The Very First French Riviera Garden Festival

Gardens are a part of the Riviera scenery like yachts, open-top sports cars and deposed government officials from corrupt cleptocracies. Unlike the mountains and the sea, they have not always been there but have become so much part of the cultural landscape that nobody remembers or can even imagine a time when they were not.

The history of the Riviera gardens goes back all the way to the “stone age” of the region

The Very First French Riviera Garden Festival

Go Hiking to Explore the Sussex Coastal Culture Trail

Hikers can explore the Sussex Coastal Culture Trail from Eastbourne to Hastings – all 29 km of it – comfortably in two or, better still, in three stages. Such a longer trip ensures a better balance as otherwise, there is a risk that your Sussex Coastal Culture Trail experience will be all trail and no culture.

Or, perhaps the best option, you can pick one bit of the trail for your walk and

Go Hiking to Explore the Sussex Coastal Culture Trail

Take the Challenge of the Coastal Culture Trail

For many years, traditional seaside resorts have been in a state of crisis, but there are signs that they are springing back into recovery. There is life in the old dog yet.

The glory days of old-style seaside resorts – in Italy and France but particularly in the UK – was a time when nearly everybody, kids in tow, went on a family vacation for two or three weeks in

Take the Challenge of the Coastal Culture Trail

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 me

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

Don’t Cry for Me Hiking the Steep Bordighera Hills

As far as most tourists are concerned, the Riviera mainly consists of mountains and beaches. But that does not mean that mountains and beaches are all there is.

In many places, admittedly, the transition from one to the other is rather sudden and immediate.

On the French side of the Riviera (in particular), the mountains can descend fairly steeply into the sea, so one minute on your trip you may hear

Don’t Cry for Me Hiking the Steep Bordighera Hills

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

A Short Winter Holiday Made Us Ask: Is Naples for You?

Finally, to wrap up our short winter holiday to Campania, a few words about Naples.

Naples, after all, is not only the regional capital, but also, with its international airport, the “Gateway to the South” and the obligatory first destination for many international visitors of Italy’s mezzogiorno.

But even for those who travel around by car or by train, there are many opportunities of visiting Naples. The question is: should you?

A Short Winter Holiday Made Us Ask: Is Naples for You?