French Riviera Winter Festivals and More
Wishing you the happiest 2019!
Hoping that readers have had a restful festive season – locking out the realities of the world for a few days.
French Riviera Winter Festivals
The ferris wheel in Nice might soon be “taking a rest” but the French Riviera never sleeps. Your waistbands may be straining, but it is possible to have a great time in the southeast of France, without piling on more calories!
The French Riviera and its hinterland shake off the mantle of overindulgence and January greet the famous Monte Carlo Rally. It has changed significantly from its first year in 1911 – when monied “aristos” used to head to Monaco in their jalopies from all over Europe, but locally, the Col de Turini is pleased to welcome the thrill of rally cars, and their “petrol head” fans!
While up in the backcountry, do not fail to take advantage of the Mercantour ’s snow season – with skiing of all sorts and snowshoe opportunities – just an hour from Nice.
There is little more inspiring in February than seeing swathes of mimosa, showing their pretty faces to the world – a portent of spring – very early – and very welcome! Easy to wrap up warm and get out and walk.
Naturally, there is a celebration, and to the west of the department, the town of Mandelieu prepares to party. While the quaint town of Bormes les Mimosa hosts both a festival for “all things green” (plants, films, gardening ideas, a kids garden and more), as well as wonderful parades (February 23-24, 2019).
In Nice, as ever, there is Carnaval, prior to Lenten abstinence. This year’s theme is “the King of the Cinema” – Roi du Cinema. Head along the Côte d’Azur to Menton, where you might never see as much citrus, as at the Citron Festival – 2019 theme is “Fantastic Worlds”. Both festivals are mid-February to early March. Booking highly recommended for grandstand views of the festivities.
If your fancy is for equines, there is a winter season at the Cagnes Hippodrome – the winter season runs to mid-March – with flat and jump races, plus trotting. It is a magic environment, seated in a grandstand, enjoying a fine meal and looking out to the track and the Mediterranean. Throughout the year there are also events for all the family, plus trade shows and exhibitions.
Alternatively, there is no shortage of pretty cattle just up the road!! They may not be too keen on being mounted, but more than happy to be offering their fine milk for cheese on the Authion plateau. A wonderful excursion, with Corsica, often looming in the distance.
1 – Mimosa – courtesy of Adobe Stock
2 – Nice Carnaval – courtesy of Adobe Stock
3 – Car shot on the coast – courtesy of Adobe Stock
4 – Menton Citrus Festival – courtesy of Adobe Stock
5 – Nice ferris wheel – courtesy of Adobe Stock
6 – Cattle – Spacebetween Walking Holidays