The bay, with Cap Roux in the background
Beach, marina (possibility of boat rental), very good dining in nearby restaurants on the corniche, tennis, golf, mountain-hiking, -biking, horseback riding, fishing, glitz and night life of Cannes (20 min by car), Nice (35 min), and Monaco (50 min).
Marina, Le Trayas in the background
The marina La Figuerette next to the beach has boat hiring facilities. For information contact +33 (0) 611 73 97 20 (less expensive), or classic-yacht-charter (posh, Riva-boats)...
April 30, 2005, in the morning
...and the sun always shines. Statistically, it does so 300 days per year, but Trayas has a particularly favorable microclimate, and the sun shines even on a cloudy day...
The Raimbault Brothers, Chefs of L'Oasis
Good restaurants include La Cigale, the local pub at the bottom of the hill, L'Étoiles des Mer in the nearby Miramar Beach Hotel, L'Air du Temps on the Corniche, the Marco Polo in neighboring Théoule-s-mer (10 min by car), and Oasis in La Napoule, a Michelin** event. (12 min by car).
Golfer on the Old Course
The nearest golf course, in Mandelieu (17 min by car), is rightly called the "Old Course" since it was the first course on the Cote d'Azur. There are more than 10 golf courses within 45 min driving, notably in St. Raphael, Agay, Mandelieu, Cannes, Mougins, and Grasse.
Palais Bulles, Closeup
At 3 car minutes we have the Palais Bulles, a mansion from outer space that is now owned by Pierre Cardin. He built an outdoor amphitheater and organizes his own festival during the summer (open to the public).
Daytime Glitz at the Martinez in Cannes
Cannes, the nearest large town, features La Croisette, world's most famous board walk, glitz and celebrities, a very nice beach with very nice restaurants---try the Escaloppe Milanese (Wiener Schnitzel) at La Undine for 23 EUR---, and a continuous string of festivals. Most important is the Film Festival in May. Other important events include the International Music Market in January, and the International Advertizing Festival in June.
Hotel Negresco in Nice
Other large towns include Nice (40 min), Monaco (50 min), Antibes (30min), and Grasse (40min). Nice is the capital of the region, with a historic downtown region, and very good shopping.
The Casino in Monte Carlo
Monaco/Monte Carlo is an independent state, features The Casino (the name is Bond, James Bond), and offshore tax protection for non-French residents that stimulates much development. It is still ruled by an absolute monarch, Albert II, son of Grace Kelly, the American actress of High Noon fame, who married his father.
Mimosas in blossom near Tanneron
Next to the larger towns, we have the world capitals. Grasse (40 min) is the world capital of Fragrances and Perfumes, and you can take 1-day classes with the major perfume houses, such as Galimard, and take your own perfume home. Tanneron (35 min) is the world capital of Mimosas. Mimosas are small trees that blossom in January, but they are very fragile and cannot handle frost. Villa Miramar is on the edge of Mimosa Country, and the pretty plants grow like weeds in the garden.
St. Paul de Vence
Then there are the smaller towns. They epitomize the Provence region. Built on hilltops, they combine medivial cobblestone alleys, pittoresque town houses, restaurants, galleries, and tourist traps. The best ones in the region are Gourdon (monastry, 880m altitude, views over the whole Cote d'Azur, 50 min), Tourette-sur-Loup (less well known, 50 min), Èze (Nietzsche lived there, and then moved on, 45 min), Mougins (easy, 30 min), Valbonne (the Roman streetplan layout is still very much in evidence, 40 min), and St. Paul de Vence (which hosted Marc Chagall and many other important painters; a Rolling Stone also lived there, and now it is the turn of Rod Steward). We recommend Mougins with its splendid panoramic views and its restaurant au Feu Follet (excellent dejeuner d'affaires for 23 EUR), right on the central square.
Fondation Maeght, a museum in St. Paul
The region attracted many artists, such as van Gogh, Gaugin, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall. They are dead now, but their musea live on. We recommend the Matisse Museum in Nice, the Picasso Museum in Antibes, the Fondation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence, and the Léger museum in Biot.
Les Femmes au Perroquet by Leger
The Maeght museum is conveniently situated next to la Colombe d'Or, an upmarket restaurant with a tiled mural by Fernand Léger dominating the outdoor terrace. The late owner knew all the artists, and they paid their bills with paintings. Les femmes au perroquet, however, Léger's mural in la Colombe, was commissioned when everybody was already very rich. It was one of his last works (1952).
Le Mont St. Victoire by Czanne
Natura artis magistra, as the Romans would say (nature is the master of the arts). And so we have much nature to behold. We have the Alpes at 90 min with excellent skiing in Isola 2000 and Valberg (snow conditions can be monitored from the house; if you can't see the Alps don't go), the Gorges du Loup (serious ravines carved by a surprisingly small river, world famous in France), the Mediterranean itself, the Esterel Mountains, and the Provence region in general. Cézanne, for example, lived in Aix-en-Provence, an amazing Provence town to the east (110 min), and painted about 100 pictures of the Mont St. Victoire, the mountain that dominates the town. Nature also includes the truffels at Aups (110 min).
Aqueduct in Frejus
The Romans were not the first to inhabit the region. The Phenecians founded Marseille, and the ancient Greeks founded Nice and Antibes (Anti-Polis, the city opposite in the bay to Nice). Nearby Fréjus still sports a Roman aqueduct and a stadium where the gladiators fought the tourists (just kidding).
Villa Aurelienne
Fréjus abuts St. Raphael (the lovely town we technically belong to), and it features the largest hospital in the region (St. Raphaeliens are born in Fréjus, a major problem), as well as the Villa Aurélienne, an 18th century villa now dedicated to important exhibitions, such as the pictures of our friend Sacha Frey. Fréjus also has fantastic sandy beaches.
SophiaAntipolis Areal
Sophia-Antipolis, a technology campus in the hills above Antibes, serves as the French imitation of Silicon Valley, so government money huffs and puffs to chase the animal spirits of California. But le gouvernement has coaxed many international companies into opening an office in Sophia, and created a market for high-tech labor that contributes substantially to the wealth of the region. Sophia is is named after the daughter of Pierre Lafitte, then director of the Ecole des Mines, who thought up the idea.
Cap  Roux
The National Park de l'Esterel embraces Le Trayas. L'Esterel is a primary mountain (500 million years old) of red granite rocks, spectacular cliffs, gentle slopes, and deep lakes. The park features fantastic hiking, biking, fishing, horseback-riding---
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