- Explore the hidden corners of the French Riviera from Marseilles to Saint Raphael: revelling in its exceptional panoramas, and the Mediterranean way of life
- Stop at beautiful spots along the way. Each hotel has its own private beach
- Included in the itinerary: a private boat tour in the Calanques, reservations at the region's best restaurants, cooking classes, and admission to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations
- Includes all our additional services, from fast-track airport services to airport lounge access and our local Concierges
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It's no coincidence that this holiday begins in Marseille. Thousands of people have emigrated to this city, open to the world, in search of a gentler life in the sun. From the city Pagnol, Raimu and Fernandel called home, you'll then head to Cassis. Take a quiet walk through the Calanques National Park, with its rocks plunging into the sea. A pebble beach, secret coves and the gentle feel of a small harbour town will set the pace for your next two days. Then head east to the coastal beauty of the Var. Ramatuelle remains one of the iconic French Riviera towns of the 50s and 60s, along with Saint-Tropez. Yet we prefer the cultured feel of this small festival town. Finally, you'll continue your path along the sea to find Saint-Raphael, a seaside resort at the foot of the Esterel massif.
Included in the itinerary - A complete, guided discovery of Marseille, punctuated by a walk along its streets, a cooking lesson, a cruise through the Phoceen bay at dusk and admission to the Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations). And that's not all: your itinerary includes a dinner at the Baie des Singes, reserved by us; a boat trip along the calanques - steep rocky coasts - of Cassis, and a dinner at a legendary restaurant in Ramatuelle.
Your accommodation – It's no secret that the Cote d'Azur attracts crowds at peak times. We've selected the best spots throughout your journey to help you escape these crowds. From the heart of Marseille to a chic room overlooking the port of Cassis, from the best port of call in Pampelonne to the Esterel pine forest, you'll be stopping at intimate hotels. Each has its own private beach, reserved exclusively for guests.
Marseille, a dazzling city
Founded by the Greeks of Phocaea around 600 BC, Marseille is the oldest city in France. Although the present city has unfortunately built over its ancient sites, the original Phocean soul comes from its geographical location. With a natural harbour bordered by rocky hills whose offshore islands served as outposts, Marseille is nestled in a sublime natural setting, bathed in singular light. Marseille is one of those kaleidoscopic cities, where there are as many charms as there are reasons to return... from the top of the Bonne Mere to the alleys of Le Panier, from the Old Port to La Canebiere and Palais Longchamp, from the Mucem to Forts Saint-Nicolas and Saint-Jean guarding the entrance to the port, all the way to the beaches and 'calanques'. In recent years, visitors have been rushing to discover a well-kept secret called Marseille. Recent cultural developments have transformed the eldest French city into a new town. Marseille knows how to live with the times: the newly opened spots, creative restaurants, and trendy shops substantiate it with style.
TRANSFER TO MARSEILLE
Arrival in Marseille. Two-night stay close to the Old Port. A perfect embodiment of Marseille's creative spirit, the hotel is housed within the walls of a 19th-century mansion. The decor was entrusted to a team of talented artists, graphic and other designers. This beautiful place combines bas-reliefs, murals, marble stairs, period flooring, and a contemporary spirit. Beyond the spa, you'll appreciate the privacy of the hotel's private beach, accessible by private boat from the Old Port.
Included in the itinerary - A table reserved at Baie des Singes, in the special setting of the Parc des Calanques, with the small port of Les Goudes nearby, and Ile Maire opposite.
Also in the itinerary - Ticket for free entry to the Mucem, where you can learn about the Mediterranean, its culture and the civilisations that shaped it.
Included in the itinerary - The day begins at the Old Port of Marseille, the thrilling heart of the city, where the history of Massalia began 2,600 years ago. Accompanied by your gourmet guide, you'll discover the traditional fish market where you'll choose from fish caught during the night: mullets, sea bream or wolffish, depending on the menu selected for your lunch. You'll continue your walk through the city, strolling through the Capuchin market, as you move up the Cannebiere. You'll have a chance to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables at this popular market, which is fragrant with the scents of spices, dates and Turkish delight. Now that the ingredients have been gathered, your host will invite you to his apartment in Marseille to begin a small group cooking class. For two hours, you'll benefit from his know-how and culinary knowledge. Lunch will be served on the terrace or inside the apartment depending on the temperature. For a gentle end of the day, you'll take to the sea and watch a blazing sky as the sun sets. Departing from the Old Port, your skipper will help you aboard for an evening out. Enjoy a local aperitif and taste some Provencal products at the Marseilles harbour from the area surrounding Chateau d'If and the Friuli archipelago. Magical
MARSEILLE - CASSIS
Head for nearby Cassis, on the other side of the Calanques National Park. Nestled at the bottom of Anse de la Grande Mer, between Pointe des Lombards and Cap Cable, Cassis is a charming little port village whose sun-drenched soil produces wine filled with bright nuances. The municipality owes its motto to the poet and Nobel Prize winner Frederic Mistral, who praised 'He who has seen Paris and who has not seen Cassis can say … I have seen nothing.' Stay for two nights in an 1877 mansion overlooking the sea from the rocky pine forest. Halfway between the village and the calanques, it offers stunning views of Cap Canaille, one of Europe's tallest cliffs. Its staircase gardens reveal a swimming pool with exquisite sea views. We love its Art Deco elements and its location, just above the sea.
Included in the itinerary - A day on board your hotel's 'pointu', the iconic fishing boat of the Mediterranean. Head for the calanques and Ile Verte and navigate the coast with stops for swimming and picnicking offshore.
CASSIS - RAMATUELLE
Head east towards the Var, following a route that stays close to the coast. Towering over Saint-Tropez and Pampelonne Bay, Ramatuelle overlooks the sea. Amid the vineyards and hills, this medieval village has preserved its little slice of welcome authenticity. Its quiet setting has made it an alternative to Saint-Tropez, attracting the great and the good who prefer its cosiness to the excesses of Saint Tropez. Stay two nights on Pampelonne beach, in a recently renovated legendary hotel dating back to the 1960s. It's a place where time no longer matters, where elegance is simplicity's best friend, where a few laps in the pool follow a game of tennis. In short, it's a quintessentially chic Mediterranean way of life...
Included in the itinerary - A reservation at Club 55, a legendary restaurant on Pampelonne beach. A few hundred feet from your hotel, a table is reserved under the reed screens of this bohemian yet elegant family-owned hotel.
Optional - A day on the island of Porquerolles to discover the Fondation Carmignac, its contemporary works, its temporary exhibitions, and its garden dotted with sculptures, in a naturally preserved place.
RAMATUELLE – SAINT-RAPHAEL
Drive to Saint-Raphael, a fishing village near Frejus. A fashionable seaside resort in the 19th century, it is still lovely and boasts numerous beaches. Stay two nights at a beautiful hotel bordering the Bay of Ile d'Or, a bit outside the city. Here you can enjoy the last slopes of the Massif de l'Esterel, further north, and an adjoining private beach. Its typical modernist architecture of the late 1950's and its collection of decorative, bargain-hunted objects make it a very pleasant, gentle Provencal stopover...
SAINT-RAPHAEL - NICE - RETURN
Return the hired vehicle to Nice before your flight home.
A la carte
Spend the day in Porquerolles
A day on the island of Porquerolles departing by boat from Hyeres, discovering the Fondation Carmignac, which houses works of art from the eponymous collection in the heart of an exquisite natural setting, as everywhere on the island.
If you have a few extra days: see the Italian Riviera
Swap the French Riviera for the Italian Riviera, going from Menton to Liguria, and then on to Tuscany. From Portofino to Cinque Terre, the Ligurian coastline is just as 'bellissimo' as its Azurean cousin. Finally, take a flight to Florence to discover the elegant Tuscan capital.
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