WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Grasse to Grenoble

View of Grasse, France

View of Grasse, France

WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Grasse to Grenoble

Day 12 – Grasse

The two nights we spent at the Fairmont Monte Carlo during our Globus La France tour were exactly what we needed in order to recharge our batteries and get revved up for the remaining days of the 14-day trip.

It was back to the early wake-up calls (6:15 a.m.) as our departure was scheduled for 8 a.m. Unfortunately, the included breakfast buffet at the Fairmont rooftop terrace restaurant didn’t start until 7 a.m., but we still made sure to take our time and enjoy the lavish spread and splendid Mediterranean views.

After our timely departure from Monte Carlo, the driving route took us back towards Nice and onward to the town of Grasse – famous for their perfume factories.

Fragonard in Grasse, France

Fragonard in Grasse, France

The traffic had been relatively quiet so it was only an hour’s drive to arrive at Fragonard for a guided factory tour. Some of the passengers (mainly the women) enjoyed this 50-minute stop and took the opportunity to purchase perfume, cologne, soaps and body lotions where they are made – and at a reasonable price.

Fragonard Perfume Shopping

Fragonard Perfume Shopping

Grasse Fun Facts:

  • Is in Provence in the south of France and is the world’s capital of perfume
  • Is home of the 11th century Notre Dame du Puy Cathedral which has three paintings by Rubens
  • Is also home of the 1754 painting Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a native of Grasse
  • Has the International Museum of Perfume
  • Hosts the annual Jasmine Festival in August
  • Produces over two-thirds of France’s natural aromas
  • Was where Edith Piaf died in 1963

 

  • Castellane in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Department

    Castellane in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Department

By 10 a.m. we had departed from Grasse and were driving up into the mountains, along narrow winding roads towards the village of Castellane. The two-hour drive was very scenic and we enjoyed our final view of the Mediterranean before heading further inland.

Castellane Chapel of Our Lady

Castellane Chapel of Our Lady

On the drive to Castellane Vic made a couple of suggestions regarding where to eat lunch (for either restaurant or cafe dining), but when we arrived at the quaint village the local market was bustling with activity – providing both fun entertainment and tasty lunch fixings for a picnic lunch during our hour-twenty stop.

Castellane Market - Olives Galore

Castellane Market – Olives Galore

Castellane Fun Facts:

  • Is found at the northern end of the Verdon Gorge (Europe’s Grand Canyon)
  • Is in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of southeastern France
  • Route Napoleon passes through here
  • Is home of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rock(Nôtre-Dame-du-Roc), located on the imposing rock which overlooks the city
  • Has long been a popular site for all kinds of outdoor activities

At 1:20 p.m. the coach departed for Sisteron, and we endured another winding drive (for 90 minutes) along very narrow, curving roads. The ride was very uncomfortable for those affected by motion sickness – it was definitely a good day to use Gravol or Dramamine!

Sisteron

Sisteron

In Sisteron we had 45-minute comfort stop (where we had to find a cafe and pay for a drink in order to use the facilities) and just enough time to wander around the small but busy town.

Sisteron in the Haute-Alps of France

Sisteron in the Haute-Alps of France

Sisteron Fun Facts:

  • Is a picturesque town in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of southeastern France on the banks of the Durance River
  • Was built at a narrow rocky gap and is sometimes referred to as the “Gateway to Provence”
  • Has an impressive citadel built atop the peak at the east end of the town
  • Over the centuries Sisteron has suffered through ghastly plagues and sieges

    WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Grasse to Grenoble

    WJ Tested: Globus La France Tour – Grasse to Grenoble

The 2.5-hour drive from Sisteron to our final destination of Grenoble was even more arduous. The road was especially windy, but the scenery was wonderful and we did enjoy better views of the small villages en route.

Grenoble in France

Grenoble in France

Arriving at the Mercure Grenoble President Hotel in Grenoble by 6:20 p.m. gave us just enough time to check-in to our room and freshen up before making our way to dinner in the hotel’s conference room.

Mercure Grenoble President Hotel

Mercure Grenoble President Hotel

The 3-course set menu started with Salad Niçoise – a mixed salad of tomatoes and green beans topped with tuna and anchovies and dressed with a vinaigrette.

Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

Following was the main course of guinea fowl, and crème brulee for dessert. As we were not limited to our wine consumption (typically one glass is included) the atmosphere during the meal was quite jolly and lively even after a very full day in transit.

Guinea Fowl Leg with Tarragon and Potatoes

Guinea Fowl Leg with Tarragon and Potatoes

Chartreuse French Custard - Creme Brulee

Chartreuse French Custard – Creme Brulee

Grenoble Fun Facts:

  • Is located at the base of the French Alps in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France
  • Is commonly known as the “Capital of the Alps”
  • Is crossed by two rivers and surrounded by three mountain chains
  • Is the walnut capital of France
  • Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympics
  • Is home to The Bastille, one of Grenoble’s most popular attractions ~ ancient fortifications overlooking the city

Unfortunately our time in Grenoble was limited to eating and sleeping at the hotel, so we didn’t get to see any of the city sights.

If You Go:

Read More About WAVEJourney’s Globus La France Adventures:
| Overview | Paris Day 1 | Paris City Tour Day 2 | Normandy Day 3 | Normandy and Brittany Day 4 | Loire Day 5Loire Valley and Bordeaux Day 6 | Saint Emilion Day 7 | Biarritz and Lourdes Day 8 | Carcassonne and Nimes Day 9 | Pont du Gard and Avignon Day 10 | Monte Carlo Day 11 | Grasse to Grenoble Day 12 | Lyon to Dijon Day 13 | Dijon to Paris Day 14 |

 

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