Once the Monaco Yacht Show (September 27-30) has finished there's no need to race away from the French Riviera. Make the most of the autumn sunshine and a more relaxed atmosphere with our guide to four routes to finish of the Mediterranean season in style.
1. To embrace the elements
After a long season of partying, eating and drinking, you may find that you need some fresh air and exercise to rejuvenate your spirit. Find your energy again by taking part in some of the outdoor activities on offer, from hiking in Eze to paragliding in Provence.
Head to Nice for stunning seaside scenery, best enjoyed in the great outdoors. Moving away from the main port, the surrounding countryside offers extraordinary hiking and cycling paths over the rambling terrain. The Nietzsche path is reputedly the best, named after philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who walked it on a daily basis during the summer when he lived there. The path takes about an hour and half and makes for a good workout with its steep ascent. For something a little different, explore the paths on horseback before embarking west to continue your invigorating trip.
Off the coast of Hyères is a collection of small islands known as the Golden Isles. Îles d’Hyères has some beautiful anchorages and is only 7.5 nautical miles from the Port-Cros National Park. Snorkelling in the sanctuary, which covers about 13 kilometres, will reward you with sightings of live coral fans, tuna or jellyfish. There are plenty of wreck dives to explore, including a couple of submerged aircrafts. This is also the place to get out any water toys and practice your water skiing or kayaking skills. Port-Cros is one of the best secret islands in the French Riviera and the waters of the Côte d’Azur will surely be welcoming and warm for whatever aquatic activity you have planned.
Only half an hour from the port of Marseille is the town of Aix-en-Provence, famed for its vibrant lavender fields. The locals know that this picturesque area is best seen from up top, so there are many opportunities available for enjoying the coastal area from a birds-eye-view. Hire a private helicopter for an exhilarating, open door tour, or enjoy a romantic sunset trip in a hot air balloon. Paragliding and skydiving are also options for the real thrill seekers, with this region boasting the biggest skydiving centre in Europe. If you want to scale heights a little closer to the ground, you can engage in any of the crag climbing activities.
Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / zaferkizilkaya