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French Riviera: Best Day and Half-Day Trips

For at least 100 years, the sophisticated and wealthy have descended upon the French Riviera, bringing with them sparkling glitz that is perfectly reflected in the sea’s azure waters. Thanks to this demand, the region has developed the reputation as Europe’s most glamourous summer destination. Visit Nice and you’ll find the summers balmy and the restaurants and bars plentiful. Beyond that though, the Cote d’Azur has so much more to offer, namely day trips by the tour operator Ophorus to explore the exquisite towns and villages, the wine tours, harbours, and historic monuments that have been admired by tourists over the centuries.

French Riviera Day Trips

Forget planning your own sightseeing excursions, plotting the route and organising transport and activities. Ophorus has you covered. This passionate tour operator is proudly in love with the French landscape and loves to share it with everyone! Your English-speaking Ophorus tour guide will collect you from your hotel and you’ll then travel in style in an air-conditioned minivan to villages, towns and cities along the coast and through the mountains. Each trip lasts either half a day or a full day, so once you’re dropped back at your hotel, you will have plenty of time to enjoy your evening!

So, if you’re visiting Nice or Aix-en-Provence this summer, here are some of the fantastic excursions Ophorus can offer you to discover the culture and history of the French Riviera.

French Riviera Day & Half-Day Trips from Nice and Aix-en Provence

Many villages across the south of France are difficult to access with public transport. But you don’t have to miss out. Take a day or half-day trip with your Ophorus guide and driver to discover the best of the French Riviera and secret places that are off the beaten track. Ophorus offers a great range of destinations for you to choose from.

Towns and Cities to Visit


Arty Arles is home to several major Roman buildings including the incredibly well preserved and still active 2000-year-old arena. Van Gogh found inspiration here, falling in love with the vibrant colours and painting many of the locations you can still see today, including the mausoleum where the artist stayed after cutting off his ear.


Captivating Cassis is quintessential Provence on sea, a historic former fishing village of winding streets and glorious beaches. From here you also have access to the majestic calanques, white soaring cliffs that contrast with the turquoise waters – an area of outstanding natural beauty (a boat tour is included on a day tour with Ophorus).



Just along the coast from Cannes, Antibes has the largest marina in the Mediterranean. This town has so many charms. Ogle the majestic mega-yachts alongside pretty fishing boats sitting in the harbour, Visit museums housing impressive collections of Picasso’s art. And sigh over the  crumbling historic forts and the red roofs of the town silhouetted against the soaring backdrop of the Alps.


Cannes is famed for its international film festival. Yet it is also the perfect destination to visit gorgeous sandy beaches and elegant boutiques. The hotels are a sight to behold, a snapshot of the Riviera’s golden age. Your tour guide will take you around the picturesque old town and show you the glamorous venue for the annual film festival.

Monte Carlo

The jewel of the French Riviera is of course Monte Carlo. Enter Monaco, an independent principality, and step back in time to the roaring twenties of casinos and car racing. Monte Carlo’s history defines an era of glamour! And with Ophorus you will see it first-hand as you explore Casino de Monte-Carlo, the first casino built in the city. Visit St Nicholas Cathedral where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III are buried. And, best of all, you will be taken down to the famous Formula 1 racetracks where you can even go for a drive!

Picturesque Villages of Provence


Gordes is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France. Its far-reaching views are something to behold thanks to its skyscraper position atop the mountains. Full of historical architecture, the white-stone buildings and fortresses are a snapshot of the medieval past of southern France. Gordes is close to many other gorgeous villages and a day trip will take you to some of the very best.

Saint Paul de Vence

The beauty of the south of France is captured in the village of Saint Paul de Vence, another historical landmark dating back to the 11th century. Your Ophorus guide will take you beyond the town’s ramparts and along cobbled streets to explore the buildings, museums and art galleries. The panoramic landscape has long inspired famous artists who visited over the centuries. And it’s sure to inspire you too.


The south of France is famous for its wines and renowned amongst the wine making villages is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The vineyards were first planted by the Romans and in the 14th century the Popes of nearby Avignon chose this village to be the location for their summer palace. Discover the vineyards, the village, the history and culture and of course, the wines on a fabulous day trip.

Lavender fields

Take a half day Journey through the picturesque landscapes of Provence, where the air is filled with the aromatic essence of lavender. The Plateau de Valensole is the largest and most renowned lavender area in Provence. And as you ogle the purple landscape, indulge in numerous stops that allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of lavender fields.

Shore Excursions

If you are visiting the Mediterranean by cruise ship and are on land for the day, Ophorus can whisk you away on a shore excursion to truly explore the region. Day trips from Nice, Cannes, St Tropez, Antibes and Monaco are all available. Each offers different destinations – beautiful villages and towns along the Cote d’Azur. Meet your guide at your cruise’s port. They will drive you along the coast and through the mountains for both private day and half-day trips. Go wine tasting in Provence. Stretch your legs on a walking tour around Antibes. Sniff the lavender fields. Walk in Van Gogh’s footsteps. Visit the perfume factories in Grasse. Discover southern France like a local.

Book an Authentic Day Trip in the French Riviera

There is no better way to explore the south of France than with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide taking the wheel, driving you through the magnificent panoramic scenery, and stopping off in some jaw-dropping locations. Soak up the beauty and culture of the Cote d’Azur and leave everything to your personal Ophorus guide – let them turn back time for you to explore the bygone eras of the French Riviera!

Ophorus have tours that visit all these dazzling destinations, find out more and book your French Riviera tour at: ophorus.com

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