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French Riviera secrets: Five spots off the beaten path to try with the family

28 May 2021

At Parc du Cap, we are lucky to be surrounded by a wealth of wonderful experiences, from coastal expeditions to mountain adventures. For example, one…

At Parc du Cap, we are lucky to be surrounded by a wealth of wonderful experiences, from coastal expeditions to mountain adventures. For example, one day you could tour glorious gardens in the region and the following day visit Grasse, the home of perfume. There are vineyards for the wine enthusiasts and mountain ranges for the adrenaline junkies. The world really is your oyster here in the Côte d’Azur.

Of course, there are some lesser-known locations in Provence that are just waiting for you and your family to visit. In this blog, we explore some of these secret spots, and recommend how you can enjoy them.

Port Grimaud

Known as the French Riviera’s ‘Little Venice’, Port Grimaud was constructed in the 1960s in the bay of St. Tropez. It is considered the most beautiful ‘water village’ of France with colourful riverside buildings lining the waterways. The town is brimming with charming quaysides and small boutiques and cafes. Certainly, ‘Little Venice’ is best enjoyed from the water. Take a boat ride through the vibrantly coloured waterways, bridges, and alleyways. Further, you can catch the Petit Train from the port up to the medieval town of Grimaud. Once you’re up there, climb the 11th century castle tower and enjoy the views over the town and the sea.


The unique journey to Gourdon, a small village just above the Gorges du Loup, unveils some truly striking scenery. Perched on top of a rocky spur at 760 meters above sea level, Gourdon enjoys an exceptional panoramic view. Once there, you will marvel at more than 80 kilometres of coastline stretching from Théoule sur Mer to Nice. Moreover, the town is full of little boutiques and perfume shops. There is also a 9th century château with a museum and stunning gardens. Visit the neighbouring Loup valley where the spectacular waterfall makes a great alternative to beach days. Meanwhile, for the more adventurous, there is canyoning in the Gorges du Loup. Experiences are available for all levels of skill and confidence making it a fun activity for families and friends.

The Corniche d’Or

The Corniche d’Or (or ‘Golden Corniche’), is an exceptional road that links Saint-Raphaël to Cannes. It was created in 1903 by the Touring Club de France – a French social club devoted to travel. Driving this route truly makes for a memorable day for all the family. That is to say, you can explore hidden spots along the way, soaking up some incredible panoramic sea vistas. The winding cliff-top roads lead down to gorgeous sandy beaches and coves, walking and cycling routes. Follow the ‘Chemin de la Table d’Orientation’ route to reach an observation point enjoy the breathtaking Provençal surroundings.


Enjoy wandering around the pretty, narrow streets of the quaint medieval village of Tourrettes-Sur-Loup. You’ll find it 14 kilometres from the coast, between Nice and Cannes. The peaceful town is a real gem, with spectacular views of the Mediterranean in the distance. The village is known for its Violet Festival which is held annually to celebrate this pretty flower. In fact, the flower has been grown in the village for over a century. As a result, the floral scent trickles down the Loup river and through the air of the ‘Violet Village’. Candied fruits are a regional specialty here and the Michelin Star restaurant, 19 du Clovis, is well worth a visit.


This picturesque 13th century village is much less touristy than adjacent Nice and Monaco. The coastal settlement was once a buzzing fishing village with distinct red tile roofs. Today, it is charming and serenely quiet, with an almost medieval feeling. In other words, you will find pastel-coloured buildings and narrow cobblestone streets winding down to the waterfront. As well as the beautiful old town, there is plenty to explore here with the family: long sandy beaches; terraced cafés and restaurants; and an active harbour for water sports.

In short, these are a handful of the hidden gems, found off the beaten track of the Côte dAzur. If you would like to find out more, please contact the team here at Parc du Cap. We would be delighted to provide you with further information about day trips in easy reach of your new home.

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