48 hours in the Nice back country

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There is more to southern France than the Riviera. To fully experience the charms of Provence, spend at least 48 hours exploring the roads of the area’s back country.

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Day 1 : Saint-Paul de Vente and the margot foundation

he walled village of Saint-Paul de Vence conceals a thousand wonders within its ramparts. If you love ancient architecture, you will be enchanted as you stroll past fountains, chapels and dungeons. In the 20th century, Saint-Paul was a favorite destination for famous painters such as Dufy, Soutine, Chagall, Matisse and Picasso. Art a cionados will be delighted by the many galleries and artists studios. Wednesday morning is market day on the lawns usually reserved for pétanque games. It’s the perfect time to sample local products (tapenade or socca), soak up the atmosphere on the café terraces or try your hand at pétanque.

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A stone’s throw from the village, the Maeght Foundation offers visitors one of the largest contemporary art collections in Europe. Works by Miro, Chagall, Kandinsky, Braque, Calder and Giacometti t naturally with the building and the Mediterranean landscape.From June 4 to November 27th 2016, it will host a gigantic mastaba installation by Christo. Scale models, preliminary drawings and studies for the Abu Dhabi Mastaba will also be on display.

Sweet dreams at Terre Blanche

Voted as the best spa in France in 2015, Terre Blanche stands at the ready with its luxurious suites and villas decorated in Provencal style. Relax at the in nity pool and enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding hills. Before sampling the cuisine of Michelin-starred chef Philippe Jourdin, you may opt for a round of golf in a pristine natural environment or a detour to the traditional country house and its divine spa. If you are having a hard time saying goodbye, perhaps the helicopter transfer will make it a bit easier.

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Day 2 : There is more than one way to explore the real provence

Set out on foot and get lost in the narrow shaded streets of medieval hillside villages like Seillans, Tourrettes, Fayence, Tende, Mons and Callian. What you will nd is a unique cultural heritage. Stop in Biot to watch the glassblowers at work, then head to the Moulin de Mougins for a tasty bite from Alain Llorca’s kitchen (two Michelin stars). For a bird’s eye view of Provence, how about a ride in a glider? With the Club de Fayence, you can soar in utter silence above the mountains, the coast and the islands. Hardcore sports enthusiasts should head to Domaine de Barbossi and its splendid golf course featuring 22 contemporary sculptures displayed amongst lakes and rivers. The stables at L’Étrier host horses and riders with a modern and spacious infrastructure. Last, but not least, the Tennis Country Club boasts six tennis courts, tennis pros and physical trainers. Choose your tournament!

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The Route des Vins: another way to visit Provence

The vineyards of Provence unfurl in a postcard- perfect display all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean. Lulled by the sounds of the cicadas, set out in search of the passionate winemakers who make Provence’s rosé wines. From the mount Sainte-Victoire to the Saint-Tropez Gulf, more than 400 winemaking estates await you throughout the region to introduce you to their work, their products (Bandol, Côtes de Provence, etc.), their history and their warm “joie de vivre”. A variety of itineraries are available, depending on your time and tastes.

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