The breathtaking city of Mougins
Olive groves, cypress trees, and lush green forests characterize the commune of Mougins. This little town sits in the district of Grasse in the wider Cannes region and is as pretty as they come. As far as medieval villages go, Mougins has it all, including the desirable hilltop location and ancient houses. The town has seen its fair share of historical celebrities too. Picasso, Cocteau, and Paul Eluard have all graced Mougins with their presence. Today the area draws travelers from the heart of Cannes out into the countryside to enjoy a taste of rural France.
While Mougins may initially seem to be a sleepy hilltop town, don't be fooled by its exterior. Step inside the town boundaries, and you'll find over 40 restaurants (some with Michelin sta, two golf courses, and 20 or so art galleries. Whatsmore, to the east of Mougins, lies Parc de la Valmasque. This forested area is a haven for hiking, biking, and river swimming.
Things to do in Mougins
Mougins has a glowing reputation worldwide for its fine-dining and gourmet cuisine, but there's more to the town than Michelin star restaurants. There's a little something here for every traveler type.
Culture vultures will enjoy a morning at the Musee d'Art Classe de Mougins (MACM). The museum is home to a diverse collection of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian antiques. Likewise, the Museum of Photography will be of interest to many. This small museum is home to a renowned collection of Picasso photographs and an array of antique cameras. The Galerie Lifetime Gallery is also a popular attraction showcasing classic and modern artwork.
If you're interested in architecture, then the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Vie is a must-see. This romantic chapel dates back to the 12th century and boasts Romanesque decor. The small square bell tower, wrought iron gate, and 18th-century canvas all offer an insight into a Mougin's of yesteryear.
Those who enjoy green spaces should check out Eco Parc, an ecological park, and the ideal destination for an afternoon stroll. The park is home to sculptures, artwork, and manicured-gardens. You'll likely see a mix of local families enjoying a stroll and visitors swinging by for a picnic.
Picasso and Art History
Despite being a Spanish resident, Pablo Picasso spent most of his life enjoying life in France. During his later years, Picasso retired to Mougins and lived the remainder of his life in this hilltop village. His presence in the town made a huge impression, and today reminders of Picasso’s residency are notable everywhere. Picasso's home in Mougins was Villa Notre-Dame-de-View. Today the house is privately owned (it sold for over £23 million), but the nearby Chapelle de Notre-Dame de vie is open to the public. It's thought that the chapel is one of Picasso's inspirations. In Mougins, it was here that Picasso produced The Dance of the Youth and other notable paintings.
Since Picasso's death in 1973, the town of Mougin has had its foot in the world of international art. Today artists travel from far and wide to enjoy the landscapes that inspired one of the world's greatest painters. Besides Picasso, the town has attracted its fair share of famous faces, including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Fernand Leger.
The International Festival of Gastronomy
While most annual events on the Riviera take place in Nice and Cannes, Mougins has its own unique festival. Every year in June, the town opens its doors to the International Festival of Gastronomy (Les Etoiles de Mougins). The festival is entirely dedicated to food and lasts three days, with entertainment taking place between 10am and midnight. During the festival, the streets are overflowing with native and international chefs, all of whom gather to showcase their culinary talents. Expect to enjoy cookery demonstrations, tasting sessions, and cooking workshops! If you're planning a trip to the French Riviera in June, make sure you head north to Mougins!
Day Trips from Mougins
While dedicating your entire trip duration to Mougins alone will leave you feeling satisfied, it's always nice to venture a little further afield for a few hours. Cannes is an obvious contender on the list of nearby places to visit. However, you've likely passed through here already. Instead, consider visiting the island of Sainte-Marguerite. The island sits just off the coast of Cannes and is easily accessed by boat. A day on the island provides a nice contrast and can involve sunbathing on a beach, swimming in the Mediterranean, and exploring rock formations on foot.
Alternatively, consider heading to the seafront town of Antibes, which sits 8-miles east of Mougins. This glistening Mediterranean resort town boasts a bustling nightlife, a vibrant restaurant scene, and a historic Old Town protected by 16th-century ramparts. Similarly, the nearby town of Grasse makes for a great day out. Perfume production is the town's legacy and the Musee International de la Parfumerie makes for an interesting trip.
For the best of both worlds, why not charter a yacht and spend a day exploring the French Riviera coast before returning to Mougins?
With a history that dates back to pre-Roman times, a thriving art community and a remarkable fine-dining scene, there's no doubt that Mougins is a sought after destination. This little town has had the nod of approval from the elite as the perfect French Riviera hideaway. For help organizing your trip to Mougins and the French Riviera, speak to FranceRent.
From Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, Mougins is just a 20-minute drive away, and FranceRent will take care of your trip's luxury transfers needs. If you want to touch down in Mougins in style, consider chartering a private helicopter from Cannes Mandelieu Airport.
Best restaurants on Cote d'Azur - France
Famous for its designer fashion brands, rolling vineyards, and historic monuments, France is a country with a lot to offer but it’s the nation’s gourmet cuisine that draws millions of visitors year after year. French dishes, which are usually full of flavor, made using simple ingredients, and boasting great finesse, have been replicated around the globe by passionate chefs aiming to try their hand at traditional dishes and haute cuisine. Below we’ve looked at some of the best restaurants in the south of France. Whether you’re looking for fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant (France is home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world) or hearty French cuisine at an authentic bistro, we’ve covered all dining options to suit every taste in this restaurant guide.
South of France by car
With 71 miles of winding corniche roads, numerous quaint Provincial villages to visit, and endless soft sand beaches to stop at and enjoy some sun-soaking, France’s Cote d’Azur is one of Europe’s dreamiest road trip destinations. Rent a car on the French Riviera and the Mediterranean Sea and the charm of southern France is at your fingertips! On your Riviera road trip, you’ll wind your way around a variety of landscapes, soak up a diverse range of cultures, and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastline. After all, there’s no better way to navigate the coast than to do so with the comfort and freedom of your own vehicle.
Events and festivals on French Riviera
The Cote d’Azur is abuzz with glitz and glamour all year round but it’s the summer months that really get the party started on France’s sought-after south coast. Events and festivals are held every month and range from theatre performances and music festivals to cinematography celebrations and yacht races. A-listers, millionaires, and outright party people flock to the shores of the Mediterranean for a summer to remember as seaside towns and secluded beaches become the stomping ground for a summer of fun. Below we take a look at some of the best events and festivals on the Côte d’Azur and provide a handy event guide to help you plan your dream trip.
Shopping on Cote d’Azur
It’s no secret that the South of France is an area well known for its acquired taste in luxury living, and when it comes to shopping this affluent region has a real flair for fashion and a lot to offer for shopaholics. Dare to drag yourself away from the alluring arrondissements of Paris’s fashion district and you’ll be rewarded with a sunsoaked shopping haven on Cote d’Azur and when it comes to shopping, the French Riviera does not disappoint. From upmarket department stores like Galeries Lafayette (whose flagship store you’ll find in Paris) to independent art galleries including the Sheun Gallery in Nice, the array of shopping available on Cote d’Azur covers a variety of tastes and, believe it or not, can be tailored to suit all budgets.
Nightlife on the French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
The French Riviera is renowned for its glitz and glam appeal, hedonistic summers, and over the top attitude to partying, all of which make it a popular destination with those looking for a lively social scene. Jazz cafes, trendy bars, and glamorous night clubs line the sparkling coast and visitors can choose between splashing the cash at an invite-only beach party or rubbing shoulders with A-listers at one of the best clubs in the world. Whatever your entertainment taste may be, the Cote d’Azur has a little something for everyone.
Boat activities on Cote d'Azur - France
The French Riviera, also known as the Cote d'Azur, is found on France's south-east coast and overlooks the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Known for its dazzling sand beaches, upmarket resort towns, and glamorous casinos, the Cote d'Azur has been a popular holiday destination with some of the world's wealthiest travelers since the 18th century. While boutique shops and Michelin-starred restaurants are certainly points of interest on the coast, one of the biggest draws is the array of water-based activities available. From yacht rentals, private boat tours, parasailing excursions, water sport rentals, and jet ski hire, the list of aqua-excursions is endless! Our simple guide to boat rental on the French Riviera takes a look at the different watersports available along the coast and the range of yacht and boat rentals available. After all, no visit to the Cote d'Azur can pass by without a day at sea.