Grasse is the home of the perfume industry that is built on the side of a hill inland from the coast of the French Riviera.
Views of Grasse are inspiring and the views of the coast (e.g. Cannes and Antibes) from Grasse and the hills above are marvellous. The surrounding villages are generally charming and not as despoiled by tourists as their more famous neighbors towards the coast.
The 4 lane N2285 'penetrante' from the A8 exit 42 (Grasse/Cannes) is the recommended access route. It terminates rather abruptly just before the steep ascent into Grasse on the old N85 (route Napoleon). Fortunately you do not need to go much further to get to the couple of perfumeries which is probably the main reason to visit.
From Nice there are frequent buses run every 30 to 40 minutes to Grasse. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hour and costs €1.50. Tickets are for sale on the bus.
From Cannes there are buses to Grasse as well, but less frequent.
- Perfumeries in Grasse
- Route Napoleon
- Views back towards coast
- Auribeau perched village
- Olive Oil mills
- Moulins de la Brague (2 rte Châteauneuf Opio tel: 04 93 77 23 03)
- Moulin Ste Anne (9 chem Prés GRASSE tel: 04 92 42 01 70 on D4 towards Draugignon)
The Grasse area is good for outdoor activities, as well as hiking in the hills it is possible to ride horses, go mountain biking and play golf and tennis.
There are many golf courses such as the Golf Country Club de Saint Donat (270 rte Cannes GRASSE tel: 04 93 09 76 60), or the Golf du Grande Bastide (761 chem Picholines CHATEAUNEUF tel: 04 93 77 70 08 fax: 04 93 77 72 36).
Although most towns have a municipal tennis club these tend to be rather cliquey and not very welcoming to foreigners. The Tennis Club Plaine Le Vignal (268 chem Picholines CHATEAUNEUF tel: 04 93 60 14 20 fax: 04 93 60 14 35) is more accommodating to foreigners and also has a pleasant restaurant with a very cheap and basic menu and a swimming pool.
Horse Riding - try the Club Hippique de La Brague (chem Ranch 06740 CHATEAUNEUF tel: 04 93 60 16 10 fax: 04 97 01 06 44) near the Vignal, the Club Hippique Grasse (168 rte Cannes 06130 GRASSE tel: 04 93 70 55 41) between Grasse and Mouans Sartoux, or the Poney Club École Equitation (42 chem Mosquée GRASSE tel: 04 93 36 13 23) on the way to Magagnosc
- Perfume: There's a perfume factory there, where you can find your favorite scent.
- Olive oil
- Auberge St Donat (rte Valbonne (D4), ☎ , fax: . Plascassier - on the roundabout with D104 to Mouans Sartoux). Open for lunch every day and dinner M-Sa. Unpretentious restaurant that provides a bargain at lunch where you have a 4 course fixed menu meal including wine and coffee for €13.50/person. Either reserve or get there at 12noon.
- La Bastide St Antoine (48 Avenue Henri Dunant, Grasse - access from end of penetrante is signed the trick is to start by heading to Pégomas and away from Grasse!), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Two star Michelin Restaurant (and Hotel) expensive (€100/person minimum) but well worth splurging on and less well known than the other Michelin restaurants in the area.