After doing Greece and Italy the last couple of summers it was time to check out what the south of France had to offer and so happy we did, as it was such a beautiful holiday!
We flew from Dublin to Nice which is about a two hour flight, however the airline lost my luggage so I was without clothes and bits for the first 2 days and needless to say I was like a nettle…. We then made our way down to the Juan Le Pin in the Cap Antibes area, which is a lovely seaside town about 20 mins taxi from Nice. On our second last day rented a convertible Mini Cooper for getting around to explore Nice, Cap Feret, Eze and Monte Carlo.
Where we Stayed:
We stayed in a gorgeous seafront hotel called Belle Rives for 5 nights and its super romantic. It has everything you would need with a terrace restaurant, waterfront lunch area, sunbeds and water activities. We went at the end of August which is peak season so book EVERYTHING!!! Guests who go to this hotel every year get priority, so be organized. The concierge Luca has the friendliest face so you don’t feel bad asking for requests and he’s so accommodating.
On the night we arrived I randomly walked into a Wedding Day 2 of an old friend of mines from school! Like what are the chances!! Such a small world and so great to catch up with old friends and congratulate the bride on her day!
Where we ate:
• Ok one of the BEST experiences from the holiday was dinner in Hotel Du Cap Eden Rock. It’s one of the most stunning hotels I have ever been to and all the Canne Film Festival Gala dinners are held here. The Hotel is perched in front of a long drive down to the ocean with the restaurant/pool area on the seafront at the bottom. Both equally gorgeous. Booking dinner is essential and it is on the pricey side but worth it for the experience and fantastic people watching. (We had a Russian birthday party on one side and break up on the other!!) I would recommend arriving early to snoop around the hotel and grounds.
• This is closely followed by a restaurant with the most incredible views Chèvre Dor in Ezè. We drove here from Cap Antibes and parking can be a little tricky but there is a carpark at the bottom of the hill and from there it’s about a 5/10 minute walk with a steep enough incline. But That hike for your lunch will be worth it!!! I promise! Again I would recommend a booking especially in peak season but the restaurant has a casual outdoor setting with a selection of pizzas and salads. We sat here for 3 hours and found it very difficult to leave as it was jawdroppingly beautiful. A must if in the area.
• We were lucky enough to have the outdoor terrace restaurant in our hotel Belle Rives which holds a Michelin Star and is a wonderful experience if you are staying at the hotel or not. It comes with all the white glove service and in between course appetizers so a real treat to the senses.
• We also took a short trip to Baôli in Cannes for some good food, vibes and a boogie! I recommend doing dinner but come quite late, no earlier than 9.30pm as that’s when it starts to fill up with a lively atmosphere. It slowly starts to build as the night goes on and turns into a nightclub at midnight with tunes pumping and a filled dance floor. There was lots of families there too but I would go with an earlier sitting for the kiddies. This is a great spot if abroad for a birthday or a hen.
• Last but far from least is restaurant Helios right on the beach in Juan Le Pin. And by right on the beach I mean sandy toes waterfront. Romance level 1000%. One of the best meals we had and great value. There are around 5 or 6 restaurants very similar to this all on the beach and you don’t need to book them.
Things to do:
• We took a trip to Monte Carlo in Monaco just for a look. To be honest I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole place. We checked out the famous Hotel du Paris and while its restaurant had the most gorgeous views of Monte Carlo but I still felt a million miles away from the South of France I had just left. If your planning a trip you can also check out the infamous Casino and they have a Nikki Beach close by too! Also the moment you enter Monaco your data roaming just stops working so be prepared if you’re driving. Goodbye google maps!
• Cap Feret is also a gorgeous area and go for drinks in the Hotel Du Cap Four Season. A stunning hotel.
• It’s very easy to rent a boat and most concierges will organize it for you. We didn’t end up doing it as we were melted into our sunbeds and nothing could tear us away from the relaxation but they can be reasonably priced for smaller boats. Note: unless you have a boat license you must get a skipper which is an extra cost.
Overall I’m so happy we picked the South of France for holibops this year as it was incredibly beautiful and a little bit off the beaten track to where most people are going. It was probably some of the best food and most beautiful locations I’ve ever been to! (All I really care about realistically) and therefore I was very impressed and can’t wait to go back!