Nice Carnival and Menton Lemon Festival
Experience Nice Carnival and Menton Lemon Festival while relaxing on this bewitching coastline, spanning France and Italy. Head to the sun-soaked Côte d’Azur for your tour based in Diano Marina in Italy. This offers the best of Italian hospitality while you enjoy the delights of these two special festivals.
Festivals, Floats and Fireworks
Nice is a fabulous city rich in glorious architecture and superb restaurants. Boasting an enticing old town and wonderful markets, it’s a pleasure to explore. Unsurprisingly, it has become the unofficial capital of the enchanting Côte d’Azur. Each winter, this gem enjoys a burst of colour and life with the arrival of the Nice Carnival. For two weeks every February / March colourful flower parades, float processions and firework displays flood the city.
Furthermore, Menton hosts a celebration of the citrus fruit. During this 15 day period, the town becomes a sea of yellow. Citrus fruits are used to create especially remarkable structures. See them parade through the town accompanied by masked and painted faces, costumes, head-dresses, bands and acrobats.
The Sparkling Côte d’Azur
In addition to these undeniable highlights, this stretch of coast is scattered with gems. Visit the tiny country with a huge reputation: Monaco. Monte Carlo oozes attitude and is a magnet for the rich and famous. For a glimpse of its more understated charm, head to the pretty old town and the beautiful palace. This entire area boasts impressive villas and spectacular gardens overlooking the sea. Pretty little towns dot this beautiful coast, like Cervo, a village which climbs a steep hillside to rise up from the sea. Since your hotel is in Diano Marina, the stunning Sanremo is only about an hour away!
This tour is full of highlights and is perfect for a splash of winter sunshine! You can also extend your stay to include more of the region’s delights. With festivals, charming towns and breathtaking views on offer, this will be a very memorable experience.
Please note: This region is quite hilly and many of the gardens have lots of steps.
25th February 2020
Arrive in Diano Marina
Depart from your local area and travel to Dover for a ferry crossing to Calais. Continue through France making an overnight stop before proceeding to Italy the following day. Check into your hotel in the beautiful Diano Marina on the famous Italian ‘Riviera of Flowers’. If time allows, begin exploring the area before enjoying dinner in your hotel.
Monaco and Monte Carlo
Visit the glamorous Monaco today, playground of the rich and famous. Explore Monaco’s Old Town, filled with stunning gardens, a remarkable cathedral and a palace where you may witness the changing of the palace guards. If you’re interested in car racing, why not visit the amazing Grand Prix Circuit? Enjoy some free time at the Casino Square or ‘Golden Square’ with prestigious shops, amazing restaurants and luxury cars.
At leisure in Diano Marina
After all that excitement, enjoy a more leisurely day today with some free time. Perhaps explore the town of Diano Marina. Take a stroll among the characterful streets and along the sandy beachfront and palm-lined promenade. Alternatively, visit the nearby ancient hill top village of Cervo. Cervo’s roots date back the Roman times and its 16th century walls, which overlook the sea, protect its medieval streets, churches and houses.
Nice Carnival (Saturday)
This morning, travel to Nice where there’s time to explore the Old Town, and take a stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais. In the afternoon, it’s time to take your position for the Corso Carnavalesque, the carnival parade. Dozens of brightly coloured and decorated floats, all created by local people, follow a circular route around the city centre accompanied by musicians and dancers. On each float, costumed models throw flowers to an enthusiastic crowd. This ‘Battle of the Flowers’ is an elegant show with around 3000 stems per float ranging from roses to carnations to gerberas. This is a truly unique and memorable spectacle. Nice itself is a great place to shop, dine and watch the world go by from a picturesque café.
Menton Lemon Festival (Sunday)
Join in all the fun of the ‘La Fête du Citron’ with a visit to Menton for the Lemon Festival. Each year, the people of Mention try very hard to outdo each other with their lemon-inspired creations that require more than 145 tonnes of citrus fruit. The festival has a different theme each year, so the designs are always new and innovative. Visit these giant sculptures in the Biovès Gardens, which becomes a sea of orange and yellow, with some creations exceeding heights of 10 metres! Then, enjoy the procession of citrus fruit-decorated floats, marching bands and drum majorettes.
Return to the UK
The time has come to depart from this sun-soaked coast and begin your journey back to the UK. Stop overnight in France, before continuing to Calais for your return ferry crossing to the UK.
Why not stay on the beautiful ‘Riviera of Flowers’ a little longer? There’s a myriad of sights worth seeing from San Remo’s flower market to stunning villas along the coast. Perhaps visit Ventimiglia on Friday for their famous markets which run the length of the town and seafront.
A trip to Hanbury Gardens is definitely worthwhile. Created in 1867 by Sir Thomas Hanbury features many specimens garden and a succulent garden all overlooking the Mediterranean. Discover a host of local villas including Villa Zirio, former residence of German Emperor William III, Palazzo Bellevue, Villa Ormond, a French style botanical garden and Villa Nobel, the final home of Swedish scientist, Alfred Nobel. The Pallanca exotic garden in Bordighera, whose plant-covered terraces sweep down to the sea, boasts over 3,000 species of plants.
Hotel Palace, Diano Marina ****
Located across the road from the beach and a short walk from downtown. Facilities include free use of the hydromassage, sauna and solarium and the hotel’s bicycles.
Hotel Diana Majestic, Diano Marina ****
Located close to the historical centre and the port. Facilities include a bar, lounge, pool, wellness centre, garden, terrace, restaurant and seasonal entertainment.
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|Hotel Palace, Diano Marina||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|25th February 2020||Prices from £419 per person||Prices from £155 per person|