The French Riviera – France & Monaco

Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_1There is something so distinctly beautiful about the French Riviera. With its sapphire waters and striped parasols by the sea, no other destination screams chic quite like Côte d’Azur!

We arrived in Nice, France on day six of our tour and were given the afternoon to explore the city. Once we checked into our hotel, my travel partner, Katharyn, and I set out to explore the city. We made our way to the famous Promenade De Anglais to take in the views of the glistening waters.

NiceContiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_2 Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_3Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_4Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_5Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_6Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_7Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_8 Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_9Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_10 Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_11 Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_12

After city sightseeing and a bit of shopping, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner where we enjoyed delicious French food and, of course, wine.Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour of Nice France_13

The next day we basked in the sun while laying on lounge chairs under blue and white striped umbrellas at Opera PlagePromenade des Anglais’s oldest beach. The private beach has been passed down from generation to generation for over 100 years.Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Opera Plage_1Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Opera Plage_2 Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Opera Plage_3

Monaco

That evening we headed to the world’s smallest country, Monaco, where we saw the Royal Palace, the Saint Nicholas Cathedral (the church where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were married), before having dinner at a restaurant on a narrow street right in front of the palace. From there we headed by bus to Monte Carlo to visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo where a number of James Bond movies were filmed. It was also a filming location for the 2004 film Ocean’s Twelve. We were not able to take pictures inside the casino due to security regulations, but I have to say that this spot is perhaps the fanciest place I’ve ever been. It was like being in a James Bond movie, with men dressed in tuxedos and women in floor length gowns. I’m not a gambler, but I sure loved moving around the casino and watching the excitement with a James Bond martini in hand!

Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_1Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_2Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_3Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_4Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_5Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_6Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_7Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ Monaco_8

The following day we left our hotel in Nice and headed through the Provence region to Avignon, stopping along the way in Aix-en-Provence. If you are unfamiliar with this area, check out Lonely Planet’s guide to this old 17th and 18th century town. While in Avignon we also visited the French perfumery, Fragonard. For some reason I didn’t take a lot of photos during our short visits to these cities, but I did find a funny photo of me posing in a lavender patch at the side of the road trying to stop my hat from blowing away and a couple of our tour through Fragonard.

Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ France_Fragonard Perfumery_1Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ France_Fragonard Perfumery_2Contiki Mediterranean Highlights tour_ France_Lavender_1


Casual Outfit:

1. Top: M for Mendocino | 2. Shorts: M for Mendocino | 3. Earrings: Lisi Lerch | 4. Sandals: Clarks | 5. Boat Hat: Free People | Sunglasses: Nordstrom | 6. Camera Bag: Lo and Sons

Monaco Outfit:

  1. Dress: Supertrash via ASOS | 2. Earrings: Lisi Lerch | 3. Sandals: Old – Nine West  | 4. Clutch: J.Crew

XX

Natasha

Cinque Terre

Europe 2015 611

Happy Tuesday everyone! Last week I shared photos of Portovenere, Italy. If you missed it you can view the photos here. It was in Portovenere that my tour group and I boarded a ferry that would take us to the Cinque Terre (“five lands”). If you haven’t heard of this area in the Liguria region of Italy, you have likely stumbled upon photos of the five glorious seaside towns on Pinterest. According to Pinterest, the villages are some of the most “pinned” destinations on the platform!

We left Portovenere by boat, making stops in the towns of Cinque Terre to drop off locals and tourists. Our first stop was Riomaggiore followed by ManarolaCorniglia is the next town over but it is perched high in the cliffs above the water and is the only town not accessible by boat. After we past Corniglia we stopped in Vernazza before arriving in the fifth town that makes up the Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare.

When we got off in Monterosso, my friend Katharyn and I grabbed a delicious lunch at a beachside restaurant with a great couple from San Francisco that was in our tour group. Afterwards we headed to the beach to collapse under the beautiful multi-coloured striped parasols along the sea.

RiomaggioreEurope 2015 543Europe 2015 545Europe 2015 546Europe 2015 563 copyEurope 2015 565Europe 2015 551Europe 2015 562 Europe 2015 561

ManarolaEurope 2015 547Europe 2015 569 Europe 2015 571

VernazzaEurope 2015 580Europe 2015 579 Europe 2015 583 Europe 2015 587

Monterosso al MareEurope 2015 590Europe 2015 599 Europe 2015 603Europe 2015 606 2 Europe 2015 608 Europe 2015 609 Europe 2015 610Europe 2015 613Europe 2015 612 Europe 2015 616 Europe 2015 618


 1. Bikini: ASOS – sold out (top & bottom version) | 2. Cropped Cover Up: ASOS – sold out (similar here) | 3. Sunglasses: Coach

After spending the remainder of the day in Monterosso, we travelled by train to La Spezia where we spent the night in the cutest hotel before embarking on our next adventure…in France!

Hiking through all five towns that make up the Cinque Terre is definitely on my must-do list the next time I visit Italy. I’m hoping to go back in the summer of 2017 as there are so many more cities and towns I want to explore there, including Positano, Venice and Sorrento. What other areas of Italy have you been to that you would recommend?

In my next edition of Travel Tuesday, I’ll be sharing photos of the second country I visited last summer – Southern France!

xx

Natasha

1 2 3 19