Go Hiking on the French Riviera Back Country

When you want to go hiking on the French Riviera, there are good reasons for preferring either the coast or the back country, the mountainous arrière pays

One possible reason for going one way or the other is undoubtedly the right psychological “match” between hiker and route.

The coast at its best is friendly and open, but can also be loud, brash and more than a little vulgar. The

Go Hiking on the French Riviera Back Country

How to Spend the Hours Before Your Flight from Nice

Why would you want to go into a public park on the French Riviera when nature in its untamed variety – more coastal walks and mountain hikes than you could possibly pack into a long holiday – is only ever a bus ride away?

On most days, admittedly, any argument in favour of a trip to the public park will indeed seem a trifle weak, but there are also circumstances under which it

How to Spend the Hours Before Your Flight from Nice

Do You Agree that Grasse is for Inhaling?

Grasse, as Joe Namath very nearly said, is not for visiting, it’s for smoking. And you’d be surprised how many locals share this opinion, at least the first half of it: that your time would be better spent going somewhere else (not to put too fine a point on it.)

Nice-Matin, our local rag, recently dedicated a photo spread to the refutation of this very idea that Grasse is ugly, that there is

Do You Agree that Grasse is for Inhaling?

Sniff Your Way to the Garden of Scents

What Made Grasse Famous Has Made a Smell-O-Rama Convert Out Of Me Few people have ever regretted that Hollywood failed to further evolve its 1950s format of Smell-O-Rama which allowed the movie houses to pipe in scents for the purpose of highlighting the cinematic narrative.

Full disclosure: I have always been one of those Smell-O-Rama skeptics – until last weekend, that is, when we visited the garden of scents, the Musée Internationale de

Sniff Your Way to the Garden of Scents

So You Want Off the Beaten Path But Charming

Villeneuve-Loubet is an attractive and charming little village, perhaps not the most spectacularly beautiful in the French Riviera region but one of the most alluring. This may have to do with the fact that it is located a little off the beaten track and has therefore been allowed to preserve its Provencal character more than most.

It is a place where the barber and the baker stop each other

So You Want Off the Beaten Path But Charming

In Search of the Hidden Gardens of Monaco

Oman, Qatar and San Marino are, officially, the least green countries in the world. In these three states – and in the territory of Greenland (clearly a case for the Trades Descriptions Act) – forests make up exactly 0.0 % of the surface area: none of them have any woodlands at all. But what about Monaco?

We go to Monaco fairly regularly, and if there are any forests over

In Search of the Hidden Gardens of Monaco

A Sporty Hike on the Hilltop Backcountry of the French Riviera

Once they were giants – Breil and the Roya River From the train, Breil-sur-Roya looks incongruously large and imposing, with its tree lined riverside avenue and two large churches in the centre of town.

Located in that part of the border country between France and Italy that is characterized by perched hilltop villages and their nervous huddles of buildings, Breil comes across not only as much bigger but also as much bolder, saying

A Sporty Hike on the Hilltop Backcountry of the French Riviera

Go Hiking Up Castellar in the French Riviera

Castellar is a vaguely picturesque medieval village just to the north of Menton on the French Riviera, and on its own (we might as well be honest about this), it is not worth the trip. Castellar’s 972 inhabitants may hate me for saying this, but such are the risks of boldly speaking truth to power. Still, there are generally quite a few visitors around, even at this time of year. So what attracts all these

Go Hiking Up Castellar in the French Riviera

A Great Escape Around Vibrant Villefranche Harbour

Over the years, this blog has featured many different kinds of walks for different occasions: exhausting hikes as well as gentle strolls, explorations of the wild and urban walks with a cultural theme, walks for summer and walks for winter, walks that you can spread over several days and walks that you can squeeze in between a boozy lunch and your afternoon tea. Today’s walk falls into yet another type of category: an escape walk.

A Great Escape Around Vibrant Villefranche Harbour

The Trail of Famous Writers Right in Nice

Enough about painters and the French Riviera! Entire books have been written about the way in which the great modernists of European painting – from Monet to Picasso – fell in love with the lights and the sights and the colours of southern France. You don’t even have to go to the library to read about this “love story”. You can do so here, here and here.

All this while, there were writers

The Trail of Famous Writers Right in Nice