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Life.Style Journal

Panoramic beauty to soothe the soul

05 Mar 2019

When the Victorians first started descending on the French Riviera 150 years ago during the cooler winter and spring months, it was to lift the spirits and boost their health.

Famous physician Dr James Henry Bennett claimed to have been cured of tuberculosis by spending the winter in Menton. His 1861 book Winter and Spring on the Shores of the Mediterranean popularised the French Riviera as a healing destination. After that the powerful and well-informed followed Dr Bennet there,  including novelist Robert Louis Stevenson and Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Leopold. To this day, spring is one of the most invigorating times to visit the the Côte d’Azur. The weather turns pleasant, temperatures rise and flowers begin to bloom. Furthermore, and unlike in Victorian times, the hordes of tourists haven’t arrived yet. In short, the atmosphere is magic.

Besides the ‘joie de vivre’, one of the best things about living on the Cap d’Antibes is the variety of spectacular views on your doorstep. Each view can provide a restorative effect. Do you enjoy the natural splendour of the Mediterranean Sea, or the majesty of the mountains? Do do you delight in rooftop views over villas and historic surroundings? Whichever view you prefer, the Riviera has breathtaking scenery to enliven your soul.   We have chosen a few of our favourites views to share with you here:

Supreme sea views

The magnificent views from the Garoupe Lighthouse in Cap d’Antibes take in the glistening ocean as far as Nice to the East and Cannes to the West.  While the 40-minute hike from Juan Les Pins to the lighthouse renders these sights all the more special, this unique spot also can be reached by car. Nothing quite matches the sunset here on a balmy spring evening.  Maybe you could bring a picnic of local meats, cheeses and Provençal rosé to enjoy en route.

Philosophical inspiration

Perched on a rocky promontory 1,401 feet above sea level, Èze is a medieval French village well-deserving of its nickname ‘Eagle’s Nest’. The spectacular views over the Mediterranean, Èze bay and Cap Ferrat are best appreciated by climbing Nietzsche’s Path. This path from the coastline to the village is named after the German philosopher who lived in the area during the 1880s. Once a goat path, it is said that Nietzsche climbed the steep trail daily.  Apparently the hike provided much-needed inspiration for the third part of ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’.

Iconic Côte d’Azur

It would be impossible to omit the fantastic views from Castle Hill in Nice from this blog post. This maze of greenery is set on the side of an 11th-century military citadel. On one side, you can soak up the sweeping views over the Bay of Angels and take in the vibrant terracotta roofs of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town of Nice.  On the other side, you can appreciate the buzz of the colourful Nice harbour. If you don’t fancy summiting via the steps, you can appreciate this view on foot from Old Nice and Place Garibaldi, in an Art-Deco lift.

Buzzing authenticity

For a charming view of the authentic hustle and bustle of French Riviera living, the walled city of Saint-Paul-de-Vence is well-worth a visit. This thousand-year-old city is one of the oldest medieval towns in the region. Feel part of the community in the legendary Place du Jeu de Boules square. Or watch the world go by while sipping coffee on the terrace at Café de la Place. In keeping with the artistic greats like Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse you might also find yourself seduced by the village’s atmosphere, landscapes and clear light.

At Parc du Cap we are proud to offer stunning private views from many of our apartments and penthouses. These views include sea panoramas across the bay towards Cannes and Nice, as well as the rugged Italian Alps. For the residents at Parc du Cap, life doesn’t get better than strolling down to the Hotel Belles Rives for an evening tipple.

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