France’s Cote D’Azur
The Italian Riviera and Tuscany
This tour combines three of Europe's favourite holiday destinations. It is with good reason that the French Riviera, Italian Riviera and Tuscany are so popular: mild weather; historic sites and romantic scenic beauty. Attractions include villages made from ancient golden stone, grand castles, chateaux and hillside vineyards and farms. The aroma of orange and lemon trees, herbs and lavender fill the air. The museums, art galleries, winding cobble-stone streets and colourful local markets add their appeal.
The French Riviera evokes images of beautiful sunsets, sidewalk cafes, flower markets and vineyards. We will stay 6 nights in Nice on a dreamy stretch of the French Riviera known as the Cote d'Azur. While in Nice you may enjoy the town, the beach or explore the many towns and villages in the region via the efficient network of trains and buses. In Nice we stay at the boutique Hotel Massena (or similar), centrally located within a five minute walk of the beach, old town and flower market. All dinners while in Nice will be in outside restaurants so that we may enjoy the local cuisine.
Following our stay in Nice we travel by coach to the Italian Riviera, with a visit of Monaco and Monte Carlo en route. The Italian Riviera is known for its numerous picturesque and historic towns and villages, and also the dramatic scenery of spectacular cliffs and rugged coastline with many small bays and inlets. We will stay 2 nights in Santa Margherita - a quaint former fishing village that looks and feels like a calm Impressionist painting. Nearby are the Cinque Terre villages that date from the 12th century - each village is different and all have dramatic coastal scenery.
We stay our final 4 nights in Tuscany, known for its carefully tended hills covered by vineyards, olive groves and large stone farmhouses, and also for the great renaissance cities of Florence, and Pisa (included in our holiday). Our base will be the coastal resort town of Viareggio, which has a long, lovely coastline with wide sandy beaches and parks. We will stay at the Hotel President, a First Class hotel located right on Viareggio’s seafront esplanade across the road from the beach. The shopping area is a 10-minute walk.
*** Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.