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Nice Carnival & The French Riviera

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6 days From £1,099 per person
4.5 stars(25 reviews)
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Embrace the vibrancy of one of the world’s great carnivals, admiring the colourful procession from grandstand seats, before uncovering the glamour of Monte Carlo

Mobility Rating 2

2025 Tour code: 25PNE

About the tour

Enjoy the decorated floats, fancy dress and a cast of thousands featuring musicians and dancers on this rail journey to the captivating Nice Carnival.

Bask in fantastic views of this vibrant extravaganza and explore the shining French Riviera. Get to know Nice on a guided tour, exploring the historic market square and charismatic Old Town, as well as the famous, palm-lined Promenade des Anglais. Take a journey to the small, wealthy principality of Monaco to watch the Changing of the Guards and view the famous Monte-Carlo Casino.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - From London direct to the south of France

Your holiday begins in London, as you meet your Tour Manager and group at London St Pancras. You take the Eurostar to Paris, where you join the TGV service direct to the Côte d'Azur city of Nice, your base for the next five nights.

Nice is one of France's most popular and cosmopolitan holiday destinations, with famous shingle beaches, a pleasant Mediterranean climate all year round and a naturally beautiful location on the spectacular French Riviera. The city is also famous for its vibrant carnival, which takes place each year during the two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras - a final chance to indulge in merriment before lent.

On arrival, your evening is at leisure for you to explore or relax. Your hotel is a short distance from the famous Promenade des Anglais, and you may want to stroll along the glitzy seafront before stopping for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2 - Exploring Nice on a guided sightseeing tour

You enjoy a fascinating guided tour of Nice today. First, you travel by coach to Masséna Square, Nice's main square - the ideal place to begin your explorations.

This historic market square is lined with palm trees and surrounded by red ochre buildings. You continue to the historic Old Town, a charming jumble of alleyways with buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Here, you see the Opera House, the colourful flower market, and Nice's striking cathedral. You also visit the Colline du Château, where you can take in stunning, panoramic views across the Old Town.

This afternoon you are free to explore this artistic city at your own pace. The Musée National Marc Chagall honours the Belarussian-born French artist and pioneer of modernism, while the Matisse Museum in the hilltop Cimiez quarter, contains colourful Fauvist works by Henri Matisse, who spent many years in Nice.

Along the Promenade des Anglais, you could visit the Hotel Negresco to sample the famous Royal Negresco cocktail containing champagne and flakes of gold, before rejoining the group for dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Lively Nice Carnival: King of the Seas and Oceans

Today, you are free to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the city after breakfast at your hotel, before a highlight of your holiday this evening. Perhaps walk along the famous Promenade des Anglais, strolling under palm trees with the shimmering Mediterranean Sea by your side.

Tonight, a highlight of your holiday awaits as you travel by tram to the city's Masséna Square. Here, you experience this evening's carnival extravaganza, with the theme of King of the Seas and Oceans, from your reserved grandstand seats. Sit back and relax, admiring the innovative floats, adorned with meticulously arranged flowers, and talented performers in colourful costume, as they wend their way through the illuminated streets.

More than one thousand dancers, actors and performers take part in this incredible spectacle, with processions taking place through the streets, making this truly an unforgettable experience and an explosion of colour and vitality.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Free day on the glamorous French Riviera

With a day at leisure, you could opt to make use of the Côte d'Azur's excellent and affordable trains.

The charming harbour town of Antibes boasts historic streets lined with quaint medieval fisherman's houses and has understandably attracted visitors for centuries - including Pablo Picasso, who lived in Château Grimaldi for six months. The castle is now the site of the Picasso Museum, while the covered Provençal Market is also worth visiting.

Alternatively, visit stylish Cannes, originally a small fishing village that can still be uncovered in the cobbled streets of Le Suquet. The Croisette boulevard hosts the world-famous film festival and is dotted with palms and upmarket boutiques. There is also a colourful Provençal market that is a feast for the senses. In Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, near Nice, you can find the pink-hued villa formerly owned by Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, a socialite and art collector of the prominent Rothschild dynasty.

Dinner is on your own tonight, and you can savour the delectable tastes of the region at any number of relaxed bistros or restaurants.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Along the coast to glitzy Monaco

Your group travels by coach along the scenic Lower Corniche Road to Monaco. Clinging to coastal cliffs, you can take in fantastic views of the azure Mediterranean enroute.

The world's second-smallest sovereign state, Monaco is renowned as a playground for the rich and famous with superyachts lining the marina. Despite its small size, Monaco manages to cram a wealth of culture, history and glamour into its picturesque two-kilometre-square area. During a guided tour, you visit the glitzy Place du Casino and view the world-famous Monte-Carlo Casino.

On its strategic position on top of a large rock, Le Rocher is Monaco's Old Town and still retains winding medieval lanes. Since the 13th century, this has been the stronghold of the Grimaldi dynasty - the principality's ruling family. Your guided tour takes in the Palais du Prince, the residence of the current Prince of Monaco, where you witness the time-honoured Changing of the Guards ceremony. Following your tour, you have some free time to continue exploring.

Returning to Nice in the evening, you enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Homeward bound

Your time on the French Riviera concludes after breakfast in the hotel this morning. Boarding a direct train to Paris, you journey through the heart of France and can begin to look back at the highlights of your holiday on the sparkling Côte d'Azur.

Nice is an attractive city all year round, but bursts into life at carnival time. The lively atmosphere and spectacular floats adorned with flowers add an extra charm to 'Nice the Beautiful' and its glimmering promenade. The tiny principality of Monaco squeezes in some fantastic attractions and you can recall the majesty of the Changing of the Guards ceremony.

Changing trains in Paris, you arrive back in London this evening, saying farewell to your Tour Manager and fellow travellers with whom you have shared these unforgettable experiences.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that the order of your itinerary may vary dependent on your departure date. Please call for details.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Hotel Locarno, Nice

Hotel Locarno, Nice

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Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 25 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (13)
  2. 4 stars
    (12)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

vibaz

4 stars

Submitted 4/Mar

Very good.

Collected by Trustpilot

S Illingworth

4 stars

Submitted 3/Mar

Excellent winter break with an excellent tour manager.

Collected by Trustpilot

Jonathan

4 stars

Submitted 3/Mar

Poor reastraunt choice

Collected by Trustpilot

Jack’s John

4 stars

Submitted 28/Feb

It was a well organised and well run tour with a very competent tour manager. The rail, coaches, carnival and excursion all ran on time. However, the two meals organised between the hotel and Rail Discoveries at a local Italian restaurant were awful.They were of a standard below what I would expect in a factory canteen. It would have been better not to include the two evening meals if that is all that can be provided. The hotel was ok, but pretty basic, with no restaurant or bar, and our room needed some maintenance as the shower was not fully functional and the bathroom door didn't close. 5 stars for the tour, 0 stars for the restaurant and 3 stars for the hotel.

Collected by Trustpilot

Virginia Pawlyn

5 stars

Submitted 27/Feb

It was a first class event, well organised with an excellent tour manager.

Collected by Trustpilot

Sheila

4 stars

Submitted 27/Feb

My Tour Manager (Deborah Weavers) was excellent at her job. We had plenty of detailed information which I find very helpful. The guided tours were interesting and the free time to explore the area myself was just right.

Collected by Trustpilot

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