903km (561 miles) S of Paris; 11km (7 miles) S of Grasse; 8km (5 miles) N of Cannes

This once-fortified town on the crest of a hill provides an alternative for those who want to be near the excitement of Cannes but not in the midst of it. Picasso and other artists appreciated these rugged, sun-drenched hills covered with gnarled olive trees. Picasso arrived in 1936 and, in time, was followed by Jean Cocteau, Paul Eluard, and Man Ray. Picasso decided to move here permanently, choosing as his refuge an ideal site overlooking the Bay of Cannes near the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Vie. Here he continued to work and spent the latter part of his life with his wife, Jacqueline. Fernand Léger, René Clair, Isadora Duncan, and even Christian Dior have lived at Mougins.

That artsy legacy has blessed the town with must-see galleries and two amazing museums, opened in 2021 and 2024 respectively. Real estate prices are among the highest on the Riviera, and the wealthy residents support a dining scene that also punches well above its weight. The Etoile des Mougins food festival (www.lesetoilesdemougins.com), held each September, is a gastronomic love-in featuring Michelin-starred chefs from across the globe.