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Pebbles Blog: Posts in Go & Do

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Posted on 9th Dec 2019 13:42:02 in Go & Do

Christmas markets on the French Riviera

For anyone looking to visit the French Rivera over Christmas and New Year, the Christmas markets will probably be on your list of things to do. Here’s what you need to know.

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Posted on 14th Sep 2019 16:56:10 in Go & Do

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Polly & Cie

Found at 6 avenue du Ray, 06100 Nice, this cute place is a bit of a secret. It was shared with us by our interns, who lived with university students who knew little gems are to be found outside the tourist hub. You might want to give it a try if you fancy heading just out of the centre of Nice to something a bit different, especially if you have teenagers to impress. It won’t break the bank, prices are on the cheaper side, and the food will suit most palates.

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Posted on 1st Oct 2019 10:14:14 in Go & Do

Nice's Musée des Beaux-Arts, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The former home of Russian princess Elizaveta Kochubey is now Nice’s Museum of Fine Arts. The building’s rococo splendour encloses a collection that includes Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Jan Brueghel.

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Posted on 4th Dec 2019 13:41:49 in Go & Do

Nice's fabulous Photography Museum

Nice’s photography museum is a big hitter. A prime location opposite the Préfecture, coupled with decades of experience, draws in A-grade photo exhibitions.

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Posted on 1st Mar 2023 13:20:54 in Go & Do

The infamous Circuit de Monaco

The shortest and slowest race of the Formula One calendar requires the most skill to win. The ability to weave a 200cm-wide vehicle through 19th-century streets at speeds of 260kmh is one that few drivers can master.

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Posted on 24th Feb 2019 13:11:40 in Go & Do

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Musée Renoir

Like many before him, Renoir settled on the Riviera to treat his ill-health, hopeful that the warm weather and sea air would bring some relief in his old age. Despite being riddled with arthritis and having limited mobility (in his final years he needed help just picking up a paintbrush), Renoir persevered and produced many successful works at Les Collettes (his family home), including his lively portrait of Austrian actress Tilla Durieux; completed just five years before his death.

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Posted on 18th Feb 2019 13:04:49 in Go & Do

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Matisse in Nice

Matisse adored the Riviera. After a childhood spent in the industrial town of Bohain-en-Vermandois, he relocated to Nice permanently in 1917, captivated by the spectacular light of the region. He lived in Nice for most of his life (first in the grand yellow building at the eastern end of Nice’s Cours Saleya, called place Charles Félix, and latterly in the Hotel Regina in Cimiez), and then fled to Vence after the Nazi invasion. Want to immerse yourself in Matisse?

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Posted on 28th Feb 2019 12:53:05 in Go & Do

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Musée marc chagall

“The quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century,” Marc Zaharovich Chagall was one of many celebrity artists smitten by the Côte d'Azur, and he eventually settled in Saint-Paul de Vence, a small commune on the French Riviera. It’s little wonder then that he chose to house the Musée Marc Chagall in Cimiez, nestled away in the hills of sunny Nice. Dedicated to his biblical works, the museum is a celebration of Chagall’s Jewish heritage, combining surreal imagery taken from the artist’s life (think flying goats, tumbling flowers, and spiralling embraces) with the Old Testament and the Hebrew Song of Songs.

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Posted on 1st Apr 2019 12:37:11 in Go & Do

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Parc Estienne d’Orves

You are still in the heart of Nice, but just by walking uphill for fifteen minutes, the air changes completely, you escape the crowds and you come across the Estienne d’Orves Park. Within these 15 hectares there’s plenty of foliage and magnificent views.

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Posted on 8th Apr 2019 12:31:28 in Go & Do

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Le Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez

Enjoy pure relaxation as you sit under the rows of olive trees, with a book, a picnic and a blanket – there’s nothing better on a sunny day. The red façade of the Matisse museum makes for a great backdrop, contrasting nicely with the blue sky behind. You will often see the local French men playing the popular game of boules in the gardens; or if you’re lucky, you might witness a lone musician playing some gentle melodies on their guitar, keeping up the atmosphere of overwhelming calm and peace.

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Posted on 1st Mar 2019 12:25:07 in Go & Do

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Parc Vigier

Despite its modest dimensions, this park has all you need, and tends to be much quieter than others. Right next to the sea, it’s a perfect picnic spot or a place to while away an hour or two with a book under the shade of the trees.

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Posted on 8th Mar 2019 12:16:33 in Go & Do

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Collline du Château

OK, you may be slightly breathless when you’ve climbed the steps, but the park and view is well worth the effort. If you’ll find the steps a challenge, there’s an ascenseur (elevator) at the tip of rue de Ponchettes, near the Old Town. This is one of three entrances to this park sat on top of the city.

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Posted on 14th Dec 2018 19:12:18 in Go & Do

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Tennis in Monte Carlo

Held in the dream destination of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, a real treat is to combine a stay with us with the Rolex-Monte Carlo Masters For 2019 it will take place between 13th- 21st of April.

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Posted on 25th Jan 2019 19:59:11 in Go & Do

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Parks in Nice

World-renowned for its coastline, it is easy to forget that the French Riviera is also home to some beautiful open green spaces. Grab a baguette, some wine, cheese, and whatever else strikes your fancy, and enjoy one of the most satisfying and cheap days out around.

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Posted on 16th Sep 2018 17:45:23 in Go & Do

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Grasse, situated in the hills north of Cannes is world famous for its Perfume industry which started in the 17th century. Its reputation as the perfume capital of Europe still stands today and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, eager to learn about the towns unique industry.

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Posted on 5th Mar 2018 17:40:46 in Go & Do

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Cannes' museums

Although mostly famed for its glorious beach resort and film festival, Cannes still holds a great deal of culture and heritage which should not be overlooked. Don’t miss out on these museums whilst visiting this beautiful cosmopolitan town.

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Posted on 15th May 2018 17:34:58 in Go & Do

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Antibes' museums

The old town of Antibes is a hit with thousands of visitors each year. Most tourists take themselves to the little beach or take a stroll along the numerous tucked away cobbled streets, but if you ever find yourself in Antibes why not take a visit to the below and immerse yourself in the history of Archaeology?

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Posted on 2nd Jul 2018 17:25:59 in Go & Do

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Monaco museums

Monaco prides itself on its glitz and glamour, but as a popular tourist destination it has remarkable heritage, culture and a variety of museums to show this off. Below are a couple we recommend visiting if you ever find yourself in this little paradise.

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Posted on 12th Nov 2018 17:18:14 in Go & Do

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French Riviera Towns: Cagnes

A seaside town between Nice and Antibes with unbeatable picturesque views, Cagnes sur Mer is a hidden gem. The town is most famed for the Musée Renoir (link to phoebe’s art Renoir blog post), as well as the below.

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Posted on 3rd Jan 2019 17:14:43 in Go & Do

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Museums on French Riviera

Full of cultural heritage, art and design, the French Riviera is one of Europe’s best destinations for world-class museums. From Archaeology to Perfumery, the Cote d’Azur truly does not disappoint on the museum front and has something for everyone, not surprising as there are over 40 of them. The MAMAC contemporary art museum and the Musée Massena history museum (hyperlink to blog post) are just a couple that are worth a visit whilst holidaying with us, but why not hop on a train and explore what the rest of the French Riviera has to offer? If you plan to visit several museums during your stay, or for our long-term guests, the tourism office offers a Côte d’Azur Card or a Pass Musées de Nice (hyperlink to blog post on this) which allows you access to various museums at a reduced cost.

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Posted on 1st Dec 2018 09:35:57 in Go & Do

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Nice's main market: Le Cours Saleya

The sovereign of the Old Town, Le Cours Saleya is a fully pedestrianised street parallel to Quai d’Etats Unis and the end of the Promenade. You haven’t really been to Nice, if you leave without meandering around this area both during the day and at dusk – or even late into the night. You don’t have to buy anything, there are plenty who just soak up the atmosphere, colours and scents on offer, or watch others doing the same from one of the pavement cafes, bars or restaurants.

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Posted on 30th Nov 2018 09:32:19 in Go & Do

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Books: Acropole, Jean Jaures Nice

Booklovers will adore this cosy and charming enclave located just off Place Massena. Spend a few minutes with the owner and you’ll see he’s clearly infatuated with all things literary. It’s a friendly place for bookworms and there’s always someone on hand to help you choose from the well-curated array of books.

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Posted on 28th Nov 2018 09:24:21 in Go & Do

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Nice's Paillon parc

Unveiled in 2013. the Promenade du Paillon is the result of an extensive (and expensive) renovation project which transformed a run-down bus station in to the natural oasis that it is today.

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Posted on 27th Nov 2018 09:15:22 in Go & Do

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Park Phoenix in Nice

Parc Phoenix is a godsend for families. There’s a playground, small petting zoo, aquarium as well as the famous Diamant Vert pyramid. It's easy to get to - just near Nice airport.

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Posted on 26th Nov 2018 15:25:42 in Eats & Drinks

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Enjoy Christmas in Nice

Fed up of spending your Christmas day in cold, drizzly weather? Come and soak up some soak up some winter sun, and enjoy the festivities in Nice and the French Riviera. There’s plenty to do from the Christmas markets to traditional swims in the Med.

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Posted on 11th Nov 2018 14:23:15 in Go & Do

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Spa-days in Nice

Many of our guests ask for spas for when they stay with us, wanting to combine winter sunshine and walks down the Promenade with a French Riviera spa day – few do relaxation and beauty better. Here's where you can book some me-time.

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Posted on 22nd Nov 2018 10:08:25 in Go & Do

Musée Massena image: Nice Tourisme

Born into French Riviera aristocracy, Prince Victor d’Essling built Nice’s finest pleasure palace next door to the Hotel Negresco. It now serves as the city's history museum.

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Posted on 20th Nov 2018 10:04:30 in Go & Do

Image: Opéra de Nice

The Nice Opera House blings like an Emirati throne room. That’s because it was designed by architects Charles Garnier (the brains behind the Casino de Monte-Carlo) and François Aune (who studied under frequent Nice resident Gustave Eiffel, of Tower fame).

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Posted on 19th Nov 2018 10:01:11 in Go & Do

Star-studded shops of Nice Etoile

Nice Etoile could have easily dated into a naff mall that hocked velour pantalons. Fortunately Nice's premier shopping centre offers sushi and smoothies, plus free WiFi and 24-hour parking.

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Posted on 18th Nov 2018 09:58:11 in Go & Do

Contemporary culture:Villa Arson

The Villa Arson hasn’t stopped pioneering since 1970. It remains a cultural hybrid of arts university and museum, where it showcases the experimental output of students past and present.

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Posted on 16th Nov 2018 13:55:46 in Go & Do

Galerie Lympia: prison to arthouse

Nice’s newest art space has a history as colourful as the city itself. In 2017 this former prison became an unlikely venue for gloriously uplifting art.

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Posted on 5th Sep 2018 12:19:43 in Go & Do

Join the early summer fun at Nice's Fête du Port

Families, gourmands and all-night revellers flock to Nice harbour for the Fête du Port. During the city’s largest free festival, the area hosts sound stages, food trucks and alfresco wine depots.

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Posted on 5th Sep 2018 12:14:43 in Go & Do


Menton scoops the prize for the sunniest town in France. Little wonder it boasts an annual citrus carnival offering winter zest to 150,000 visitors.

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Posted on 5th Sep 2018 12:07:40 in Go & Do

Nice's intimate Cinema Mercury

The Mercury is Nice’s leading cinema for independent, English-language and version originale films. That means intimate screening rooms, but no popcorn or 3-D spectaculars.

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Posted on 25th Jun 2018 15:49:37 in Go & Do

Nice's big hitting Musée Matisse, image courtesy of bchookang via WikiMedia Commons

It’s the biggest art event on the French Riviera this year. Until September 29th, the Musée Matisse hosts an unprecedented show detailing the friendly rivalry between two 20th-century greats: Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

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Posted on 10th Jan 2018 17:51:21 in Go & Do

The Negresco central atrium with Baccarat chandelier. Image by Cayambe courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the Negresco, Nice’s must-visit historic hotel. It’s rococo wedding cake that dominates the Promenade des Anglais. A seafront castle where a rogue’s gallery of world leaders – Nikita Khrushchev, the Shah of Iran – have bedded down under mink throws.

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Posted on 23rd May 2018 18:59:22 in Go & Do

Don't look down! The Gorges du Verdon is Provence's most exciting sight

The Deal: Europe’s Grand Canyon is just that: a seismic chasm 20km-long set in primeval countryside. The gorge ribbons to depths of 700m so a hire car is the only option to explore. The conveniently located Sixt office in Hotel Le Meridien hosts online deals from €27 per day – a bargain at less than €10 each for a family of four.

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Posted on 23rd May 2018 12:58:56 in Go & Do

Make mine a mozzarella burrata - that's San Remo on a plate

An easy daytrip pairs scintillating scenery with panoramic sea views. Best of all, this lovely train ride transports visitors to the amazingly chic San Remo in the heart of Bella Italia.

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Posted on 27th Jul 2017 15:31:54 in Go & Do

Auron in summer: cable up, mountain bike down

Think the locals would let their fabulous ski resorts sit idle all summer? Assuredly not. The Riviera’s big three resorts of Auron, Isola and Valberg flip into sunshine mode each June to welcome downhill mountain bikers, cross-country hikers and food foragers from across France.

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Posted on 2nd Jul 2018 11:28:56 in Go & Do

Hello sunshine! Swim with seabass in the Riviera's chicest seas

Think you need scuba tanks to explore the Riviera’s azure seas? Not at all! Spend the €40 dive fee on 8 bottles of Carrefour rosé instead. A mask and snorkel are all that’s required to spot octopi and sea bass just a short swim from shore.

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Posted on 24th May 2018 10:51:52 in Go & Do

Disembark in St Tropez on the daily ferry from Nice all summer long

Like St Tropez itself, the voyage to the playground of Mick Jagger, Béyonce and Kate Moss is extremely beautiful but far from cheap. From Nice, it isn’t the easiest of places to reach (in the summer the roads can get very, very congested…)

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Posted on 27th Feb 2017 14:35:43 in Go & Do

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Courtesy of Getty Images

Come and enjoy the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters. Watch the tennis aces whilst basking in the sunshine and sea breeze.

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Posted on 16th Jul 2018 13:32:10 in Go & Do

A train through Nice's wild side (credit Nice Tourisme)

The Train des Merveilles is just that: a ‘Train of Marvels’. Little known to tourists, the line loops north from Nice-Ville station deep into the Italian Alps. Best of all, it connects a dozen oh-so-cute French villages en route.

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Posted on 12th May 2018 10:00:48 in Go & Do

Marseille in a day: all possible with the TGV

Marseille via TGV high-speed train is two hours and 30 minutes away. The walk-on fare is €35 one-way via SNCF; with much cheaper advance booking deals available.

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Posted on 8th May 2018 10:04:42 in Go & Do

Attention! See the Matisse Museum for free with the Nice Museum Pass

Here’s the good news. Nice boasts more museums than any other French city outside Paris.

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Posted on 4th Jul 2018 16:13:26 in Go & Do

Want to paint like Henri Matisse? There's a Cote d'Azur art course for you

Art and the Cote d’Azur play together like watercolours on canvas. The light that welcomed greats like Matisse, Picasso and Renoir has welcomed generations of artists and amateurs alike.sides. Practise makes perfect with our three part blog series:

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Posted on 7th May 2018 15:38:42 in Go & Do

Get behind a Cessna at one of the Cote d'Azur's flying clubs

It may come as small surprise that the Cote d’Azur is one of the top 3 most popular private jet hubs in the world. A-listers from the Beckhams to the Kardashians descend here each summer.

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Posted on 24th May 2018 13:06:14 in Go & Do

Explore the 30-plus train stops on the French Riviera with the Carte Isabelle rail pass

The Carte Isabelle family rail pass is one of the South of France’s best kept travel secrets offering unlimited train journeys on the Alpes-Maritimes network for one day for just €35. That means hop-on hop-off rail travel from Cannes to Menton for two adults and two children.

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Posted on 12th May 2018 14:48:38 in Go & Do

Start small on an Optimist. Next stop a superyacht

The great and good have always sailed along the South of France - King Edward VII a century ago, Keith Richards in the 1970s and in 2015 America’s Cup champ Sir Ben Ainslie. The allure is self-evident. A touch of glamour plus bags of adrenaline, but where to start?

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Posted on 29th May 2018 11:18:58 in Go & Do

Riviera waterskiing in 1959 © Nationaal Archief Fotocollectie Anefo, courtesy of Wikicommons

Although waterskiing was believed to have been invented in the US’s Midwest, it is Juan-les-Pins’ swish Hôtel Belles Rives that lays claim to popularising this new-fangled pastime in Europe throughout the 1920s and 30s.

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Posted on 30th May 2018 16:31:54 in Go & Do

Get lost on the Cote d'Azur's Estérel coast

Scattered with sheltered coves and postcard-perfect beaches, the russet-hued Massif de l’Estérel is a cluster of mountainous forests tucked between Provence and the Mediterranean. If you’re looking to lose the Riviera’s summertime crowds, this slice of protected parkland is where you need to go.

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Posted on 16th May 2018 17:11:44 in Go & Do

Just stand-up and paddle to join the Riviera's latest craze

It looks like fun, doesn’t it? That lone paddleboarder, standing atop a glassy surface, somewhere between San Remo and St Tropez. Well you can do it too! There are dozens of hire places along the Cote d’Azur.

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Posted on 2nd May 2018 15:33:46 in Go & Do

© Alex/Flickr

Over 200 years ago Napoléon I was beaten at the Battle of Nations, forced to abdicate and exiled to Elba. In 1815 Napoléon solved this problem in characteristic fashion. He slipped away from Portoferraio with 1100 soldiers and landed at Golfe-Juan near Antibes, avoiding the royalists in Provence by taking the "Route des Alpes", now renamed "Route Napoléon".

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Posted on 16th Jun 2015 09:20:40 in Go & Do

© Rosa Jackson/Les Petits Farcis

Nice has a unique cooking style, influenced by Provence and nearby Italy. Delve into the rich culture and history of Nice, one of the most beautiful cities in France and the world.

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Posted on 12th Jul 2018 12:32:34 in Go & Do

© Nice Tourisme

The worlds’ first jazz festival (yes in Nice not the USA!) celebrates its 70th birthday in 2018. It is set to be bigger and better than ever. Nice Jazz Festival is one of the French Riviera’s unmissable events and aims to bring over 60,000 music lovers to Nice over the second week of July.

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Posted on 29th Apr 2015 11:40:03 in Go & Do

Harvest-ready grapes hang heavy on the Southern French vines

Like much of France – a wine-loving nation if ever there was one – the Riviera is a picturesque patchwork of vineyards. You can pick up bottles of top tipple at one of the coastline’s many excellent caves, or wine cellars. But we think it’s more fun to head to the source...

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Posted on 31st May 2018 11:02:27 in Go & Do

Sunset views from Ile Sainte-Marguerite's southern shores

Picture a sun-kissed island. Golden beaches cover its shores. Each one offers private access to the shimmering Mediterranean. Pine and eucalyptus-shaded walking paths crisscross the isle’s interior: no motorised vehicles are allowed.

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Posted on 23rd Feb 2015 10:22:43 in Go & Do

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Lou Queernaval & Nice Carnival

Lou Queernaval parade welcomes Nice's broad and colourful LGBT community into the heart of the Official Nice Carnival.

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Posted on 9th May 2018 11:46:46 in Go & Do

Photo: Alberto Perdomo/Flickr

Although Nice offers a wealth of fantastic restaurants, sometimes it’s lovely to venture out into the markets in search of a real rustic repas you can produce in the comfort of your own home. For €10 you can pick up all the makings of a gourmet meal!

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Posted on 12th Jan 2015 09:49:42 in Go & Do

The French Riviera for €1.60 an hour, courtesy of GreenRent

Fancy putting your pedal to the metal as you zip through Casino Square? Pebbles guests can now follow the Monaco Grand Prix circuit from just €1.60 per hour!

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Posted on 26th Nov 2014 12:18:43 in Go & Do

Top 5 Ski Destinations

The Alpes-Maritimes is home to hundreds of 2,000 metres plus mountains and we've picked out the best five for fresh powder this season.

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Posted on 22nd Nov 2014 16:08:55 in Go & Do

Explore the Riviera winter sunshine with these five top tours

Winter on the Côte d’Azur is a delight. The summertime crowds have disappeared. And this sun-kissed strip of coastline offers lots of organised activities that promise a different way of getting to know the Riviera too...

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Posted on 5th Aug 2014 13:49:03 in Go & Do

Beach clubs in and around Nice

Summer is upon us and so is all the glamour of the French Riviera Beach Clubs. For a sublime holiday experience, you just can’t miss a day at a beach club. Locals grow to prefer pebbles over sand, but there’s no denying feet need to navigate tricky terrain. To eliminate this hassle, thick hessian carpets right down to the water’s edge can be yours at a beach club. You also benefit from toilets, showers, lockers and of course waiter service right to your matalas. Better still, this sunny club-land of sugar daddies, bronzed beauties and Russians in head-to-toe Cavalli is just as entertaining as a visit to Nice’s flower market or the Picasso Museum in Antibes.

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