Art Trails on the French Riviera

The French Riviera has fascinated painters, poets and artists for centuries who have been inspired by the beautiful landscapes and luminous light of the Mediterranean.

From Renoir to Chagall, from Picasso to Monet and Matisse the region is scattered with wonderful art museums and collections from the finest painters.

Follow my guide ‘Art Trails on the French Riviera’ for places to visit with an artistic influence including classic and contemporary art collections as well as off-the-beaten-track suggestions.


Musée Peynet

Musée Picasso

Musée Picasso. Antibes

Musée Picasso. Antibes


Musée National Fernand Léger

Cagnes sur Mer

Chateau Musée Grimaldi

Musée Renoir


Centre d’art La Malmaison

Musée de la Castre


Musée d’art et d’histoire de Provence

Le Cannet

Musée Bonnard


Musée Jean Cocteau

Musée Jean Cocteau, Menton

Musée Jean Cocteau, Menton

Mouans Sartoux

L’espace de l’art concret at Château de Mouans Sartoux


Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins



Galerie de la Marine

Galerie des Ponchettes




Monastre de Nôtre Dame de Cimiez (burial place of Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse)

Musée des Arts Asiatiques

Musee des Beaux Arts

Musée Marc Chagall

Musée Massena

Musée Matisse

Musée Matisse, Nice

Musée Matisse, Nice

Hôtel Negresco

Hotel Villa La Tour

Hotel Windsor

Palais Lascaris

Villa Arson

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Villa Santo Sospir

Saint Paul de Vence

La Colombe d’Or

Fondation Maeght

Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence

Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence cemetery (burial place of Marc Chagall)


Musée National Picasso


Chapelle du Rosaire

Chapelle du Rosaire painted by Matisse

Chapelle du Rosaire painted by Matisse

Villefranche sur Mer

Chapelle St Pierre

Chapelle St Pierre, Villefranche sur Mer

Chapelle St Pierre, Villefranche sur Mer

La Citadelle (home to the Musée Volti, Collection Goetz-Boumeester and Collection Roux – to read more about these 3 museums read my previous blog post about Villefranche sur Mer here

To see a map of Access Riviera’s ‘Art Trails on the French Riviera’ locations, click on this link (thanks to Wanderant!) where you can click on each location to read more:

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Image credits: Cimiez, Deluxe Drivers, France Culture, Oopartir, Panoramio

Free festival Sunday 24 May – Fête des Mai

Tomorrow, sees the last instalment of Fête des Mai at Cimiez – a free festival held each Sunday in May that celebrates Niçoise culture with traditional dances, local cuisine and folk music.

Take a picnic to the Fête des Mai

Take a picnic to the Fête des Mai

The festival is held at the Jardins des Arènes de Cimiez in Nice – a public park shaded by centuries-old olive trees where you’ll also find the Musée Matisse, the arena ruins of Cimiez and the monastery.

Fête des Mai, Nice

Fête des Mai, Nice

Some of the festival attractions include:

  • Free activity workshops for children
  • Free music and folk dancing performances
  • Food stands selling Niçoise specialities like socca, févette, pan-bagnat, pissaladiere
  • The park has a carousel (take coins, it costs €2 per ride) and accessible public pay toilets (50 centimes)
  • Picnics are permitted; there are also tables and chairs supplied for festival attendees
Traditional folk dancing at the Fête des Mai

Traditional folk dancing at the Fête des Mai

Access notes: The park is accessible for persons with restricted mobility, and there are accessible public pay toilets.

What:  Fête des Mai

Where:  Jardins des Arènes de Cimiez, 110 boulevard de Cimiez, 06600 Nice

When:  Sunday 24 May 2015

Time:  11.30am-7pm

Getting there:

There is free car parking at the entrance to the park

By bus: No. 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25 with (The stop is named ‘Arènes/Musée Matisse’)