Swim in the sea
No visit to the south of France would be complete without at least a quick dip. The locals are unlikely to go in the sea except at the height of summer (other times of the year are considered too cold) but if you’re used to swimming in colder water (in England, for example), then the water is wonderful from about March until sometimes as late as November. Find a private beach to hire a lounger in relative comfort with waiter service or choose a more natural (but maybe more crowded) public beach. Don’t forget the suntan lotion.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Socca is the local dish, made of chickpeas and cooked in the same way as crepes. It’s eaten in the same way as a pancake – as a healthier alternative to fast food – rolled up and wrapped in paper. It’s a great way to fill up, while you wander around the town looking for your next meal. Socca booths are all over town, but especially at Nice’s flower market on every day of the week but Monday (before 1.30pm for food).
Drink the local wine
The south of France has long been known and loved for its grapes. This is rosé wine territory, although the locals might think it a huge “faux pas” to continue drinking it through winter, when most switch to red (or at least white) wine. Head to Coco et Rico to try the local wines (organic available) behind the Promenade des Anglais.
Dine far above the crowds
Nothing will make you feel more special than heading up to eat lunch or dinner on the top of one of the hotels along the Promenade des Anglais. Lounge by the pools and then mooch over to your (pre-reserved) table on the balcony, overlooking the thousands of people on the Prom below. If you want to blow the budget, try Le Chantecler, the two-star Michelin restaurant at the kooky Hotel Negresco. Try the 3e restaurant at the Hyatt Regency for a fine dining experience but where the waiters are a little less formal. Or maybe try the poolside lounge restaurant, La Terrasse, at Le Méridien, where you can get a burger cooked to perfection (albeit still not cheap). It’s worth a drink in one of them at least, if not just to get the exclusive sensation of being on top of the world.
See some art (Matisse or Chagall)
Many painters like Picasso, Van Gogh and Cézanne have flocked to the region because of its clear skies and magic light. Matisse and Chagall made Nice their home for large periods of their life and the Musée Matisse and Musée Chagall are only a Boulevard apart (about a 15-minute walk).
Jazz came to the region in the 1920s, brought over by American ex-pats who came to live on the Côte D’Azur, to write or paint or party. Many of them, like F Scott Fitzgerald, hired big houses along the coast where they held ostentatious parties and invited famous US jazz bands to play. Nowadays, you can continue the tradition by visiting many local jazz bars and clubs, visiting during the Jazz festival (July) or having lunch at one of the big hotels that used to be a second home to these people who called themselves the “Lost Generation”, such as the Hotel du Cap or the Hotel Belles Rives in nearby Juans-Les-Pins. (Fitzgerald wrote at the Belles Rives and used the Hotel du Cap as inspiration for his books).
Party at Nice’s carnival
Every February, thousands of people descend on Nice for the annual celebration that traditionally comes before lent (when everyone is supposed to eat up all the fattening things in their cupboards before fasting). Join in the festivities, processions, pageants, flower battles and craziness by dressing up (fancy dress isn’t obligatory but it is encouraged).
For more gorgeous things to see, read the Culture Trip guide to the best panoramic views in Nice.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.