It’s National Cruise Month, so we’re taking you on a 14-day virtual cruise to our top destinations, giving you the lowdown on everything you can do. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a history buff or a cocktail-enthusiast, we’ve got it covered. Today’s port of call is France…
The flashy, star-studded resort towns stretched elegantly alongside the bewitchingly blue water of the Cote d’Azur have long held a certain je ne sais quoi, attracting countless artists and celebrities over the years. In the velvet-rope glamour of the French Riviera make your captivating Cote d’Azur adventure a #ShoreThing.
Get a glimpse of the ritzy Grand Casino and explore the famous twists of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit. A guided walking tour will take you from the ancient confines of the old town, sequestered in its perch above the sea, to the soaring vaults of the Monaco cathedral, where Grace Kelly was laid to rest. Roll down a portion of the thrilling Formula 1 course on your way to the Monte Carlo Casino. This world-renowned building, synonymous with international glamour, was the creation of Charles Garnier, the French architect behind the celebrated Paris Opera building. Discover why the ornate Grand Casino has been a rendezvous point for the global glitterati since 1878.
Peek into the history behind this chic city with an informed sightseeing drive to view its top landmarks. Admire the elegant palm-lined Promenade des Anglais, the fairy-tale turrets of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the austere Monastery Notre Dame de Cimiez, where you can pay homage to the master at the grave of Henri Matisse. Alight on a charming miniature train that passes through the cobbled streets of Nice’s old town before winding its way upward to offer a marvellous view from Castle Hill. Then tour the area on foot, stopping by the renowned flower market to enjoy its heavenly scents and gorgeous blooms.
Trace the footsteps of movie stars by gliding up the red-carpeted staircase of the Cannes Festival and Convention Centre. Here on the hallowed ground of the cinematic elite, browse handprints made by your favourite celebrities. From there, stroll down the grand promenade of La Croisette for your fill of sun and sea before wandering through winding rues into the old town to the lovely Place de la Castre square, where you can stop for a warm buzz of café au lait or a refreshing glass of rosé.
Drive down the iconic Golden Corniche, the world-famous stretch of road winding above gentle blue waves that put the azure in Cote d’Azur. Appreciate the humbler origins of the city in the traditional fish market before making your way to the stately castle, where 360-degree views of the city unfurl at your feet. No visit would be complete without admiring the superyachts in the marina, framed by chic boutiques and fine antique shops embedded in a colourful waterfront streetscape. Don’t miss Port Grimaud, a seaside town with a harbour designed as a French tribute to Venice with a collection of interconnecting canals and islands.
Take in the sophisticated sights of Monaco on your own terms with free time in the city. After a breathtaking drive along the posh esplanades of Nice, your transport will whisk you past a few top spots in Monaco before dropping you off to visit your own personal must-see places. Meander through the enchanting old town, step into intriguing shops, admire the automotive eye candy lining the streets, people-watch by the water, and indulge in a fluffy, flaky croissant in the exuberant sunshine at an outdoor café.
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Author: Thomson Holidays
Published: September 25, 2015
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