The Cote D'Azur's Charming Nice & The Wines of Bellet

Before you board the cruise ship in Avignon, we invite you to spend two-nights in the Cote d’Azur’s charming city of Nice and explore France’s smallest appellation located in the wine region of Provence, Bellet.

The Côte d'Azur, also known as the French Riviera, is one of Europe's most glamorous summer holiday destinations. It twists and turns along the southern coast of France for a little less than 100 miles, and is dotted with glitzy legends such as St. Tropez and Cannes. In the heart of the Côte d'Azur lies the city of Nice and in the hills just behind is the appellation of Bellet. Here the vineyards are terraced and the soil is full of pebble stones, sand & clay. The area is kissed by the sun and benefits from fresh winds from the Alps and, in the afternoon, humid winds from the sea.

One of the first regions in France rewarded with the AOC in 1941, Bellet consists of only 1,600 acres, 120 of those are grown between 650 -1,000 feet above sea level. Today there are eleven producers who proudly claim to bottle an AOC Bellet wine. Many are family-owned and operated, small boutique productions with an annual bottle output of less than two hundred thousand bottles a year.

Guiding you through this region is our long-time friend and Provence wine specialist, Laurence, who has called France her home for the last 20 years. Laurence has come to know many of the region's master chefs and vintners, enabling her to introduce you to the region's best restaurants and vineyards.

Day 1 – Independent arrival to Nice & Welcome Dinner [D]

You arrive into Nice independently and transfer on your own to the Westminster Hotel & Spa. Only 15 minutes from the Nice International Airport, the 4-star hotel is located on the Promenade des Anglais and offers The Westminster was built in 1878 and is still owned by one of France’s top 500 fortune families. A perfect blending of 19th century architecture and art deco style, decorations include beautiful frescoes, mosaics, and paintings, while guest rooms are contemporary and comfortable.

Once you check in to your room you’ll have time to relax before your meet Laurence and your fellow travelers that evening in the hotel’s Belle Epoque Room for a private welcome dinner paired with local Provençal wines.

Day 2 – The Appellation of Bellet [B, L]

Your day starts with a delightful buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant. After breakfast, board a luxurious motor coach and travel approximately 30 minutes to the Château de Crémat. Built in 1906, the troubadour-style château overlooks acres of vines planted on small, terraced parcels. Built on top of underground galleries dating back to Roman times, Crémat’s cellars once served as storage for Roman garrisons. The crenellated towers, reminiscent of those Roman troops, create an interesting counterpoint to the elegant stained-glass windows that adorn the château. Appearing throughout the property, you will notice the famous interlocking C’s, a logo that Coco Chanel fell in love with during her frequent stays here in the 1920’s. The logo was gifted to Coco by the château’s then owner, an American socialite who hosted spectacular parties for an international jet set, and now that famous logo belongs exclusively to Chanel. After changing hands a few times, the château is now owned by Cornelius Kamerbeck and the estate’s wines are dorned with his initials.

After a tour of the château and its cellars you will take a short drive to one of our favorite nearby restaurants for a wine-paired lunch. In the mid-afternoon, you’ll return to the hotel and have free time to spend on your own.

In the early evening you’ll meet up with Laurence and the group for a walking tour of Old Nice that ends with a wine and cheese tasting in the city’s oldest wine cellar, the historic Cave Bianchi. Located in the 17th century underground vaulted cellars of the St. Dominique cloister, Cave Bianchi is considered by many to be one of Nice’s best kept secrets. It’s one of the oldest wine shops in the region. Greeted by the charismatic owner, you’ll enjoy a tasting of fine wine paired with a selection of local cheeses.

At the end of the tasting, you are free to return to the hotel at your leisure or stop in one of the many restaurants along the way to sample some local flavors during dinner on your own.

Day 3 – Optional tour of flower market & transfer to ship [B]

Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel and check out of your room. You can store your bags with the hotel and either enjoy the morning on your own or join Laurence for a tour of the flower market in old-town Nice. Before noon you’ll board the motor coach for the approximately three-hour drive to Avignon to board the ship.

Bon Voyage!

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Price: $1,195 per person Single Supplement: $218

Includes: Two (2) nights hotel accommodations in a Superior City View room, two (2) buffet breakfasts, welcome dinner served with wine, a winery tour and tasting, wine-paired lunch, walking tour of Old Nice, cave wine and cheese tasting, all entrance and tour fees, an English-speaking guide, transportation on deluxe AC motor coach, bottled water on the motor coach, hotel porterage upon check-out, transfer to ship, and all local taxes.

Not Included: Airport transfer to hotel upon arrival, gratuities for the driver and guides, optional hotel upgrades and additional hotel nights, and all items of a personal nature.

Activity Level: Tour not suggested for wheelchairs or people with mobility issues due to extended walking.

Note: Times and providers are subject to change.

Travel Insurance: F&WT highly encourages protecting your travel investment in case of an emergency requiring you to cancel your trip. Your F&WT's Travel Advisor can assist you with procuring the appropriate coverage. Please make sure to read the cancellation policy on the registration form outlining our cancellation policy.