Cagnes-sur-Mer – 5 days – 2 metres above sea level

Version française disponible ici.

The Mediterranean! It was along its coast that we arrived by our last border and enjoyed the symbol of its meaning. We proudly took a photo in front of the sign of “France” and the sign of “Menton city”, without realising what was going on.

We did our first kilometres on one of the most emblematic road of the country: the South of the National 7, the famous road of the holidays. After crossing the city, famous for its delicious lemons, we reached the perched village of Eze. Julien’s uncle, Patrick, was waiting for us to enjoy a break with coffee, melon, ham and eggs from the garden.

We avoided Nice by taking the highway. The trafic was heavy. Between the cars, we didn’t see each other. Both sidecars took a different exit and we finally met on the promenade along the beach of Cagnes-sur-Mer, with an unusual empty trafic.

One hundred of metres further, René and Marie-Thé, Julien’s great-uncle and great-aunt, were warmly welcoming us for a few days off. We lunched on the terrace under a parasol with the fan on.

Mid-afternoon, two journalists from the local newspaper, named Nice-Matin, interviewed us to take some photos on the seaside. Questions and replies last two hours. For the first time it was difficult to summarize one year of trip in only one favourite place and the best story while we had thousands of memories. We dived in the swimming pool before to dine at the Carlos’ restaurant, a Portuguese chef specialised in grilled meat.

The following day was dedicated to the discovery of Nice, the capital of the French Riviera. We went along the Bay of Angels and using the promenade of Paillon, very animated during these hot days. Many children were playing with the water while their parents were having fun watching them.

We continued our walk in the historic area of the city. We loved the colourful streets, the delicious smell of the Mediterranean cuisine, the authenticity and the friendly atmosphere. 

We finished the day at Sebastien’s place, Marie’s cousin, on the heights of Nice.

We enjoyed a new day of break to discover the heights of Cagnes. This medieval village was on the seaside and isolated in the meantime as it was perched on a hill protected by its old castle. The narrow streets were lovely with the nice atmosphere from the South with breathtaking viewpoints over the Mediterranean and the Mercantour. There were signs on the walls about the worldwide competition of “square balls” in the next few days.

When we were back, René explained us this game as similar rules to bocce but the square shape allows to play in the narrow and steep streets of the Alps villages. Each year, from the 80’s, the streets (with a slope between 10 and 18%) were welcoming this unusual event. 

This Mediterranean break gave us the opportunity to enjoy again workout. The promenade along the beach was only for pedestrian. With its asphalt, it was perfect for a run. The gentle curve was passing by the famous racetrack, the luxury Marina of Villeneuve-Louvet before to reach the Cap d’Antibes.

The afternoon was dedicated to visit the town of Grasse, the origin of the luxury perfume houses. Located on the first hills of the Alpes-Maritimes. Its narrow streets are the archetype of the Provençal architecture. They had a delicious smell of fine fragrances. They naturally attracted us to the Fragonard Factory, a well-known house. We took a guided tour through the museum with the explanation of the process of making perfume and the different evolutions across the centuries. The tour finished by the shop were we could not resist to buy some of them.

The next morning was the day of our departure. After enjoying some croissants for the breakfast, we left René and Marie-thé to the road towards West. After a day driving on the asphalt, we passed the city of Marseille and we stopped for the night at Fare-les-Oliviers, nearby the Berre lake. We pitched the tent on the property of the soap family factory, “la Perle de Provence“. Fred, the soap maker welcomed us. We discussed with him several minutes about his passion about soap and his favorite bikes, the Ducati.

After this night in the middle of the olive tree field, we took the road in direction of North East, crossing Nîmes, then Alès and the Cevennes. An area that we were unable to place on a map, such as the Lozère and Aveyron, the next counties on our way.

Where to do a break?

The soap family factory “Perle de Provence”
D10 Le Vieux Mas, 13680 Lançon-Provence

A family with a big heart and the passion for the things well done. No secret, only good and nice products. You will also have the possibility to camp under fantastic olive trees, if you have the time.