful local markets.  Grasse, only a 15 minute drive, was the world centre of perfume making and still retains several traditional perfume factories which are open to the public.  Its museum, the Musée International de la Parfumerie is also well worth a visit.  Nice is most famous for its elegant Promenade des Anglais sea-front made famous by the English at the beginning of the 20th century but it also has a delightful old town where you can lose yourself in the narrow winding lanes, marvelling at the Italian architecture and myriad of unique and interesting boutiques.

Monaco is only 50 mins away and makes for an interesting day out.  Worthy points of interest include the old town and Royal Palace, the harbour full of super yachts, the infamous casino and the excellent Oceanographic Museum.

The countryside around Roquefort has many hilltop villages "villages perchés" ranging from the beautifully restored and thoroughly cosmopolitan St Paul to Gourdon, dramatically perched on cliffs over looking the Gorges du Loup and Saorge, an isolated and atmospheric untouched village in the mountains behind Nice.

The area hosts many different festivals throughout the year ranging from the glamorous Cannes Film Festival and all the glitz that accompanies it each year in May to the excellent eclectic music festival every summer in Vence "Les nuits du Sud".   There is also the Jazz à Juan in July and the unusual Lemon Festival "Fête du Citron" in Menton each February.  Nice is home to one of the world's greatest carnivals, Carnaval de Nice, which also takes place in February and Monaco celebrates circus with an international festival every year in January.

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