Take a swing at golf, explore the local craft workshops and have a browse of the boutiques – then relax at one of the coastline’s sumptuous spa hotels. It’s all on offer this autumn.
The newest addition to the local golf scene is the ‘Pass Côte d’Azur Golfs Pays de Grasse’, launched in October 2017, which unites 20 golf courses in the area. 7-day passes cost €110 and 14-day passes are €220 – find out more at www.cotedazur-golfs.com. Many prestigious golf courses can be found by the sea, but others worth noting inland are the Golf d’Opio-Valbonne (18 holes set across a staggering 220 hectares); the Golf de la Grande Bastide in Châteauneuf-de-Grasse; and the Golf du Claux-Amic in Grasse (don’t miss the view of the Lérins islands from the 12th hole).
There’s nothing like browsing the smart rows of boutiques in Cannes, Antibes or Nice while on holiday – but to make your shopping experience even more accessible, the Côte d’Azur has launched a new online boutique for its most popular brands. Fashion, gourmet food, home or perfumery, you can buy online more than 140 "Côte d'Azur France" branded products!
A few miles inland from Antibes, the village of Biot has been associated with glass-blowing for centuries – and the family-run Verrerie de Biot dates back to 1956, when the first of its trademark ‘bubbled glass’ was created. Bubbles are a decorative technique and the effect can be achieved by adding chemicals to a glass batch, which reacts to produce random air bubbles during the melting process. Special tools allow the glassblower to manipulate the bubbles (normally considered defects) into certain deliberate designs. Visit the Verrerie to admire, touch, choose and buy unique hand-blown pieces for your home – there’s everything from plates and glasses to vases and paperweights. Many items can also be bought from the numerous galleries lining the main areas of the village. Find out more on Biot, a “Villes et Métiers d'Art” certified town.
If you need further inspiration for your table back home, there’s a new Design & Art Weekend focused on table decoration, from 5-7 October at the Pinède Gould in Juan-les-Pins.
Another tactile craft on the Côte d’Azur is pottery, concentrated in and around the village of Vallauris near Cannes. Due to the area’s rich natural supply of clay, pottery has been made here since Roman times – but the village really grew as a pottery centre in the late 19th century and many producers have flourished here since then, notably Massier and Foucard-Jourdan. An influx of potters from all over France gravitated to Vallauris in the 1940s, drawn by the attractive conditions of a small village with availability of material, workshops and cheap living costs.
Pablo Picasso and Roger Capron both contributed significantly to the ceramics trade in Vallauris, while other artists including Marc Chagall and Edouard Pignon were first introduced to the craft here. Modern Vallauris pottery is lead glazed, brightly coloured earthenware, often heavily influenced by its Mediterranean homeland. The majority of items produced are domestic tableware and cooking pots.
Spa and thalassotherapy
Spa and beauty products are in abundance on the Côte d’Azur – so if a bit of pampering is in order this autumn, consider timing your visit to coincide with ‘Happy Spa Week’ (19-25 November), during which some of the area’s most prestigious spa hotels are offering an exclusive deal, including accommodation and spa time.
Find out more on spa and thalassotherapy in Côte d'Azur here.
New for 2018 at Thalazur in Antibes is a combined ‘sport and health’ option combining the expertise of a sports coach with specialised activities. This integrates a pool session with cardio, postural stretching, mobility flexibility and relaxation. There are also special offerings for mums-to-be.
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