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Escape the cold on the Côte d'Azur

Fancy a trip to milder climes? France’s Côte d’Azur enjoys almost year-round sunshine – and a there’s a peaceful atmosphere along this stretch of the Mediterranean at this time of year.

©CRT Côte d’Azur France - Aurélien Buttin

Glittering on France’s Mediterranean coast, Nice-Côte d’Azur is just a short flight from the UK and its unique geography – bordered by the sea on one side and mountains to the north – means you can technically ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon. Nice makes a great base for exploring the wider area, from the towns of Cannes and Antibes to medieval hilltop villages such as Grasse. Take advantage of the many seasonal offers from sport and activities to art and culture. No need for a car – the local trains and buses are excellent, and the food and wine alone are reason enough to book your flights!

Nice, capital of the Côte d’Azur 

©OTM Nice Côte d’Azur

A two-hour flight from the UK, Nice is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, boasting an elegant tree-lined seafront looking out across the sparkling turquoise Baie des Anges with its pebbly beach. Book a guided tour of the old town (‘Vieux Nice’) with its warren of blushing ochre buildings, and stay for the Carnival from 15-29 February 2020, with its spectacular flower and light parades through the streets. 


©Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes - Photo Kelagopian

Glamorous Cannes, 30km west of Nice, is home to a wealth of tempting designer boutiques and rooftop bars. But to soak up the soul of Cannes, you need to climb up the sloping alleys of Le Suquet to the remains of its medieval chateau – and enjoy the dazzling view across the bay from the top of its square tower. There’s also a slower pace out on the Lérins islands, accessible for day trips by boat from the port. What’s more: it’s much easier to get a restaurant table at this time of year!


©Nomade, Vieille Ville Antibes

Picasso’s favourite town of Antibes is crowned by its 16th-century fortress and lush, forested promontory (‘Cap’) dotted with grand villas. Make a point of exploring its old town, called by some the cultural heart of the Côte d’Azur, and visit the Provencal market and Chateau Grimaldi. With 19 superyacht berths, Port Vauban contains the greatest tonnage of any port in the world and is the quintessential place to gawp at waterborne luxury.


Monaco and Menton

©B Vergely

Towards the Italian border is inimitable Monaco, a principality of its own with museums, numerous festivals and world-class cultural and sporting events combine with the luxury and glamour that are part of daily life. Menton is a pretty harbour with a decidedly Italian atmosphere, sheltered by the high Alpes-Maritimes allowing citrus fruit to thrive here even in winter. It’s celebrated at the annual Lemon Festival, this season from 15 February to 3 March 2020.

Nice-Côte d’Azur, France: a cultural and sporty destination

©CRT Côte d’Azur France – Isabelle Fabre

The hilltop village of Grasse is considered the world capital of perfume, home to the International Perfume Museum, which brings the origins and history of perfume-making to life. At the Parfumerie Fragonard you can visit a laboratory and distillery, maceration and filtering studios, enfleurage rooms, and artisan packaging and soapmaking workshops. The Côte d’Azur is also a haven for sporty visitors who flock here to surf, sail, waterski and run marathons in spring and summer – but now’s a great time to visit the National Sport Museum in Nice, with one of the world’s most important sporting collections.

Terms and conditions:

Nice from £34.99 one way pp
21,472 seats from UK airports for travel to 24.10.20. Correct at 4.12.19.



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