Your holiday summary

Holiday type Escorted tours
Country France
Travel type Train
Price range From £879
Travel partner Travel Editions
Duration 7 nights
Need help with your booking?
0330 333 6761

Nice carnival and the Menton Lemon festival by rail

This tour is based around two annual events: the Nice Carnival and the Menton Lemon festival. The earliest record of the Nice Carnival is 1294, making it one of the world's oldest carnival celebrations. For two weeks every February and March, Nice is full of open-air music performances, parades, processions and carnival cheer. The Menton Lemon festival, in its 82nd year is quite unique. Locals use citrus fruit to create huge exhibitions and statues along a set theme - the results are impressive. Based in the Mediterranean city of Nice, with its wealth of artistic and architectural heritage, this tour also explores part of the French Riviera, renowned for both its beauty and artistic heritage. Highlights include the perfume town of Grasse, the medieval hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence; and Antibes, home of the Picasso Museum, housed in Chateau Grimaldi where the painter stayed on a six-month sojourn in 1946.


  • Return Eurostar/TGV from St Pancras to Nice via Paris
  • Seven nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Massena hotel, Nice (11, 18, 25 February), the four-star Nice Riviera hotel (12, 19, 26 February), based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Transfers and full touring itinerary
  • Seated ticket to afternoon Flower Parade in Nice and seated ticket in Menton
  • Tour manager throughout

Not included

  • Holiday insurance
  • Single room supplement
  • Standard Premier/First class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
  • Porterage and gratuities

Day one

Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris and onwards to Nice by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to Massena hotel or Nice Riviera hotel (date dependent).

Day two

Morning tour of Nice with the afternoon free. The capital of the Riviera, Nice is a buzzing city full of culture, restaurants and good shopping. There are distinct districts - the medieval quarter, the Italianate quarter that belies Nice’s past as part of Italy and plenty of rich mansions that shows past pedigree as one of the most fashionable resorts in Europe. There are plenty of museums to explore, and the vibrant Promenade des Anglais to stroll along.

Day three

Full day tour to Vence and Saint-Paul-de- Vence. A hilltop town full of charm, Vence is interlaced by narrow streets and dotted with squares. It was popular with painters, including Picasso, thanks to its excellent light and it was here that Matisse was involved in the architectural design and decoration of the Chapelle du Rosaire. Saint-Paul-de-Vence was a magnet for artists throughout the 20th century, and studios and galleries dominate the village. You can visit the Colombe d’Or restaurant where painters, including Picasso, traded paintings for meals and accommodation. You’ll also find the Fondation Maeght Museum of Modern Art here.

Day four

Full day in Nice with the chance to view the flower parade (ticket not included - please visit the Nice Carnival Website for more information). Evening seated ticket (included) for the Carnival Parade of Lights. For two weeks every February and March, Nice is full of open-air music performances, parades, processions and carnival cheer. There are parades daily with numerous floats and over 1000 musicians and dancers taking part. You have a seated ticket to enjoy the evening parade included but you will be able to purchase extra tickets for other parades whilst in Nice if you wish. This year’s theme is ‘King of Music’.

Day five

Full day tour to Menton with seated tickets to the Lemon Festival parade. Right on the border, Menton exudes Italianate charm from its position ringed by mountains. The Lemon Festival (Fête du Citron) is the resort’s biggest annual event. You’ll find 10 metre tall citrus-covered installations in the Biovès Gardens and a colourful parade with each float bearing over 140 tonnes of fruit.

Day six

Full day tour to Grasse and the Gorges du Loup. The medieval hill town of Grasse has been the capital of perfume concoction for nearly 300 years. In the midst of fields planted with an array of fragrant blooms, the town has a museum dedicated to the art of parfumiers as well as lovely old streets to wander. Famous for the fortified villages that perch along the steep sides formed by the River Loup, the Gorges du Loup offer wonderful views and dramatic cascades. The 25th February and 26th February will have the added bonus of enjoying the evening closing festivities including fireworks of the Nice Carnival.

Day seven

Full day tour to Biot, Antibes and Cap d’Antibes. The hill town of Biot was a centre for pottery between the 16th and 18th century, a tradition reborn in the mid-20th century when the town once again became famous for its decorative pottery and glasswork. The resort of Antibes has an old town and one of the world’s best Picasso collections in the old seafront, Chateau Grimaldi – entrance to the collection is included. Author Graham Greene was a resident here for 20 years. The Cap d’Antibes hides many a villa in its pine woods, an area frequented by the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald in its 1920s heyday.

Day eight

Transfer back to Nice station to catch the return TGV to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to St Pancras.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to departure date, the carnival programme, local conditions, and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
Massena hotel, Nice (11th February, 18th February, 25th February)

Located in the city centre on the new Place Massena surrounded by gardens and pedestrian streets the four-star boutique Massena hotel offers a bar and lounge area and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, air-conditioning, minibar, safe and hairdryer. Although the hotel does not have a restaurant there are plenty of local restaurants nearby.

Nice Riviera hotel, Nice (12th February, 19th February, 26th February)

Situated in the city centre only minutes from the beach, the four-star Nice Riviera hotel has been entirely renovated in 2012 with a brand new contemporary design. Facilities at the hotel include the Riviera Cafe, wellness area with an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi and sauna and spacious, comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, air-conditioning, mini-bar, safe and hairdryer.

This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6761.

5 results
Departure date Nights Price  
11-Feb-2015 7 879.00 book
12-Feb-2015 7 899.00 book
18-Feb-2015 7 879.00 book
19-Feb-2015 7 899.00 book
26-Feb-2015 7 899.00 book
5 results

No complaints - everything went very smoothly. A pity the final illuminated carnival was cancelled due to bad weather but we were very impressed with the speed of the ticket refund. Well done.
Feb 2013