French Riviera vacation, walking, culture & cooking option

“Our only cooking and walking break in Provence, tailor made, that takes you on a journey from farm to fork, plateau to plate. ”

Highlights

St Jeannet village | Market trip Nice | One day cooking session | Visit to local producer | Vineyard visit | Guided hike of village and hinterlands.

Map

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Stay on at the auberge for a few days and use it as a base to do your own thing.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
Family run traditional ‘auberge’.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, breakfasts, lunches, guided tours.
Meals:
Dinners not included, but so many gastronomic gems on doorstep.
Solos;
Solo travelers welcome. Surcharge for own room.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: French Riviera vacation, walking, culture & cooking option

Environment

We are keen supporter of local farmers and artisans. All the produce is sourced locally and the fruits and vegetables are mostly organic. We only serve local St Jeannet wine in order to encourage the local industry and also arrange visits to the local cellar.

Having grown up in the region Benoit is understandably enthusiastic about the village and its surroundings. He is an excellent guide and willingly shares information relating to the history, culture and geography of the region. A stay here is a wonderful way to explore French culture.

The best action we can take to respect our environment is to let people know how to behave while walking in the countryside or in the mountains, such as keeping our litter with us, not taking flowers, respecting wildlife habitats etc. As a certificated walking guide and a professional mountaineer, this is Benoit’s duty. He also offers his guests walks in the National Park of the Mercantour just an hour and a half away from home, which is a protected area in term of plants and animal species. There are nearly 60 “endemic” plants species, and the guards of the park have already reintroduced animal species such as the “gipaete barbu”, a huge raptor bird that had been hunted until it disappeared, and vultures that travel now between this park and the regional park of the Verdon. Also, wolves have come back in the park via Italy through the Alps and are now protected as well. Guardians of refuges in the National Park sometimes have the opportunity to observe them.

Community

We buy as many fresh products as we can, like fresh vegetables grown by local peasants. Corinne shops at the local butcher, buy the bread at the local boulangerie everyday, and find local honey and cheese at the peasant market in the next village. We also recently met a young man who just started to make his olive oil after spending a year to renovate (helped by his family), an olive tree fields, that had been abandoned as the work was considered too hard. We offer our guests to visit the unique vineyard that remains in the area, which is also located near the village of St Jeannet. The same family has been growing this wine for more than 3 generations, despite the fact that all the other vineyards had been abandoned when the perfume industry in Grasse had offered the peasants to buy flowers instead. Also, visiting some villages around that are being abandoned slowly by slowly by young people who don’t want to work in agriculture anymore make us believe that it will help to maintain a little activity and encourage the few ones who have decided to still live out there. At last, being in a small village ourselves, we are often in contact with our neighbours who are very keen to come and sit on the terrace sometimes and talk about the old times of the village, which is we believe a nice way to learn about the culture of a country. And this is maybe the best part of a trip overseas.

Reviews of French Riviera vacation, walking, culture & cooking option

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole 3 days was fantastic! Walking in the gorge, visiting the perched village, goat farm & vineyard followed by a day learning to cook regional dishes

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't take too many clothes, relax & enjoy the experience

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes very much. These small villages need the right balance of tourism to keep going.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was FABULOUS

Read the operator's response here:

thank you Lesley and Cath, it has been an enormous pleasure to have you with us for these few days :) !!! keep the great spirit, the positive mood no matter what (even after being lost 2 hours looking for your car ;) !!!), stay happy...and come back again :) !!!
love !
Benoit et Corinne

Reviewed on 17 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The peaceful, unspoilt village with spectacular views.
The friendliness and warmth of our hosts, their local knowledge and their pride
in their local area.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Choose a room with a balcony, preferably second floor, as the views are
beautiful. Choose the activities as part of your package. You get a wonderful
overview of the local area. The hiking day is great fun, but make sure you have
suitable shoes and are relatively fit so you really enjoy it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, it is obvious that the hosts are environmentally aware and take care.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Busy, but great fun. You can choose as many or as few activities as you like.
Take an extra day to wind-down and just explore the village as the Monday-
Friday activities are great fun but full-on. If you like more physically
challenging activities then perhaps ask about weekend activities.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Kay for your very nice comment !!! Yes you are correct about the walking day, but
mainly for July and August that take us to the canyon and the local waterfall, the rest of the year the walk is far less "technical" ;)
I hope you will enjoy the rest of your trip in Lyon and Paris :) !!! all the best to you two, take good care
Benoit et Corinne

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The personal contact with the owners who are very charming, and know the area inside out. Delicious food

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Book it. The local tours are great with good food.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Used local knowledge and avoided tourist traps

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Trek in the mountains along a river we arrived at a waterfall for a picnic and our host set up a tightrope across the river it was awesome to see.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Definitely book onto the organised days out the hosts are really fun, knowledgeable and inclusive your will have special time.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes we went to local shops, restaurants and winery the hosts were very knowledgeable about conservation and made sure they sourced locally and were very much embedded in their local community and committed to keeping it thriving.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was simply the best vacation I have been on in years very special

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The concept of the vacation was totally different to anything we had done previously. We enjoyed the idea of doing everything locally with local people and contributing to the local economy. Above all, we felt really well taken care of with much attention to detail.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just enjoy what the hosts have organised for you as it is all very carefully thought out. We have been independent travelers for a long time and wanted to rush around and do so many other things but were glad we let everything be taken care for us!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Apart from the weather which was a bit iffy, unfortunately, 10/10!

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Difficult to pinpoint just one element of the vacation. As a lover of the outdoors, I enjoyed the guided walk and picnic into the local Baou hills but then I also enjoyed the relaxed, fun and informative guided walk of the old town of Nice. The group visits to local family run businesses will remain in my memory also as, in my opinion, it is always a pleasure to meet people from different countries and cultures and also to meet local residents of St. Jeannet.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared to join in any of the visits or events that are laid on....they may vary according to numbers staying at the auberge but as long as you are flexible and prepared to get involved with what is on offer, then I am pretty certain there will be something for everyone to enjoy. If you are an independent traveler, this is a great place to stay as a base and with lots of interesting places to visit within easy reach.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely, inasmuch as the auberge had a sensible room cleaning policy which was optional rather than forced upon any guests ...encouragement of recycling, encouraging the use of local stores in the village and with visits to local suppliers, in my case, this included the village local vineyard and an olive mill and a visit to a few of the perched villages and sampling home made, local produce at a village Bistrot du Pays. All visits very interesting....sampling local dishes in Nice (Socca) and local made ice-cream - again this demonstrated the support of local restaurateurs and the two restaurants I went to in St. Jeannet were both excellent in terms of cuisine and welcome.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. I had a wonderful time and as a solo traveler, was made to feel very welcome and felt very much "at home" during my stay.

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The walk in the Baou with a glass of wine at lunchtime. A view of St Paul de Vence from the bottom of the hill.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


In March, the weather is changeable - good idea to bring waterproof jackets.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, we cooked food with local produce on the Saturday; and bought wine at the local Rasse family vineyard.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. Corinne and Benoit aim to please. The accommodation is basic, but clean and warm.

Reviewed on 29 May 2009 by

It was a marvellous experience in every way! Corinne and Benoit are an attractive couple for whom nothing is too much trouble. They are enthusiastic about what they are doing; energetic and service anything their guests request. The auberge, the food, the authenticity of their product is first class.

Reviewed on 17 Apr 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All of the vacation was great. Probably the best part was the personal touch that Corinne and Benoit insist on providing. It takes a great deal of energy to work as hard as they do, but the results are tremendous.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


I think that I would like to keep this gem a hidden secret, but truthfully the only thing that travelers who arrive by car should be aware of is that the village is very high up and accessed on switchbacked roads. It's a typical perched village of the area.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Benoit and Corinne are exemplars in using locally produced products such as wines, olive oil, various cheeses, and organic vegetables. Everything possible is recycled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had a simply terrific time and have already recommended the house to numerous friends, particularly those people who are seasoned travelers and are tired of the regular offerings. It wasn't a long enough break to earn 5 stars, but no one should hesitate to consider booking.

Reviewed on 21 Jun 2008 by

We were delighted with our stay with Benoit and Corinne in St Jeannet. These friendly people are firm believers in a sustainable approach in all things and it showed. Our room was clean, bright and comfortable with a breathtaking view, food at the guest house was excellent, and the little town with its quaint alleyways to explore was charming and unspoiled. We took part in the 3 day introduction to the area that was offered – market shopping, cooking, wine tasting, olive oil processing tour, scenic drives and remote village exploration, and even the gala opening of an art exhibition in Monte Carlo as a bonus. We would never have experienced all these gems without our enthusiastic hosts and their friends. Without hesitation we rate our vacation 10 out of 10.

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