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10 ways to begin an immersive journey to the French Riviera.

10 ways to begin an immersive journey to the French Riviera. Laurie Matthews enjoys Monaco before travelling into the South of France discovering that this is a once in a lifetime adventure to be shared.

“A visit to Nice, the market, the Caves Bianchi with lunch at Chez Pipo brought me in touch with the passion and heart felt pride of the local people”

  1. Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice

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I stayed at the boutique Negresco Hotel on the waterfront. A member of the leading hotels of the world, the Negresco first opened its doors in January 18th 1913. Today, Jeanne Augier owner since `1957 has devoted her life to the preservation and development of this unique heritage.

Staying here and drinking at the Bar Le Relais is a sublime occasion and not to be rushed.

  1. Chez Pipo in the Old Town of Nice

    There are plenty of places where you can sample socca in the Old Town, but if you want to understand why so much fuss is made in Nice over this chickpea pancake, this out-of-the-way café behind the Port is the place to go. View it here.
  2. Cave Bianchi in the Old Town of Nice

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the current owner of the Cave Bianchi.

At the centre of old Nice since 1860, in the old cellars of the St – Dominique cloister the Cave Bianchi offers the faithful a carefully selected range of the best wines from Provence as well as introductions to wines. In 1860, when the compte de nice was once again made part of France by Napoleon III, the love of good wine established itself in the Cave Bianchi. This is a celebrity haven and they come here in droves for a private tasting with the owner. Learn more about the Cave Bianchi.

  1. The Royal Riviera Hotel in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat 

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A virtuoso member, This luxurious 1904 seafront hotel is 10 km from Nice and 12 km from Monaco.

The Royal Riviera Hotel commands centre-stage in this exclusive resort of Saint Jean cap Ferrat. A modern classic, this luxurious hotel provides all the intimacy of a private Mediterranean villa with the luxury and glamour of a palace. The hotel boasts a total of 94 rooms and suites, 78 of which are in the main building. Designed to reflect the landscape of the south of France, the majority of the rooms overlook the sea and gardens. The private villa l’Orangerie features 16 additional rooms and Suites decorated in the purest Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat style.

  1. Visit the markets
    Visit the markets A visit to the market is a totally immersive activity, the French are so proud of their vegetables, cheese and cured meats it was a pleasure to spend time in this magnificent place and before we leave the lovely town we took time for an Absinthe tasting at the Absinthe Museum in Antibes. The tastings arranged in the only remaining traditional tasting room in the South of France celebrates Absinthe famous participant Van Gogh.
  1. Picasso Museum in Antibes 

It would not be a visit to the French Riviera without travelling to the Picasso museum.

From 1925 the chateau was known as the Grimaldi Museum. From 1946 it became the home of Pablo Picasso and it is here that he created his finest works. Picasso himself said that if you would want to see the Picassos from Antibe you would need to do so in Antibe itself, and so here they are. It’s an impressive building with views way out to the Mediterrenean.

  1. Eze
    Chevredor3Eze is a medieval village perched like an eagle’s nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean. It is home to exclusive hotels, restaurants and shops and is only a 20min drive from Monaco.
  1. The local Fragonard Factory in Eze is a must visit.
  2. St Paul De Vence
    One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Rivera and home to many artists.
  3. Villa Rothschild
    VillaRothschildCapFerratBuilt on the narrowest part of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, this palazzo is one of the finest listed buildings on the French Riviera with views over Ville Franche, the villa has 9 magnificent gardens.

 

Contact Indigo to tailor make your immersive experience in France.

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How To Really Immerse Yourself On An African Safari!

On their first Southern African Safari, Ralph and Mandy Marshall discovered a whole new world during their stay in the private camps of Camp Jabulani, Elephant Camp, Londolozi and Singita Reserves.

 “It’s difficult to express what I am seeing in this beautiful animal world. It’s incredible and enlightening. Yesterday we encountered a leopard, the Mashable Female, up a tree to enable her to scan for prey to fee her two young cubs, which she has in hiding.

Our ranger Simon and tracker Foster knew she hadn’t eaten for 5 days, so she would be desperate to make a kill.

So we sit and wait.  You won’t believe what happens next…..

Suddenly she dismounts the tree, passing by our open vehicle, nearly touching the side of the vehicle, so close to me, I could have stroked her back… I almost fainted with the disbelief of what I had just witnessed. Unbelievable”

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The Safari aspect of the Marshall’s journey commenced with unique and personal interaction with elephants at Camp Jabulani in the Kapama Game Reserve. Their experience, daily elephant backed safaris into the bush and the Endangered Species Centre in Hoedspruit.

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As Mandy recounts:

“I rode Jabulani on my elephant back encounters. On one occasion, I had taken my mobile phone with me with the idea of taking some quick shots as we moved the through the bush.  Unbeknown to me, of course, the phone slipped out of my pocket and ended up on the ground”

At four metres high, Jabulani leant over and with his trunk slowly manoeuvred as if to grab the phone from the ground. Remarkably, and somewhat clumsily he used his trunk moving the mobile phone around on the ground as he attempted to make the phone stand up to catch it like a hand. Indeed, eventually he took hold of the phone and by raising his trunk back over his back, he gave it to me. I was astounded!

I have the phone now it’s a little worn but I am using it and it is working. This is an experience I will always remember!

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After the safari was over,  I was amazed to hear that an elephant is able to remove a thorn from a foot. The story of Jabulani is really an inspiring one. Read it here.

SpecialAfricanSafariOffer

Special African Safari Offer for 2016 from Indigo and &Beyond

The team at Indigo and &Beyond sat together in New Zealand to create an exclusive offer for a minimum of two persons travelling in southern Africa in 2016.  Now published live: Check it out.

FREE Interconnecting Flights

We are offering you a value add of all interconnecting flights (free of charge) between your international arrival in Johannesburg return to Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa.  In addition to this, we are offering a ½ day private tour of Cape Town.

This is a significant benefit to any couple or larger group of colleagues travelling between the major airports and the private camps of Southern Africa and Cape Town.

Guests will need to book a min of 7 nights.

Terms and Conditions will apply.