1. Head into the hills and ride the rapids.
You are seriously missing out if you haven’t ridden a kayak down the snowmelt rapids up in the Alpes Maritimes/Alpes de Haute Provence. Banish any thoughts of navigating placid streams and passing meadows full of buttercups; this is rough and tumble stuff. So much fun! Book a night in an alpine chalet with window baskets full of geraniums, eat a big plate of daube stew washed down with local wine, and soothe aching muscles with a soak in a sauna. This is what making memories looks like. Three Alpine rivers are navigable by kayak or white-water raft: the Var, the Verdon, and the Ubaye. All have adventure aplenty.
2. Mountain biking.
Some of the world’s best mountain bikers train in the Alpes Maritimes, and you are seriously spoilt for choice. Head to Sospel for forest climbs and technical single-track descents, or ride at Peille in the foothills, where the professionals train. In summer, you can take the chairlift up at the Roubion-Les-Bouisses Park to enjoy the downhill trails or venture into the Haute Roya Mountain Biking Area at Mercantour National Park, which has 360 km of trails to explore.
The red-rock Esterels near San Raphael also offer spectacular scenery and great tracks, with the Circuit des Monges offering a relatively easy ride and more challenging trails on the Raider Cap Esterel or Balcons d’Azur tracks.
3. Go to Italy for lunch.
San Remo is always a fun day trip (who doesn’t love being able to say they popped over to Italy for the day?) We recommend upping the ante and heading up the hills to the famous Mushroom restaurant, Ristorante Ca’ Mea, for lunch. This iconic restaurant sits in a centuries-old stone house perched on the edge of a rushing river. Sit on the terrace or inside amongst the stone and vaulted ceilings and enjoy ten courses of hearty and authentic Ligurian fare. Not all courses feature mushrooms, but at least half do!
4. Take a walk.
Is there a better place to stroll than the French Riviera? Some epic coastal walks are just near major yachting ports, including the spectacular Sentier de Littoral (Cap d’Antibes), the Mala Beach Coastal Path (Cap d’Ail), and the Cap Ferrat Tour. If you fancy swapping sea views for a leisurely walk in the forest along a burbling stream, we suggest the Sentier de la Brague walk, a half-day hike from Valbonne to Biot village (you can just do a section).
Feel like getting your hike on? Get your boots, jump in the car early, and head into Provence to the Verdon Gorge’s Blanc-Martel trail, one of Europe’s most stunning canyon hikes. Alternatively, head in the other direction, cross into Italy and spend the day hiking the Cinque Terre.
See? Feels better than the bar, doesn’t it? Adventure awaits!