I’ve been asking Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France to tell me all about her Mediterranean cruise shore excursions. There are several of you who have contacted the Barefoot Blogger for information.
Read on and learn about going ashore along the French Riviera. Even if you’re an armchair traveler, you’ll enjoy the visit. As I’ve learned, when you travel with an expert like Nancy, you will explore and experience the best spots for food, scenery, and lifestyle along the Côte d’Azur. Let’s see what she has up her sleeves for us to do.
I love every inch of the French Riviera – from the narrow medieval streets of St Paul de Vence to glitzy Nice and Cannes to the adrenaline surge of the Monaco Grand Prix.
When people ask me what they absolutely must-see during their shore excursion, the answer is ‘everything.’ Of course, this is not always practical. So my Riviera tours offer what I consider the major highlights. The Riviera is addictive – once hooked, visitors invariably return to see what they missed the first time.
For your Mediterranean cruise shore excursion … Food First
France conjures up images of gourmet restaurants, boulangeries, and local markets offering a breathtaking array of fresh, local produce, cheeses, and regional specialties – and that’s exactly right. Since the weather’s good, why not make the first stop at the market and shop for a picnic? (Always a hit if with children.) And let’s not forget a bottle of rosé wine from Provence for a French picnic.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: Grasse
Wake up and Smell the Roses
With appetites appeased – for now at least – the olfactory senses are in for a treat, and they’ll get just that in Grasse, the Riviera’s flower capital. A perfume factory tour is an absolute must – and an excellent place to buy gifts. This is a charming historic town with an 11th-century cathedral, perfume museum, sandy beaches, and fine dining.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: Gourdon
Dreaming of Chocolate Heaven?
Visit Gourdon, and those dreams will come true with sampling at the famous chocolate factory. But leave room for artisan ice cream in floral flavors, violet, rose, jasmine….sublime. And there’s no need to worry too much about the waistline because this beautiful old fortress town is built on a high promontory with stunning views – an excellent way to work off the day’s excesses.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: Tourrettes-sur-Loup
The ‘City of Violets’
The tiny medieval village of Tourrettes-Sur-Loup perches on a rocky spur and is an all-time favorite visitor. It boasts impressive historic buildings, including a 15th-century church, arts and crafts boutiques, an annual violet festival, and a museum. Just a stone’s throw from Nice and Cannes is definitely worth a detour.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: St. Paul de Vence
In Chagall’s Footsteps
St Paul de Vence is one of the oldest medieval towns on the Riviera and is also known as the artist’s village – it was home to Chagall, to name but one. It’s a joy to simply stroll the colorful streets full of art galleries and boutiques. Olive oil and wine tastings and a visit to an olive oil mill can be arranged, and lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: Monaco
Jetsetting to Monaco
The tiny principality of Monaco fits comfortably into a day trip with time to view the exquisite Palace of the Prince and the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly were married, followed by the Changing of the Guards.
And now fasten your seatbelts for a lap of the world-famous Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit to reach Monte-Carlo with its famous Casino, Golden Square, and the luxurious Hotel de Paris and Hotel Hermitage. Fancy your luck? Armed with a valid ID and appropriately dressed, you can join the high rollers at the famous Casino.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: Éze
A Change of Pace
Visitors always fall in love with this typical medieval clifftop village of narrow lanes, stone buildings, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Éze is in the heart of perfume country, and a tour of the perfume factory can be arranged and a visit to its impressive botanical garden.
Mediterranean Cruise Shore Excursions: Nice
Putting on the Glitz
The city of Nice needs no introduction! Aside from a reputation for glamour, it is steeped in history. There is evidence of a settlement as far back as 350 BC, and its historical center dates back to the 13th century. Highlights of the tour include a walk along the “Promenade des Anglais,” a former haunt of the British aristocracy, and unsurpassed the flower market and Michelin star restaurants.
Shore excursions by Absolutely Southern France are fully private 7 or 8 hour customized experiences with English-speaking local and professional driver/guides with a van or sedan.
Website : http://absolutelysouthernfrance.com/