Hike thru Calanques National Park to hidden beaches
Visit the Gorge de Verdon & try “spelunking”
Cruise around the Heyeres Islands by Catamaran
Spend the day drinking Rose at a beach clubs in St. Tropez
Stay overnight at a winery in Provence
Stroll the promenade in Cannes
Retreat to the Tiara Miramar Hotel and Spa to spend a day off the beaten path
Wine and Dine in Nice
Explore the glamour of Monaco
Fly into Marseille and drive ~2.5 hours towards Calanques National Park. Wake up early and take a kayak tour followed by a hike along limestone cliffs to the many hidden coves and beaches. If you have to choose just one beach, we’d choose Calanque d’En Vau.
Head towards Gorges du Verdon, the deepest canyon in Europe. The turquois colored river canyons are the perfect backdrop for any adventure enthusiast. Hike the Imbut Trail, choose one of over 1500 rock climbing routes or for the more adventurous, try spelunking. If time allows, check out the most picturesque town in France, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
As you head back to the coast, plan to spend a night at the lux Chateau de Berne. This Relais & Châteaux hotel in Provence is set on 2,471 acres of land with a hotel and villas, a beautiful outdoor pool, full service spa and fitness center. If thats not enough, add a cellar tour, guided wine tasting session or an oenology workshop. Don’t miss its Michelin starred restaurant, Le Jardin.
Head back to the coast to spend the day cruising around the Heyeres Islands via Catamaran. The Îles d’Hyères, also known as Îles d’Or, are a group of four Mediterranean islands off Hyères in Southeastern France. We found a private rental with skipper on click and boat and spent the day sipping rose and had a small glimpse into the life of the rich and famous.
Hit the beach clubs in St. Tropez! You could easily spend a few days in this tropical paradise, but if you are only in town for one day, we recommend celeb spotting at Le Club 55 or La Réserve à la Plage. While the traffic to the beach of Pampelonne was nothing even us city slickers have seen, the parking was easy with valet for 5 euro/day. Retreat back to the city to Hotel de Paris near the marina, or check out the newer Kube hotel just 5 minutes by car to center city.
Next stop up is Cannes, known mostly for its star studded film festival, but there is no shortage of things to see. La Croisette stretches approximately 2 km along the mediterranean coast, and provides an excellent day for window shopping and people watching before settling down for a sunset cocktail and appetizers at one of the promenades fanciest hotels, BFire by Mauro Colagreco at Le Plage de Majestic Hotel Barriere. If you’d prefer something off the beaten path, try Tiara Miramar located ~25 minutes west of Cannes Bay and soak up the sun on a poolside day bed with direct diving access into the mediterranean.
Your final destination will be Nice, although we weren’t entirely crazy about this gritty city. I’m sure we’d have been more satisfied if we splurged to stay at the historic Hotel Negresco, but we opted to save some money down the street at the Radison Blu for the rooftop pool and access to it’s private beach club. The real draw here is the food, and with 28 michelin star restaurants to choose from, you won’t leave unsatisfied. Sights to see include Castle Hill, Vieux Nice, and the promenade de anglais. For an active adventure, you can hike the 3 Chemin de Nietzsche path in the hilltop town Eze for fantastic views.
Take a day trip to Monaco to witness the lavish life of one of the wealthiest populations in the world. One third of its population are millionaires – with the second highest GDP per capita in the world. Spend the evening at the Monte Carlo Casino (dress code enforced!) or tour Monaco Harbor. You can get here easily by car, but also via a 45 minute ferry which leaves Nice each morning at 9:30 am (~39 euros).
Marseille > Calanque > Verdon Gorge > Chateau de Berne > Hyeres > Saint Tropez > Cannes > Nice > Monaco
Link to google maps can be found here.
List of hotels:
- nhow Marseille
- Hotel les Roches Blanches
- Hotel & Spa Des Gorges Du Verdon
- Chateau de Berne
- Kube Hotel
- Hotel de Paris St. Tropez
- Tiara Miramar
- La Majestic Hotel Cannes
- Radison Blu Nice
- Hotel Negresco
- Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc