While the Riviera has its fair share of blockbuster sites, it also has delightful draws far from the madding crowd. Here are a few of our favorite spots.
Les Mas Candille
Appealing to figures from Churchill to Picasso, Mougins was the latter’s sanctuary for the last 12 years of his life. A quaint Provençal village that brims with local charm and a rich artistic heritage, it was also frequented by Cocteau and Man Ray. Today, with its flower-lined cobbled streets sprinkled with artists’ studios and galleries, Mougins makes a perfect hideaway renowned for great dining options and the 5-star Mas Candille Hotel that comes with a Shiseido spa and Michelin-star restaurant. www.mougins-tourisme.fr/en
A few minutes’ drive from underwhelming Grasse, which sadly has seen better days, is a peaceful haven that nestles among olive groves. A labour of love of chef Jacques Chibois and his wife, the smart white stone mansion has a handful of luxurious Provençal style rooms and an upscale Michelin star restaurant that serves local cuisine that guests travel far and wide for. www.jacques-chibois.com
While in the Grasse area, it’s worth exploring the sprinkling of hilltop villages among the hills, however none are like the almost gothic Gourdon. With its medieval castle that sits on a large rock overhanging the valley, the detour is worth it for the breath-taking views alone. After shopping for locally-made soaps and foodstuffs, lunch at the Taverne Provençale for the best views. www.lataverneprovencale.com