The medieval town of Grasse, famous for its perfume-making, rich history and rolling views down to the Mediterranean, lies in the hills behind Cannes. Grasse is within 15 minutes' drive of Cannes and 30 minutes of Nice, and acts as the gateway into the low Alps and Provencal back country. Bus 600 runs from Cannes and bus 500 runs from Nice; there is also a train line from Cannes which stops outside the town and connects with buses running into the town centre.
Grasse abounds in good restaurants and pretty pavement cafes. Provencal food dominates, but there is quite a wide range of cuisines to be found in the old town of Grasse-even Asian if that takes your fancy. If Michelin star elegance, refined Provencal food and a stunning terrace is what you seek, head to Le Bastide St-Antoine, while La Licorne is known for providing excellent food for a reasonable price and La Malouine is the place to head for delicious crepes. There are also some award-winning restaurants to be found in the nearby little villages; such as Au Fil du Temps in Magagnosc.
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While in town don't miss the Cathedral Notre-Dame-du-Puy which has paintings by Rubens and Fragonard, while the Musee d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence give you a real flavour of life in Provence over the centuries. There's also a small costume and jewellery museum in town, as well as the Museum and Villa of the French artist Fragonard. Other worthwhile sights include the square Saracen tower and the very pretty Jardin de la Princesse Pauline, the garden where Napoleon's sister once lived.
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Fragonard, Galimard, Molinard are three historic perfume-makers which open their doors to run tours. You can also make your own perfume at the Galimard or Molinard workshops, or visit the flower fields that are used to make the fragrances- including those that go into making the famous Chanel no 5. You could take a guided walking tour or ride Le Petit Train to learn the town's proud history and marvel at the gorgeous villas and medieval buildings. Just out of town, why not test out your high-ropes skills and head to the Riviera Nature Adventure Park, ziplining through the trees and enjoying the spectacular views, or explore some of the limestone caves in the surrounding hills with a spelunking club. You can also join the long range hiking path GR4 as it runs from alpine villages down to the Mediterranean, or visit the truly stunning cliffs and waterfalls of Gorges du Loup.
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There are three 18 hole golf courses around Grasse, all of which offer stunning views of mountains, village and sea. There's a lovely and quite challenging course at Golfe de Saint Donat, while in nearby Chateauneuf-de-Grasse you'll find the open fairways and panoramic views of Golfe de la Grande Bastide. The Golf du Claux-Amic is set on an old hunting estate among the oak trees, with breathtaking views- this course design requires exactitude. The Riviera has an abundance of great golf courses; see our Golfing Guide for details.
Grasse does have some bars, a pub, occasional live music and a local theatre- although if you're looking for nightclubs and the glamorous Riviera scene, head to nearby Cannes with its glitzy piano bars and superclubs under the palms.
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