The luminescent coastline of the Côte d'Azur and the craggy Provencal hills have attracted artists, writers, musicians and designers to create paintings and sculpture as well as perfumes, gardens and houses. In the early 20th century, Christian Dior and Coco Channel created iconic perfumes in Grasse; Jean Cocteau, Marc Chagall and Matisse decorated chapels; and Eileen Grey and Le Corbusier built cliff-side homes. More recent inhabitants have been inspired to transform olive groves into gardens and to enhance the landscape with modern art. Visit Matisse's celebrated Chapelle du Rosaire and the Foundation Maeght, which contains a stunning collection of artwork by Braque, Miro and Giacometti.
Fly from London (regional connections available)
to Nice with British Airways. Drive through the
hills to Le Mas Candille for 7 nights. Once an
18th-century farmhouse, the hotel is set in
secluded gardens with three pools and a spa.
Afternoon visit to the Musée d’Art Classique to
see a private collection of ancient artefacts from
Egypt, Greece and Rome dramatically juxtaposed
next to works by modern artists including Picasso
(who spent the last years of his life in Mougins),
Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley. Introductory
lecture and dinner at the hotel. (D)
Morning visit to Musée Bonnard, Le Cannet,
where the post-impressionist artist Pierre Bonard
lived. Free time for lunch in this elegant belle
époque seaside town. Continue to Espace
de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux, a bright
green gallery that forms a stark contrast to the
triangular fortified castle next door. The gallery’s
changing exhibitions on the theme of the
concrete art movement founded in 1930, focus
on form and geometry. (B)
Scenic drive to the International Perfume
Museum, Grasse, with displays of perfumery
from ancient times to the present day. There will
be free time in Grasse for independent visits to
the Fragonard laboratory founded in 1782, the
Jean-Honoré Fragonard Museum or the Museum
of Provencal Costume. In the afternoon, visit
the private terraced gardens of La Mouissone
carved from an olive grove into the hills above
Grasse and discover fragrant ingredients with a
perfumer and the owner or gardener. (B)
Drive through the wooded Esterel region to
Jean-Gabriel Mitterand’s sculpture collection at Domaine de Muy, where over 40 works of
contemporary art are set in a natural valley.
Nearby, conceptual artist Bernar Venet has also
established a landscaped sculpture park. Both
collections are open by special arrangement and
subject to confirmation. Finally, tour through the
small vineyards of Provence to Château Sainte
Roseline, visit the cloister and chapel with a
Marc Chagall mosaic and Alberto Giacometti
bas-relief before learning how Provencal rosé is
made and taste the wine. (B)
Drive to Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, the
simple church Matisse designed and called
his ‘masterpiece’. The Foundation Maeght,
designed by Josep Lluis Sert, displays modern
temporary exhibitions in the main gallery space,
which is surrounded by Joan Miro’s labyrinth of
works in a meandering garden. After free time
in picturesque St Paul de Vence, continue to
Cagnes-sur-Mer where Renoir made his home.
Experience the views across his olive grove to
the sea that inspired him to paint and sculpt in
his final years. Dinner this evening will be in a
Provencal restaurant. (B, D)
Drive along the Riviera coast to Villefranchesur-
Mer. Visit Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild at
Cap-Ferrat to explore the gardens landscaped
from a narrow peninsula surrounded by the
Mediterranean. Continue to Villa Kerylos, built
for a wealthy archaeologist and statesman as a
reconstruction of an ancient Greek Villa. (B)
Drive to Menton, where Jean Cocteau designed
the town’s Salles de Mariages. Visit the museum
of his work set near the seafront. Continue
along the coast to Cap Moderne, named after
the cliffside modernist buildings: Le Corbusier’s Cabanon, and Eileen Gray’s villa E-1027. Grey
designed her striking modern 1920s home as
a flexible living space with chrome and glass
furnishings. A special visit reveals the houses
that these icons of modern style designed for
their own vacations. Dinner this evening will be
in a local restaurant. (B, D)
Visit the Musée Matisse in Nice to see sculpture,
ceramics and stained glass as well as paintings.
Continue to the Chagall Museum, with an
extensive collection of more than 400 works.
Farewell lunch and transfer for a flight to
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner
This tour is fully escorted
throughout by a lecturer who has specialist
knowledge of the destination and its culture, as
well as a tour manager.
Based in 5-star accommodation.
This tour involves some long walks
over uneven ground and therefore requires a
good level of fitness.
Please note that the exclusive and
individual nature of private visits means that they
are subject to confirmation nearer the time of
departure. Also churches, private houses and other
buildings often have fluid opening times. If any
visits have to be re-arranged, please be assured
that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Mary Lynn Riley is a
specialist in art from the
19th century to the present
day. She lives near the
Côte d’Azur and teaches
and lectures at some of
the galleries on the tour,
including Musée Bonnard and Espace de
l’Art Concret. Mary Lynn has also worked at
the Smithsonian Institute in the US.
A collection of expert accompanied
tours focusing on creativity
in its many forms. No prior knowledge of the
subject matter is required.
Le Mas Candille is a Relais & Chateaux hotel and spa set within secluded gardens in the foothills of the Alps. Le Mas Candille was created on the site of an 18th-century farmhouse in the medieval village of Mougins, once home to Picasso and now famed for its art galleries and gastronomy. A luxury resort, Le Mas Candille has a spa, outdoor gym, two pools (one is heated and open all year), a pool bar and restaurant in summer and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Accommodation is located in two buildings and rooms are decorated in a contemporary Provençal style combining antiques with elegant, pale furnishings.
Features: 45 rooms, spa, 2 swimming pools (one heated), hot tub, gym, bar, poolside restaurant (open in summer), Michelin-starred restaurant, gardens, Wi-Fi.
Room amenities: Wi-Fi, air conditioning, television, minibar, safe, room...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
FAD2018: 7 Nights