The Age of Innocence Remains in an Idyllic Garden

When we drew your attention to some of the most beautiful “Gardens of the Riviera” a few weeks ago, we failed to mention any garden to the west of Grasse. Not because there were no gardens in this part of the world but only for the reason that we had never visited any.

Now, however, that we have strayed sufficiently far away from our base in the French-Italian borderlands of the Riviera, we

The Age of Innocence Remains in an Idyllic Garden

When in Hyeres Go Hiking or Biking in Porquerolles

Porquerolles – the largest of the three Iles d’Hyères just off the coast in southern France – is what the Mediterranean would look like if it had never been touched by modern civilization.

It says a lot, I think, that this highlights not so much what Porquerolles has been missing out on but much rather the blight that affects the rest of the Mediterranean.

Now don’t get

When in Hyeres Go Hiking or Biking in Porquerolles

From Menton, Take a Scenic Walk from France to Italy

Today, we are off to Menton, the easternmost resort on the French Riviera, for a walk that takes in all the best things about this blessed little spot: its history, its scenic location and its vicinity to la bella Italia.

The walk allows you to experience Menton’s picturesque historic town centre, provides you with splendid views over the Mediterranean and, at the very end, takes you across a proper, old-style border crossing into

From Menton, Take a Scenic Walk from France to Italy

Here are Five More Riviera Gardens to Discover

More Riviera gardens to discover!

Read the first collection of Riviera gardens here!

Last week, we surveyed the area east of Monaco and strolled deep into Italy, concentrating on the coast’s “classic” garden country. But the less climatically blessed western part of the Riviera – where the mountains are often further away from the coast and give the cold Alpine winds more room to wreak their winterly havoc – also has its little

Here are Five More Riviera Gardens to Discover

How and Where to Discover the Gardens of the Riviera

The Riviera is famous for … well, many things in fact – speed boats, card sharps, minor royals – so it never ceases to surprise me how many of the visitors we meet have explicitly come to see one of the gardens of the Riviera.

I am – to be honest – not a natural garden enthusiast, but have over the years developed an understanding of why many people seem to be so

How and Where to Discover the Gardens of the Riviera

Take This Neat Little Hiking Package to Cap Nice

We continue with our tips on how to get most out of your short trip to Nice

In contrast to the mountainside, the Riviera’s other great area of wilderness, the Mediterranean Sea, does not require its prospective visitors to embark on a long and protracted journey: it is always there, at most a few hundred metres from where you are. Well, that is the theory.

In practice, however, what you find

Take This Neat Little Hiking Package to Cap Nice

Some Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Short Trip to Nice

Holidays would be different if we had unlimited amounts of time for them, but we do not. So they are what they are, which largely means: always too short.

As a rule of thumb, the more affluent people are, the more often they will go on a vacation, but – since the time available for holidays has not increased – they will spend less and less time at any of their destinations. Time

Some Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Short Trip to Nice

In Nice? Take the Train des Pignes to Entrevaux!

Two scenic train rides from Nice into its alpine back country are on the itinerary of most Riviera visits: the Train des Merveilles (to Tende near the Italian frontier) and the Train des Pignes (to Digne-les-Bains in the northwest). Ticking off the Train des Merveilles from our own travel schedule was one of the first things we did on the Riviera – we had not even moved for good in the area yet

In Nice? Take the Train des Pignes to Entrevaux!

Where is the Serre de La Madone Garden?

Gardens are to nature what fictional stories are to real life. They are carefully plotted, laid out to amuse and to entertain, and they do not try to conceal that everything you see has been put there for a reason. Gardens are highly artificial, but holding that against them is like going to the theatre and complaining that everything was, well, a bit stagey.

This does not mean that all gardens

Where is the Serre de La Madone Garden?

Discover the Most Storied Backcountry Village of the French Riviera

Last week, I told you about the bus company Zest and its daily tours from Menton into the arrière pays, the French Riviera’s mountainous back country. Of these altogether ten different day trips, most are going to places that also are, in principle, available on Zest’s ordinary lines.

The problem is that the schedules of these “ordinary lines” (that often run no more than twice day) are mainly arranged

Discover the Most Storied Backcountry Village of the French Riviera