The glorious coastlines, long sunny days and Belle Époque charm of the French and Italian Rivieras have long held an irresistible allure for artists, authors, celebrities and even royalty. We travel to the lovely town of Antibes, situated between Nice and Cannes, for a discovery of this picturesque part of the world. Visit pretty Provencal towns; stroll along the elegant Promenade des Anglais in Nice; and enter the fragrant world of perfumery and confectionery, before we cross the border to the Italian region of Liguria, famous for its beautiful coastline, brightly-coloured houses, chic ports and charming fishing villages. The cliff-top villages of the Cinque Terre and historic maritime city of Genoa are also on the itinerary.
8 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Gatwick Airport and a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Nice. We transfer to Antibes and the Hotel AC Ambassadeur Antibes (4T). Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Day 2 Nice - Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Set serenely on the half-moon shaped Baie des Anges, the coastal beauty, gorgeous climate and clear light of Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, has been drawing aristocrats and artists since the 18th century. Formerly known as Nizza, the city has only been part of France since 1860, when it was ceded to France by the newly unified Italian state, and there is still a strong Italian influence in this enchanting city. This morning, we take a guided tour of the Old Town, where Baroque architecture jostles with colourful markets, and visit the lovely Parc du Chateau from where we can enjoy breathtaking views of Nice’s red-tiled rooftops and best known landmarks, including the Promenade des Anglais. We will also visit the Museum of Modern Art. In the afternoon we transfer to the nearby resort of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, an exquisite pastel-pink palazzo which once belonged to a member of the wealthy Rothschild banking dynasty, the villa is surrounded by nine magnificent themed gardens.
Day 3 Antibes
Today you are free to explore the local area at leisure. Perhaps return to Nice or join us on our optional guided excursion to world-famous Monaco and Monte Carlo. The world’s second smallest independent state, the Principality of Monaco’s reputation for glitz, glamour and extravagant wealth far exceeds its physical size, and there is plenty to see here.
Day 4 Saint-Paul-de-Vence - Grasse - Pont du Loup
Today we turn our attention inland, with a visit to some of the most attractive towns in Provence. Our first stop is the picturesque village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, which has a long artistic association, and we will be visiting the Fondation Maeght, housing one of Europe’s largest collections of 20th century art. Next, we travel to the perfume capital of the world, Grasse. The lucrative perfume industry has dominated the town’s economy since the 18th century. In the afternoon we visit the world-famous Fragonard Perfumery and Museum, where we will see the intricate procedures involved in creating high quality scents and their private collection of perfume bottles. From Grasse we travel on to the pretty little town of Pont du Loup, where we sample the delightful bonbons and boiled sweets produced by the Provencal confectioner, Confiserie Florian.
Day 5 Antibes - Rapallo, Liguria
We head towards the border and the Ligurian Riviera, stopping along the way at Isolabona and also Dolceacqua for a brief sightseeing visit of this pretty little village which produces excellent wine and olive oil. We travel on to the Ligurian town of Alassio and visit the legendary Muretto, a wall covered with tiles signed by some 550 notables who have visited the town since the 1950s. We arrive in Rapallo late this afternoon and the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa (4T), where dinner is included tonight.
Day 6 Rapallo
This morning we have an optional boat excursion to the delightful seaside village of Portofino - popular with the jet set since the 1950s. Take a guided walk through the village, visiting the pretty Church of St George and Castello Brown.
Day 7 Cinque Terre
Today we visit the Cinque Terre, or ‘Five Lands,’ a collection of five picturesque villages along the Ligurian coast. We travel by train to Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore, each one a charming jewel overlooking the gulf. Manarola is a little village built high on the cliff-top overlooking the Gulf of Genoa and Monterosso, the largest of the five villages, is especially famous for its anchovies and we will have a chance to visit the anchovy salting centre here.
Day 8 Genoa
Today we visit the city of Genoa, nicknamed ‘Superba’ or ‘the Proud One’ due to its wealth of elegant monuments and its eventful history as the capital of a maritime merchant empire. The grand palazzi on Via Garabaldi and Via Balbi attest to the riches which poured into Genoa. This morning, we go to the old town, with its maze of narrow streets, for a walking tour with a difference: a local guide will show you the traditional artisanal shops selling typical Genoese cuisine. We will have the chance to taste a variety of traditional local products here, including panera, a delicious Genoese coffee ice-cream, and the local focaccia bread. We end our guided tour today at an enoteca, including a tasting of local specialities and wines.
Day 9 Rapallo - Genoa - London
We make the short transfer to Genoa Airport today for a direct, scheduled, British Airways flight to London Gatwick. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.
• This tour visits places with uneven terrain, steep gradients and steps and therefore a good level of mobility is required.
• In many cities in Italy, a room tax of between €1-5 is applicable, per person per night. From 2018 this is not included in your holiday cost and is payable directly to the hotel on check-out.