From the azure coastline to the steep terrain of the Prealps lies a region of Provence rich in contrasts. A coastline of yachts and wild coves and small hilltop villages whose popular places were adopted by the greatest artists of the twentieth century. Follow the winding roads and be soothed by the colours and intoxicating scents of the south. Magnificent nature, charming towns, a touch of hiking and a dash of museums, the perfect cocktail to combine all pleasures.
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Enjoy the morning atmosphere of Cannes. The historic district of Suquet overlooks the old port. Between the yachts and the fish market, take a small alfresco break before a stroll on La Croisette in the shade of the legendary palm trees. Head to Antibes via the coastal road. Park for free at Fort Carré. Adjacent, the Picasso Museum, once the painter’s studio, is a must before a stroll through the lanes of the old town. A shuttle takes you to the beach at Juan-les-Pins but walkers will enjoy a long stroll around the cape.
In the hills that herald the Prealps, discover the sweet Provence that became the chosen holiday resort for many artists. Renoir’s estate in Cagnes-sur-Mer is now a moving museum whilst Saint-Paul-De-Vence, a victim of its own success in the summer, is a delightful village. It houses the Maeght Foundation, a mecca of contemporary art created in the 60s. Matisse created his famous chapel in Vence, a fascinating town steeped in history, with an old town full of medieval buildings such as its beautiful castle.
Crossing some major sites of the Prealps natural park to reach Grasse. The beauty of the Gorges du Loup is revealed to walkers but waterfall sites like Saut du Loup are easier to access. Winding roads lead to the dizzying village of Gourdon and its castle, unsurprisingly ranked as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Continue your geological excursion up to the Caussols Plateau before exploring the depths of the Saint-Cézaire caves. Head to Grasse via the beautiful Route Napoleon.
Breathe the delicate scents of Grasse, the legendary city of perfume, at the International museum dedicated to this age-old craft. Stroll through the colourful historic centre, before arriving at les jardins du Musée du Parfum, 10km away in Mouans-Sartoux. This picturesque medieval village houses l’Espace de l’art concret in its castle, a delight for fans of abstract art. Art is also celebrated in Mougins, the superb Provençal town where Picasso lived out his final years. Museums and walks in the centre, enjoy this last step before returning to Cannes.
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