Nestled in the south of France overlooking the Mediterranean, the French Riviera has a dreamy allure that’s enticed travelers for centuries. Many associate the area with the larger seaside cities of Cannes or Nice—but, as Inspirato member Beth B. discovered, the lesser-known locales along the French Riviera can offer their own distinct charm.
Mougins is one such village, a quaint town steeped in medieval history and tucked into France’s Provence region. A haven for artists, many notable figures throughout history have spent time in Mougins, from Yves Saint Laurent to Pablo Picasso, the latter of whom lived there for the last 12 years of his life and is honored with a statue at the village’s center.
Along with three other couples, Beth and her husband traveled to Mougins in October. Building off a friend’s dream cycling trip along a portion of the Tour de France, Beth was aiming to curate an itinerary for the end of their trip that was all about relaxation after the group’s adventurous excursion.
Beth wanted to find a house along the Riviera that would accommodate 12 people, the maximum she thought would join herself and her husband along that portion of the trip. And, after purchasing tickets for the group to the Pablo Picasso exhibit at Paris’ Musee d’Orsay, she was inspired to weave a Picasso thread throughout the rest of the trip, ending in the town where he died: Mougins. Both wishes came true when she found the Villa Grain d’Orge, a five-bedroom Inspirato home.
Though she didn’t know much about Mougins before booking the trip, Beth soon realized that it would be an ideal central location for exploring the Riviera.
“You’re outside the hustle and bustle of Cannes, but you can get to Cannes within 15 minutes,” she said.
When the group arrived at the villa, everyone was delighted with the accommodations.
When we got there, and they saw the villa, and saw the cute village we were staying in, they said, ‘This is incredible.’Beth B., Inspirato member
They were especially eager to enjoy the home’s outdoor space, which includes a pool, a fire pit that was perfect for cozying up at night, and a Pétanque court—which Beth described as the French version of bocce ball, unique to the Provence region.
An active group of travelers, they filled their days with exploration. Beth highly recommends a trip to the Îles de Lérins, two islands that can be accessed via a leisurely ferry ride from Cannes. One of the islands, Saint-Honorat, offers incredible wine-tasting at a monastery helmed by 21 monks. For dining in the village itself, Beth also said members can’t miss Paloma, a Michelin Two-Star restaurant.
As much as Beth enjoyed getting out and about in Provence–whether it was a road trip along the coast to nearby Antibes, a visit to another Picasso museum in the area, or enjoying wine bars in the village—she also said the group enjoyed just relaxing around the pool or inside the villa itself. Villa Grain d’Orge offered gorgeous views: the French Alps to one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other.
Beth also mentioned that all of the group’s requests were met throughout the trip.
“The local concierge … couldn’t have been more accommodating. They just were on it. Everything or anything we needed, we could get,” she said. “Everything that I had asked (Inspirato) to reserve for us was seamless.”
On the last night of their trip, Beth, her husband, and the other couples were treated to an in-house chef who cooked a gourmet meal with the group. Beth and company helped prepare the first course, and felt it was the perfect end to a whirlwind four days in Provence.
“At the end of the trip, everybody, all eight of us said … ‘We wish we could have spent a week here,’” Beth said. “It was amazing that you could be in this tiny little place, and you could be doing all of this without really leaving.”