Group Travel Tour Operator and DMC for the South of France and Italy
Nice Carnival and Menton Lemon Festival
Experience a group tour to Nice Carnival and Menton Lemon Festival while relaxing on this bewitching coastline, spanning France and Italy. Head to Diano Marina on Italy’s sun-soaked section of the Côte d’Azur for your tour. This offers the best of Italian hospitality while you enjoy the delights of these two special festivals.Read more
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 colourful flower parades, float processions and firework displays flood the city.
Une Fête du Citron
Lying on the border of Italy and France, the coastal Commune of Menton hosts a celebration of citrus each year. 200,000 people pour into Menton over 15 days to witness craft fairs, garden exhibitions and parades as the town becomes a sea of yellow. Lemons and other citrus fruits are used to create incredible structures. See them parade through the town accompanied by masked and painted faces, costumes, head-dresses, bands and acrobats. More than just an accompaniment to your G&T: it’s lemons, but not as you know them.
The Sparkling Côte d’Azur
The Côte d’Azur is scattered with gems of all manner, not least the unique principality of Monaco, playground of the rich and famous. Monte Carlo, its focal point is undoubtedly striking with its yacht-laden marinas and lavish casinos. However, for a glimpse of Monaco’s understated charm, head to the pretty old town and the beautiful Prince’s Palace. This entire area boasts impressive villas and spectacular gardens overlooking the sea. Pretty little towns dot this beautiful coast, like Cervo, a village rising from the seas with a steep climb up the hillside. Barely an hour away from Diano Marina is the stunning Sanremo , Italy’s answer to Monaco with its ostentatious villas and grandiose casinos.
We all deserve a little winter sun to break through the clouds, but why not treat yourself to a little culture and adventure while you’re at it? You can also extend your stay to include more of the region’s delights. With festivals, charming towns and breathtaking views on offer, this is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Please note: This region is quite hilly and many of the gardens have lots of steps.
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. There is also free coach parking available.
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|Dates||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|February 2022||from £425.00 per person||from £159.00 per person|
Exact dates TBC