The Cote d’Azur has staged carnivals every February since the end of the 19th century to encourage visitors to enjoy its mild winter climate. Once Queen Victoria visited Menton for its traditional carnival it became as famous as Nice. Over the years the small town’s Lemon Festival has grown in popularity. More than 300 professionals work on the project and 145 tonnes of citrus fruits are used to make the amazing sculptures and the spectacular parade of floats.
Day 1 An early collection from home to join our coach for the journey to Dover and mid-morning sailing to Calais. We continue to our overnight hotel in Dijon, arriving in time for our evening meal.
Day 2 Departing after breakfast, we continue through France, cross the border into Italy and arrive at the Grand Hotel in Diano Marina by late afternoon.
Day 3 Today we travel to the French Riviera for the Flower Parade and the Nice Flower Carnival. The carnival is one of the most important in France. The place is alive with celebration and we will see the colourful floats make their way along the Promenade des Anglais. A million flowers are thrown to the waiting crowds by costumed models.
Day 4 A short drive along this spectacular coast takes us to the gorgeous town of Menton just over the border on the French Riviera. In the harbour, new luxurious yachts replace the fishing boats of old. The town is a glorious maze of pretty streets leading up to the Basilica. In between there are quaint shops, markets, chic shops and street cafés. There will be time to view the amazing giant sculptures made of citrus fruit in the Jardins Bioves. This afternoon we take our seats on the Promenade for the procession as float after float of colourful citrus fruit, music and dancing pass us by.
Day 5 Day at leisure to relax and soak up the atmosphere in Diano Marina. Explore the bustling streets, enjoy a drink in one of the many cafés and bars and watch the world go by. Be sure to return to the hotel for a special Ligurian dinner this evening.
Day 6 After a leisurely breakfast we travel to the principality of Monaco, offering a great balance of historical and modern attractions. There are various museums and places to visit, as well as shopping malls, casinos and relaxing spots along the stunning harbour.
Day 7 Regretfully we must leave our hosts today for our return journey north to the overnight hotel with evening meal on arrival.
Day 8 After breakfast, we continue our journey to Calais for a late afternoon ferry to Dover, returning to the local area by late evening where our door to door service will be waiting to return you home.
This delightful four-star standard hotel overlooks the bay of Diano Marina, not far from Sanremo and Monte Carlo. All bedrooms have en-suite facilities and feature air conditioning, TV, telephone, WiFi, safe, minibar and hairdryer. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, lounge area, outdoor swimming pools, sun-terrace and a lift.